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Riviera Maya day trips: Three parks perfect for family adventures

Plan a Riviera Maya day trip designed to give your family a thrill. With three adventure parks for families with kids of all ages, it's easier than you think. | By Jeremiah Crossing | March 10, 2022

Whether you're traveling with a toddler or a budding teenage naturalist, the Riviera Maya has some of the most magical landscapes to explore as a family. It has a myriad of natural attractions, including cenotes, beaches and Mayan ruins, but your family will find the best things to do in Riviera Maya is in the area's parks. We’ll help you make memories in three of the Riviera Maya best parks for families, including:

  • Treasure the tropical: Find underground rivers and jungle trails at Parque Xcaret

  • Dive into nature: Explore the wonders in the cenotes and lagoons of Parque Xel-Há

  • Take the plunge: Try something unexpected with your adrenaline junkies at Parque Xplor

Parque Xcaret

For families looking for culture and adventure, this park is a one-of-a-kind destination for families looking for culture and adventure. It’s a water park, theme park and natural sanctuary all in one. Located in the Mayan jungle and next to the Caribbean Sea, Parque Xcaret has 50 different Mexican cultural and natural attractions, from underground rivers to the Coral Reef Aquarium.

Your young nature lovers will delight in a Riviera Maya day trip. You’ll find one of the largest butterfly pavilions in the world, where you can watch over 20 species flutter through a flight area of almost 40,000 sq ft. If you prefer something closer to the ground, the park also hosts jaguars, sea turtles, manatees, flamingos, spider monkeys and more.

Parque Xel-Há

Unlimited snorkeling is just the beginning at Parque Xel-Há. With zip lines and cenotes, ponds and tubing, jungle paths for biking, cliff diving and more, Xel-Há gives families everything they need to have the adventure of a lifetime (and meals and rentals are included in the price of admission). But the park isn't just for families with older kids. It also features Children's World – where even the youngest among you can go on adventures designed just for them. With a wading pool, playground, water slide, rope climb, seesaw, crocodile tunnel, water lilies and turtles for photos, it's a great place for little kids to burn off some energy and take advantage of some unique things to do in the Riviera Maya.

Parque Xplor

Nestled in the heart of the jungle, Parque Xplor allows guests 5 and up to experience thrilling adventures together. Here, you can take 2.4 miles (3.9m) of ziplines (including the tallest in Riviera Maya), take amphibious vehicles deep into the jungle and into flooded caves, swim and raft in underground rivers, slide into pools of clear blue water and explore ancient caves. Not only that, but lunch, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are included – making it a fun and easy day trip for the adults and the kids. This park is for those who crave adventure and has two dimensions. Xplor day (9:00am-5:00pm) and Xplor fire at night (5:30pm-11:30pm).

Xplor is all about inviting you to do something daring and test your adrenaline. You can choose one or more of the following activities:

  • Traverse down two 3-mile (5km) circuits stretching between the Mayan jungle in amphibious vehicles

  • Row down two rivers – A little over a third of a mile each (530m and 570m-long) – on board rafts

  • Swim through a quarter-mile underground river

  • Walk-though caverns

  • Ride down a zipline while sitting in a hammock,descending into a cenote

The three parks offer all sorts of promotions, like reduced admission (from 10% to 50% off), so keep your eyes and ears open to the various discounts available.

Toddler, tween, teen or adult, we all crave new experiences from time to time. And at parks throughout the Riviera Maya you can find fun, safe ways for your family to make memories and enjoy the thrill of adventure together.

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Jeremiah Crossing is always searching for his next travel adventure.

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