How best to visit Xel Ha from Cancun

Things to do
Xel Ha is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and much more all in this inlet. This eco park is just north of Tulum.

Visiting Xel Ha while in Cancun

Do you want to visit Xel Ha from Cancun? Xel Ha park is a large inlet that connects the ground water flowing out to the ocean. In Xel Ha you have the opportunity to spend the day snorkeling, floating, swimming, and having fun in this large open park.

Xel Ha is part of the Xcaret family of parks. Each of their parks is different and offers a great experience to guest here in the Riviera Maya and Cancun. If you are familiar with our website, we have written about their parks and what each one is like and what makes them different. We feel that each one of the parks is worth going to and each park is done very well. This is why these parks are so popular.

In this article we will try to tell you everything about visiting Xel Ha from Cancun and what you should expect for your day there. We will also have lots of insider tips on things like getting the best price for tickets, options for getting to the park and what to see there. Lets start with a short video that will show you around the park and what  Xel Ha is like.

Our video introduction to Xel Ha

We made this video for you so you could see the beautiful inlet that is home to tropical fish and how the park compliments this area.

What is included in the Xel Ha park admission?

When you buy an entry ticket to Xel Ha, here is what is included:

  • Full day at the park.
  • Snorkels, fins, mask, life jackets and tubes for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Breakfast buffet and lunch buffet as well as snack bar throughout the day.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Walking trail to see cenotes.
  • Mega waterslides and observation tower.
  • Access to the zip lines (3) in the water and cliff jumps.
  • Bicycles.
  • Children’s park with water features, slides and climbing areas.

If you have been to Xel Ha before, you might want to make your experience a little different. There are some great optional activities that you can do while at Xel Ha. We will talk about this in our next section.

Xel Ha Cancun
Near the beginning of the river at Xel Ha Park.

What optional activities are there to do at Xel Ha

Xel Ha park really wants to give people a special day of experiences for their vacation. The park itself is a great fun day but in addition to that, there  some optional add-ons you can do. Prices generally run from about $30-140 USD per person for these optional activities. (Tip: booking in advance will get you the discount as well as admission).

Here is a brief list and description of optional activities:

  • Sea Trek. This is a walk on the bottom of the sea to visit marine animals. You will wear a special air helmet connected with a tube.
  • Stingray encounter. This is an up close and interactive experience for marine life lovers. This is done in open water in the inlet.
  • Snuba Caleta. This is like scuba diving but easier. You will have an oxygen tube to your mouth. The tank is on the surface on a raft so you have freedom of movement. A weighted belt will help you say under the water to explore. This activity comes with a certified guide. This swimming takes place in the main inlet.
  • Snuba Cenote. This is just like the above Snuba Caleta but will take you to some of the more remote parts of Xel Ha.
  • Adenalina Xel Ha. This is a super powerful boat that does 360 turns in the ocean and will give you the adrenaline rush you want. To read more about Adrenalina speedboat, see our personal experience here.

    Xel Ha Cancun
    Adrenalina Speedboat at Xel Ha park.
  • Zip-Bikes. These are specially designed bikes that hang on cables. This self guided tour will take about 30 minutes. You will go through the treetops, across a cenote and in a cave. See our article and fun video about the Zip-bikes here.
Xel Ha cancun
This is the zip-bikes at Xel Ha, one of the optional activities you can do while visiting.

How to get the best prices for tickets to Xel Ha

We will say that this park is worth the entrance cost. Not only is it a full day, you get all your food and drinks included. Of course getting the best price is important. Many people wait until they are here to decide where they want to go and what day. This is fine but you can save some good money if you just plan. Here is how.

The “Reserve Now” button or any of the links here will take you directly to Xel Ha’s website so you can book your tickets. Using this link helps support our website. You will be buying your tickets at the official price.

Xel Ha Cancun

Save 15% off your tickets to Xel Ha Cancun

If you buy your tickets here 21 days in advance you save 15%. You do not have to worry about the weather because if you want to change the date, you can do so up to 24 hours before going. This is Xel Ha’s weather guarantee.

