Xenses is a theme park that I hesitate to call a theme park. It’s main attraction is that it plays with your senses and trained behaviours. The place will challenge your habits, perceptions, and finish you off with a relaxing experience to ease your mind at the end of your trip.
If you did not come here from my Experiencias Xcaret: Xel-Ha post, this is post is based on my experience with a 2-day tour of two theme parks. However, both posts can still be useful to you regardless if you’re on the same tour I was. Some things may not apply to your experience.
It feels more like an interactive museum to me and I loved my experience. Curious? On your way there? Read on.
What Xenses is
Xenses describes itself as an:
Outdoor amusement park with sense-themed activities & optical illusions, plus a snack bar & shop – Google
While definitely a smaller theme park than Xel-Ha and requires a shorter amount of time, the mental stimulation tired me out just as much as a full day at Xel-Ha did.
If you are on the 2-day tour, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR BRACELET from your previous day at Xel-Ha. You will exchange it for a new bracelet during Xenses pick-up. The old bracelet ON YOUR WRIST will be removed and replaced with a new one by the guide.
You will again be taken to a transfer point where they will guide you to your transfer bus much like the day before.
They will give you a waiver to sign, which not required for Xel-Ha. Once you arrive at Xenses, you will be walked from the bus stop to the front door with instructions to remember how to get back for your return trip.
At the front, Xenses guides will be offering photo packages that may only be available before you enter. I highly recommend this because many areas in the park have illusions that are perfect for their camera angles and makes it easier if you’re flying solo or as a couple.
Price is based on the number of people in a group. Ours was about $60 for our group of two people.
The main building is very unique in that it is built like a spiral. They refer to the building as a pinwheel because it’s quite literal. The gift shop is at the heart and will be where all your experiences will lead you back to.
Lockers are provided and are co-ed. There are also separated showers and dressing rooms for after. If you checked in and headed towards the bathrooms, you’ll find that the optical illusions and photo-ops have already begun. Keep an eye out.
A hint for the ladies: don’t let your habits and preconceptions dictate which direction you’re headed. What looks like the men’s room may actually be the women’s room. I definitely took a slight pause when I first walked in.
Xensatorium: This is a solo walk-through experience that will take you through a variety of wild environments. This may be scary for some who don’t like to be in the dark alone. Only young children are allowed an adult companion.
You’ll enter a dark tunnel, barefoot. You’re instructed to close your eyes and walk a steady pace with your hands in front of you. My biggest fear was stubbing my toe so my steps were very grandma like … swishing against the ground.
Even if you open your eyes, it’s pitch dark in there. Just enjoy it. I’m not gonna spoil the rest, but (again) for some it may be scary going at it alone. It was for me. But it was also an amazing experience and I would have stopped at certain parts of it to meditate, had we been allowed to, but you must keep moving.
My favourite ecosystem involved what felt like a wooden bridge. It was chilly and I felt like I was standing at the top of a gorge. It was amazing and I physically smiled until the bridge ended.
At that point, there was an older French lady who got lost ahead of me. I was asked to stop by a man to allow her some time. He spoke to me in Spanish, then English. Then I heard him leading her along in fluent French. That was so beautiful to hear.
The Xensatorium can disorient you, although it’s just a single path. Also, that the guides do speak other languages!
Everything else in the dry area are hallways to experience and take photos with optical illusions. Especially if you have the unlimited photo package, these areas will be a dream. Have fun with it!
Speaking of spending, here is how I made my first trip to Cancun as cheap as possible.
You’ll spend about an hour in the wet area.
Pre-event: you’ll be taking a walk uphill in the town. But is it downhill? Watch the direction of the water. When you go into a building, can you tell which way is up?
Enjoy! Xense messed me up when looking up downhill vs looking down uphill. One lady had to pull over to the side and bend over because she was getting dizzy and nauseated. Keep looking forward, though and you should be fine.
Lots of photo ops here, so try not to miss it! Look for the bracelet photosensors.
First: water slide
I almost died and wanted to cry by the end of it – which means it’s a baby slide and kids will love it. They’ll also probably think it’s abruptly short. But I wanted to cry and I thought I was going to drown.
Second: zip line
Also very short and easy for those who love this shit. Me? I prefer this over the water slide but I was also afraid I’d break an arm while turning the corners.
DON’T DO WHAT I DID. Keeping your arms out triggers the camera sensors so, because my arms weren’t fully out, I got one lousy picture of my ass flying by. Literally.
Third: salt bath
This is actually a bit of a water river path, but not an actual slide. You’ll just float along in silence. This is the rule but not many people follow it. (Especially those with kids. Honestly, it was the parents who were setting a bad example. They made most of the noise and their children followed after.)
There is a pull shower right at the end.
BUT there is a photo op to the left of when the lazy river ends. We missed it, but YOU don’t miss it! THEN go shower.
Fourth: mud bath
Also, a lazy river scenario and the ceiling is closer down to you than the salt bath, so beware. However, I did not feel bothered by it. I thought this would feel so gross but it was awesome and milky and I felt soooooo smooth. You’ll hear some bubbling “kumukulo” sounds as you lay and drift along. It’s nothing. It’s actually not that hot, just warm.
Also, make sure to pull yourself along. You don’t drift as easily here as the salt bath. (They will tell you to do this, but just letting you know.)
There is also a photo op to the left, at the end before you leave the pool. TAKE IT!
Also, getting out of this pool with my short legs was hard. Be very careful when climbing out over that short wall behind us in the photo. Because it’s got all the drip-offs from everyone.
This also has a pull shower at the end, so you won’t be walking out all muddy.
We finished a little early and had some time to mess around with more of the cameras in the Xensorium. It’s a selfie paradise. Again, make sure to watch your time. There’s a really funky clock on the walls which shows the time in various forms (numbers, words, etc).
For more tips in Instagrammable places in Cancun, check out the Xenses blog.
Follow the bus driver’s directions back to the bus lot. Once you arrive at the lot, there’s already a couple of people with checklists who will advise you which specific bus you’ll be riding on.
Again, if you’re staying in the Cancun Hotel Zone, specify that along with your hotel, just in case there are any duplicate hotels in another area.
That’s about it! Xenses will exhaust you from an early morning and an adventurous day, even if you’re home by 2-3pm for this trip. Get some rest and go back out to the beach. Have fun and enjoy Cancun!!!