Cancun Activities for Kids

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Children's World

Children of all ages who visit our Park will find a safe place where they can play, run freely and experience the magic of Xel-Ha, designed especially for them. This magnificent natural amusement park has swings, rails, wheels and slides where children can remain active and have fun all the time. In this area, they may also interact with our guardians: Mo, Kay-Op and Huh. A place specially dedicated to younger scouts of the natural Wonder, always thinking about the importance and security, entertainment and education that every child deserves. Children's World is located near the main service area and includes a wading pool and a play area with swings, slides, climbing ropes, a maze, and a garden shed to have fun for hours. Children interested in learning more about our natural wonder, Xel-Ha, and their guardians, can also make their imagination fly with painting and drawing activities carried out by personnel of Xel-Ha.

Cancun Attractions

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  • Cancun Attractions
  • Cancun Attractions
  • Cancun Attractions
  • Cancun Attractions
  • Cancun Attractions

Grotto "Ixchel" and El Dorado Grotto

Five million years ago, the eighty-four acres that made up Xel-Ha were under sea level. The Grotto "El Dorado" supports this theory, with its walls full of fossilsof extinct molluscs and other prehistoric specimens. A small pond lies at the bottom, just showing the entrance to the abyss of the vast network of interconnected underground rivers in Xel-Ha.

See how light is refracted beneath the waters of the Grotto El Dorado, and renew your spirit enjoying these historical formations of nature. The Grotto El Dorado has a unique background in limestone: a testimony to the ancient geological forces that shaped the Yucatan Peninsula.

Ixchel, goddess of the codices, represented the moon, wife of the Sun, associated with reproduction. Ixchel was the principal Mayan goddess; her luminous and symbolic integration refers to various sacred terrestrial and celestial cores. She represented the jaguar goddess of fertility, conception and medicine in ancient Mayan mythology. The Grotto Ixchel, a turquoise lagoon, whose refreshing embrace welcomes those looking for a place to swim.

Carved by underground rivers for thousands of years, Ixchel Grotto crosses a small, narrowed canyon until it reaches an exit on the opposite side. Come discover the Mayan legend attributed to the goddess Ixchel, associated with water in general, sea, lakes and cenotes. It runs through a magical cave where your senses lead you to the beauty of a culture.

Maya Wall

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  • Maya Wall
  • Maya Wall
  • Maya Wall

Maya Wall

Discover historical vestiges of the Mayan culture in Xel-Ha, while enjoying a mysterious landscape in the forest. The birds and the iguanas, both guardians of Xel-Ha, will guide you to a unique site in the heart of the nature reserve, where you'll find a historic wall, the ancient Maya Wall, and the inscription that tells its past in detail and explores the earliest traces of human presence in Xel-Ha.

Mayan Ruins of an ancient metropolis are still in Xel-Ha. It is believed to have had its most important development between the first and sixth century AD as a major port city providing the maritime network of Mayan civilization around the Caribbean. After a decrease in activity for several centuries, Xel-Ha reached new levels of significance around the twelfth century; at this time it was built the wall that protected the harbour. Xel-Ha remained a significant trading port until the arrival of the Spaniards in the fifteenth century.

Although the grandeur of the old building has been claimed by nature, its echoes still ring in Xel-Ha to the amazement of future generations.

Cancun things to do

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  • Cancun things to do
  • Cancun things to do
  • Cancun things to do
  • Cancun things to do
  • Cancun things to do

Jungle trails

Walking along the paths of our natural reserve, you will find a selection of phrases and thoughts printed along the route. These notes were created by Martha and David Gerstein, respecting textures, shapes and colours of this natural wonder. The registrations were made with the Mayan number system and written in Spanish. We want to share with you this gift and hope that the Path of Consciousness inspires awe in your hearts, reflection in your minds, consciousness and conservation awareness of respect for nature and our planet.

ardín de los Chacahs

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  • Chacahs Garden
  • Chacahs Garden
  • Chacahs Garden
  • Chacahs Garden
  • Chacahs Garden

