Day 4 - morning/afternoon
Now that we've been here for two days and had enough time to rest and enjoy the hotel’s grounds, it was time to move on and do something different. Through the hotel’s tour company, a tour was booked to spend several hours at the Xel-Ha Park, a unique natural park where we were guaranteed amazing attractions and thrills.
From reading their brochure, this natural aquarium considered the largest one in the world was the perfect place to perform activities such as snorkeling and swimming among so many other exciting things. Say no more…..we had to go!
By 8:00am, we were comfortably seated in the tour company’s bus and were being driven along a scenic route of the Mayan Riviera east coast of the Yacatan Peninsula heading towards Xel-Ha, a three hour drive from here. Many other guests from the hotel had paid for the tour as well, the bus was completely full. Since we were the first ones to board it, lucky us, we sat in the front right behind the driver and had a terrific view. The tour guide, a fairly large guy was seated next to us.
The ride was quite enjoyable and interestingly was the same route that we had taken last year from Cancun’s International Airport way up to the Barcelo Hotel where we stayed. It surely brought back memories as the bus passed right in front of the place!
And then we were there! We had arrived at the Xel-Ha Park where we rapidly disembarked and followed our guide past the entrance gates where we were given further instructions and time of departure.
After putting our stuff in lockers, barefoot and bikini-clad and with my snorkel equipment in hand, I followed Michel down a paved path that went all around the acres and acres of this gigantic park. I was quite excited to have my first ever snorkel experience and to see many species of fish! I just hoped that I wouldn’t be scared of them!
Several areas were reserved for snorkeling. The first one we saw was the one we decided to give it a try. I quickly put on my equipment and with my floating jacket on, attempted to snorkel. The water was cool at the beginning but rapidly became comfortable after a few minutes or so.
Can’t say that I stayed very long in the water though! I swam several feet away from the wooden wharf and did put my head underwater. Huge colorful fish were seen in the distance and I was glad that they weren’t near me. And then as quickly as I had entered the water, I was out…… like two minutes later! Hehehe! Michel stayed longer!
We moved on and circled the entire park while admiring the picturesque vistas and trying snorkeling in other areas. One of them had an underwater cave which proved to be fun swimming up to there. All I had to do was not think of the fish all around me otherwise I would definitely have panicked!
Michel tried various other activities around the park such as zip lining, rope hanging, rock climbing and even water tubing whereas I much preferred to watch him and take pictures. By walking all around the place, we felt as if we were in a jungle surrounded by lush vegetation and trees. It had this exotic tropical feeling to it. It was amazing!
Lunch was included in the price of the tour so around 2:30pm we made our way towards the building. The place was crowded with people; we even had trouble finding a table to sit at but eventually did. By 3:15pm, we were back on the bus heading towards the second leg of the tour…..heading towards the Tulum Ruins!
To be continued…..Monique :-)