Just in case you’re out of ideas of what to do here (just-in-case) or if you don’t feel like driving here and there, visiting Xel-Ha might be a good solution. They said you’d be able to easily spend a whole day there, and I thought, “Yea rite… what is this place? Disney or something?”
Holy cow… it was absolutely right. We got there a little ‘late’, around 10-ish in the morning, and the place was already packed. When we purchased the all-inclusive admission tickets at the booth (all you can eat buffet *yay sarcastically*, no-charge snorkeling gear and towels, and free ice cream), the line wasn’t so bad. But as soon as we walked in through the gate, mamma mia… all these people were here earlier than us? It’s not even noon! After we changed into our swimming suit, we decided to have brunch. The open air restaurant with the size of a football court (I’m not kidding!) was busy already. Good thing is, they situated the food here and there so there was hardly any line at all. Since we’re eating on the second floor for the breakfast time, the view was outstanding.
It’s kind of hard to explain this place. Just imagine a place of your own; with rivers, lagoons, cenotes, caves, etc. Greeneries are everywhere, hence the name ecopark. Even the buildings were built nature-friendly. Close encounter with the animals are possible. Lizards crossing the road path (watch your step), tropical fish tickling your feet when you’re tubing down the river, or parrots perched on your body (well, this one was a tourist trap -they have some parrots ready to take picture with you with a little price).
And who said tubing down the river is easy to do? It’s exhausting! Freakin’ tearing my hands apart, especially when you have your kid with you. Either go by yourself on that stupid round thing or come up with a different type of floating device. I took Dante with me, while Davi’s with Dad. The four of us had life jackets on; Doug is a good swimmer, Davi’s actually better than me, and Dante… well, let’s just say he’s eager to but not quit sure how to. So, just trying to get in to that donut-shape float thingy was a struggle. Should I put my butt in the middle of the donut then have Dante on my lap? Or, put my two feet in the middle of the hole and sit on the ring then have Dante sit on the other side of the ring? Hm… based on the gravity law, that won’t work. I obviously am heavier than him. So, after a number of unsuccesful attempts to get things started, I got a little panicky to see the line of people behind me (while hubby and Davi took off already… thanks a lot guys!). With a big what the heck!, I opted the original position and take off. Wasn’t very easy. We’re just circling and getting closer and closer to the rocks; instead off smoothly go down the river. Tried to pedal with my hands, and after a while, it started to wear me off. Dante’s freaking out on my lap, thinking we’re going to die once we hit the rock or the veins. After half a mile, I saw hubby and Davi stopped at one of some decks. I struggled to reach the deck, unload Dante, haul the float device up, and start to explode.
“This is just not a good idea! What the heck were you thinking? And thanks for leaving me there, what a great help you are…”
But he was just laughing, “Are you having a bad time, honey?”
‘Bad’ was just not cut it. “I’m miserable!”
“Well, try this. I positioned Davi in the middle of the tube, feet in the water, and she’d hold on to the tube. You could get in the water and hold on to the tube and use your feet to pedal.”
“You’re kidding. Get in the water? You know I can’t swim.”
“You’ll be fine, honey… you have the life vest on.”
“Well, do you want to continue going or call it quit?”
So there we go again. On the water. Still [barely] hanging on the floating tube and kicking my flippers hard. I just want to get to the ‘finish’ line. Not enjoying this at all. The sun was bright, forehead started to sweat and my darn sunscreen were dripping down and burn my eyes. Dante was having fun, at least. And so did the others. There were some college kids jumping off the cliff, skinny girls with tops barely covering the va-va-vooms competing on walking across a rope. They’re all having fun. Not me. My shoulders felt like they were going to fall off soon. For crying out loud, how long is this river, again?
Survived the river, time to refuel. Another lunch buffet. I ate like a pig. Who cares. Since we can order drinks as many as we want, I ordered pina colada. Then margarita. Done with lunch, we opted snorkeling. So much better. Nice and calm… no drama. We snorkelled into a cave, and realized that the ceilings had holes and people who are walking around up there could see us through those holes. So I got out from the water and took pictures of hubby and our kids from above. It was so neat.
Getting closer to 5 in the afternoon, almost closing time. Bummer. I didn’t feel like we explore this place thoroughly. Other than the horrible experience with tubing down the river, I enjoyed the time here. Maybe the next time we’re here, the kids will be big enough to go by themselves and I could try the river again. How ’bout that for not giving up?