Mexico is one of the best places to visit with kids, and no matter whether you’re jetting down from the United States or across the pond from the UK, the travel time is completely worth it.
After touching down in Mexico, you’ll be greeted with beautiful turquoise waters, plenty of family-friendly activities, delicious and unmatched Mexican food, and a huge selection of impeccable resorts that have everything you need onsite, making it near enough impossible to leave.
Planning vacations/holidays can be overwhelming, especially when you’re travelling with kids, as there are so many other factors that you have to think about. This guide to Mexico will ultimately help you plan the perfect Mexico family vacation or family holiday, as it includes:
- The best places to visit in Mexico with kids
- Activities and things to do in Mexico with kids
- The best resorts and family-friendly hotels in each area
- The best beaches in Mexico
So, if you’ve got your passports at the ready and you’re looking for the next holiday destination for your family, keep on reading, as you’re likely (actually guaranteed) to be swayed toward Mexico!
When should I visit Mexico With Kids?
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Mexico is a tropical country, and not only does that mean palm trees and exotic fruits, but it also means that Mexico experiences dry and wet seasons.
In Mexico, the dry season, which runs from December to April, is the best time to visit with kids, as there is virtually no rain. However, although there is no rain, December through to February are some of the coolest months in the country, and by cool, I mean 24 to 29 degrees.
So, for families who want a coolish holiday that is better suited to little ones, December, January, or February are your best bet.
Wet season in Mexico runs from late May to November. Granted, showers during the season typically only last a few hours, but regardless of the rain, temperatures throughout the country soar into the late 30s.
Along with almost unbearable temperatures, the wet season also brings with it an influx of sargassum seaweed (which begins to smell like rotten eggs once it decomposes on the beach), so if you want to experience the true beauty of the beaches in Mexico, avoid the wet season.
Best Areas to Visit in Mexico With Kids
Mexico family holidays are ones that you’ll remember for a lifetime as there are so many incredible things to see and do. When travelling with kids, there are definitely some areas of Mexico that are better than others, as they’re close to beaches, full of family-friendly resorts, and home to attractions that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Mexico with Kids, including Tulum, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and a few others that you may be unfamiliar with. If you are considering a multi stop trip, then Cancun to Tulum can take about 2 hours, depending on traffic and time of day.
Tulum, Mexico with Kids
Tulum is one of the most well-known areas in Mexico, and it’s popular for good reason. With some of the most beautiful beaches, historical ancient ruins, and as equally important best all-inclusive kid-friendly resorts in Mexico, Tulum should definitely be on your list if you’re looking at Mexico beach holidays/vacations for your family this winter.
Things to do in Tulum with Kids
Whether you’re travelling to Mexico with toddlers, children, or pre-teens, Tulum has some fantastic activities, aside from its breathtaking beaches, that’ll keep your little ones entertained for hours.
Here are some of the best activities in Tulum, Mexico:
Visit the Ancient Mayan Ruins
The Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula are some of the most spectacular ruins throughout Mexico, and if you’re staying in Tulum, then there are some located not far from the town’s centre with views of the open ocean.
If your family loves history and learning about different cultures, then I also highly recommend joining a tour group that takes you out from Tulum to the most incredible ruins of all, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the Chichén Itzá ruins.
Swim in the cenotes
Cenotes are natural limestone sinkholes that have some of the clearest water imaginable, making them perfect for an afternoon dip. There are various cenotes throughout Tulum, with Gran Cenote, Cenote Aktun Ha, and Cenote Zacil-Ha being the best choices for families.
Search for Wildlife at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is roughly 20 minutes south of Tulum, and if you’re a family who loves an adventure, you won’t want to miss it. The reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to turtles, flamingos, dolphins, and manatees and has opportunities for guests to snorkel, boat, and hike.
You can visit the reserve on your own accord, but you can also head out with a guide and a tour group to not only see the best spots in the reserve but also to have the best chances of seeing the local wildlife.
Splash about in Xel-Há Park
Xel-Há Park is an eco-adventure park that has a natural aquarium, in addition to calm lagoon waters that are ideal for swimming, a kids wading pool, waterslide, and playground, and large waterslides that older children will love. You can purchase one-day passes that give you access to the park, as well as unlimited drinks, use of snorkelling equipment, and a buffet-style breakfast, snacks, and lunch.
