Picture yourself floating magnificently down an underground river created by nature. Imagine the utter thrill of releasing all control and trusting mother nature to guide you through dark crevices in an underground cave. Experience the wonder of X C A R E T park, a world full of adventure hidden in the tropical paradise of Cancun Quintana Roo, Mexico.

The Xcaret Underground River Experience: Things to do in Xcaret


Xcaret Park is basically the Disneyland of Mexico. There's food, entertainment, remarkable views, but there's also an underground river, zip-lining, & so much more. Xcaret Cancún Park is popular amongst Riviera Maya locals, citizens from Mexico, as well as tourists from all over the world. This is one of those one-stop-shops. People dedicate days here or just a day, depending on your energy level. 

Related reading: El Cielo Winery Resort on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico

Floating the Xcaret Underground River in Cancun

Picture yourself floating magnificently down an underground river created by nature. Imagine the utter thrill of releasing all control and trusting mother nature to guide you through dark crevices in an underground cave.

Park Xcaret has underground rivers allowing guests to swim in the waters through dark caves & into the tropical world of Xcaret. The names of the rivers include the Blue River, the Mayan River, and the Manatee River. Xcaret's location in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya (Maya River Mexico) gives it a natural vibe that's unlike any other theme park. You can unknowingly trek through a jungle, only realizing it when you see it from about. The pure expanse of trees as far as the eye can see. You have a feeling like you're just one fraction, a tiny leaf or bug in an enormous jungle. 

You'll find something great in every corner. Xcaret is a popular trip destination for a reason. It's one of those places you must travel to at least once. Xcaret's Cancun Eco Park in Playa del Carmen offers the Mayan Village, the Aviary, the Coral Reef Aquarium, & the Butterfly Pavilion. Get your grub on with fresh food at one of their many restaurants. I only spent one day at Xcaret & feel like I missed out on a lot; there was so much more I could have done, seen, experienced, & of course, eaten. 

The Xcaret Underground River Experience: Things to do in Xcaret

Underground Rivers

The underground river experience is easily one of the most popular things to do in Xcaret. The underground rivers flow about 16.4 feet below the ground. Xcaret Park gives you a life vest & flippers for the river experience. I went with my family, a group ranging from a 50-something-year-old who couldn't swim to kids who could kind of swim to myself, an Olympic gold medalist. Oh wait, that's not me. I'm not an Olympic medalist but I know how to swim more or less. The swimming experience is easy. Simply hold on the road as a guide & the lifejacket helps keep you buoyant. 

For snorkeling, guests can rent snorkel gear for a cost as well as a refundable deposit. However, if you have an Xcaret Plus ticket, you only need to pay the refundable deposit. Take a look at the Xcaret website for information about the underground rivers.

Related reading: Things to Do in Queretaro Centro, Mexico Top Attractions

Paradise River allows you to witness the beauty of the underground rivers without having to dive into the water. Paradise River runs along stretches of the Tropical Jungle Trail as you waft a raft. If you're not a swimmer or don't want to get wet, this is a superb option. Whether you swim through it or float through it, don't miss the experience of the Xcaret underground river in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Due to the whole underwater aspect, I didn't bring a phone or a camera so I made sure to utilize the photo-taking capabilities of my wristband. I took some photos throughout Xcaret but not at all during the underground river exploration. I love photos & being able to fondly look back on memories but sometimes you just have to completely absorb without any distractions.

Flamingos Xcaret Underground River Experience: Things to do in Xcaret

How Long is the Underground River at Xcaret?

The river has an extension of 656 yards & an average depth of 5 ft. The rivers aren't for practicing laps, you can't just swim willy nilly wherever you want. Parts of the underground river are literally pitch black & you'll want to follow the rope lead like it's nobody's business. Other parts enable you to revel in the natural light of the sun. If you ever feel over your head, scared, or as though you've had enough, you can leave at one of the designated exits along the way. 

