London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
So vast and so diverse, Mexico has so much more than large beach resorts around Cancun. Mexico holidays with kids or without could easily combine timeless gems and unspoilt beaches and nature reserverves, indigenous cultures and farming communities. Read on in here about our favourites over the years: Tulum; Playa; Riviera Maya (the perfect and most common for Mexico family holidays); Chichen Itza; colonial Campeche and Merida.
Pre kids Zenbabytravel team spent an amazing New Years Eve with over 20 friends in Tulum, explored around for 5 days and then embarked on more partying – another 5 days in Playa del Carmen. Our personal highlights have been Biosphera Kaan – at the edge of Tulum lie these unspoilt lands filled with wildlife, crocodiles and many birds included.
The food in Tulum is exceptional and the nightlife truly amazing – lots of cool beach bars and places.
Cenote diving transported us to an out of the world silent miracle, going through caves and canals. Pure magic.
And Playa again, great food, party scene and beach bars.
So Mexico has been on our list to go with the kids for a while, but in the meantime our good friends have been and shared with us in their experiences.
‘ My husband and I, along with our two oldest children (Geko, aged 5 and Owlette, aged 3 – not real names!) recently embarked on a much anticipated holiday to Mexico. We bid on a one week stay at one of Mexico’s leading resorts, Vidanta Riviera Maya, about 20 mins drive from Cancun airport, at a charity fundraiser and got a bargain deal. We then planned our flights and a second week and a half of exploring in the Yukatan Peninsula around our lucky win.
We travelled over the Easter holiday and instead of flying to Cancun – flights were sold out, we are last minute planners – we flew to Mexico City on British Airways. If you accumulate British Airways miles and the occasional companion voucher, it is worth considering flying from London to Mexico because even at peak times, such as Easter, we could find availability for four seats using reward flights. There is a Hilton Hotel in the airport terminal itself so as soon as you land, around 10pm, you can crash for a few hours of sleep and get on a very early flight to Cancun. Ours was at 7am and it worked great because we were all jetlagged anyway and woke up at crack of dawn.
The Vidanta Riviera Maya is a very large resort which caters to all budgets. We were fortunate enough to stay in the most upmarket accommodation and felt very spoiled. The attention to detail is phenomenal: upon our return from the beach, every evening, there was a selection of delicacies from different restaurants on the resort ranging from Italian to Japanese and, obviously, Mexican. My husband is a bit of a (French) wine connaisseur and asked the concierge about local wines, to increase the geographical breadth of his knowledge, and upon our departure, we were presented with a few very special bottles of wine to take with us. The recently launched beach club, for the exclusive use of the guests in the premium accommodation, was a daily delight. They have a kids club on the premises too and Geko decided that when he grows up he wants to work as a supervisor at the kids club.
The real adventure, however, started after our relaxing week in the sun at the Vidanta Riviera Maya. We rented a car for about 10 days and followed a fairly typical tourist itinerary: we drove Chichen Itza (with an overnight stay at Hacienda Chichen which has direct access to the historical ruins), then the colonial town of Campeche (3 nights at Hacienda Puerto Campeche) and ended in the vicinity of Merida with a 3 night stay at Hacienda Temozon. It was a phenomenal adventure.
Here are the main reasons why we loved Mexico holidays with kids so much:
1.The food is great and it caters to all tastes – spicy or mild, kid or adult, fish or meat, the breadth of the Mexican cuisine is really phenomenal! The cooking is fresh and honest!
2.The Mayans invented chocolate! The historical sited of Chichen Itza, Uxmal and others can get a little boring and overwhelming for a 3 and 5 year old, especially in the blazing sun, but reminding them that the people who lived there invented chocolate seemed to always increase the energy level and exploratory spirit.
3.There is actually a Chocolate Museum near Uxmal. It is fantastically curated for children and it also has a zoo / sanctuary where the animals have been rescued from abusive situations so there are lots of lessons for children to learn there.
4.The journey was the most culturally enriching we have had in a long time. It might just be because we spent a long time, nearly 3 weeks, on our travels or it might be just because Mexico has a huge amount of diversity, a complex history and excellently preserved sites that tell a fascinating story about its past. I suspect it is both.
We flew back through Mexico City – without the overnight stay – with some phenomenal memories from this excellent holiday! I would encourage you to explore Mexico with kids and the Yukatan Peninsula – don’t let the long flights put you off. They are no worse than a bad night of sleep after an infant or toddler gets a vaccine.’ Could not agree more with Stefanie – don’t let the long flights put you off exploring & adventuring, there’s an exciting list of things to do in Mexico holidays with kids …or without!
For further inspiration on white sand beaches, head to our dedicated article Which Caribbean is right for you. For adventurous, diverse and unspoilt travels in the Caribbean head to our article on Dominica. For tamer and relaxing Caribbean holidays, including babymoons, head here.