Chacahs Garden

Breathe the harmonious presence of a beautiful paradise of typical trees of the region, planted by important personalities in the Chacahs Garden Mayan legend has it that there were two princes, the greatest warriors of all time, siblings of enormous strength and skill, but completely different nature. The youngest, Kinich, was gentle and kind, loved by all, while Tizic, the eldest, was angry, taking strength from hatred and anger stored in his heart. Tragically, both fell in love with the beautiful Nicte-Ha, and despite her protests, they declared a duel to the death for her favour. Earth and heavens hide during the battle, the longest and terrible that the world had ever seen, until both brothers died in each other's arms. In the world of spirits, begged for forgiveness to the gods and for an opportunity to return to the living world to see their beloved Nicte-Ha again. And so Tizic was reborn as a tree, a Chechen, which black poison from its branches burns everything that comes near. Kinich was reborn as the Chacah, whose nectar sooths the Chechen's poison. They solemnly protect Nicte-Ha, who died of grief, and was returned to life as a beautiful white flower. The Garden of the Chacahs was created for celebrities in film, radio, television, literature and sports, who visit Xel-Ha, to plant a Chacah tree and leave a brief thought engraved on the stone of their Chacah. Breathe the harmonious presence of a beautiful paradise of typical trees of the region, planted by important people in the Garden of Chacahs.

Cenotes

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  • Cenotes
  • Cenotes
  • Cenotes
  • Cenotes
  • Cenotes

Cenotes

65 million years ago a meteor crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula, it was a major cause of extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous. The point of impact appear to have been near the modern town of Chicxulub, on the northern tip of the peninsula, but the shock waves wreaked havoc across the geological structure of the entire region. The surface of the peninsula is composed mainly of limestone, the erosion through centuries, formed the vast system of caverns and underground channels that characterizes the extraordinary geology of the Yucatan Peninsula. cenotes are surface samples of these underground rivers, and lakes of fresh water filtered underground.

Since ancient times cenotes were considered sacred places where the Mayan priests were able to communicate with the gods of the underworld.

The bridge across the River Xel-Ha connects the jungle trails, caves and tropical fauna. Following this road you will find our two cenotes: paradise and Adventure. This rich and diverse ecosystem is home to a wide variety of native fauna of the region, as well as flora including orchids, palms and soles and although they are a great place to connect with nature and birding, as they are used for reproduction of fauna species, they are protected areas and is not allowed to swim in them.

Puente Flotante

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  • Floating Bridge Xel-Ha
  • Floating Bridge Xel-Ha
  • Floating Bridge Xel-Ha
  • Floating Bridge Xel-Ha
  • Floating Bridge Xel-Ha

Floating Bridge

The Floating Bridge dazzles you with a wonderful view of the cove. Enjoy the spectacle that you live by feeding a group of majestic fish.

At the mouth of Xel-Ha you will find a combined feat of nature and engineering, the Floating Bridge. Built to unite the primary service area of the Path of Consciousness, the bridge consists of interconnected floating sections, as links on the water to the Inlet separating the open Caribbean Sea.

Even on days without much wind, crossing the Floating Bridge can be a tremendous achievement. The irregular motion of the waves causes the bridge to move sharply in all directions, resulting in a very unusual walk. A careful balance is vital to reach half of the bridge, one of the best locations in Xel-Ha to observe fish. They use the bridge as a shelter, and many of the open-sea varieties, schools of fish and specimens of astonishing size, can be found here.

Bike Ride Xel-Ha

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  • Bike Ride Xel-Ha
  • Bike Ride Xel-Ha
  • Bike Ride Xel-Ha
  • Bike Ride Xel-Ha
  • Bike Ride Xel-Ha

Huh land. Bike Ride

A bit hidden behind the transportation terminal there is an alternative to get to the beginning of the River: the biking path through the Land of Huh. With a length of approximately one kilometre, a moderate pace ride will cover 10 to 15 minutes.

However, we recommend a more leisurely pace. Troughs and food containers are placed at a short distance into the jungle, and any fan of animals with a little patience can be rewarded. Coatis, porcupines, and tzereques (sometimes shy and sometimes not) approach the road to eat and they can even surprise the cyclists that are in a hurry.

