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Xcaret
Xcaret
Park (Spanish: el parque Xcaret[clarification needed][pronunciation?]) is a privately owned and operated theme park, resort and self-described ecotourism development located in the Riviera Maya, a portion of the Caribbean coastline of Mexico's state of Quintana Roo. It is part of Xcaret
Xcaret
Experiencias Group which also owns the Xplor Park, Xel-Ha Park, and Xenses Park; as well as the Xichen, Xenotes, and Xoximilco tours and activities. It is situated approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) south of Cancún, and 6.5 kilometres (4 mi) south of the nearest large settlement Playa del Carmen along Highway 307. It is named after the nearby archaeological site Xcaret, a settlement constructed by the pre-Columbian Maya some of whose structures lie within the boundaries of the park's 81 hectares (200 acres) of land holdings.[1] From 2010 to 2015, Xcaret
Xcaret
Experiencias has been recognized as one of The Best Mexican Companies (Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas), a recognition promoted by Banamex, Deloitte
Deloitte
México and Tecnológico de Monterrey.[2]

Contents

1 History 2 Attractions 3 Criticism 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

History[edit]

Xcaret
Xcaret
pond

Mayan ruins in Xcaret[3]

Xcaret
Xcaret
Mexico
Mexico
Spectacular[4]

The Ecological Park is built in the same area as the archaeological site and has the same name, Xcaret. The land was originally purchased by a group of Mexican entrepreneurs, led by architect Miguel Quintana Pali. 5 hectares of the land was purchased in 1984. When he began to clear the land, he started uncovering cenotes, sinkholes formed by collapsed cave ceilings weakened by 3 million years of erosion from underground rivers running through them and flowing into the sea.[5] He saw the potential for tourism and formulated the idea of an Ecological Park open to the public, and soon joined forces with Oscar, Marcos and Carlos Constandse, achieving this goal in December 1990. At the same time, contact was established with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) with the objective of rebuilding the remnants of the Mayan pyramids and buildings that were found in the area. The park’s administration subsidized all the operation and the INAH put in charge a team of specialists. Attractions[edit] The nature-based attractions of the park include a river that goes through the Mayan village, a subterranean concrete sluice in which people can swim and snorkel with a life vest. Near the inlet there are recreational activities at the beach, snorkeling, Sea Trek and Snuba in the nearby reefs, or swimming with dolphins. The park also has a coral reef aquarium turtle nesting site. Next to the inlet there’s an area for manatees. The park also has a bird pavilion, butterfly pavilion, bat cave, orchids and bromeliad greenhouse, an island of jaguars, and a deer shelter, among others. The cultural attractions include an open church, replica of a Mayan village with real artisans at work, a Mexican cemetery, a museum, an equestrian show, Mesoamerican ball game, an open theater with performances of pre-Hispanic dances, Papantla flying men and the Gran Tlachco (theater with a six thousand people capacity) where the Mesoamerican ball game
Mesoamerican ball game
is represented, as well as the meeting of two worlds, the Mayan and the Spanish, and the presentation of several Mexican folklore dances. Other demonstrations of Mexican traditions include Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead
celebration and the "Travesía Sagrada Maya" (Mayan Sacred Crossing), an annual rite when Mayans would cross the sea from Xcaret
Xcaret
and Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
to Cozumel
Cozumel
to pay homage to the lunar goddess Ix Chel. The modern version is a re-creation of this rite done in late May to early June.[6] The park also has a Temascal and Spa, has 11 restaurants, dressing rooms, souvenirs and handicrafts stores, as well as an adjacent all-inclusive resort hotel. Criticism[edit] The park is described in the travel guide book Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Mexico
Mexico
as a 'precious spot once open to all' now a 'Disneyfied ecopark' with much of the landscape changed using 'dynamite, jackhammers or other terra-forming techniques'.[7] See also[edit]

Xel-Ha Park

References[edit]

^ " Xcaret
Xcaret
Eco Park: Nature theme park, Riviera Maya, Mexico". LocoGringo. Retrieved 2016-03-28.  ^ "Empresas Reconocidas - Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas". Mejoresempresasmexicanas.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.  ^ " Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Activities - Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Blog". Playadelcarmen.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.  ^ " Xcaret
Xcaret
Park - Top 5 Tips for the Xcaret
Xcaret
Eco Park Tour". Playadelcarmen.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.  ^ " Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Activities - Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Blog". Playadelcarmen.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.  ^ Hinojosa, Beatriz (April 2008). "Travesía Sagrada Maya". Mexico Desconocida. 374: 8.  ^ Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Yucatán. Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Publications. 2003. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-74059-456-1. 

Further reading[edit]

Clavé, Salvador Anton (2007). The Global Theme Park Industry. Andrew Clarke (trans.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. ISBN 978-1-84593-208-4. OCLC 70921404.  Fedick, Scott (2003). "In Search of the Maya Forest". In Candace Slater. In Search of the Rain Forest. New ecologies for the twenty-first century series. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 133–166. ISBN 978-0-8223-3205-3. OCLC 52821109.  Lück, Michael, ed. (2008). The Encyclopedia of Tourism and Recreation in Marine Environments. Wallingford, UK: CABI. ISBN 978-1-84593-350-0. OCLC 152560388.  Mowforth, Martin; Clive Charlton; Ian Munt (2008). Tourism and Responsibility: Perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean (1st hbk ed.). London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-42364-9. OCLC 123136460.  Simon, Joel (1997). Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. ISBN 978-0-87156-351-4. OCLC 35559240.  Slater, Candace (2003). "In Search of the Rain Forest". In Candace Slater. In Search of the Rain Forest. New ecologies for the twenty-first century series. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 3–40. ISBN 978-0-8223-3205-3. OCLC 52821109.  Walker, Cameron (2005). "Archaeological tourism: looking for answers along Mexico's Maya Riviera". In Tim Wallace. Tourism and Applied Anthropologists: Linking Theory and Practice. NAPA Bulletin, no. 23. Arlington, VA: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. pp. 60–76. ISBN 978-1-931303-22-4. OCLC 61285198. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Xcaret.

Xcaret
Xcaret
Park website Xcaret
Xcaret
Experiencias website Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas (The Best Mexican Companies)

v t e

State of Quintana Roo

Chetumal
Chetumal
(capital)

Municipalities (seats)

Bacalar
Bacalar
(Bacalar) Benito Juárez (Cancún) Cozumel
Cozumel
(San Miguel de Cozumel) Felipe Carrillo Puerto (Felipe Carrillo Puerto) Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
(Isla Mujeres) José María Morelos (José María Morelos) Lázaro Cárdenas (Kantunilkín) Othón P. Blanco (Chetumal) Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos
(Puerto Morelos) Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) Tulum
Tulum
(Tulum)

Places of interest

Akumal Arrecifes de Cozumel
Cozumel
National Park Banco Chinchorro Chacchoben Coba Isla Contoy Isla Holbox Kohunlich Mahahual Muyil Punta Allen Punta Sur Riviera Maya San Gervasio Sian Ka'an Tulum Xcalak Xcaret Xelha Yo'okop

v t e

Zoos of Mexico

Zoos

Africam Safari Chapultepec Zoo Zoológico Los Coyotes Guadalajara Zoo Xcaret
Xcaret
Park Zoo
Zoo
León Zoológico Miguél Álvarez del Toro Zoológico Benito Juárez

Aquariums

Acuario Inbursa

Aviaries

Alfa Planetarium

Animal sanctuaries

Black Jaguar-Whit

.