Relax at Le Zebra Beach Club
If you’re in need of a cocktail (or two) and the space to let your kids blow off some steam, then the Le Zebra Beach Club is the perfect spot in Tulum. The restaurant and bar sit directly on the sand, with day beds and bean bags available for guests.
And when your kids are done building sandcastles and splashing about in the shallows, they can play amongst the club’s playground, making friends with other children who are spending the day at Le Zebra.
Best Beaches in Tulum for Families
As I mentioned before, Tulum has some beautiful beaches with striking turquoise waters, soft white sand, and favourable ocean conditions that mean your little ones can splash, dig, and play until their heart’s content.
Some of the best beaches in the Tulum area include Playa Paraíso, which stretches along the coast, making room for tourists and locals alike, Playa Ruinas, which sits below the famous Ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, and finally Akumal Beach, which has a variety of palapa-roofed bars and restaurants.
Best Hotels for Families in Tulum
Thanks to Tulum’s popularity, there are some great Mexico family resorts, hotels, and private apartments that will suit families with kids of all ages. Here are some budget, mid-range, luxury, and all-inclusive options:
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with Kids
Puerto Vallarta is on Mexico’s west coast, and like Tulum, it is known for its beaches, its water sports activities, and its nightlife. With countless kid-friendly activities and resorts, you’ll really be spoilt for choice when deciding what to do each day.
Things to do in Puerto Vallarta with Kids
Before heading anywhere on holiday/vacation, it’s always good to know the different activities and attractions nearby, so if you do get bored of sitting by your resort’s pool or relaxing on the sand of the nearby beaches (will you ever?), you’ll have something in mind that’ll keep your kids and yourself entertained.
Here are some of the best activities in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:
Take a sunset stroll down the El Malécon
The Malécon is Puerto Vallarta’s boardwalk which is beaming with life and entertainment. From large bronze sculptures and food cart vendors to street performers and access to the beachfront, El Malécon is a great place to watch the sunset and let your kids burn off the last of their energy.
Head out on a boat tour to see humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins
It’s not every day you get to see humpback whales or bottlenose dolphins, but in Puerto Vallarta, from December to March, you can jump on a boat and head out on a tour to get up close to the animals as they migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Mexico.
Release baby sea turtles
If you’re visiting Puerto Vallarta from July to December, then you could be lucky enough to release baby sea turtles with the Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates. All you’ll need to do is give a donation, and with that, you can release baby turtles at sunset to give them the best chance at life.
Let your kids live their pirate dreams
There is no better tour for pirate lovers than the Pirate Ship Vallarta, which takes guests on a Spanish galleon for an exciting night of eating and entertainment.
See the animals at the Zoológico de Vallarta A.C
The Vallarta Zoo is a great place to take young kids, as what kids don’t love looking at animals? The zoo is home to various species, including tigers, giraffes, lions, hippos, and bears, and kids can even get the opportunity to feed carrots and seeds to some of the park’s smaller inhabitants.
Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta for Families
Many beaches in Puerto Vallarta are known for their party atmosphere, but there are a few options that are great for families with a slightly more laid-back and relaxed feel. One of the most untouched beaches in the area is Playa Conchas Chinas which has a forest and mountain backdrop, calm turquoise waters, and tide pools that kids can explore during low tide.
Mismaloya Beach is another great option for beaches in Puerto Vallarta as although it is backed by restaurants, bars, and hotels; the beach has all the amenities you’d ever need.
And finally, for families with slightly older children, then look no further than Playa Camarones. With plenty of seafood restaurants, bars, and shops nearby, as well as opportunities to paddleboard, kayak, or even jetski, adventurous kiddos, who usually get bored sitting on the sand, will be entertained for hours on end.
Best Hotels for Families in Puerto Vallarta
From hotels on the beach to all-inclusive, family-friendly resorts, Puerto Vallarta has it all. With some amazing budget, mid-range, and luxury options, you can find high-quality hotels throughout Puerto Vallarta for every budget, and here are some of my favourites:
- Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort
- Sunset Plaza Beach Resort Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
- Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta
- Marival Emotions Resort & Suites
- Paradise Village Beach Resort & Spa
Cancun, Mexico with Kids
Cancun is by far one of the most popular Mexico vacations for families due to its incredible resorts, shops, restaurants, and beaches, it truly is a paradise!
