Mexico’s beautiful beaches, vibrant street fairs, rich Mayan history, delicious foods, and colorful atmosphere make it a common choice for vacationers that enjoy vibrancy and beauty. With so many different vibes to choose from, a single Mexican vacation can leave you feeling like you traveled to several different countries. Snorkel in the pristine waters on the coast or head inland to explore historical museums and early century cathedrals. The rich Aztec and Mayan history is well preserved in most areas, so travelers are able to soak in knowledge and fun as they do their exploring. Kids will feel like true adventurers climbing the temples. Learn about the incredible ruins and relax in style at your luxury resort. The versatility of this dynamic vacation spot allows you to opt in and out of laid-back seclusion, exhilarating water activities, or bustling street fairs perfect for the entire family. Here are 9 of our favorite vacations for kids in Mexico.
1. Riviera Maya
Stretched across the Yucatan Peninsula, this exotic Caribbean coastline has everything you and the little ones need for true indulgence and fun while on your Mexican getaway. For the animal lovers in the family, start up north at Puerto Morelos where the little ones can hold friendly baby crocodiles and feed the exuberant spider monkeys that roam about. If the family is in the mood for some daring adventure, climb the Temple of the Descending Gods and El Castillo elegantly perched on a cliff overlooking the stunning blue sea. Be sure to check into one of the luxurious all inclusive resorts Playa del Carmen is known for, for a comfortable and serene homebase between exploring. Head south and soak in some fascinating knowledge about the architectural ruins of Tulum as you and the family stand on ancient history. For eco-parks known for sea turtle, jaguar, flamingo and toucan sightings, be sure to explore Xcaret. Xel-Ha, best known to be a high-ranking park amongst younger children, offers everything from rope climbing, snorkeling, dolphin swims, and even turtle camp. With endless opportunities for exhilarating exploration, Riviera Maya will certainly unleash the adventurer that lives in everyone in the family.
Where to stay:
Just south of Cancun and north of Playa del Carmen rests the luxurious resort enclave known as Rosewood Mayakoba. The best of the Riviera Maya is never too far away when staying at this serene oasis. The resort encourages you to explore nearby shopping villages, attend art shows and galleries, and watch exciting cultural performances to really soak it all in. Committed to going above and beyond for children, Rosewood also offers a unique kid’s program designed to provide endless entertainment for your little ones. Kid-friendly activities include yoga, ClassEcoTour (which includes a boat tour with a biologist explaining the flora and fauna), scavenger hunts, EcoBingo, pizza and cookie making classes. Themed nights such as Mexican Night, Pirate Night, Pajama Party and Mayan Celebration are a favorite amongst kids. Spanish and Mayan language lessons allow for some brain stimulation in a fun environment and Mayan story-telling unlocks their curious minds. Additionally, each onsite restaurant offers kid’s menus, alleviating your worries about their dining accommodations. Natural beauty and luxurious refinement await the entire family at Rosewood Mayakoba.
Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa
Located right along the dreamy Maroma Beach, lies the stunning Belmond Maroma. The contrast of the rich green from the jungle and the white sands of the beach makes for stunning views wherever you choose to lay your vacationing eyes. As if the dreamlike environment weren’t enough, Belmond also offers private yoga classes, personal trainers, complimentary bike tours, exquisite Spanish and Mexican dining (think mouth-watering tapas and succulent ceviche). Kid-friendly features include games centers, beach games, kids menus at each restaurant, a children’s in-room welcome kit, and even child-sized kaftans and slippers. At Belmond, everyone in the family gets to feel pampered in Mayan Magic and Caribbean luxury.
