3 awesome things to do in Cancun that young kids will love {+ hotel recommendations}

Raluca Loteanu October 31, 2017
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Cancun with kids

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Cancun with kids: Tips and ideas for an awesome family vacation in Cancun

We approached the water pool and my son saw the two dolphins playing near us. He was very happy to be so close to them! Then I told him that we can enter into the water to swim with them. He stopped for a moment and looked at me with his big brown eyes.

He seemed to wait for a confirmation that what I said was truly happening. So I got down at his level and told him that we will really swim with those cute dolphins.

He was so excited that he kept running and jumping around me for a while!

After a short training, we entered into the water and spent a wonderful half an hour with the dolphins! Bogdan smiled the whole time. He giggled every time a dolphin came to him and I was very happy to see the joy in his eyes!

The dolphins totally conquered our hearts! It was such an amazing experience that I’m sure we won’t forget soon!

Those 30 minutes that we spent with them were probably the most wonderful moments from our vacation in Cancun. But there were many other awesome experiences that we had there!

Cancun with kids

I am glad to share them with you and I hope that you’ll find here some great inspiration for visiting Cancun with your family!

Top 3 tips for visiting Cancun with kids

1. If your budget allows you to do this, pick a hotel with an all-inclusive offer and a kids’ club.

I don’t usually recommend all-inclusive resorts because I like to have the chance to discover the local restaurants. But in Cancun, I totally think that picking an all-inclusive offer is the best choice if you are traveling with young kids.

You will avoid all the stress of finding meals at the right time of the day and you’ll have a variety of food options to choose from.

Also, if the hotel has a kids’ club your vacation will be a lot more relaxed!

At the end of the article, you will find a list of hotel recommendations in case you need some inspiration for choosing a family-friendly location.

2. Bring your own sunscreen and insect repellent.

The ones in hotel stores are expensive. Also, if you want a high-quality product that is friendly to your child’s skin, it’s better to choose your favorite product from home because you will probably not easily find it in Cancun.

Cancun with kids

3. Bring a waterproof phone case

You will certainly want to take photos of you and your kids in the amazing places that you will visit. A waterproof phone case will allow you to capture awesome memories at the beach and during your visit to the water parks.

You can buy one in most touristic places but it will be much more expensive than the ones on Amazon.

3 awesome things to do in Cancun with young kids

We visited Cancun when Bogdan was 3 years and 10 months old and this was a perfect timing! He was old enough to enjoy the tours and activities. And he was also young enough not to pay the full price of the tours! 🙂 Most of the tours are free for kids under 4 so we were able to enjoy more activities with our budget.

Here are some of our favorite activities that we would recommend to anyone who visits Cancun with young kids.

1. Enjoy amazing experiences at Xcaret Park

This was our favorite park and we enjoyed every single moment of the time that we spent there! The park covers over 80 hectares and it’s full of attractions.

Here are some of the things that we enjoyed most:

– The undercover river is an awesome adventure for both adults and kids.

– Unique activities are available throughout the park: swimming with dolphins, with sharks, or with stingrays (we tried all of them – my son only tried the first one and my husband only the last two).

– The walks through the park are great and allow visitors to enjoy the tropical atmosphere, exploring the flora and fauna in the park.

Cancun with kids

– The beach and the hammocks offered us some relaxing moments after a lot of walking through the park.

– The food at the restaurant is delicious.

– Mexico Espectacular is a fantastic show that takes place every night and we liked it a lot even if we were really tired.

If you want to discover more about Xcaret, here is a great video created by the owners of the park:

Helpful tips:

Bring with you the sunscreen, insect repellent, waterproof phone case.

If you want to get some nice pictures of your visit, buy a photo pass.

Usually, the tickets include only one meal at the restaurants so make sure that you plan it in a moment when everyone is hungry.

If you want to try a special experience, you can book a dinner during the show. This will allow you to watch Mexico Espectacular while enjoying delicious food.

