Mérida’s newest attraction, the Diversión Xtrema extreme sports park, is an extremely (heh) affordable option for family fun and adventure. As soon as I had a free afternoon, I grabbed my kids, rounded up some additional volunteers, and headed there to see what it’s all about.
How did it go?
Well, persuading the sweaty, happy, exhausted kids to leave after three hours was no easy job, that’s for sure. They all wanted to stay. They wanted to return the next day, and the next, and the next. And they’re still talking about it. This place is an absolute winner. The park isn’t huge with 17 rides, which is actually great: kids can comfortably have a go on everything and when it isn’t busy they can run around while adults follow at a slower (more dignified?) pace. My two favourite things about the park are: a) adults can go on rides too, and b) everything is powered by human effort: no electricity, no batteries, no motors needed here.
My kids, aged eight and ten, could go on almost every ride between them. There are a few options for smaller kids only and a few rides for which you need to be over 1.40 m. We began with pedal-powered go-karts before moving onto the zipline, climbing tower, assault courses (one for bigger kids and adults, one for smaller kids), trampolines, and giant slide. Thankfully my kids didn’t ask to go on the bike that goes up-side down as that would be too much for my poor heart! I must note that while it looked very safe, I’m just not an adrenaline kinda person.
We enjoyed watching a big group play human-foosball, the kids got lost in a labyrinth, threw themselves around the spider-web tower, ran back for more go-karting, and even persuaded the moms to go on the go-karts with them: Yay! that was really cool.
Note: We went on a Friday after school and it was pretty well empty. By the time we left, at 6 pm, it was much fuller. I was told it is totally full to capacity on the weekend.
Safety is, of course, an important point in a park like this, so I must state that there are staff everywhere watching and helping. My son got stuck on the assault course (he was just about 2 cm taller than the minimum height and found some of the distances tricky to manage); a member of staff immediately harnessed up and went to help him navigate the section he found difficult. I was very impressed with the attention staff were giving to the rides, to helping kids put on safety equipment, and to keeping everything running smoothly.
Visitors aren’t permitted to take in snacks (I know because I tried) but there are a few options in the park. We had cotton-candy and water, but we also saw crepes, chips, nachos, and small cakes for sale.
Price: At some point it will stop being free but there is no word yet on when that is or how much it will cost.
Opening Hours: According to the most recent posters I’ve seen visitors are offered two hour slots in the park but this certainly wasn’t upheld when we visited. This may be due to the park not being at full capacity at the time.
Parque Municipal de Deportes Extremos
Calle 132 #349 x 61 y 67, Bosques del Poniente, Mérida
FB: Parque municipal de deportes extremos Mérida, Yucatán
Tue. – Thu., and Sun. 1 – 8:10 pm
Fri. and Sat. 1 – 9:10 pm
Free entry, by slot every two hours
- Tue. – Thu., and Sun. 1 – 3 pm, 3:10 – 5 pm, 5:10 – 7 pm, and 6:30 – 8:10 pm
- Fri. and Sat. 1 – 3 pm, 3:10 – 5 pm, 5:10 – 7 pm, and 7:10 – 9:10 pm
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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