Cancun’s Wet N’ Wild water park is located in the southernmost tip of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, right by the ocean. A smaller (much smaller) version of its United States counterparts, Cancun’s Wet N’ Wild park features only 5 slides, among them the well known Kamikaze and the less scary Twister. It also features the Lazy River that has become Wet N’ Wild’s signature, and a pretty spacious tidal pool with quite big and fun waves.
In an effort not to give our readers the wrong information, we won’t publish Wet N’ Wild’s prices here, since they change with the season of the year, but suffice to say that the admittance fee is comparable to other Wet N’s Wilds internationally, but here in Cancun, it includes all you can eat and drink.
Although we love water parks as much as the next guy, we are not big fans of Cancun’s Wet N’ Wild. First of, there are no slides for smaller children so this park is a no-no for families with kids under 6 years old. For those of you who are traveling to Cancun with your small kids, we recommend instead Sea Adventure Resort and Water Park.
Secondly, the food at Cancun’s Wet N’ Wild is simply horrendous. The menu consists exclusively of burgers, hot dogs, tortilla chips and french fries. Both times we’ve visited, there’s been huge lines to grab food with a minimum wait of 30 minutes, and every time we approached the soda fountain, we had to wait for it to be re-stocked. The alcoholic drinks, on the other hand, were always available! Drink as much beer or margaritas as you wish, but wait in line for sodas or water… hmmm…
Also unlike in the USA’s Wet N’ Wilds, there are no free inner tubes to use in the pools or the Lazy River. If you want to float on one, you must rent ($4 USD) or buy one at the convenience store ($17 USD).
Despite these shortcomings, Cancun’s Wet N’ Wild has a few good things about it. The place is spotless, the staff is friendly, there are plenty of lifeguards all over the park, and for those who enjoy swimming with dolphins, there is an on-site “Swim With Dolphins” facility. This is an optional activity, not included in the entrance price.
Because of the small amount of slides, the bad quality and availability of food and drinks, in this Review of Cancun’s Wet N’ Wild water park, we give it a 2 star rating.
Terrible! If I had to describe the Submarine tour from AquaWorld in Cancun, I’d use exactly that word: terrible.
We had high hopes for this tour, since it advertises two whole hours of family fun that finish with 30 minutes of a submarine ride. But we were so disappointed! The entire tour was a miserable experience.
The tour starts at the AquaWorld facility on the south end of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. A small boat takes you to the other side of Cancun, on the ocean side, and there you board a tiny submarine that can only fit two people side by side, about 12 rows deep. If you’re claustrophobic, this is not for you. If you get dizzy easily, this is not for you. If you get sea-sick, this is not for you. And if you hate being treated like garbage, this is definitely not for you!
The day we took the sub tour in Cancun, we arrived there early. Our expected day of fun quickly turned into a negative experience after we tried to pose for the “welcome aboard” photo that AquaWorld offers. We positioned ourselves behind the customary wooden steering wheel, and an employee came running to tell us that we couldn’t be there. We were surprised, since all other tourists in front of us had done it. Upon asking why, the employee in question told us that we were trying to steal from the company by shooting our own photos (all our cameras were inside our purses). After explaining that we were there, waiting to be photographed by THEM, we were ignored, and their company photographer simply walked away.
We then boarded the boat that takes you to the submarine. It was a little on the uncomfortable side, and the captain was a little drunk and was going a little too fast for our taste, but we didn’t complain. Two other families did so, but the captain chose to keep his speed, even though there were kids bouncing all over the place. Oh well.
We finally got into the submarine, which is as small and crowded as a general population jail in Los Angeles, and were tossed around by the waves for the 30 longest minutes of our lives, to achieve absolutely nothing! We saw 1 turtle and a few little fish, a lot less than you can see in any Cancun hotel lobby’s man-made aquarium.
What really topped it off for us, was that upon returning to the AquaWorld facilities (dizzy and frustrated), the captain of the boat asked for a tip. I gave the guy 20 mexican pesos, and he was so pissed at my “cheapness”, that he said (and I quote): “I should throw this shit in the water”. We were appaled, and when we complained to a manager, he simply said that this is the way things work in Cancun. Funny thing is, we have stayed in pretty much every hotel in Cancun and done most tours and excursions offered to tourists, and this is the first time we’ve been treated with such disrespect and blatant rudeness.
So, next time you’re looking for things to do in Cancun, steer clear of any AquaWorld tours or excursions.
For the low quality of the tour, the terrible rudeness of its employees, and general lack of disrespect (and fun), we rate the AquaWorld’s Submarine tour in Cancun a flat ZERO!
The Tulum Mayan Ruins are one of the most visited touristic attractions in the Cancun and Riviera Maya areas of Mexico. There’s plenty of reasons for this: they’re relatively close to most hotels (20 minutes from your Riviera Maya hotel or 55 minutes from your Cancun hotel); they’re beautiful, majestic and extremely well preserved; the price is very accessible ($5 per person); the food and drinks sold in the area are moderately priced and on the premises there are plenty of Mayan-made arts and crafts that you can buy for next to nothing, and that will look great on your wall back home.
The Mayan city of Tulum was perched on a privileged cove in the Riviera Maya’s coastline, and those Mayan guys really knew what they were doing, because it has a breathtakingly beautiful small beach and marine turtle nesting grounds that are second to none in the whole world. The Caribbean Sea waters are even more turquoise there, and the sand is finer and whiter than anywhere else in the Riviera Maya. From time to time you can see dolphins surfing the waves just yards from the beach, and seagulls and pelicans fly over the swimmers. Another beach, much bigger and grandiose awaits the visitor just 10 minutes walk away, with a huge stretch of sand, but I guarantee you’ll always remember the small beach off the Mayan Ruins of Tulum.