Like many beautiful places in the world, Cancun and its turquoise waters regularly attract crowds, and during spring break especially (typically between March and April), it will be considerably busier, with people taking full advantage of Cancun’s nightlife.
If you’re planning to visit Cancun with kids, you may want to plan your trip outside of spring break to ensure you have a relaxing holiday.
Things to do in Cancun with Kids
There are so many great attractions and activities in Cancun that you probably won’t have time to fit them all in.
Here are some of the best activities in Cancun, Mexico.
Ride ATVs and fly on a zipline
An hour away from Cancun’s centre in the city of Playa Del Carmen, your older children can enjoy the thrills of ATVing and ziplining over the Riviera Maya. During the tour, you’ll also get the opportunity to swim in underground rivers and caves, see impressive rock formations, and even go river rafting.
Pirate Dinner Cruise
Pirate fans in Cancun can also head out on a pirate dinner adventure onboard the Captain Hook 18th-century replica Spanish galleon. The show does end at 10:30 pm, so it will be a late one for your kids, but in my opinion, that’s part of the fun, because if you can’t stay up late on holiday, then when can you?
The Nickelodeon Aquapark is quite literally Bikini Bottom on land. Your kids can enjoy splashing around with Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy, zipping down the various waterslides, and floating in the lazy river, all while mum and dad enjoy the open bar and shaded sun loungers. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?
See vulnerable species at the Croco Cun Zoo
The Croco Cun Zoo offers one-hour guided tours that let you hold, feed, and touch wild animals, all while learning about their habitats, their life in the world, and conservation efforts. With snakes, crocodiles, and birds to come close to, the Croco Cun Zoo is a fantastic day out for families with young kids.
Learn about Mayan history in Xcaret Park
At Xcaret Park, your family can embark on over 40 adventures, from exploring a coral reef aquarium to swimming down an underground river. You can truly spend the entire day at the park without even coming close to hearing the words “I’m bored.”
Cancun Go City Explorer Pass
I also wanted to include the Cancun Go City Explorer Pass for families who want to visit numerous attractions but want to keep expenses as minimum as possible. The Go City Explorer Pass allows you to visit 3 to 10 attractions (depending on the pass you choose) for discounted prices that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere.
The pass includes attractions like parasailing, snorkelling, cenote swimming, dolphin encounters, speedboat tours, and so much more!
Best Beaches in Cancun for Families
There are some really great family-friendly beaches in Cancun, all that are picturesque, postcard-worthy, and just a short trip away from the city’s major resorts and hotels.
Some of the best beaches, however, include Playa Norte Isla Mujeres, with its rows of palm trees, white sand, and crystal clear water, Playa Marlin, which comes equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, and lifeguards, and Playa Langosta that, has a playground, calm waters, and beachside bars for easy access to snacks and drinks throughout the day.
Best Hotels for Families in Cancun
Cancun is by far the most popular beachside city in the area, and with that comes some of the most incredible all-inclusive family resorts in Mexico. No matter where you stay in Cancun, you’ll be close to plenty of bars, restaurants, beaches, and activities, meaning you won’t have to travel far to fill your days with memories and adventures.
Here are some of the best family hotels and all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, Mexico.
- Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
- Moon Palace Nizuc
- Wyndham Alltra Cancun All Inclusive Resort
For more information on the best all-inclusive family resorts in Cancun, Mexico, as well as standard non-all-inclusive resorts, check out my recent guide to The Best Family Resorts in Cancun.
Los Cabos, Mexico with Kids
Los Cabos, which consists of two towns, Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, is located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula and is quickly becoming a popular place in Mexico for families in need of some sun.
With a huge selection of beach resorts, cobblestone streets, and incredible golf courses (Dad might need to sneak away for an hour or two), Los Cabos shouldn’t be overlooked when planning your next Mexican break.
Things to do in Los Cabos with Kids
Los Cabos has so many unique experiences that the entire family can get on board with.
Here are some of the best activities in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Ride ATVs in the desert
Thrill-seeking kids will love hopping on an ATV and riding through the desert as well as the Migriño Beach in a two-hour guided tour, snapping pictures of the unforgettable experience along the way.
