Just twenty minutes from downtown Cuernavaca, you pass from the noisy, hot traffic of Temixco, Mexico, into the relaxation and fun of the Ex-Hacienda de Temixco water park. As you walk through the gate of the main entrance you instantly begin to enjoy the exquisite gardens surrounding the immaculately kept swimming pools and other facilities. The entire park is a network of water-related activities, colorful gardens, manicured grass, and shady trees, all connected by tidy brick walkways gently sloped to keep water from pooling on them. Flowering vines grace arched architecture, and tile accents decorate the edges of pools and changing areas. Nothing distracts visitors from enjoying their time to the fullest.
32 Acres of Fun
Everywhere you look you see sparkling, crystalline waters and there are a surprising variety of ways to have fun at the 32-acre (130,000 square meter) aquatic park. Entering the park, the first attraction you see is the striking children’s area. In the middle of a shallow pool, a jungle fortress sports slides and water falls. The fortress has a natural-looking design as if it were part of a rocky waterfall. Shallow water flows down colorful slides and the stairs, giving the structure a fun feeling, embracing your feet as you climb around. All of the surfaces in the children’s area are rubberized to protect bathers from scrapes and bruises and the edge of the pool is covered in green outdoor carpeting to provide a safe way for tiny bathers to enter the water. A staff member is stationed around back of the structure to keep an eye on the areas that parents can’t easily see.
Near the children’s area is an exquisite lap pool with pretty blue and white tiles all around the edge. Another pool has room for tossing a ball, doing handstands, playing tag, or doing whatever kids love to do, as well as some floating pads connected to the bottom of the pool. Overhead bars are mounted above these pads for people to hold as they cross the pool without falling in. Of course falling in is as much fun as not falling in.
Nestled into the gardens, in addition to the water features, there are also basketball courts, a racquetball court, a miniature golf course, ping pong tables, soccer fields, and a sandy court for beach volleyball. One pool has a soon-to-open activity that appeared to the author to be a zip-line. Swimmers will climb up to a platform and shoot out over the pool on a cable which will deposit them into the water at the other side.
One area of the park holds a huge, round wave pool, with a shallow beach like edge. People can sit on the smooth blue tiles and let the soothing waves break across their feet, legs, and hips. Others venture deeper and let the waves lift them right off of their feet. Surrounding the wave pool is a river with waves. Swimmers move through the flow of the river on inner tubes and enjoy the waves that they encounter. Warm sun shines on their shoulders and cool water bathes their feet and legs.
One exciting area of the park has a huge, octopus-like network of a variety of colorful water tubes. Bathers can choose between a going down a tube lying on their backs or choosing a tube where they can ride down with an inner-tube. Close your eyes as you are going down the slide and you’ll really feel the twists and turns. There is also a tall, long slide that you shoot down on your tummy, holding onto a sled-like mat. One new ride was being constructed in this area and appears to be a ride with a boat or log of some sort, splashed by water.
The park, which has been in operation since the late ’60s, is completely modernized, but remnants of the classic features can still be seen. One of these features was a rocky cliff built into the edge of a small pool. The author’s family enjoyed climbing the cliff on the built-in stairs and exploring a cave in the plant-covered pseudo rocks. Wading into the cave, thigh deep in water, you hear the echoed sounds of the small waves made by your movements. There is a tile bench on which to sit and enjoy the dim, cool interior of the “secret” hideaway. This and other details at the water park make it easy for bathers to break free of the traditional “marco polo” and handstand games usually played in boring swimming pools.
Playing, Not Walking
The park is a compact collection of lush gardens highlighting sparkling pools and other water features. It is easy to get around the park and it’s never far from one fun activity to another. The heart of the experience at the ex-hacienda de Temixco is more about playing and less about walking. No area is left bare and well-kept flowers and shrubs brighten every nook and cranny.
If you wish to bring your own foods, lovely bougainvillea arbor picnic areas are available for the convenience of visitors. Alternately, snack bars and a clean restaurant offer foods at reasonable prices. Nothing interrupts the experience at Ex-Hacienda de Temixco, and even the restrooms are spotless and have plenty of private little individual changing areas and semi private showers, all accented with lovely tile. Lockers are available just outside the bathrooms. Centrally located convenience stores sell snacks, souvenirs, and swimming suits without dominating the scenery. Plenty of garbage cans help visitors keep the park impeccable. There is obviously a continuous attention to safety and cleanliness at the park as the author observed someone scrubbing a tile patio area with soap and water and observed no tripping hazards. Finally, friendly staff are available to support visitors in any way needed.
Don’t miss any of the fun activities at the park. Coming next month on Mexico Connect… the park schedule, the hacienda’s story, directions on how to get there, and an enticing photo gallery.