Hidden away in plain sight on the edge of Valladolid is the fabulous Xkopek, Parque Apícola – a beekeeping sanctuary. This family-run park preserves the indigenous stingless Melipona bees, offering tours to educate people about the importance of bees in general, but especially these fascinating sting-free little guys we have here in Yucatán.
With small cabins, a fabulous pool, and a great jungle setting, this is a great spot to take the family for the day or, with older kids, to stay the weekend.
When you drive through the gates you know you’re somewhere special. The moment you let the kids out of the car, they’ll disappear, excited to follow paths, explore the jungle, and check out the pool.
The cabins are basic but clean and comfortable; my kids loved the feeling of staying in the jungle.
Meals are served in an outdoor restaurant overlooking the enormous and gorgeous dry cenote. There’s food on offer all day, moving breakfast to traditional Yucatecan lunches to pizzas for supper.
Here’s a sneaky insider tip: a Michelada beer cocktail by the pool while the kids frolic in the water doesn’t hurt. What? Not a real tip? Ok, fine. Well, still, I hope you enjoy the Micheladas.
Xkopek is a bee sanctuary, and their tour will leave you buzzing (groan) with passion and excitement about the Melipona bees. It’s a tour so well done that even the kids will be excited (they also use an iPad to show pictures and augment the tour, which, of course, kids love). After meeting the various types of bee in the dry cenote (including the aggressive Limón Kaab bee that steals honey from other bees), you’ll be taken around the back to meet more bees; then, you’ll be able to taste a selection of honey products, which again, kids love. The tour lasts around an hour.
How To Visit Xkopek?
You can book just the tour if you’re zooming around Valladolid seeing all the beauty the area has to offer (astounding cenotes and archaeological sites, anyone?) but if you have a little time, why not opt for the day pass? If your kids are over twelve then you also have the option of staying the night at this delightful family-run sanctuary.
- Tour: $120 pesos adults, $80 pesos children and students. Includes tour, honey tasting, and welcome drink.
- Day pass: $250 pesos (kids $220 pesos). Includes pool and meal (lunch or breakfast).
- Stay: cabins for one or two people with tour approx $600-800 pesos (varies depending on which cabin you opt for).
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Freelance writer and blogger, born in the UK. Cassie has a BA from Oxford University and an MA from SOAS, University of London. She lives in Mérida and loves exploring Yucatán with her family.
Photography by Cassie Pearse for its use in Yucatán Today.
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