Xel-Ha is located about 76 miles from Cancun. The ancient Maya named the place. "Xel" refers to the source of something or where a thing originates; "Ha" is the Mayan word for water-thus Xel-Ha (pronounced Shell-ha) literally means where the water is born.
Due to its privileged location, Xel-Ha was used during prehispanic times as a trading post and a harbor. It was under the control of Tulum for much of its history.
Legend has it that the Mayan gods combined their wisdom, dreams and love of beauty to create a place that would bring all of these elements together. The gods were so pleased with their creation that they decided to share it with man; but also they declared their iguana (land) and the parrot fish (sea) to be sacred guardians of Xel-Ha.
This site is a collection of caves, coves, inlets, lagoons, small Mayan structures, a cave temple and "cenotes" (sinkholes). Visitors (at an extra charge) can swim with the dolphins.