2. Los Cabos
Situated at the south of the Baja Penisula, resides Los Cabos, a 20 mile stretch of amazing tourist attractions, beautiful beaches, intriguing historical sites, unique local vendors, and some of the best snorkeling you will find in Mexico. Hit two birds with one stone as you start your adventure in Los Cabos. It consists of two towns, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, which hold two very different vibes. Both towns are family friendly and great for water sports, but if you have a little one, be sure to take them only to designated safe spots, as the beaches do not have lifeguards and contain steep drop-offs. For shopping, eating, live music, and a little bit of bustle, start off in Cabo San Lucas. Challenge the locals and join in on a pick up a volleyball game at Playa El Medano, near downtown San Lucas. The local street musicians play beautiful melodies that serve as the perfect background for any activity you decide to do while you and the family are downtown. Switch gears a bit and explore the second half of Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo. Known for being a mellow pueblo and gracing the historical Mision of San Jose at its center, San Jose is the place to go for a quieter and more tranquil day of discovery. Perfect for a peaceful and scenic walk at the end of your long day, head over to the central plaza and stroll along the beautifully designed pathways with the entire family.
Where to stay:
One & Only Palmilla
Built in 1956 by Don Abelardo Rodriguez, the son of the President of Mexico, One & Only originally served as an exclusive, luxury hideaway for celebrities and presidents. Set along the gorgeous Sea of Cortez, one of the most swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, One & Only Palmilla affords extraordinary views of the most incredible landscaping that Los Cabos has to offer. Explore the Sea of Cortez for exciting scuba diving and snorkelling adventures and enjoy the soft sands and crisp water afterwards along the beach. The stunning resort offers two ocean view infinity pools, one for adults and one designed especially for families. For a gorgeous expedition, explore the landscapes of the Baja Peninsula in a chauffeured all-terrain or on horseback, and be sure to check out the whale-watching via private yacht cruise. Other amenities include their state-of-the art fitness center, world-renowned spa, 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, and even and on-site beauty salon for some sprucing up after exciting days. For parents needing a little alone time, drop the kids off at KidsOnly, a complimentary club that provides safe fun and activities for the younger kids in the group. Daily activities for kids include, golf, yoga, jewelry making, painting, pinata making, Spanish lessons, and cooking classes. Additionally, TeensOnly coordinates daily activities for the bigger kids in the group.
JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa
The JW Marriot Los Cabos recently entered the already thriving Los Cabos resort community and successfully made its mark as the perfect newest addition. Located just along the edge of the Sea of Cortez and Intricately designed so that each room sports an ocean view, this resort pays high attention to detail for ultimate luxury. The true awe lies within the natural Baja landscapes and the way that this property complements all of the natural beauty that surrounds it. Looking for another boost on luxury and exclusiveness? Book your room in the Griffin club for super personalized luxury. The club includes access to the movie theater (which plays family-friendly films), private beach and pool, reserved areas at their world-class spa, lounge bar, and private business center. When traveling with the kids, be sure to book your stay with the Nayaa Kids Club Experience package. Your kids will have access to an abundance of interactive activities and delicious lunches daily.
3. Puerto Vallarta
Nestled between the rocky landscaping of the Sierra Madres and miles of soft sand, lies the charming and historic town of Puerto Vallarta. Mariachi tunes at plazas, flea markets, street fiestas that include folkloric dancing, pinatas, and scrumptious enchiladas are all common sites to indulge in during your stay in Puerto Vallarta. This town stays true to its authenticity. History and beauty reside around every corner, making it a truly dynamic destination you and the family can explore for days. Be sure to diverge a bit and head south for some exotic animal sightings at the Zoologico de Vallarta. Your little one will love feeding the giraffes and checking out the stunning white Bengal tigers.
Where to stay:
Four Seasons Punta Mita
Located 45 minutes outside of Puerto Vallarta and situated on the Riviera Nayarit, stands the luxurious Four Seasons Punta Mita (read our full review here). Resembling classic Mexican beach homes, all of the guest rooms sport a vibrant decor and gorgeous views. Children will be in heaven from the first moment of check-in to check-out. Personal touches will make the little ones feel oh, so welcomed during the entire stay. Children’s amenities include a welcome gift, bite-sized bathrobes, fun and colorful alphabet bath sponges, baby care basket, milk and cookies in the room on the evening of arrival, and children’s menus in all of the restaurants on site. Additionally, the Nanutzi Games Room offers Playstation, Wii, XBOX 360, card tables, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, and big screen TV all within a 2,400 square foot facility. If you have a busy day planned, use caution, because it might be difficult getting your kid to leave! Be sure to stop by the spa for some R&R after a day with the kids, or aim for a hole-in-one at one of the Four Season’s tropical golf courses.
