Top 5 Eco Parks in the Riviera Maya
Considered by many the best theme part in three Americas, Xcaret is a collection of attractions both natural, manmade and gathered from nature. Underground rivers you can float down, a jaguar park with the cats and a giant tapir, a manatee lagoon, sea turtle pool, wild bird aviary flamingo enclosure, dolphin enclosure with interactive activities, butterfly pavilion, orchid greenhouse, coral reef aquarium, divers aquatic activities and lots of restaurants and an after dark show that puts more than 300 singers and dancers on the stage. Splendid all round. Worth the expense.
Operated by the same folks that gave us Xcaret, Xel-ha is less structured proposition, a site more focused on aquatic activities: floating down the site’s natural and manmade canals, zip lining over water, a floating bridge, a cliff that seconds as a dive platform and so on. Bike and hiking trails also part of the scene. Kids activities. Bang for your buck.
Located in Isla Mujeres, Garrafon is a national park and federally protected area located on the southern tip of the island. The park includes reef, beach, cliffs and land. Due to the quantity of tropical fish that initially occupied Garrafon, it was overrun by visitors and today many of those fish have fled to less populated waters. Nevertheless, Garrafon is a spectacular location with more than snorkeling to recommend itself and the snorkeling is still interesting. Today the park offers hammock havens, a swimming pool at the ocean’s edge, zip lining, bike touring and more. Food is great.
Placed on the Top Ten Best and Most Impressive Walks by National Geographic Magazine, the park’s 640-meter trail through the largest dry cave system in the Riviera Maya is impressive and ends at a subterranean pool of sterling clarity and beauty. The three-acre property also includes zip lines,a zoo with spider monkeys, kinkajous, agoutis, coatimundis and a range of tropical birds and exotic plants. Fun, interesting and super priced.
Located on the western coast of Cozumel and declared a national park in 1980, Chankanaab has lived up to the challenge of preserving the flora and fauna of the island. Today the park offers swimming, snorkeling, diving and its dolphin, manatee and sea lion enclosure all offer interactive programs keeping it up close and personal.