Our family has been big on adventure since forever. We love that the adventures bring us closer together and that they push us in some way physically and mentally. Recently, a solo mama trip took me to the Riviera Maya to check out two adventure parks for families called Xplor and Xavage. Both adventure parks are under Grupro Xcaret, a top-rated socially responsible and sustainable tourism company in the Mexican Carribean. The adrenaline was high as I indulged in some serious adventure at both parks.

What is an adventure park?

If you are not sure what an adventure park is, then you are not alone. Basically, an adventure park is a theme park where you can enjoy a variety of adventures all in one place.

While some of the adventures explore natural areas like an underground river system, others are man-made around the natural features of the jungle, like the zip lining activity. There is nothing that quite compares to the parks created by the Grupo Xcaret in Canada or the United States.

All-Inclusive Adventure Parks are Worry-Free.

Xavage and Xplor are both all-inclusive adventure parks. This means that all the activities, gear and food are included in the price that you pay. The only thing that is not included at the parks is the photo package and any souvenirs. I suggest you add the photos and any videos to make sure you capture the experience. It is really hard to take pictures and takes away from the experience. Also, bring a change of clothes and a towel. If you enjoy all the activities, then you will be wet after your day at the park!

Xplor and Xavage

The adventure parks are thoughtfully designed by a Mexican architect. The middle of the park houses the restaurants, relaxation stations, restrooms, and changerooms with the adventures located in a circle around the centre of the park. This means that you never have to travel too far to the next adventure. Simply return to the heart of the park to find the path to the next activity.

Although there are similarities, Xplor and Xavage have notable differences and it is important to choose the park that is the best for your family.

At Xplor, the adventures are for most people but will test your adventurous spirit.

I absolutely loved that Xplor combined adventure for a variety of ages. Just last year my parents raved about Xplor and the adventures that they had embarked on. When I arrived to spend my own day enjoying the park, I was pleasantly surprised that my mother had decided to complete some of the activities even though she has a strong fear of heights.

The zip line was exhilarating and took me above the treeline for beautiful forest views. There is something so spectacular about soaring over the jungles of Mexico. The end of the zip line finishes with a splash in the water. No strength is needed, just the will to fly.

The Hammock splash is a shorter experience but similar to the zip line. I experienced a relaxing swing followed by an exhilarating crash into the water below.

The underground rivers were magical. I absolutely loved exploring the caves on the raft and then on the swimming circuit. The experience was enhanced by the blue lights that brightened up the caves. It truly was a spectacular experience. The double rafts would allow children to explore the caves with an adult but double-check to see if they have a life jacket that fits your child.

The quad ride through the 5 km course splashes through water and into caves. Although kids under the age of 18 cannot drive the quad, up to 3 passengers can enjoy driving on the course with an adult over 18 years old.

Restrictions at Xplor

There are restrictions at Xplor depending on your height and weight. To avoid being disappointed, check out the weight restrictions and activity recommendations before booking here.

At Xavage, the adventures are more extreme.

  My mother tells me often that I am an adrenaline junkie. I was pleasantly surprised that I had my adrenaline fix at Xavage.   The new adventure park just opened in the spring of 2019 to compliment Xplore. The activities are designed for adventurers seeking a higher adrenaline rush. This does not mean that adrenaline seekers will not enjoy Xplore. There are activities at both parks for all types of adventurers.

  For a challenge, the monkey crawlers up on the ropes course challenges your strength and has four courses of varying ability. Of course, I chose to start on the most challenging course. After passing through four stations, I realized that it would take me too long to finish the course in time to meet up with my group. My climbing arms were bagged. Luckily, it was easy for me to go down a level or two to finish on an easier course.

The next activity was Rock Crawlers which is essentially monster truck driving in a small vehicle with big wheels over large boulders, around turns, and on the bumpiest terrain. I had never experienced anything like it and came off the course shocked that I had so much fun. There is only one additional seat in this vehicle. Children that meet the height requirement can join an adult over 18 years old.

Photo credit Xavage

  I was excited to cool off after on the 455-horsepower engine Jet Boat and on the rafting course. The Jet Boat sped through a narrow course and threw in a bunch of 360s to increase the thrill factor. Expect to smile, laugh and get soaking wet.

Rafting on the man-made course down waterfalls over 4 feet tall was exhilarating. I felt completely safe as we made our way over the waterfalls and through the rapids. The controlled course, and the extra lifeguards stationed through in the water, make this a great place to take families for their first rafting experience.

Photo credit Xavage

Waterslide Park for Kids in the centre of Xavage

Although not all the adventures at Xavage are for young children, they creatively added a large waterslide park for kids. My two girls aged four and six would have enjoyed spending the day at the water park while the adults took turns indulging in the activities. The waterslides are large, and they recommend them for children 5 and up.

Xavage also has a more restrictive participation policy for some of the adventures.

Many of the activities are not for people that have a bad back or are pregnant since the activities are incredibly bumpy. Check out the weight restrictions and activity recommendations before booking to avoid being disappointed here.

Learn more about Xplor and Xavage

You can pre-book your pass with a travel agent before heading to Mexico. Most all-inclusive hotels will also be able to book your pass upon arrival at the hotel. Otherwise, you can pre-book your pass to either adventure park on the links below.

For more information on Xplor click here.

For more information on Xavage click here.

By Annika Mang

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