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
Located between spectacular views of the Pacific and the pristine mountains, the St. Regis affords the perfect location for soaking in the best that Punta Mita has to offer. For endless activities, amenities, and experiences be sure to book at the St. Regis for access to three infinity pools, a private beach, two golf courses, a tennis center, delicious fine dining, and a spa sanctuary. For the little ones aged 5-12, La Tortuga Children’s Club offer exciting activities including discovery walk, treasure hunt, piñata making, handicrafts, painting lessons, board games, Mexican lottery, and bingo. Additionally, the unique and personalized butler service can help coordinate family plans and babysitting services.
We all know Cancun is known for its vibrant party scenes, but it is also incredibly family-friendly if you schedule your trip around rowdy spring breakers. Cancun’s luxury resorts are known for providing tons of amenities that can make it tempting to stay on property grounds. But with tons to explore mainland, you’re going to want to make sure that you experience all of the wonder this ancient city has to offer. With smooth blue waters, Cancun’s Caribbean beaches are perfect for kids to learn snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. The little ones can interact with the friendly turtles at one of the many turtle rescue sites where they can even adopt their own. For a variety of local, handmade goods check out Coral Negro and Ki-Huic’s open-air markets. Time travel to ancient Mexico and climb the Mayan pyramids at Chichen Itza. Trek a little outside the city and zipline through the verdant jungle in Selvatica. Don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path a bit, you may spot some fascinating critters along the way.
Where to stay:
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
Treat the entire family to a marvelous stay at the JW Marriot Cancun, located right in the heart of the infamous and bustling Hotel Zone. Breathe in the salty air, enjoy a mimosa or two, and bask in the stunning views of the turquoise ocean water at the comfort of your private balcony. The Mayan-inspired spa will take you back in time in complete style and luxury as you give in to total rejuvenation of the mind and body. Your little ones can even join you in your relaxation endeavor with the “kiddie” spa treatment. The on-site Kids Club is great for the children to blow off some steam as you do some independent exploring. With several dining options, you and the family will be able to choose from authentic local cuisine, from Italian to Japanese. The fitness center consists of everything you need to stay in shape after indulging in the many food options the resort offers. Book an all-inclusive experience package suitable for the whole family for a deal that will give your entire vacation a unique boost.
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
Its idyllic oceanfront location and Mexican hospitality make the Ritz-Carlton a truly special way to spend your Cancun vacay. You won’t have a care in the world as you take in the warm Caribbean breeze and sip on a deliciously refreshing drink poolside in a cabana. Have sweet dreams to the sounds of traditional Mexican melodies accompanied by the soothing waves of the nearby beach. Partake in some of the most distinctive resort activities, including baby turtle release, dining with the executive chef, a kids Mayan adventure, and much more. For a little on-site adventure, book a paddleboarding or tennis session to get the blood flowing. Start the evening off right with a tequila tasting or learn to cook true Mexican cuisine in one of the themed cooking classes. The kids will love playing in the beach or pool with the provided water toys. So crack open a fresh Yucatan coconut and take delight in the beautiful scenery and fun activities that the Ritz provides you during your family getaway.
Known for their variety of succulent sauces, Oaxaca is the perfect destination for food-loving families. Honestly, it would be possible to spend a whole day just observing the fascinating culture on display at Zocalo (the town square) where grasshopper merchants, artists, healers, performing artists, and herb vendors all come together for the Parade of La Vida Mexicana. Grab some traditional hot cocoa while strolling along the historic cobblestone streets where wonder awaits every turn. Challenge the whole family’s culinary skills and take a cooking class at one of the many Mexican culinary schools. The kids will be intrigued by all of the colorful displays at Rufino Tamayo Prehispanic Art Museum, which features early Mexican folk art. The little ones will love maneuvering the ruins of Monte Albán and exploring the tombs at the on site museum. Kids will be able to browse art, archaeology and history books written just for them. In the village of Teotitlán del Valle, watch step-by-step as locals weave their brightly colored rugs in the comfort of their own homes. For food, art, history, and more food, Oaxaca will surely be worth the trip.