A little planning can mean that a family of four can save over $35 USD on your day at Xel Ha.

Save 10% off your tickets to Xel Ha park

If you buy your tickets here 7-20 days in advance you save 10%. You do not have to worry about the weather because if you want to change the date, you can do so up to 24 hours before going. This is Xel Ha’s weather guarantee.

Children’s discounts for Xel Ha Cancun

Children ages 5-11 years old get 50% off entrance. Children ages 0-4 years old are free. These discounts do not apply to optional activities.

Xel Ha Cancun
Everywhere you look there is a great view at Xel Ha.

What are the hours Xel Ha park is open?

Xel Ha is open 365 days a year. Daily the park is open from 8:30am-6:00pm. Take this into consideration when planning your transportation. Some transportation options take longer and you will want to maximize your time here.

How do you get to Xel Ha from Cancun?

There are four ways get to Xel Ha park and you just have to see what best fits your needs.

  1. Buying transportation with your ticket to Xel Ha from Cancun

    This option is about $27 USD per person. This option is good for people staying at large hotels and do not wan to worry about paying an expensive taxi, figuring out the colectivos and busses or renting a car. With this option you have a luxury van pick you up and take you round trip, Xel Ha to Cancun. You can book transportation with your Xel Ha ticket below.

    Xel Ha Cancun

  2. Taking the ADO bus from Cancun

    This is good if you are in Cancun and can easily get to the bus station. It will limit you to the times of the bus, but can be an affordable option.  For the ADO bus station in Cancun see our article here.

    The bus schedule for Cancun is 7:50am, 8:45am, 9:45am, and returning 5:40pm and 6:10pm. The price is about 75-150 pesos. The bus will take about 2:40 minutes so you should account for this when going to Xel Ha park.

  3. Colectivos.

    These are minivans that are shared transport that offer basic services along the highway. We recommend this if you are a small amount of people going, can easily get to the station in Playa Del Carmen and do not mind waiting for them for pickup. These are a minivan with seats and it is often full. There is not a lot of room in the colectivos. We do not recommend this transport from Cancun because you will need to go first to Playa Del Carmen and then transfer to the Playa-Tulum colectivos. See our article about colectivos here. The cost from Playa Del Carmen is about 40 pesos each way.

  4. Driving yourself.

    This is great if you have a car. If you are a group you might consider renting one for the day. This gives you flexibility for departing times from both where you are staying and from the park. Driving from Cancun to Xel Ha water park is very easy. You just need to take the 307 Highway and look for the Xel Ha signs. It is well signed. Parking is free at Xel Ha and plentiful.

Xel Ha Cancun
Float or snorkel? It is your choice at Xel Has Cancun.

Where is Xel Ha?

Xel Ha is between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum in the Riviera Maya. It is closer to Tulum and on the 307 Highway. Xel Ha is well signed. You will see the fish kites also on the bridge over the highway where you turn.

Here are some estimated driving times to help you plan out your visit:

  • Cancun downtown to Xel Ha 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cancun Hotel Zone to Xel Ha 1 hour 37 minutes


Other parks to visit by the same owners of Xel Ha are:

See the links of any of the above for more information.

If you are also trying to pick a park between Xel Ha and Xcaret park, you can read our article comparing them to each other.

Xel Ha Cancun
Take a break and relax in these hammocks at Xel Ha Cancun.

About The Author


  1. Hello! We just got back from our holiday to Cancun. We made it to Xel Ha on your recommendations. We loved it! Could not get enough of the place. The kids already want to plan next year as well. Thanks for all your help.

  2. Useful information. We want to visit but did not know how to get to Xel Ha from our resort in Cancun. thanks for the help.

  3. I wonder if you know when Xel Ha will be open again? I am planning on going to Cancun in June and I want to visit there also. Thanks

    • Hello David. As of now Xcaret (parent company of Xel Ha) is planning on opening May 1 some of the parks. This is a tentative date and we will have to see what the situation is as we proceed this month. This is the best guidance we can give you at this time.

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