Greg Vaughn / Alamy
Laura Winfree
August 08, 2014

The sheer excess of day tour options can be overwhelming when planning a Cancun vacation, especially for travelers who aren’t familiar with the area. This region features a variety of lush and spectacular nature parks extending from the jungle to the white sand beaches, but each one offers a very different kind of day tour experience. If you’re on the hunt for an adventure-filled jungle tour, a day of swimming and snorkeling, a Mexican cultural experience, swimming through caverns, racing across thrilling zip lines, or an unforgettable experience designed for the whole family, then one or more of Cancun’s colorful nature parks will be a great fit for your next vacation in this tropical paradise. At first glance, it can be a quite a challenge to determine exactly which of these parks is the right choice for you, so here’s a quick and easy guide to the best of Cancun’s top nature parks.

Xcaret

This is a smart choice for families who want to see everything in one day. Xcaret is a vibrant blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation. Here, you can swim through an underground river, see all kinds of animals, relax at some of the area’s most breathtaking beaches, and at the end of the day enjoy a fascinating large-scale show displaying the best of Mexican culture and history. 

Xel-Ha

Xel-Ha is a huge nature park situated around a stunning bay that’s filled with wildlife. You’ll spend most of the day lounging and snorkeling, but the park also has beautiful bike trails, great restaurants, and a cliff where you can take daring leaps into the waters below.

Hidden Worlds

This nature park is good for jungle zip lines and exploring caves. It’s ideal for travelers who want to see some of the region’s famous cenotes, or underwater caves, but who aren’t sure which one to choose. Hidden Worlds has gorgeous caverns to explore, rappelling, jungle buggy rides, a “sky-cycle,” and some of the area’s best zip lines. 

Selvatica

Come here for a high-adrenaline jungle adventure. Fly through the fast-paced zip line circuit, explore jungle roads on an ATV, walk across aerial bridges, swim in a natural cenote, and have a blast on the giant rope swing. Selvatica is known as the Cancun jungle tour for travelers in search of some real thrills.

Xplor

This park is great for an underground to sky-high experience. Xplor is beautifully designed, with the tallest zip lines in all of Latin America. You can also hop into an amphibious vehicle to cruise through caves and hanging bridges, and then explore underground rivers while swimming or on a raft. For an even more unique adventure, try the nighttime version of this nature park, known as Xplor Fuego.

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