Where to stay:
This historic building turned luxury hotel, located right in the middle of the historic city center, makes for an effortlessly elegant and convenient stay. Casa Oaxaca is not necessarily for those looking for a super modern and sleek environment. For a beautifully traditional setting and perfectly maintained, spacious rooms, Casa Oaxaca delivers perfectly. Each and every staff member is attentive and creates handmade memories, something that can get lost in hotel chains. Here, everyone will know your name and do their best in creating a personalized and cozy atmosphere, like coffee and snacks to-go before a day of exploration with the family. Casa Oaxaca will take care of the whole family as if it were their own. Tip: Even though Casa is conveniently located near incredible restaurants, be sure to dine at the on-site restaurant, known for its fresh food and high quality service perfect for the entire family to enjoy.
Quinta Real Oaxaca
Conveniently located in Oaxaca’s city center zone, just 30 minutes from the Benito Juárez Airport, this beautifully kept property perfectly reflects the vibrancy and wonder of Spain so guests are guaranteed a smooth and no-fuss trip. Also situated just a block away from the Santo Domingo Cultural Center and the Tourist Walkway where you and the fam can browse some of the city’s most stunning art galleries, museums, and handicraft stores. The intriguing history of Mexico is beautifully represented at Quinta Real through their preservation of monuments, art, and traditions right on the property grounds. You will feel like the building itself is a work of art (because it is). Staff members work hard to preserve the beauty of this one-of-a-kind space with meticulous attention to detail and love. On site amenities include convenient babysitting services upon request, handicraft store, tobacco shop, bookstore, and jewelry store featuring local, hand-made adornments.
6. Mexico City
With endless sights to discover such as temple ruins, museums, cathedrals, and street murals, Mexico City is the perfect place to explore with your curious adventurers. Head over to Chapultapec Park for unlimited fun and adventure. Observe the fascinating animals at the zoo, ride a pony, rent a bike and trek down the trails; or opt for the more laid-back segway tour around the center. El Museo de Nino, a children’s museum located on park grounds is the perfect place for the little ones to learn while playing where they can even produce their own radio show. Not to mention, the park also offers free performances where the family can watch ballerinas, acrobats, and aztec pole dancers show off their talents. Latin America’s largest cathedral also resides in Mexico City which is a destination of its own. Head southwest of Mexico City and you will find the Ciudad de los Ninos, a mini-city where the kids are in charge. They have the opportunity to “work” for pesos as bakers, hair stylists, firefighter, and more. Be sure to check out the Aztec temples and the Palacio Nacional, which features some of Diego Rivera’s famously vibrant murals. Not only will kids love Mexico City, but the grown ones in the family will be captivated by all the amazing things this city has to offer. With so much to soak in on every block, you and the family will leave with new knowledge and appreciation for Mexican art, culture, and architecture.
Where to stay:
Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City
Just steps from Chapultepec Park and the super trendy and bustling areas of Condesa and Polanco, this ultra-chic property is sure to have everyone feeling like Mexican royalty. The warm and intimate Four Seasons property will deliver the attentive service and genuine care that will leave you feeling like you’re staying in a lavish Mexican home. With the perfect mix of cool and colonial styles, everyone in the family will have a ball just exploring this dynamic property. With amenities available for kids of any age, you don’t have to worry about helping them feel welcome. The Four Seasons experts go above and beyond for making kids feel special with milk and cookies upon arrival, teddy bears, coloring books, toys, table games, and delicious popcorn. Each restaurant offers a kid’s menu so that your child can enjoy delicious cuisine in appropriate portions. If your vacation dates include a Sunday, be sure to check out the legendary champagne brunch that attracts many of Mexico’s elite for a deliciously vibrant way to start your “Funday”. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a spa treatment or two at this lively and colorful Four Seasons property.
