When was the last time you experienced something for the first time? Xenses is a completely new experience unlike anything you’ve ever done before.
If you’ve vacationed in Mexico or the Caribbean, and spent time doing tours or excursions, chances are you’ve done something that involves one of the following: zip lines, ATVs, swimming, touring a local town or landmark. There’s no shortage of options for these types of activities, and as fun as they are, sometimes you want to try something different. If this sounds like you, or you just want to try something different, take a look at Xenses Park.
What is Xenses?
Xenses Park is an experience filled with puzzles, illusions, and activities; all of which are designed to mess with your emotions, thoughts, and senses. It’s difficult to describe in one sentence, because you’ve never experienced anything like it, but keep reading to see what makes Xenses so special, and why I love it so much.
Who is it good for?
Almost everyone. Xenses is ideal for families, couples, and groups of friends of all ages. It’s not physically demanding, and it’s small enough to experience in half a day, so it’s an ideal excursion for cruise passengers or people staying on resorts.
Xenses is not recommended if you have claustrophobia or epilepsy. If you’re looking for something more physical like zip lines, ATVs, swimming and other such activities, check out Xplor, Xel-Ha, or Xcaret Park.
How much are tickets?
At the time of writing this, an adult ticket to Xenses is $63 (USD), and a child ticket is $31. Xenses is a great experience so I think the tickets are great value, but there are a couple of ways you can save on your tickets. They have discounts for early booking, and a childrens’ discount. Visit the Xenses site to see the latest prices, and read on to learn how you can save.
Save on Xenses Tickets
Xenses offers two types of discounts:
- Early booking discount
- If you buy your tickets online at least 21 days before your visit, you save 15%. If you buy your tickets 7-20 days before your visit, you save 10%.
- Childrens’ discount
- Kids aged 5-11 save 50%.
Where to buy Xenses tickets
I recommend buying your tickets directly from the Xenses website. It’s the official site so it’s trustworthy, and the prices are always cheaper than what travel agents or local vendors will charge. When you buy online, the early booking discount and childrens’ discount will automatically apply if you meet the above mentioned criteria.
Click here to buy your Xenses tickets from the official website:
There are 14 activities that you can do in any order you like. In addition to all the major activities, there are 50 sights & features throughout the park. Overall, Xenses takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete.
I won’t cover every single activity or feature in this review because I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but I’ll mention the main attractions and provide helpful tips so you understand what to expect at Xenses.
If you don’t want to read through the full review, watch the video below from my visit in 2019.
This is where you enter and exit the park. From here, there are 2 different circuits that you go through for the main activities. Both circuits start and end at the pinwheel, so it’s like the hub. Within the pinwheel itself, there’s a bunch of puzzles, features, illusions and photo opportunities.
This was one of the coolest things I experienced in the park. The Mayan Riviera has a flat landscape; there are no mountains and there’s very little elevation change. And yet, they’ve made a street that looks like it’s going uphill, but in reality it’s downhill. When you’re there, check the water stream on the side of the road, it appears to be flowing uphill!
No matter how much I prepared myrself, I couldn’t see past the illusion. I was completely disoriented going up and down that street, I kept losing my balance and stumbling. I watched videos and photos about this town before my visit to Xenses, but I was still surprised by how strong the effect was. No camera can properly capture the effect, it’s really well done and you have to experience it for yourself. When you’re there, be sure to pay attention to the buildings that line the street, there will be a few photo opportunities. You can also enter some of the buildings, and each has its own illusion.
Tip: If you get motion sickness easily, bring some Dramamine, Gravol, or ginger, just in case you start to feel sick. It’s that cool!
After the town, the first activity in the course is the water slide called the Slip. It’s short but fun, and the visual effects they’ve set up make it feel like you’re going faster than you really are.
At the end of the slip, you go into a pool that’s about 3.5 ft deep, so it’s recommended that children under 4.2 ft and adults who don’t know how to swim not participate in this activity.
