WHY IT RATES: Not only does the Xel-ha’s anniversary mark the success of a great water park, but the success of an eco-friendly tourist attraction. – Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate
Grupo Xcaret, the leader in sustainable and socially responsible tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, is excited to celebrate Xel-ha’s 25 years of operation in the Riviera Maya. Xel-Ha, which means “where the water is born” in Mayan, has long been a true paradise for nature lovers and a sanctuary for wildlife. The park is home to the world’s largest natural aquarium and serves as an ideal plan for those looking to spend their day in the water. A further reason to celebrate, Xel-ha’s Scenic Lighthouse welcomed its one millionth visitor earlier this month.
“Our commitment to our country and our community throughout 25 years of operation has proven that a different kind of experience is possible in the Riviera Maya, one that connects travelers to the spectacular and unique nature of our surroundings, and that will ultimately result in a better understanding of our heritage and culture,” said Miguel Quintana Pali, CEO of Grupo Xcaret. “Considered one of our most emblematic parks, we take pride in knowing Xel-ha continues to exceed visitor’s expectations every year.”
Grupo Xcaret’s all-inclusive eco-adventure park offers aquatic activities, including but not limited to the one of the world’s largest water slide, rope swings and a visit to the remains of an ancient Mayan port city. A snorkeler’s paradise, Xel-ha’s inlet is home to over 70 aquatic species, ranging from stingrays to sea turtles, as well as a manatee sanctuary where guests can admire the species in their natural habitat. For wildlife enthusiasts, a botanical garden and a stingless bee sanctuary can also be found at the park. Admission to Xel-Ha includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and open bar with national brands.
The park’s most notable attraction is a 131 feet-tall lighthouse with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea, from which visitors can descend on waterslides into the crystal-clear waters of a natural pool. The lighthouse, which was inaugurated in July of 2017, welcomed its 1 millionth visitor earlier this February.
A further testament to the park’s success and eco-friendly efforts, Xel-ha was the first park in the world to obtain the EarthCheck Certification for its commitment to implementing sustainable practices and protecting the land and resources that make it a natural wonder. In 2014, the park earned Gold status for maintaining these efforts for five consecutive years.
Xel-ha offers several programs and initiatives that support Grupo Xcaret’s commitment to reducing its impact to the environment. Highlights include:
Chemical-Free Sunscreen Exchange Program: Annually, the park provides an average of 100,000 biodegradable sunscreens to visitors in exchange for their regular sunscreens. The park encourages the use of chemical-free sunscreen to protect the marine ecosystem.
Sea Turtle Conservation Program: Annually, the park releases an average of 97,000 specimens of turtle hatchlings on the beaches of Xel-Ha, in partnership with the Turtle Camps led by Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico.
Single-Use Plastics Ban: Grupo Xcaret recently announced that all its parks have banned the use of single-use plastics as of January 1st. No single-use plastic cups or bags will be available at the parks. As an alternative, the parks have installed water fountains and are encouraging visitors to bring their own containers to refill them at certain stations.
For more information, visit: xel-ha.com.
SOURCE: Grupo Xcaret press release.
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