One of the most important Mayan cities in the whole Pre-Hispanic world, and quite a significant trading post, Tulum will give you a good insight into the culture that inhabited this area of Mexico, and will also make for a wonderful day of sun, sand and knowledge. Be aware, though, that the best time to visit the ruins is early in the day, or past 4PM even in winter time, since the sun can be pretty intense, and shade trees are scarce. Spend the hottest hours of the day at the beach (it is partially shaded by a massive wall of rock), touring the small town of Tulum (adjacent to the ruins) and enjoying the great seafood. Lobster, shrimp and fish are the freshest and tastiest in the region.
For its cultural baggage, magnificent pre-hispanic buildings and beautiful secluded beach, we give the Tulum Mayan Ruins a 5 star rating.
Xel-Ha Nature Park is a paradise for water lovers. An enormous natural cove surrounded by lush vegetation, and continuously fed by the fresh waters of an untainted river, there is no other place in Mexico like this wonder.
Xel-Ha is called the aquarium of Mexico for a reason. Upon jumping into its crystal clear waters, one will be surrounded by thousands of the most colorful fish the Caribbean Sea has to offer.
If you love to swim, snorkle, dive, explore underwater caves, interact with dolphins or manatees, or practice snuba, Xel-Ha is the place for you. This park has something for children and adults alike, as well as for the elders. In the mood for an extremely active day? Xel-Ha will leave you panting… How about if you just want to relax? Xel-Ha has lovely paths to go for a stroll while admiring Mother Nature’s diverse work. Completely covered by the shade of enormous trees, these paths are as safe for elder visitors as they are attractive for the younger generations.
Probably because of its diversity, because three generations can have the perfect day in one single location, our family is a big fan of Xel-Ha. Our son loves swinging from a rope and landing in the water of one of Xel-Ha secluded rivers, while my father simply lays down in a hammock and drinks beer enjoying the cool breeze of the Caribbean. Personally I love floating on an innertube down the river or snorkeling and using my new underwater camera.
For an all-inclusive price ranging around $100 a person, Xel-Ha is well worth its price. The food is included, and there’s tons of it in the dozen or so restaurants and cafeterias that can be found in the park. Drinks of all sorts, from sodas to beer, from cocktails to specialty drinks, they’re all included as well. Ask your bartender to make you a lemonade with chia seeds (very refreshing) or try one of Mexico’s well famed tequilas with lime and salt.
All snorkeling equipment is included as well, and the good news is that you keep the snorkle to take home with you. Towels and lockers are also free with your entrance price.
We have been to Xel-Ha on several occasions, and we leave so energized and relaxed every time, that as soon as we leave, we want to go back. Those who love the ocean and enjoy doing aquatic activities, will surely love Xel-Ha as much as we do.
For its unique natural beauty, the diversity of its marine life, and the quality and quantity of its food, we give Xel-Ha a five star rating.
Xcaret… oh, Xcaret! The most popular of Cancun and Riviera Maya parks, Xcaret receives more than 10 million visitors every year. Hopefully most of them will like Xcaret more than we did.
This Nature Park is located in the Riviera Maya area, about 1 hour drive from Cancun. It boasts a magnificent entrance and it allows visitors to interact with nature, enjoy the local flora and learn about Mayan customs that most of us were unaware of. Xcaret is very clean, very open and very well taken care of. But despite its popularity we were not impressed with it.
First off, you pay around $100 USD to get in, and this includes ONLY 1 MEAL! Yes, they give you some coupons so you can get some potato chips or a couple of drinks, but you only get 1 real meal, which is supposed to hold you from 9AM to 9PM! The food is good but unimpressive, and the service is just OK.
In all reality Xcaret is a big park with lots of things to see, but little to do. It’d be worth visiting if the price were $40 or $50, but $100 is way too expensive for what it offers. In our opinion Xcaret deserves 2.5 Stars out of our rating of 5.
Cancun’s Xplor Adventure Park should actually be named Riviera Maya’s Xplor Adventure Park, but since we live in Cancun and this is a Cancun blog, why not?
Xplor is a wonderful, wonderful park where those who love adventure and the jungle will have a great time. We went last Saturday and simply loved it!
Xplor is a brand new adventure park that is owned by the same people who brought us Xcaret and that opened its doors just a few months ago. The theme of the park is “adventure” and that’s indeed what it offers. There are 4 main activities available at this time, but don’t frown yet, those will take you the whole day to complete. Just the zip lines take between 90 and 110 minutes!
The above mentioned activities are:
- FLY above treetops hanging from a harness for miles.
- ROW a Mayan-style canoe through underwater caverns filled with stalactites and stalagmites.
- DRIVE an all-terrain vehicle through miles of jungle and caves, and even drive over a suspended bridge (a little scary!)
- SWIM in an underwater river and explore its water-filled caverns.
The admission to Xplor is $99 USD per person, and this price includes unlimited buffette-style food which is extremely good. Seriously, the food was excellent and didn’t taste like your run-of-the-mill buffette. Non-carbonated drinks are also included, such as lemonade, orange juice and the such. These weren’t that good, but were also unlimited and refreshing.
In general, Xplor is a great park and well worth the price of the admission. You get plenty of things to do, there are NO MOSQUITOS and everything is spotless. In our opinion, Xplor is Highly Recommended.