It’s easy to skip an activity or do other activities multiple times, so don’t feel like you’re missing out, just do more of the activities that are best suited for you.
Bird Flight (head first zip line)
The Bird Flight is a zip line with a full harness, and you go down the line head-first. The zipline lasts about 45-60 seconds; it’s not too fast or high, so most people will be able to enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed or nervous.
This style of zip line at Xenses is fun and different from the traditional zip line, but it’s not as fast, nor does it start from a very high position. If zip lining is really important to you, or you want a more intense and exhilarating experience, then I’d suggest checking out Xplor or Xplor Fuego instead. They feature a lot more zip lines, and they’re more exciting because they drop from greater heights and have faster speeds.
Riverlaxing is a saltwater river, which helps you float. You simply get in and let the gentle stream move you down the river.
From my experience though, I didn’t float too well and the stream was slow. I pulled myself along to move faster and had to work a little bit to keep myself floating. It’s still a fun activity to try, I thought it was very relaxing.
The Sludgerie is similar to the riverlaxing, but this time the river is filled with some kind of sludge. I’m not sure what it is exactly; it’s kind of like mud or clay, but it’s not sticky. They claim it helps moisturize your skin, but I’m not so sure about that.
Either way, this was a weird but cool activity to try. And don’t worry about getting dirty, you’ll rinse off when you get out of the river, and the sludge won’t damage your GoPro.
Tip: Try to keep your head above the sludge. It’s not dangerous, but it’ll be difficult to see, and it might irritate your eyes.
After going in the sludge, you wash yourself off, so the Xauna is a chance for you to warm up and dry a bit.
After this, I laid down on the hammocks to take a break and dry off under the sun before heading back to the Pinwheel.
The other circuit leads to the “Xensatorium”, which is a man-made tunnel that you walk through in complete darkness. The idea is that the darkness removes your sense of sight, so as you walk along, the Xensatorium stimulates your other senses like smell, hearing, and touch. There’s various textures and objects lining the path, along with the sounds of nature & animals. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete depending on how fast you walk.
The Xensatorium is completely safe. Nothing in there will hurt you or jump out and scare you- this is NOT a haunted house type of experience. They also have staff watching and ready to assist you, but if you have claustrophobia, asthma or a deep fear of the dark, you may want to think twice about doing this activity.
As I walked out of the Xensatorium, I felt a wide range of emotions. In some strange way, that experience was very beautiful, liberating, and inspirational. It’s hard to explain why, so you need to try it for yourself. And once you get out, you’re greeted with a beautiful view.
Those are the major activities, and should give you a good idea of what Xenses is like, but there are MANY other things for you to see and do which I’m not going to cover. It’s best for some things to remain a surprise, and for you to experience yourself.
Xenses tickets include all the activities I mentioned above, as well as a delicious buffet and unlimited (non-alcoholic) drinks. In addition to that, there are two optional add-ons.
Food & Drinks
Xenses is a smaller park that takes about half a day to finish, so food is not included with your ticket. There’s a nice snack bar which offers local snacks, drinks, and meals. The theme of messing with your senses even extends to some of the menu items. For example, they had blue horchata and green colored mango drinks
The eating area is really nice, so I grabbed a few snacks and drinks to end my day at Xenses.
One of the optional extras is the Photopass, which in my opinion is an absolute must-have, because a lot of the illusions and attractions are best captured by the park’s own cameras. There are many cameras throughout the park, just scan your bracelet at the photo points and you can take unlimited photos. Before you leave, you can review the photos that you took, then decide if you want to purchase the photopass. If you do, you’ll get a link to download your photos after your visit.
TIP: You can have one person scan their bracelet to take the photos. That way, all your photos will be under one profile, and you only need to buy one photopass for your group.
You can also opt to take a bus to and from your hotel or resort, it’s an easy way to get there & back. Cost varies based on the distance from your hotel to Xenses, so check the website first. If you select the transportation option, you can choose to visit the park in the morning, or in the afternoon, otherwise, you can arrange your own transportation to the park.