Cancun with kids

2. Visit the unique archeological sites

A vacation in Cancun would not be complete without a visit to the amazing Mayan ruins. Chichen Itza is one of the 7 modern wonders of the world so a trip there is totally worthwhile.

At first, I was a little bit afraid that Bogdan would not like the place and would quickly get bored. But it wasn’t the case! He enjoyed the place and the stories about it. What I think worked best for making this visit enjoyable for everyone was to tell him many things about the Mayan culture and how people lived in those times.

Cancun with kids

Then during the Chichen Itza tour, I translated to him the most interesting information and he was curious to find out more. Using little stories to make things more engaging for kids can be a great way to make the visit really interesting for the whole family!

The drive to Chichen Itza takes approximately 3 hours so it’s good to be prepared with some activities for kids to do on the bus. We also visited Tulum, an archeological site that is closer to Cancun, but it wasn’t as impressive as Chichen Itza.

Before your visit make sure that take your sunscreen and insect repellent with you as you will certainly need them.

Cancun with kids

3. Enjoy a day at Xel-Ha Park

This is the place where we had the chance to swim with the dolphins so we enjoyed it a lot! It’s not as beautiful as Xcaret but it has many interesting activities for the whole family.

Xel-Ha is a natural park near the ocean with a wonderful landscape. It has amazing coves, cenotes, and ponds that can be explored all over the park.

Here are some of the activities that you can enjoy there:

– snorkeling

– gliding on zip-lines

– jumping from the stone of courage

– traveling across the river

– riding a bicycle through the biking path of the jungle

– exploring Children’s World

– enjoying the unique optional activities that you can book at the park (you can find all of them here).

Cancun with kids

Helpful tips:

Bring with you the sunscreen, insect repellent, waterproof phone case.

If you want to get some nice pictures of your visit, buy a photo pass.

Go to the restaurants during the off-peak hours when they are not so crowded. You get all-inclusive meals in the park and the food is delicious!

Hotel recommendations: Family-friendly resorts in Cancun

As I wrote at the beginning of this post, I would totally recommend you to pick an all-inclusive resort, preferably with a kids’ club. This can make your whole vacation easier to handle and more enjoyable.

The kids will have fun and you will be able to relax more during the time you spend in Cancun!

Cancun with kids

Here are some hotel recommendations that you might like! We discovered them while doing the research for our vacation and they all seem great choices for a family vacation.

Gran Caribe Resort & Spa – a great hotel for families with kids’ club and an awesome pool for kids

Iberostar Cancun – this hotel has family rooms, a kids’ club, and a water park

Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas All Inclusive – a nice hotel with kids’ club

Fiesta Americana Condesa – a hotel with a great location and many activities in the area (it’s not directly on the beach but at a 5-minute walk)

Marriott Cancun Resort – a wonderful hotel but also an expensive one


I hope that the ideas in this post will help you make the most of your family vacation in Cancun! We enjoyed the time that we spent there and I think that it’s a great destination for the whole family, including young kids!

I wish you a wonderful vacation!


⇒ Bonus: Download our Airplane Scavenger Hunt

This bonus will allow you to keep your child busy during the flight and make the trip more enjoyable!

You can find out all the details about how to use the printable file here: Keeping kids busy during flights: Airplane scavenger hunt for young kids.

To download the printable you just need to fill in the below form.

More from Playful Notes

5 helpful ideas you need to keep your young kids happy on an airplane

The ultimate guide to beach essentials for young kids {+ printable family packing list}

How to “survive” a long-haul flight with a young child {our top tips}

Save these ideas to your favorite Pinterest board

Cancun with kids: Tips and ideas for an awesome family vacation in Cancun plus some great family-friendly hotel recommendations | Mexico with kids | Travel tips for Cancun | Family travel

Cancun with kids: Tips and ideas for an awesome family vacation in Cancun plus some great family-friendly hotel recommendations | Mexico with kids | Travel tips for Cancun | Family travel

credit photo preview photo: photopixel / shutterstock.com

Category: Destinations
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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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