So day four was our most touristy day of the trip. We spent the day at a place called Xcaret, which I guess I would describe as a sort of amusement park. It is built around an underground river that connects to the ocean. Basically a natural lazy river and you spend a good hour or so floating down this river to the main section of the park.
The river was pretty cool, but they funnel everyone who enters the park to this location first so it is extremely crowded during the morning. We actually went back and tried one of the other routes on the river (there are a total of three) around 2:00 pm that afternoon and we were basically the only ones on the river at that point.
Lunch turned out to be pretty good. It was a one of three buffets in the park and we elected to goto the Mexican one. It was huge and the food was very high quality. The horchata also really hit the spot in the afternoon heat.
The rest of the park I would consider to be "so-so". Many of the attractions required additional expense, so we sort of meandered around there aquarium and their Mayan village section for a few hours. There was a nice botanical type garden and a pretty good butterfly house.
Those turned out to be pretty neat, but the highlights of the day really turned out to be the shows we stumbled across.
First was some aerial dancers who did a sun ceremony on top of a pole. You can see the photos below.
The next performance we came across was some sort of Mayan ritual dance. Again, a great performance.
The highlight though was the grande finale at the end of the evening, which was a two hour show starting at 7:00 pm. If you don't go to this thing I wouldn't consider the park worth it. The show was basically a highlight of Mexico's entire history and heritage and it would be the opening ceremony to the Olympics of Mexico got them. The first hour focused on the Mayan history and the arrival of the spaniards to Mexico. The second half then focused on the traditional folk music and dance from different areas of the country.
It was incredible and I was taken aback by how much pride was displayed from the audience. Mexicans who were there at the show were singing to many of the songs and they really got into the show. It really was quite impressive.