Xcacel is a stunning turtle sanctuary and also home to an amazing cenote with nothing else nearby than nature.
From Tulum we caught the collectivo that goes in direction to Playa Del Carmen and left in Xcacel (30$ Mexican pesos). To enter and visit the park they ask only for a donation.
The park is amazingly beautiful and very clean, and if you go early in the morning is tranquil and very peaceful, away from Playa del Carmen or Tulum’s noise.
We went first to the cenote (X’cacelito), that is the most popular part of the park while was still empty, and was so so good, we spent hours in the water amazed with its beauty.
The Cenote is connected to the beach by a well kept sand road surrounded by jungle.
Later on we went for a walk through the path in the jungle parallel to the beach till the end of the park and walked back thought the beach.
The north end doesn’t have sand just rocks, and it’s always calmer and good for snorkelling.
We didn’t spend much time on the beach, because there’s little shade, if you can take an umbrella with you 🙂 The sand is white and the water has different shades of blue, but since 2014 Mexico is facing problems with excessive seaweed (sargassum) washing ashore. For this reason the beach doesn’t have the ‘idyllic Caribbean look’.
The park was full of signs alerting for turtle nests, from April to October, the turtles make their journey to nest along the Xcacel beach, please respect the signs.
Because the turtles lay their eggs down in this beach nobody is allowed to build resorts, hotels, palapas, restaurants or something like that in this place.
While time passes more people arrives and some tour vans, but it’s still a very quiet place by local standards.
Later in the day, we decided to go to the cenote again, but there was a big queue to go in. So try to go as early as possible and straight away to the cenote.
Bring your own beverages and food, be mindful of others, and pick up your trash in the end 🙂 they have some great shaded picnic area next to the beach, enroute to the Cenote.
We returned to Tulum by colectivo. The park closes at 5 pm.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha
5 thoughts on “Xcacel Sanctuary, a piece of paradise in Mexico”
Its incredible these Cenotes. We’ve read so much about them!
they really are 🙂 I read on the news yesterday, that they discovered the world’s longest underwater cave system (347km) in the Yucatan Peninsula. Imagine how amazing should be to dive in this watery maze.
Oh we are not divers, so not sure if we will ever enjoy them ourselves. Perhaps watching the experts will be sufficient!
We went to some beautiful cenotes when we were there for five months last year. Absolutely enchanting places. Thanks for taking me back!