Tips for your visit
Xenses is probably one of the easiest parks in the Riviera Maya to plan for and visit. It’s not as large as other parks like Xel-Ha, Xplor, or Xcaret Park- it only takes 4-5 hours to see and do everything.
You’re allowed to bring a GoPro or your phone to the park, but they don’t allow the use of tripods, selfie sticks, or a floating GoPro handle (not sure why). If you’re bringing these devices, I suggest getting a waterproof bag or case that you can attach to yourself. That way your phone has extra protection, and you have a way to strap your phone to yourself when necessary. You also get a small locker, change rooms, and showers.
Xenses might not be recommended if you have claustrophobia, epilepsy, or heart problems. If you have any of those conditions, the number of activities you can enjoy will be limited, so you may want to consider a different park like like Xcaret, Xplor, or Xel-Ha.
What to pack
- Bring a towel if you want to dry off quickly, otherwise if you want to travel light, you can lay on the hammocks and dry under the sun like I did.
- Aqua shoes/water shoes. They’re convenient & recommended, but not totally necessary for Xenses. If you have shoes or sandals that can get wet, you could use those as well, you’ll just have to carry them with you in certain places.
- If you bring sun block or bug spray, they must be eco friendly & bio-degradable. You spend about half of your time underground or in covered areas, so unless you get sunburnt real easily, you might not even need any sunscreen.
- A change of clothes.
- Cash and credit card.
How to save on tickets
Buy your Xenses tickets directly from the Xenses website, and do so before your visit, because they have early booking discounts. If you buy your tickets at least 21 days before your visit, you save 15%. If you buy your tickets 7-20 days before your visit, you save 10%.
They also have a 50% discount for children aged 5-11 years old.
How to get to Xenses
Xenses is located right beside Xcaret Park, so it’s about 10 minutes (3.7 miles) south of Playa Del Carmen, and about an hour (45 miles) south of Cancun.
You can take a taxi from your hotel to Xenses, or you can add the transportation option which will pick you up and drop you off directly at your hotel or resort. The transportation option is very easy and convenient.
Xenses is open Monday to Saturday 8:30AM to 7PM. If you booked the transportation option, you will arrive at a set time; so if you booked a morning visit, expect to arrive at Xenses between 8:30-10AM, if you booked an afternoon visit, you’ll arrive between 1-2PM. If you didn’t book a transportation option, you can arrive at the park between 8:30AM-2PM to ensure you have enough time to fully enjoy Xenses.
Xenses was a complete surprise for me, and I loved it. Before my visit, I looked up videos and photos to try and understand what the park was all about, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect. From the photos & billboards that I had seen, I thought it might be cheesy or childish, but I was very wrong. Adults and children alike will LOVE this park.
It’s still a little difficult for me to describe Xenses, but my experience was literally awesome. Throughout my visit, I experienced a wide range of emotions as I progressed through the park. I was dizzy, scared, relaxed, happy, confused, and inspired- all in the same day! I think everyone will interpret their visit a little differently, and have their own unique experience in this park.
Xenses is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and the last time I felt this much wonder and amazement, I was a child. Other parks like Xplor and Xel-Ha thrill you physically; Xenses thrills you mentally and emotionally. I don’t think that’s very easy to do, which is why Xenses is so impressive, and it left a lasting impression on me.
If you want to do something new & unique during your vacation in Mexico, then I highly recommend Xenses Park.
Thanks for reading this review & guide, if you have any questions about Xenses, please leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply.
Buy your Xenses tickets here:
If you’re planning to visit Xenses, buy your tickets using the links I’ve posted in this review. They’re links to the official site so it’s secure, offers the lowest prices, and gives early booking discounts. Plus, if you found this article helpful, using my links helps support me and my site by allowing me to collect a small commission for referring you. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and I get a small reward which helps support the time and money required to create these guides and maintain this site. I truly loved my visit to Xenses, and I covered my own travel expenses, so these are my honest opinions, unaffected by my partnership with Xenses & Grupo Xcaret.