Right after visiting Tulum, we took a bus over to Xel-ha Park, an aquatic theme park named after Xel-ha, the Mayan ruins nearby. It was only a 10 minute bus ride, so if you visit Tulum, Xel-Ha Park is a great place to swing by!
|Taken with a Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera. Decent quality.|
It's IMPOSSIBLE to see the screen underwater so you're shooting blind, but the camera is indeed waterproof :)
The major attraction at the park is its natural aquarium. The 'natural aquarium' is an inlet and lagoon filled with tropical fish that you can mingle with freely :) The snorkeling gear and lockers for your stuff are free with ticket purchase.
The waters are a lot clearer than they look in my pics (though not as clear as Isla Mujeres') and not very salty since the inlet's salty waters mix naturally with fresh underground springs.
|These just run around the park willy nilly!|
Besides snorkeling there are a ton of places to explore with the park - a plant nursery, a floating bridge, grottos.... You can also pay to do other activities like swimming with dolphins, petting manatees etc, but even without participating in those, you could easily spend an entire day there just exploring. Julie and I only saw about half the park despite being there for 4-5 hours!
|The Plant Nursery.|
Of what we did see, the plant nursery was a real gem. The plant nursery is rather tucked away, but because of that, there were almost no people and it is SO beautiful and peaceful. Julie got some great pictures that I'm sure she'll post later; I was so busy drinking pina coladas I missed a lot of great pic opportunities :\
And the floating bridge was also A LOT more fun than it sounds! You have walk across it yourself to know what I mean ;)
|A giant life jacket and chair ^_^|
I must admit that I was planning on swimming with the manatees, but decided not to after seeing how suspiciously mossy they looked....I just wanted to give them a good scrub.... I probably sound like a terrible person >_<
|The floating tap! In the background, the 2-story "International" restaurant.|
All pix of me - credits: Julie :)
Xel-ha Park was probably one of the most tourist-y places we went, but it was a lot of fun! The food was pretty good, the drinks delicious, and there were so many nooks and crannies to explore. I wouldn't mind going back again if I could :)
I also just realized I made a peace sign in like...every single one of my pictures -_- Cannot hide the Asian-ness >0<;;;