Go whale watching
Between November and March, families with children over the age of 5 can head out on a whale-watching tour which takes you past famous Los Cabos landmarks. Onboard you’ll learn all about marine life from an expert guide, and you’ll even have the opportunity to use a hydrophone to hear the majestic noises of the animals down below.
Ride a camel through the desert
Another activity for families with children over the age of 5 is a camel ride through the desert. On the tour, you get to learn about camels, their history, and camel culture, all while taking in the amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding desert.
Visit the Los Cabos Animal Sanctuary
At the Los Cabos Animal Sanctuary, little ones can get up close to exotic animal species, feeding, petting, and having their photos taken with them while finding out more information from a dedicated biologist tour guide.
Learn how to surf
A great activity for kids that gets them outside and burning off some energy is to participate in a surf lesson. With a professional surf instructor, kids ages 6 and up can hit the waves on a surfboard to learn the basics of surfing.
Trust me, it will definitely be something they tell their friends about, and it gives Mum and Dad an hour or two of peace and quiet. That’s a win-win in my books.
Best Beaches in Los Cabos for Families
Although there are plenty of beaches in Los Cabos, only some of them are suitable for swimming. Many of the area’s beaches have strong currents, rip tides, and unfavourable conditions, so it’s best to avoid them at all costs and head to Los Cabos’ safer strips of sand.
Firstly, Medano Beach is one of the most popular beaches for families in Los Cabos, thanks to its manageable turquoise waters, beachside bars, and sunloungers that you can hire from local vendors.
Secondly is Lover’s Beach, which has incredible rock formations and safe swimming conditions, making it perfect for toddlers and young children who enjoy splashing around in the shallows.
And finally, if you’re in Los Cabos, you just have to visit the Blue Flag beach of Playa Chileno, where you can snorkel in the pristine waters and relax in peace on the sand as the beach isn’t frequented by beach vendors.
Best Hotels for Families in Los Cabos
You’ll find in Los Cabos that hotel prices are slightly higher than in other areas in Mexico, but there still are some great budget and mid-range options if you’re looking to keep costs low.
Here are some Los Cabos, Mexico, all-inclusive family resort and non-all-inclusive hotel options for your next trip.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico with Kids
Mexico is a huge country, and if you’re after more of an island-type break, then you’ll want to visit Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Cancun. Isla Mujeres undoubtedly has some of the prettiest beaches and water conditions, with coral reefs and underwater marine life just waiting to be explored.
You will need to get a ferry over to Isla Mujeres, but as it only takes around 15 minutes, it is a simple journey from The Gran Puerto Cancun ferry dock.
Things to do in Isla Mujeres with Kids
As Isla Mujeres is such a small island, there aren’t a huge amount of things to see and do, but you get fully into the island life by relaxing on the beach, snorkeling amongst the marine life, and swimming well up until sunset.
Rent a golf cart and explore the island
Isla Mujeres is an extremely small island, so most people get around with golf carts. Although driving a golf cart is simply just a mode of transport, for kids who have their feet dangling off the back, it is an adventure all in itself.
The waters of Isla Mujeres are home to a huge range of marine life, from whale sharks and sailfish to sea turtles and dolphins, meaning snorkelling is an absolute must, given that your kids are confident swimmers, that is.
Grab a drink at the ice bar
If the heat of the Mexican sun has really gotten to you, then there really is no better place to cool down than the Ice Bar. This unique experience lets mum and dad enjoy a drink or two while the kids can pose for pictures on the ice sculptures and tables. And don’t worry, everyone is given a fur poncho to wear, so the -18 degrees is manageable!
Learn about sea turtles at the Tortugranja non-profit aquarium
Tortugranja focuses on conservation and helping Carey, Cahuama, and Green turtle species rehabilitate back into the wild. Visiting the aquarium is a great way for kids to learn about turtles and the struggles they’re going through while also coming to terms with issues like poaching and water pollution.
Splash about at the Parque de Los Sueños Park and beach club
Parque de Los Sueños is a great little water park for families with water slides, rope swings, water trampolines, climbing walls, and paddle boards. And the best part? The kids can play all afternoon while Mum and Dad sit back and enjoy a cocktail with a nice view.
Best Beaches in Isla Mujeres for Families
You’ll be happy to know that Isla Mujeres is home to one of the top twenty-five best beaches in the world, Playa Norte. Playa Norte has quite possibly the clearest, bluest water you’ll ever see, and combine it with its soft white sand, its rows of palm trees, and its shaded palapas, I can almost guarantee that you won’t want to leave.
