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Published: January 17th 2013
OK...you all back from grabbing a coffee & a piece of cake?
So this is what a day pass costs for Xel-Ha Waterpark in Tulum.
We paid $79CDN per adult, and half price for kids up to 12. (Kids under 4 are free or under "40 inches" is also free.)
I will tell you this is the best money you will spend at a waterpark. This is what is included: all your meals and drinks, zip lining, rope crossing, cliff jumping, lazy river tubing, snorkeling gear, towels, lockers, bicycles, lifejackets, inner tubes, showers, changing areas, tropical paths, floating bridge and the "aforementioned" security bag. (And so much more but I am repeating myself). Swimming with the dolphins, snuba diving, and the spa are extra. The spa looks very peaceful and they apply Mayan techniques for relaxation. (I could use a few of those techniques after the flu epidemic here!)
So when I say food and drink is free, there are around 6 restaurants here to choose from. A Caribbean restaurant with spectacular views of the cove and live marimba music ("wood that sings), a Mexican restaurant with ceviche, fish, squid, shrimp, and a Mayan theme restaurant with
local specialties like fish wrapped in banana leaves & lime soup, a fast food restaurant with burgers, hot dogs, fries, milkshakes, The Grill which serves grilled steak, chicken, pork, fish, etc, and The Torta which serves Mexican tortas (turkey club sandwiches, ham & Swiss) etc.
And these are not walk up & grab food places, these are all sit down restaurants with waiters. However, there are every few feet walk-up self-serve drink/pop area for kids, self-serve soft ice-cream and a walk up Corona self serve spot & a fresh cocktail bar with margaritas, pina colados and all those tropical drinks made without alcohol. And again all for free! Grab your own drink and grab a lounge chair over the lagoon. Yes I know it sounds like a resort, but this experience you will not find at any resort in the world. Even the locals here say Xel-Ha is spectacular.
In the end, we chose the Grill Restaurant. They have arrachera thinly sliced steak, marinated chicken & pork, Argentenian grilled sausages all grilled before your eyes so guaranteed fresh. They also had a fair size buffet of fish in coconut milk, other grilled meats, different types of potatoes, grilled
vegetables, steamed rice, along with a full salad bar with an assortment of interesting toppings and dressings, homemade tortilla, salsas & guacamole bar, fresh cheese buffet area, fresh baguettes, and walk up and get your own beer and soft drink bar and all cocktails are also on the house. There is self serve soft ice cream; vanilla, chocolate, and mixed ice cream. The dessert table was nice too (according to Blaine's plate!)
The food was excellent with no end of choice, and they actually offer breakfast from 8:30 am to 11:00 am, then snacks until lunch opens from 11:30 am to 5:00 PM.
It was around 6 PM when we left and we all felt so renewed, so happily tired, and so glad to have shared the one last full day with Blaine & Greg in that paradise.
After freshening up we took a tour up on 5th Avenue again and walked into a very quaint condo hotel off 5th that is built to resemble the jungle with balconies, lights, flowers, small indoor pools, with palm trees etc. I believe the name of the hotel is Jungle Caribe. We took a brief tour and all thought it
very quaint and private. Very nice. (see side pics)
We walked down & had dinner at Luna Rossi, a small Italian Bistro a few steps off 5th and so much quieter, with a nice breeze blowing through the restaurant with the swaying palm trees above us. Greg had fettucine carbonara, Ray and Pat garlic shrimp & calamari, and the girls had pizza. Lara & Blaine went shopping for a deck of cards.
OK, I can't help but smile; they remembered me at Luna Rossi, after looking at me a few times, and then finally they held up my business card for Playa Beach Condos & Villas, and the owner said, Sally? It has no picture on it, so I give them credit for remembering my old mug! Maybe I should start looking aound to see if my picture is posted as a wanted criminal because somehow people remember this face. Whatever, we all enjoyed our time there, enjoyed our meals, and they gave us a discount on the meal...it all helps).
We got back to the condo, and another game of cards went on till darn near midnight. We got up early in the morning to see
Blaine & Greg off, who headed home after a week with us.
Blaine & Greg, you were great to travel here with, loads of fun, kept a running commentary of jokes, and it's always fun with you guys. Not only proud to call you my "family" but better yet dear friends who we so enjoy spending time with.
Memories are stitched together with one thread of good times after another. We have built a huge quilt of memories, all woven together from each of those threads of time spent together. I feel so blessed for all those memories that will sustain us for a lifetime. And well, here's to more!
Thanks for coming you old dogs you! This will be a trip that goes down in memory for all of us; thanks Blaine for also keeping the girls entertained (and Al & Ray!!!)
PS Blaine & Greg, let's frame those pictures on the wall from Yan Tens. (inside joke!)
Missing Blaine & Greg in Playa del Carmen...
Stay tuned. We went to Akumal today to snorkel and saw the beautiful tortugas (turtles). We hope to provide video of this.
Soaking up every minute
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