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New Xcaret theme park to open in Yucatán by December

Xibalba park will feature a circuit of eight cenotes connected by an artificial flowing river

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
One of eight cenotes at Xibalba theme park. Photo: Courtesy

Grupo Xcaret says that the construction of its new theme park near Valladolid will soon be complete.

The attraction is scheduled to open in December and will be called Xibalba. 

Xibalba park will feature a circuit of eight real cenotes connected by an artificial flowing river.

Guests wanting to spend the night will have a choice of three themed boutique hotels.

In the Yucatec-Maya language, xibalba means underworld and is closely associated with caves and cenotes. 

“All park development is based on a model that ensures the conservation, promotion, and development of our natural, socio-cultural, and economic heritage for future generations,” said Grupo Xcaret in a press release. 

The theme-park giant stated that it will be placing an emphasis on water treatment and solid waste disposal. 

Earlier: Obstruction of justice probed after boy drowns at Xcaret Park

Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal toured the grounds of Xibalba park on Wednesday and said that he was looking forward to visiting once it is complete. He said he was pleased that the project would bring more jobs to the region.

Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal tours Xibalba park with Grupo Xcaret director and founder Miguel Quintana Pali. Photo: Courtesy

The park was initially slated to open in December 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the date to December 2021.

Residents of Yucatán will receive a 50% discount on general admission, but the price has yet to be announced. Basic adult admission to Xcaret Park in the Riviera Maya stands at $US109.

Related: Pig farm threatens network of sacred cenotes

Grupo Xcaret is a major player in the Yucatán Peninsula’s tourism and hospitality industry. The company’s Riviera Maya theme parks include Xel-Há, Xenses, Xplor, and their flagship park, Xcaret. 

Xcaret’s tours division also organizes day trips to archaeological sites, which it brands by placing an X in the name of the site, for instance, Xichén for Chichén Itzá.

During the past decade and a half, the company has been on a buying spree, purchasing dozens of haciendas and cenotes across the Peninsula. 

However, critics of the company are concerned that the company has become too large and begun to jeopardize the region’s environment and cultural identity through a process referred to as Xcaret-ización. 

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New Xcaret theme park to open in Yucatán by December

Xibalba park will feature a circuit of eight cenotes connected by an artificial flowing river.