Life jacket use is mandatory & it helps you float throughout the course. There are no waves so you don't have to stress about being overpowered. That said, everyone must wear a lifejacket. Why wouldn't you want to? Like I said, it gets dark in certain areas so you'll appreciate those safety precautions when you're in the water.

How cold is the water? Xcaret Underground River: Things to do in Xcaret

How Cold is the Water in Xcaret?

I visited in December & parts of the Xcaret underground river waters were cold-ish but nothing frigid. If you visit in summer, I imagine the temperature of the water is refreshing or warm! Even throughout that December day, the air felt warm against your skin, the sun shone brightly, drop of sweat rolls down your cheek after tracking all afternoon. The underground river sounds refreshing right now.

Tickets & Admission

There's Food and Beverage tickets, Photopass tickets, adult options, child options, so choose what works for your family, depending on what attractions you want to see. This beautiful park offers experiences you won't forget. 

Xcaret Plus admission includes a number of convenient perks such as:

- One lunch buffet

- Tours in three underground rivers,

- Xcaret México Espectacular presentation

- Access to the beach, inlet, & natural pools

- Visits to the Butterfly Pavilion, Coral Reef Aquarium and the Aviary

- Children’s World, a place of fun exclusively for the little ones

- Horse Exhibition, Papantla Flying Men and Pre-Hispanic Dances

- Tropical jungle trail

Xcaret Park in Mexico Quintana Roo

Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Show

Xcaret Mexico Espectacular Show is fantastic, showstopping, acrobatic, cinematic, & entertaining as hell. The costumes alone were a masterpiece with bobbing flamingos & jellyfish dancing their way across the stage. Hundreds of cast members make their appearance throughout the show, somewhere around 300 to be presence. You'll experience the history of Mexico through song & dance. You'll watch a terrifying match of the Mayan fireball game. Learn more about the Expectacular Show on their website!

Address: Carretera Chetúmal Puerto Juárez Kilómetro 282, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

Where to Stay

It also includes the use of snorkeling gear, lounge chairs, hammocks rest areas, free parking, & more. Read about the Plus admission features on the Xcaret website. If you plan to stay more than one day, it certainly helps to spend the night in a nearby hotel. If you have money to spend, the Hotel Xcaret Mexico is the most convenient choice. They have 900 rooms ready for you & your family. 

The Hotel Xcaret Mexico has an ALL-FUN INCLUSIVE® vacation option which includes unlimited access to the parks Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xoximilco & Xenses, tours to Xenotes & Xichen, transportation between parks, airport shuttle, food & drink.

If you have a car or rental car you can drive in from your own hotel, Airbnb, or wherever you're staying. That's what we did. We drove in for the day. Had fun. Swam in an underground river. Ate tacos with an ocean view. Saw flamingos. 

I positively enjoyed my time at Xcaret eco park in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo with a range of family members. Kids, adults, & elders can revel in the diverse entertainment, good food, & fun. I definitely could've stayed longer; I'm sure it would have been fun & I would've tried out more of the features. Hope you have a chance to enjoy it yourself!

Xcaret Park in Mexico Quintana Roo Photopass things to do

Visiting Mexico

Mexico is a large country with so much to offer. Take a look at the Visit Mexico website for more information on tourism. Did you know Mexico has 32 states? Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur , Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Durango, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, & Zacatecas.

Cancun, located in the state of Quintana Roo, is certainly one of the more popular locations but it not for nothing. With crystal clear warm water & absolutely intoxicating food like huitlacoche tacos. What is huitlacoche you ask? What does it taste like? Read this post. Search for a place to eat, there are plenty of options.

Xcaret Park in Mexico Quintana Roo Photopass things to do Parrots

Read my other blog posts about Mexico:

A Mini Guide to Tijuana's Breweries, Craft Beer, & Tasting Rooms

Things To Do at Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Things to Do in Queretaro Centro, Mexico Top Attractions

El Cielo Winery Resort on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico