Xplor- Adventurous Fun on The Riviera Maya, Photo: Sharlene Earnshaw

View of Xplor Park

 

Many people come to the Riviera Maya and Cancun to sit in a lounge chair, slowly sip a margarita, and listen to gentle waves lap up against their all-inclusive resort’s white sand beach without a care in the world.  It’s the sort of vacation I dream about after a long day dealing with the hassles of everyday life.  Daydream or not, it seems that after two or three hours of blissful relaxation on the beach, I always find myself overwhelmed with the desire to get active and explore.  Adrenaline junkies unite!  Once you’ve landed from your Cheap Flights to Cancun, hop in a shuttle and head to Xplor.

Xplor is essentially Disneyland for the active and adventurous crowd.  The park offers opportunities to zip through the sky and explore underground caves in amphibious vehicles, all in the same day. Here is a sample of what of what a day at Xplor includes:

Zip: There are 13 zip lines on two different routes at Xplor, resulting in hours of zip line fun. The zips vary in height, speed and a few end with water landings so bathing suits and board shorts are strongly suggested. Getting from one zip to the next is part of the adventure and includes crossing suspension bridges and sliding down a water slide!

Cave: The Mayan Riviera sits on top of a complex system of underground rivers which run though dazzling caves filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.  Visitors have the opportunity to explore these caves by swimming through the water or riding on a raft.  Swimmers will find the cool water to be a welcome reprieve from the scorching jungle heat and the quiet swim amongst spires is quite relaxing after some of the other adrenaline inducing activities. Those who choose to raft are given round paddles to put on their hands to help propel them through the narrow channels, making for a unique experience and some good upper body exercise.

Drive:  One of the most unique experiences at Xplor is the opportunity to take amphibious vehicles on a wild ride through the jungle. The vehicles are basically John Deer four-wheel drive carts with an attitude.  Your five km journey starts with a jaunt through the jungle.  Just when you start to wonder if twisting and turning on a dirt road through the trees will be the extent of your experience, a sign instructs you to turn on your headlights.  Suddenly drivers find themselves heading down into a cave partially filled with water!!  You carefully maneuver the vehicle through the cave and back out into daylight only find yourself heading in and out of semi-submersed caves several more times during the drive.  Other highlights of trek include iguana spotting and a drive across a rickety bridge that would make Indiana Jones cringe.  Drivers must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license.

Good to Know: In the spirit of all-inclusive resorts which dot the coastline, Xplor’s $99 price tag includes all you can eat food and drink served buffet-style.  Choices are diverse and quality is better than at most theme parks in the US.  Free lockers are perfect for storing a towel and a dry change of clothes.  Bring a waterproof camera for pictures or purchase picture packages at the end of the day. A chip in your helmet will keep track of all the shots captured of you throughout the day.

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