Xcaret Maya Theme Park
Quintana Roo, Mexico

What, exactly, is Xcaret? It is an "eco-archeological theme park"... imagine Disney-meets-National-Geographic, and you might have an idea.

Xcaret is a fascinating concept, aiming to package the Yucatan's Mayan history and its tropical lagoon ecology into one day-long experience. The result is entertaining and well-executed; Xcaret is a terrific fun place for a family to spend a day. And you can do touristy stuff, like swim with the Dolphins, which Lisa insisted on doing.

At dusk comes the night shows, including an impressive enactment of a Mayan ball game. The original game was played to the death (of either the winners or the losers-- there's some dispute.) After the game, the grand finale of the night is a depiction of early Mexican (or late Mayan) history at the open-air theatre followed by folkloric show of Mexican song and dance.