Bikes are available for adults and children (at no cost), with adjustable seats, net bags for carrying belongings, and brake pedal (do not forget this!). You can go either from the station to the beginning of the River, or vice versa.

Fly your kite at Xel-Ha

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  • Fly your kite at Xel-Ha
  • Fly your kite at Xel-Ha

Fly your kite at Xel-Ha

In Xel-Ha, you can even see fish on the sky! In the area of the Lighthouse on the white sands of the Caribbean, the gentle breeze and turquoise sea, with the help of the subtle winds of the coast, you will see in the hills, colourful kites that seem to be sailing through the skies floating along with clouds.

Xel-Há invites you to fly a kite. All family is invited to have fun
with this activity that takes place every day during an hour (3:30 to 4:30 pm).

Xel-Ha Nursery

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  • Xel-Ha Nursery
  • Xel-Ha Nursery
  • Xel-Ha Nursery
  • Xel-Ha Nursery

Xel-Ha Nursery

Xel-Ha's Nursery is home to a wide variety of native plants. Our nursery is based on projects for the conservation of the natural vegetation of the reserve, as well as endangered species. All plants in the nursery have historical value dating back to the ancient Mayan culture, and are of vital importance today for the communities of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Xel-Ha is home to more than 270 species of plants, many of which are threatened by deforestation for urban development, and overexploitation of their valuable resources. Xel-Ha has a firm policy of relocation for the development of the buildings so that it will not affect the vegetation. Also, carefully measures the environmental impact of each project to preserve our natural wonder for future generations. The Nursery is an outdoor botanical garden in which serves a huge variety of native vegetation. Once the plants reach a competent size, they are relocated in the vast jungle of Xel-Ha.

A guided tour that explains the wealth that houses the nursery, is available several times a day, it leaves from the Information Desk near the Inlet.

Meliponary Bee

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  • Meliponary Bee
  • Meliponary Bee
  • Meliponary Bee
  • Meliponary Bee
  • Meliponary Bee

Meliponary

In Xel-Ha you can find one of the most interesting creatures among flowers and trees: the Melipona bee, also called stingless bee. In ancient times, the Mayas considered sacred the honey of the Melipona bee because of its curative values. Xel-Ha considers beekeeping a very important activity, a Mayan tradition, which we have the privilege to share with the world. Central America and Australia are the only two regions in the world to house Meliponini, a variety of stingless honey bee.

The old method of encapsulating a hive in a log is still practiced today. The Meliponini are seeing their populations diminish rapidly due to habitat destruction and the increasingly frequent use of African bees that produce greater quantities of honey. The beauty of the sacred Mayan ritual is disappearing as well.

Xel-Ha holds a traditional honey harvest twice a year, cleaning their hives and collecting honey during the full moon of June and December. This beautiful ceremony is conducted by a Mayan priest, accompanied by musicians, traditional altars, floral decorations, eventually culminating with a sacred feast.

Queen Conch

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  • Queen Conch
  • Queen Conch
  • Queen Conch

Snail Sanctuary Rosa Xel-Ha

The queen conch is an endangered species due to its excessive commercial consumption by humans. In some regions of the Caribbean it is already extinguished. Xel-Ha Park holds the program "protection and Preservation of queen conch (Strumbus gigas)."

Since 2001, along with the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV-IPN) Mérida Unit, bi-monthly monitoring was performed to determine how the queen conch population is composed in Xel-Ha's Inlet. They are recaptured every so often to determine, over the years, its growth rate. Only in 2010, 4.282 queen conchs were marked at different growth stages (juveniles, sub adults and adults). Because of this continuous monitoring, it was found that the population had increased 79% between 2001 and 2010.

One of the best ways to protect it is through environmental education and awareness. Xel-Ha is also a training centre for teachers of the Mesoamerican Reef Program, which raises awareness and updates teachers on this issue, to contribute, from their classrooms, to create greater awareness among the population.

Xel-Há
With turquoise waters as a scenario, Xel-Há is a unique set of inlets, lagoons and cenotes, arising from the longest underground river in the world. The world's most beautiful natural aquarium, a place to fill your senses with the wonderful colours of tropical fish and stunning marine vegetation that inhabits the inlet.