InterContinental Presidente Mexico City
With its exclusive Polanco location and sweeping tower views, the whole family will feel like ultra-cool travelers during their stay at the InterContinental. This property perfectly serves up Mexican tradition with a modern take. Notice the Aztec-inspired details in the artwork and sculptures all throughout the hotel. Enjoy the several unique dining options that cater to you and your little one’s needs. Forget about reality and wind down at the spa, which features hydro therapy, steam bathing, body wraps, reflexology and waxing. You can even get a full mani/pedi done for some added pampering. Ready for some fabulous shopping? Take an indulgent stroll through Presidente Masaryk avenue, where you will have access to high-end stores like Chanel, Omega and Cartier. After some retail therapy, take the family down to the National Anthropology Museum to discover ancient Aztec treasures. For a little bit of dreamy, Mexican magic visit the the floating gardens of Xochimilco for an unforgettable ride, all near this beautiful, cosmopolitan property.
A beloved colonial city known to be great for an in-land add-on to your beach trip, be sure to check out the historically stunning city of Merida on the weekends. The city’s historical center, which is made up of stunning Mayan-constructed cathedrals, closes down to cars and opens up to a little mystical magic, that includes taco stands, traditional Yucatecan dance performances, serenades, and puppet shows. If the family wants to explore ancient Mayan sites, hop on the Ruta Puuc (local bus) and get exploring. Flamingos fill up the village of Celestun, so head north to sight these elegant, pink creatures. Because of typical heavy traffic, when traveling shorter distances opt for a horse-drawn carriage ride to get around in a fun way.
Where to stay:
InterContinental Presidente Merida
Perfectly located in the heart of Colonia Centro, this property makes it easy to get all of your exploring done during your stay. The property, originally a Spanish general’s mansion, provides superb luxury and colonial elegance into one perfectly blended package. Dine like Mexican elite at one of the succulent restaurants and head to the bar to bask in some of the finest tequila you will taste. The posh rooms are airy, yet cozy and fully equipped with all of the essentials every family needs. Be sure to inquire about children’s amenities to ensure that the kids feel just as welcomes as the rest of the family. Venture off to nearby Paseo de Montejo to take in all of the incredible beauty and class that graces every inch of the area. Also conveniently located nearby are Uxmal and Chichen Itza, so be sure to take advantage of having these ancient Mayan ruins at your fingertips.
Hyatt Regency Merida
Cool down from the Yucatecan sun and take a dip at the pool. Join in on a round of golf at the nearby course. Stay in shape during your stay and pay a visit to the private fitness center, available 24 hours a day, and featuring state-of-the-art equipment. For a unique fusion of flavors, do the tastebuds a favor and dine at one of the several on-site restaurants that features fine Mexican and French foods. Take the kids down to the tennis courts for a friendly match, or simply wind down and enjoy the view of the city from the comfort of the room.
This upscale but lowkey fishing village surrounded by tropical scenery makes for the perfect exotic destination. The resort area sits right along the beach, offering bike paths, kayaking, snorkeling, and dolphin swims. Even kids as young as 3 can join in on the fun as most of the activities in the area are kid-friendly. Shop with a beach view to keep you company at Zihuatanejo’s central plaza. For a more relaxed day, simply watch the fishermen as they prep, sail, catch, and sell their fresh fish. The waters are calm and great for snorkeling, specifically in Las Gatas Beach. Take a laid-back boat ride on the soft waters to Ixtapa Island for water sports and exotic animal sightings. Treat yourself to an inexpensive beachfront massage on Playa La Ropa. Massages average at about 200 pesos ($13) for a whole hour! For those prices you might find yourself back at the beachfront everyday during your stay just for another glorious massage. For the adrenaline junkies of the crew, try parasailing or jet skiing at La Ropa. Try engaging in these exciting water sports during sunset for the perfect Caribbean backdrop. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo gives its guests a quaint vibe, while still delivering excitement.
