A Wet n Wild Day At Ventura Park in Cancun
Updated on August 4, 2022
Since it was the last week of summer vacation, a friend and I set off to Ventura Park in two vehicles loaded with kids. Located just under an hour from Playa del Carmen in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, this all-inclusive park has become an end of summer tradition. In recent years, the water park has grown, adding an exhilarating assortment of activities. From amusement park rides to waterslides to go-karts, it is a riveting wonderland for kids of all ages.
Although the park was filled with fellow adventure-seekers, it didn’t seem overcrowded at all. Given that we arrived promptly at 10:00 when the park opened, we easily found enough shaded loungers for the group. Within Ventura Park, there are six themed worlds offering something fun for everyone.
Wet ‘N Wild
For half of our group, the wave pool seemed the most appealing way to ease into the exciting day ahead. The other half made a bee-line for the Kamikaze (a.k.a. The Wedgie.) The steep slide sends only the bravest of souls down at heart-thumping speeds. Unfortunately, the wide survivor’s smile and sense of pride felt at the bottom go hand in hand with the inevitable wedgie.
Tip: It’s best to keep your legs crossed as you fly down the Kamikaze. Don’t ask why; just trust us on this one! Follow all the safety instructions provided by the staff and lifeguards on duty. Most of the 6 worlds require that kids be at least 8 years old to ride solo. 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
The rest of the morning was spent descending down 6 stories slides on giant inner tubes and climbing the wet bubble in the kids only zone. Linking arms, the kiddos floated down the lazy river over and over. Without a doubt, the enormous toilet bowl slide (the Double Space Bowl featuring a 10-foot drop into the pool) was a big hit.
It turns out that a couple of hours of stair climbing and sliding leaves youngsters ravenous. With two on-site restaurants and snack bar, there was plenty of casual eats to fuel up on. Each eatery opened at 11:00 and served a casual menu with non-alcoholic beverages. However, when booking, you can select the Platinum ticket option. For $10 USD more than the basic admission pass, you receive an open domestic bar bracelet, valid at all three.
For pizza and pasta options there was Buon Appetito. Next to the Italian restaurant was Sunrise, the largest facility, with seating for 250 guests. For convenience, several stations formed a standard buffet with minimal lineups. Items included fish, chicken, and beef dishes, mashed potatoes, vegetables, burgers and fries, as well as a salad bar. In the heart of the park sat The Bunker, a sports bar serving various finger foods and beverages. Also with our passes, we had access to two palapa hut bars where we could order unlimited water, pop, icy piña coladas and cold cervezas throughout the day.
After lunch, with full bellies, the clan couldn’t wait to get out and enjoy more of the fantastic seaside park. There were so many activities to choose from and so little time. With only a few short hours until closing time at 5:00 p.m., the kids were forced to choose between the remaining worlds. Sadly, we were unable to visit Underworld with its laser tag mazes, Laser Tanks, and Star Wars Battle Pod. Nor did we have a chance to race around the speedy go-kart track at Grand Prix.
Nonetheless, during the final hours of addictive fun, we visited Fun World, soaring over the park on the Crazy Chairs swing carousel. Likewise, the kids got a bird’s eye view of the park on the River Zip Line, which was just scary enough to get the heart pumping, but not overwhelming for our 8 and 10-year-olds. These 2 rows of zip lines stretch 800 feet over the park and are perfect for pint-sized thrill seekers. The adult versions are the Tarzania, one 800-foot zip line and Caribbean Zip – a 4-zip line circuit hovering 80 feet above Ventura Park. It’s important to note that you must be dry to participate in the Fun World attractions.
Tip: The staff allows you to put on a helmet and go up to the take off platform with the munchkins. Bring your camera for some great photo ops when they become airborne!
Before we could get our own helmets off, the group was already Sky Walking over 6 wobbly, suspension bridges and Stepping Up on make-shift tree trunks, each escalating to death-defying (ok, that might be a little exaggerated) heights. No need to worry safety moms; participants are harnessed in case they should fall.
Finally, our little daredevils fought to be first in line for the bungee jump. This doable 30-foot drop feels as if you are going to definitely plunge to your death until at the last few feet, your bungee cord kicks in and propels you up again, then swings you back and forth like a pendulum as you are lowered to the ground. We opted for The Swing that seemed far less intimidating than the Hell Jump, the more terrifying 65 feet drop. We felt no shame in walking away from that monster and letting our hearts beat for another day.
Staying longer than we intended, it was time to say adios and make our way back to Playa del Carmen. We grabbed one for the road – no not a cocktail, but an ice cream on the way to the exit. The ice cream cafes are included in the Platinum and VIP passes only.
Next time, we’ll organize the day and plan to drop in at the Grand Prix (a 275 yard seaside, go-kart track) and Underworld (the high-tech, virtual reality game zone.) A stop at Dolphinaris (open 9-5) might be of interest to some park-goers. There is an extra cost for the interactive dolphin encounter.
If you don’t have a vehicle or do not wish to rent a car, you have other options to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun. There is the Playa Express and Colectivos. The main pick up area in Playa del Carmen is on Calle 2 and 20th Avenue. There are a few differences between Playa Express and a Colectivo van taxi. Playa Express Mercedes vans are air-conditioned and more spacious. They will pick you up in Playa at various points along the highway up until the pedestrian overpass heading north on the outskirts of the city. There are no more stops after this one. On the other hand, the Colectivo makes continuous stops along the highway until it is at its maximum capacity for passengers. It is cheaper than the Playa Express but takes longer with more stops. Both will drop you off at the ADO bus station in Cancun center. From there you can take a taxi or a city bus to Ventura Park in the nearby hotel zone.
Another option is to hire a driver for the day. They will pick you up at a spot that is convenient for you and will wait at the park to take you back to Playa at the end of your day. This service is more expensive but often more economical than a return taxi fare when traveling with a group. If this were an option you would like to look into further, please contact the Bric Vacation Rental office at +52 (984) 134-3131 for recommended drivers.
Some general information to know before you go:
Ventura Park is just under an hour from Playa del Carmen. If you have your own vehicle, there is good signage and it is easy to get to. Note that you will have to drive past the park from the main road as there is no access from this point. Take the next U-turn to come back. Follow the signs to the parking lot.
There is a sprinkler park and pool for toddlers
Book online, at least 5 days in advance to save on admission.
There are 3 ticket packages that are clarified on their web page. Prices start at $30 USD for adults and $27 USD for kids when you book online.
Bring your own towel. If you forgot one, don’t worry; towels are available for rent, as are lockers to keep your valuables safe.
Biodegradable sunscreen is strongly recommended.
If you want a change of scenery, there is a wonderful beach club within the park as well. For $15USD on top of your day pass, you have access to the loungers, pool, restaurant and the Caribbean Sea!
If you have a Quintana Roo ID (school cards for the kids and resident card or Driver’s License will do for adults) you can receive a discounted rate.
Go early! The last few times we’ve been, people tend to arrive after 12pm. If you can plan to get there by 10a.m, it feels as though you have the entire park to yourself.
The park is open daily from 10am – 5:00pm, except for Mondays (closed.)
Wear your swim suits, but have a change of dry clothes handy in order to switch from park to park without having to wait until your suit is dry.
Asked on the way home what they would rate Ventura Park out of 10, my carload of discerning judges gave it a unanimous 10! In fact, one shouted a 100 and I couldn’t agree more. With the hours of action-packed activities, friendly staff, safe, clean facilities, reasonable prices, and all-inclusive dining and beverages, there’s nothing missing in this recipe for family fun!