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Fit in a Fun Friday – Lazy Rivers

Last week I mentioned we went on some shore excursions during our last cruise.  Snorkeling was awesome, but so were the underground lazy rivers in Xcaret.  Xcaret is a nature preserve and water park in Cancun, Mexico.  It has a bunch of stuff to do, but Mr. BFS and I wouldn’t know what to tell you about except for the rivers, since that’s where we spent almost all of our time.  🙂

When they refer to their “underground” rivers, what it means is that they have river routes you can float through that go through caverns, small canyons, and through tree roots.  It’s pretty amazing.  We’ve been to a man-made lazy river at Schlitterbahn, but this place makes that look like a kiddie park.

The water is almost perfectly clear and goes from 5 ft deep to 8-9 feet deep throughout the whole river.  You are wearing a VERY boyant life jacket the whole time and the river never moves very quickly at all.  There are two entrances to different paths of the same general river.  One river path took us through caves and caverns while the other took us through small canyons, what looked like a flooded chapel, and finally through a tunnel of mangrove tree roots.

Each path is about 2000 ft long and exits are spread along the route so you can get out if you’d like.  If you paddle through at a regular pace, you can easily complete each route within 30 minutes or so.  We took about an hour since we were barely paddling at all and just taking in the sights.  The water was a slightly chilly 75 degrees, but it felt perfect to us within just a few feet.  I’d highly recommend this place for anyone that’s near Cancun at any point.

According to its site, the basic admission fee is $69 per person, but we paid $99 through Carnival Cruises.  That did include the rountrip tickets for the 45 minute ferry ride we had to take from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen as well as the 10 minute bus ride from Playa del Carmen to Xcaret.  Remember sea-sickness medication for the ferry ride if you have the tendency to get sick at all…it wasn’t a smooth ride.  The only other thing we spent money on was a $4.30 nacho and Pepsi combo.  If you wanted to eat real food, it was a minimum of $29 per person for a Mexican buffet or restaurant, so I’d suggest eating before you go.

I’d also suggest booking through your cruise line if that’s how you are getting to Mexico since so much can go wrong along the way and I rather not be left behind.  Cruise ships will not wait for late passengers unless they booked their excursions through them.

Here’s a little photo montage of Xcaret:




Have you ever enjoyed a lazy river?  If so, where?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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15 thoughts on “Fit in a Fun Friday – Lazy Rivers

  1. Very nice post – I felt like I was there!

    I would love to try that lazy river. The only lazy river I have been on have been at skanky water parks, so I don’t think that really qualifies. Loved your pictures too!

  2. Everyday Tips, I think it’s even better if you’ve been in water park lazy rivers because your expectations are sooooo exceeded! Before Xcaret, we’d only been to two other lazy rivers – Splash Town’s which is very simple and Schlitterbahn’s which was nicer but poop compared to this. 🙂

    Glad you liked the pictures!

  3. I love tubing down rivers, this would be right up my alley! If I can ever convince my husband to travel that far (he hates flying!), I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. What an interesting experience!!!

    What kind of aquatic animal live there? I bet that was interesting in it self. The science geek in me would be excited just on the specs. alone!

  5. Funny about Money, sometimes you just have to have serious fun. 🙂 I’ve actually never rafted, so that’s something I have to try in the future…

    Money Reasons, since the water feeds into the ocean, it’s brackish and didn’t have any life other than minnows. I kept an eye out for any fishies or snakes or anything, but all I saw were 6 minnows. 🙂

  6. Oh my, that looks quite cool! I’ve never been rafting or really on the water at all because I can’t swim but I think I could probably handle a lazy river with a super buoyant life vest. As long as I didn’t get stuck head in water somehow! Yep, I’m that awkward 🙂 I was towed while snorkeling in Hawaii so it’s not like my awkwardness is a secret, either.

  7. Nice photos! I haven’t enjoyed a “lazy river”, but I did ride on a speedboat to Ko Phi Phi (where they filmed the Beach) — very beautiful, but something I would honestly only do once in my life, as the speed boat ride was sickening.

    We also went snorkeling at a small place along the way, and the fish were beautiful! They sold loafs of bread to feed the fish, and it was so nice when they would come and swim around you and nibble at the bread.

  8. Revanche, hahaha. Well, this is the river for you…even if you flip yourself over somehow, the bottom is shallow enough to take off the vest and just bob off of to breathe…plus, your PiC can always tow you along like my husband did a few times for fun. 🙂

    Kevin, I get that – doing something once that was worth it, but never wanting to do it again…I got really lucky a few times as a kid…no more rollerblading down hills for me. 🙂

    Your snorkeling experience sounds fantastic!

  9. I think almost everyone on that speedboat ride threw up at least once during the ride — it was painful! We were sitting out in the open near the front, which was bumpier, but at least had fresh air coming in.

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