Where to stay:
Las Brisas Ixtapa
Beautifully nestled onto a mountain surround by luscious greenery, Las Brisas perfectly complements its verdant surroundings as if it were one with nature. Alongside one of the most beautiful beaches the Mexican Pacific Riviera has to offer, you will feel ultra spoiled having the warm, white sands and refreshing blue water just steps from your door. You will feel like you are navigating your own private island, thanks to the secluded environment Las Brisas affords. Perfect for families looking for a little peace and quiet during their holiday. The property itself presents a perfect blend of traditional and modern architecture that will make the whole family feel like they are staying in a museum. Each guest room offers stunning views of the ocean, enjoy them while relaxing in a hammock with your favorite book. Gather the whole family for sunset and prepare for the one of the most magically beautiful sights you will experience in Mexico, and the family will be lucky enough to have a front row seat. Guests also have access to a gym, four tennis courts, all four of the swimming pools, and the two golf courses that are within five minutes of the hotel. Explore exhilarating water sports for a little thrill on your relaxing getaway available just a few minutes from property grounds.
Iguanas run the land in the beautiful seaside community of Tulum. Kids will love making new friends with these kind, fascinating creatures as they roam about their day. Perhaps one of the most kid-friendly archaeological sites, this interactive town will have kid’s feeling in paradise. Find the friendliest spider monkeys and wild turkeys at Aktun-Chen, a nearby eco-ark. Walk through stalactite adorned caves and pretend to search for lost treasure. For captivating canal tours, head to the edge of Tulum at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to ride down the smooth waters and spot the rare jaguars, manatees, ocelots, and tapirs that inhabit the area. For added adventure, diverge a bit and rent a tent cabin to really feel like a part of the beautiful nature that surrounds you.
Where to stay:
Omni Puerto Aventuras Beach Resort
Nestled in a luxury yachting community in the heart of the Mayan Riviera resides the Omni Puerto Aventuras. The Caribbean coastline in the heart of the Riviera affords some of the most amazing sights Mexico has to offer. Pristine blue waters and soft, white sands lie just in front of this luxury property. Honoring authenticity and heritage, this property was built using native materials, giving a feel of ancient luxury and style. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen, be sure to take the whole family down to enjoy warm waters, delicious vendors, and great snorkeling. After a day of adventure, unwind in the boutique-style guest rooms for ultimate coziness and fine intimacy. The local decor will remind you where you are and have you feeling like Mexico’s best. Fall asleep in your balcony hammock as the kids are resting, or join the SO in the private jacuzzi. Smell the roses from the gardens as you take in the azure ocean views. You don’t have to worry about the kids being occupied, the Omni Kids Program caters to them seamlessly by providing a backpack full of customized goodies upon arrival. Backpack items include an activity book, crayons, e-book, binoculars, and a small tabletop game. Kids also receive milk and cookies the first night of the stay. Coloring books and kid’s cups are provided at all of the on-site restaurants. For a fun escapade, venture off and take the little ones into town to visit the Xel-Ha, a nearby natural aquapark that is as enjoyable as it is beautiful.
Dreams Tulum Resort And Spa
During your tropical getaway, escape to Dreams Tulum, situated in the heart of the Tulum. Mayan history and Riviera magic awaits in this appropriately designed property. You’ll discover hints and accents throughout the property that honors Mexico’s ancient heritage. Feel away from it all as you savor in the sugar-white sand beach and blooming gardens that line the property. Hang out at the resort pool, explore the coral reefs, tee-off at the Riviera Maya Golf Club, or snorkel on the property’s intimate beach. For some recalibration of the mind and body, pamper yourself with a salon appointment or treat yourself to a healing massage.The babysitting service might be a clutch option for your newest addition to the family. All babysitters are trained and certified for guaranteed safety. Additionally, you can drop off the kids at the Mayan-themed Explorer’s Club for a day of fun activities (be sure to inquire with concierge upon arrival).
About Ngozi Assata
Ngozi Assata is a proud Washington, DC native. She currently resides in Philadelphia, where she studies mass media and interns with a local music blog. She loves anything travel/media related and hopes to make a career out of documenting her experiences around the globe. Follow her adventures on her blog, and on Instagram and Twitter.
Click here to read Ngozi's articles