When I traveled to Cancun this past September, I had no idea what to expect. Driving to my hotel from the airport I stared at the miles of shopping malls, ritzy resorts, and glossy billboards and confess I was a bit disappointed. I know all those things can be fun, but I was hoping for a bit of “real” Mexico, something that didn’t feel like I was still in America.
The 12-acre site in the Mayan Riviera was originally intended to be the home of architect Miguel Quintana Pali. But as he began clearing the land he discovered natural sinkholes known as cenotes and beautiful underground rivers. Pali then decided to create a park where everyone could enjoy the natural wonders and learn about the history and culture of Mexico.
Xcaret was opened in December 1990 as an eco-archeological park and is a place of exquisite beauty and stunning history. I couldn’t stop smiling all day as I ambled past tropical flowers, clambered over Mayan ruins, and gasped in wonder at the brilliant performances of Mayan dancers and historical re-enactors.
Our first adventure was taking a boat ride down this gorgeous turquoise river. It led us between towering cliffs, by cascading waterfalls, and lingered by the river-side homes of black wild boar and graceful deer.
We bobbed along through dark caves and stared up at the thick canopy of trees blotting out the sky, listening to the chatter of hundreds of birds and the patter of warm rain trickling down through the leaves.
I loved it. 🙂
When our boat tour was over we made a pit stop at the most stunning bathroom I’ve ever seen.
It was so magnificent you wanted to keep guzzling water just to have an excuse to see it again. What especially delighted me were the hand washing facilities. How marvelously Swiss Family Robinson are those seashell faucets?!
In Part Two I’ll tell you more about this wonderful place, and hopefully figure out how to share some video I took of some crazy brave Mayan performers. 🙂
Do prefer “bright lights, big city” or do you like getting out into nature? Or maybe a bit of both?