[If you missed previous Cancun recaps, you can check out Cancun Recap #1 here and #2 here]
Brian and I had a plan going into our trip to Cancun last month. That plan was to lay on the beach as much as possible.
But, we did want to have one day that we got out and did something a little different. We did our research, and eventually decided to go Xel-Ha. Xel-Ha is an "aquatic theme park" about an hour and half south of Cancun. I actually went here on my last trip to Mexico with my family when I was a teenager, and I remember how cool it was. Brian and I really wanted to go snorkeling and liked that Xel-Ha wasn't man-made like some of the other sites.
The morning started off really well and we hopped on a bus that picked us up at our hotel. Unfortunately, somewhere between the bus leaving and our arrival at Xel-Ha, it started to rain. We were kind of disappointed- we had actually chosen to go this particular day because the forecast looked so nice!
We still had a good time :)
We saw dolphins...
Went for a walk...
Saw lots of animals, including lots of these coati (Mexican raccoons)...
And, these guys...
Brian jumped off a cliff...
But, mostly- we snorkeled!
We brought an underwater camera with us and did our best to capture what we saw.
I also saw one special fish that we did not get a picture of. That would be a barracuda.
Maybe it didn't quite look like that one. But, it was still really scary! I was probably 15 feet from Brian when I turned around and saw the monster only four feet or so away from me. I immediately tried to get Brian's attention, but when I turned back the fish was just swimming out of sight. We read reviews about other people seeing him (or her?), but no attacks reported, so I would assume it's pretty safe!
We had a really good time. I wish it had been a little warmer (we kept having to get out of the water and get dressed because I was turning blue), but ultimately it was kind of nice not to have to worry about getting sunburned- you can only use special eco-friendly sunscreen there, and I'm not too confident in it's effectiveness. I really liked walking around the site- it was so pretty and there were tons of coati and other animals to keep it interesting! This day trip was Brian's birthday present to me and I loved it :) I was a little worried that Brian might not think it was worth the long drive from Cancun, but in the end we were both definitely happy we did it. Also, it was nice to have something to do on a rainy day- if we were at the hotel we probably just would have sat around the whole time.
Conclusion: If you're planning a vacation to the Riviera Maya, you should definitely consider a day at Xel-Ha!