And, of course, given that the island is so small, it probably comes as no surprise that there are plenty of other impeccable beaches, many with blue flag statuses like Playa Centro and Playa Albatros. No matter which beach you choose on Isla Mujeres, you can expect excellent water conditions for little ones, so be sure to pack all your beach essentials.
Best Hotels for Families in Isla Mujeres
It’s likely that with the beaches Isla Mujeres has to offer, you’ll be spending very little time in your accommodation, however, here are some great options throughout the island for all budgets.
Oaxaca, Mexico With Kids
Oaxaca’s city is roughly an 8-hour drive from its beaches, so if you’re after a family beach vacation, it’s best to stay near the coast or at least split your trip into two and explore what the coast and the city have to offer.
Things to do in Oaxaca with Kids
Oaxaca City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and if your family loves history and architecture, then you’ll enjoy strolling through the streets gazing at all the beautiful buildings and cathedrals.
View the city from a tram
If you’ve got little legs in tow, then you may find it better to explore the city by tram. You won’t be able to understand the tour guide unless you can speak Spanish, but it is a great way to see all the monuments without having to walk very far.
Explore the Zocalo
Zocalo is the central part of Oaxaca, and it makes a great starting point before heading off to see the landmarks nearby.
Stroll through the Templo de Santo Domingo
The 16th-century Baroque Catholic church may be beautiful from the outside, but it is even more spectacular from the inside, so be sure to walk through the Templo de Santo Domingo and enjoy its true beauty.
Take a day trip to Monte Alban
Monte Alban is an archaeological site 20 minutes out of Oaxaca City, and unlike the more famous Chichen Itza ruins, your kids can actually climb the Monte Alban pyramids, which is both fun and a history lesson all in one.
Go hiking and swimming at Hierve el Agua
An hour and a halves drive out of Oaxaca is the Hierve el Agua which is home to rock formations, waterfalls, and natural mineral springs that you can soak in after you’ve hiked around the area.
You can head out on a tour of the Hierve el Agua, so you have an experienced guide with you who can tell you all about the area.
Best Beaches in Oaxaca for Families
When you’re done exploring the city and you’re in need of some peace and quiet on the beach, then the Oaxaca coastline, better known as Huatulco, has just what you need.
One of your first stops when visiting the coast in Huatulco should be to Bahias de Huatulco, which consists of nine different bays, with the most famous being Bahia Tangolunda. Then if you get bored sitting on the beach and need something to keep you entertained, head to Playa Zicatela, where you can watch surfers tackle nine-foot waves and powerful barrels right from the comfort of your beach towel.
And for beautiful turquoise waters, gold sand, and beachside restaurants, Playa Carrizalillo is an excellent choice, however, be warned that you will need to climb down and back up roughly 150 steps.
Best Hotels for Families in Oaxaca
Whether you’re choosing to spend your entire holiday in Oaxaca City or break it up and spend half of your time down the coast at Huatulco, here are some great hotel options for all budgets in both areas.
Budget in Oaxaca
Mid-Range in Oaxaca
Luxury in Oaxaca
Budget in Huatulco
Mid-Range in Huatulco
Luxury in Huatulco
All-Inclusive in Huatulco
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mexico A Good Family Holiday?
Mexico is a great family holiday as it has nice warm weather, some of the best beaches in the world, plenty of activities to entertain kids of all ages, and food that will make your mouth water just thinking about it.
What Part Of Mexico Is Best For Families?
The best places to visit in Mexico with kids include Cancun, Tulum, Los Cabos, Isla Mujeres, Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Puerto Vallarta.
How Much Is A Family Vacation To Mexico?
Mexico family vacations can be as expensive or as budget-friendly as you want them to be. In saying that, on average, a seven-day vacation in Mexico for a family of 4 is roughly $2,000, but you can definitely do it cheaper if you stick to budget-friendly accommodation options and limit the amount of activities, you do each day.
Where Is The Safest All-Inclusive Resort In Mexico?
Los Cabos, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta are some of the safest places to visit in Mexico with kids, so all-inclusive resorts in these areas should be safe for you and your family. I find it’s best to check the resort reviews to see what previous guests think about the hotel, the area it is located in, and whether they felt safe staying there.
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