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maclady

Xel-ha or Xcaret for snorkeling

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Which of these two would give us the best snorkeling opportunity?. We realize both have beautiful grounds. We would like to explore a bit, snorkel and swim, and relax. We are all adults,so we are not interested in activities for kids. The Orange County gang:o:);)

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I have never been to Xcaret but have been to Xel-ha for snorkeling and swam with the dolphins. It is a beautiful place and there are many beautiful colorful fish. Some people who were there even saw sea turtles and sting ray. Many things to do there. I would recommend it.:)

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Hi sparky.mi, could you please tell me how far Xel-Ha is from port. Will be traveling with a 15 yr. old who wants to snokel. Do you take a cab? Is it a park? Thank You for your information.

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Xcaret was not even a ten minute bus ride away from the Calica port. We went there on 05/15/07 and we were disappointed with the snorkeling. The snorkeling inlet was shallow, not very large, and crowded. Also, there were not a lot fish, and of those fish, they were not very colorful or varied in species. On a positive note, the water is very clear, and there are other things to do in the park if you don't feel like snorkeling all day.

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I was at Xcaret last January, and the snorkeling was terrific...although I don't really have anything to compare it to. I saw a great deal of very colorful fish, some that looked tie-dyed in pastels. Gorgeous. There were several young sea turtles in the cove, also. It was a wonderful introduction to snorkeling. This coming January I'll be going to Xel Ha.

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Here's another alternative. Take a cab to Akumal, which is closer than Xel-Ha, and go to Yal-Ku lagoon. It will give you the same snorkling experience and the admission is only $7. Plus you will have it almost to yourselves. It is beautiful and non-commercial. To relax afterwards, go to Akumal bay itself and experience a beautiful old fashioned Mexican beach with another tremendous snorkling opportunity. Giant turtles, barracudas, 1000's of teaming schools, and quite a nice reef. This is a great, quaint village.

 

Good restaurants and drinks on the beach.

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Hi!

 

Akumal sounds like a nice place to spend a day in the water. Would you mind telling me if there is shade on the beach? Palapas? Umbrella rentals?

 

Husband tans beautifully; I turn into a lobster.

 

Thanks for any feedback you can give me.

 

murphysmum;)

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Yes, it has all that you mention. You can rent lounge chairs from the restaurant; snorkle gear from the dive shop. Locals run snorkle tours from boats off the shore for $15pp. You can also easily snorkle from the shore, but get some directions. The turtles can be found feeding on the sea grass.

There are little shops to browse through. No vendors will bother you at this beach. The snorkle guides will ask if you want a tour, but they are very wonderful people.

 

It was like the land of the giants out there. Amazing.

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Thanks a lot for the information. This sounds like a perfect place for us and I love the idea of snorkling with the turtles.

 

Enjoy your cruise experiences!

 

murphysmum;)

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You're welcome. It's refreshing when someone comes back and says thanks for the information posted. Better than thinking we're talking to ourselves.

 

Akumal is a slice of heaven.

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X-Caret is basically man-made, not so with the other lagoons and cenotes in the area. If you want a Disney, tourist-like atmosphere, X-Caret is fine. If you want natural areas for snorkeling without the huge crowds, go to Dos Ojos cenotes, Yal-Ku Lagoon, Half Moon Bay.

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Here's another alternative. Take a cab to Akumal, which is closer than Xel-Ha, and go to Yal-Ku lagoon. It will give you the same snorkling experience and the admission is only $7. Plus you will have it almost to yourselves. It is beautiful and non-commercial. To relax afterwards, go to Akumal bay itself and experience a beautiful old fashioned Mexican beach with another tremendous snorkling opportunity. Giant turtles, barracudas, 1000's of teaming schools, and quite a nice reef. This is a great, quaint village.

 

Good restaurants and drinks on the beach.

I'll drink to this one. Akumal is so cool.

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I agree if you want to snorkle Xel Ha is your answer. X Caret is based more on the history and tradition of the area, Xel Ha is water based. Snorkle, lazy river, jump off cliffs, all natural. Look at their website. You can either go anorkle only option or the all inclusive-all food all drinks including adult beverages. Try to be by the floating bridge when the feed baskets of bait fish at noon. The large fish in the feeding frenzy are AMAZING. It's almost scary to be in the water with them. Akumal is a fantastic option. YalKu is a very sheltered area, nice variety of fish. On Akumal bay, you can almost always find sea turtles to swim with and a good variety of fish. The LolHa is a nice beachside resturant where you can get out of the sun with good beach type food and terrific mango margueretas. Place right beside LolHa to rent beach chairs and umbrellas.Beware, Akumal will hook, you'll want to book a future trip there.

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I agree if you want to snorkle Xel Ha is your answer. X Caret is based more on the history and tradition of the area, Xel Ha is water based. Snorkle, lazy river, jump off cliffs, all natural. Look at their website.

 

What website would that be?

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Here you go-http://www.xel-ha.com/ Enjoy. If you walk through the park to the floating bridge, to the left is a great spot that has chairs and palapas with a great view of where the inlet that is Xel ha opens to to the ocean. It is a little ways away from the resturants and lockers, but the view and seclusion are so worth it IMHO

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We've been to both and prefer Xcaret (cave snorkel is pretty cool). Xe Hal is all water based - we floated down the river in a tube and then tried to snorkel - not super impressed). Xcaret has a variety of things to do/see. If you are really looking for snorkeling to see fish - I don't think either is an exact fit and would suggest you try something else. If you want and overall day of variety try Xcaret.

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From all of the info that I have gathered , one of the best snorkeling spots is Akumal. There are 3 lagoons there and all offer good snorkeling. Xel ha would be my second pick.

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Have stayed at Akumal several times, the snorkling there is terrific. XelHa actually has very good snorkling for a heavily used park. We've been 5 times. There are very few fish on the lazy river, you need to look around rock areas where they have some cover or under the floating bridge. Entry areas by places where they sell fish food are packed with fish. You'll see some of the largest stoplight parrot fish you can imagine, gorgeous. XCaret is a very nice history type park but IMO snorkling there is pretty poor. The cenote, lazy river portion swim is nice and cool. However if you want to do real cenote snorkling go to Hidden Worlds or Dos Ochos.

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