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Dave’s Rave: Xocomil Water Park

It seems that our Delightful Davey Doobertons – he loves being called that – has again left us, and will be out flapping his little wings, and likely his big mouth, for the next three months. For now, you’ll have to deal with this anonymous, admittedly inferior narrator. It’s a shame Dave wasn’t here on a recent sunny Saturday, because he would have loved…Xocomil Water Park

This gigantic amusement park is mainly funded by a tax on workers with a government-recognized contract; said workers then pay no entrance fee to splash around. The whole setup begs a question: might the government better serve its people by using this money to provide open access to, say, dinner? No, of course not. Sorry for being so silly.

Anyway, you’re likely wondering why you should waste your moments in Guatemala at a waterpark. It’s probably just like back home, a teeming monstrosity catering to the lowest common denominator of humanity. Correct. But you do many things here that you do back home, and you know that the inner child buried under that hipster façade is begging you to go. Plus, you’ll be one of the only extranjeros in a place packed with Guatemalans, so it’s totally authentic.

As cliché offerings to human shallowness go, Xocomil is impressive. Standing atop one of the slides-posing- as-temples, enjoying views of a well-conserved, lush tropical forest, you have to appreciate the efforts to make the place look like Tikal. And the slides are great. With pitch-black sidewinders, long, dizzying drops, a lazy river, wave pool, and countless other rides guaranteed to make you giggle like an idiot, the park offers everything.

The highlight is to be found in a pool for the kiddies, where there are three paths of slippery lilypads to try to scamper across. You will witness some truly epic wipeouts here, and it is easy to spend an entire day laughing hysterically with complete strangers while watching small children, old men and gawky gringos alike faceplanting onto the rubber stepping stones.

The daily fee of Q75 is well worth it. To get there, grab any bus from Minerva that takes the road to the coast (e.g. Retalhuleu or Mazatenango), and ask the driver to let you off at Xocomil; it’s a bit over an hour away.

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