8 Awesome Theme Parks in Playa Del Carmen to Know

Xel-Há floating bridge
Xel-Há floating bridge | © Drew And Merissa / Flicker
Mónica Ramírez López

Playa del Carmen features a number of theme parks that let tourists experience most of the thrilling adventures offered by the Mayan jungle and its natural habitats. Discover sinkholes, underground rivers, Mayan ruins and exotic fauna in eight awesome theme parks of this beautiful destination.

1. Xplor Park


Xplor Park
© pauljoelhancock / Flickr
A fun adventure park, Xplor offers a unique experience in the middle of the jungle, with guides and equipment that guarantee your safety, and of course fun. Start your adventure by flying on a zip-line to fuel your adrenaline, then drive amphibious vehicles along two circuits through jungle trails, rocky roads, suspended bridges and an amazing cavern with different water levels. The exciting journey continues in the underground river: relax and enjoy the beautiful view of stalactites and stalagmites while paddling through the caves. After the fun packed activities, take a breather and relax on a hammock – but don’t get too comfortable because this one’s attached to a zip-line and at the end of its journey will dunk you into the crystal waters of a cenote (sinkhole). At night the park turns into Xplor Fire, where rows of torches will light your way and illuminate the river to look like a real lava crater.

2. Xcaret Park

Cemetery, Park

2. Xcaret Park
© Pixabay

This park will give you a day full of surprises. Xcaret gathers the natural and cultural richness of Playa del Carmen: from the beginning you’ll find beautiful landscapes, but don’t stop to admire them for too long as there is so much to see and it just gets better and better. The attractions include underground and paradise rivers, beaches, a dolphinarium, an aviary, a house of whispers, traditional chapels, a Mexican cemetery, caves to the Mayan villages, archaeological sites, a wine cellar and so much more! As it’s an all inclusive park you can stay all day long, take your meals in the international restaurants, and at night – if you add Xcaret Xclusivo – witness the celebration Xcaret Mexico Spectacular, a musical spectacle retelling the history of Mexico through amusing dances on stage.

Xcaret Park, Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juárez km282, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen, México, +52 800 292 2738

Xcaret | © mariamichelle/Pixabay

3. Bel Air Animal Park

Park, Swimming Pool, Zoo

You could visit a zoo, but Bel Air Animal Park is more than that, bringing together the experience of a zoo and the thrilling activities that feature the sea and jungle of the Riviera Maya. Admire the impressive species from the micro world and the wild animals in their natural habitat: tigers, crocodiles, deer, manatees, monkeys and more. Walk through ecological trails and admire more than 300 birds flying around. When you need a rest, relax in the swimming pool while your kids swim in the wading pool. There’s more: snorkel in an estero with natural phenomena caused by the union of fresh and salt water, and paddle in a kayak through mangroves and jungle landscapes. There’s also a fun environmental workshop and an interactive animal farm. This is an ideal place to experience unforgettable family moments.

Bel Air Animal Park, Carretera Puerto Juarez – Chetumal. km265, Playa del Carmen, México, +52 984 171 0325

4. Xenses Park

Amusement Park

Xenses Park is a place to shake the stress off and wake up your senses across land, air and water. Challenge your mind and explore new sensations: there are 15 activities to enjoy in caverns, rivers, a town and gardens. You’ll be able to fly in the air and glide through waters, there are areas to fuel your adrenaline and others to relax you and purify you. The whole experience will create an awareness of your body and its incredible capacity to imagine and perceive.

5. Xel-Há

Aquarium, Park

5. Xel-Há
© Kirt Edblom / Flickr

Xel-Há is a natural aquarium of sinkholes, rivers, mangroves, beaches and underground rivers where fun and relaxation are guaranteed. Regarded as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, it offers the opportunity to interact with the marine life, by either snorkeling or swimming with dolphins and manatees. More than just a paradise to admire, you can have fun with thrilling activities that include flying on a zip-line, cycling above the treetops, and walking on the bottom of the sea, to name just a few. But if you want something stronger, experience Adrenalina Xel-Há, with its extreme turns and dip in the sea. Recharge your energy with delicious dishes and cocktails in the restaurants overlooking the beautiful landscapes. When it’s time to relax, get a piña colada and float on an inner tube along the river.

Xel-Há, Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juárez km240, locales 1 & 2, módulo B, México, +52 800 009 3542

Xel-Há Park | © Kirt Edblom / Flickr

6. Xenotes Oasis Maya

Xenotes is a jungle area with four stunning sinkholes, locally known as cenotes. K’áak’ Fire Xenote is an open air cenote of turquoise green waters that you can cross paddling in a kayak. Lu’um Earth Xenote is inside a cave and surrounded by stalactites: rappel down through the small opening of the cave that lets the sunshine in, and jump in its refreshing, turquoise waters. Next, the Ha’ Water Xenote is a semi-open cenote with rock formations and dazzling underwater flora with a vibrant atmosphere. The tour ends up in the ancient Iik’ Wind Xenote, distinctive for its cylindrical shape and lush vegetation. Swim and fly on a zip-line over the shimmering sinkholes and enjoy the jungle landscape.

Xenotes Oasis Maya, Av Tulum 290, MZ 3 Lote 2, 8, Cancún, México, +52 998 883 3143

7. Río Secreto


7. Río Secreto
© Olivia Meadows / Flickr

Río Secreto, translated as Secret River, is an eco-park where you will have the adventure of a lifetime. The river itself is not the only adventure: as it is located 80 feet (25m) underground you have to descend walking through a system of caves. Sometimes the only light will come from your lamp, but the guides are able to lead you safely through the caves. Once there, you’ll walk and swim through eight miles (13km) of beautiful sceneries of stalactites and stalagmites, vamps and clear crystal waters. There’s a spot where the guide will turn off the light so you can sense the peace of the Mayan underworld. There are different tours through the river, but they all include a specialized guide, life jacket and helmet with lamp.

Río Secreto, Carretera Federal Libre Chetumal – Puerto Juárez km283.5, Ejido Sur, Playa del Carmen, México, +52 800 845 0529

Río Secreto, Playa del Carmen | © Olivia Meadows / Flickr

8. Aktun Chen

Park, Zoo

8. Aktun Chen
© Gary J. Wood / Flickr

This amazing eco-park features a zoo of wildlife and exotic flora from the Mexican Caribbean. Aktun Chen houses rescued animals and more than 15 native species preserved from extinction. Get in touch with nature and be captivated by bioluminescent caves, swim in the cool waters of the underground cenote, and enjoy the stunning landscapes while flying the zip-line. The underground walk along its ancient cave is in the National Geographic top 10 underground walks in the world.

Aktun Chen, km. 107 carretera Cancún-Tulúm, 77780 Akumal, México, +52 984 806 4962

Cave at Aktun Chen | © Gary J. Wood / Flickr

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