Mexico has been a favourite with honeymooners for years, thanks to its dreamy white sands and swaying palm trees. But it’s actually becoming a brilliant destination for a family getaway, too. The year-round good weather makes it a great option for a Christmas or half-term holiday, and the hotels rack up some amazing family-friendly facilities. Here’s why we’re loving Mexico for families right now…
The beaches are fantastic
Mexico’s beaches are the stuff of sandcastle dreams. Soft, white and perfect for playing on, they’re ideal for everyone from crawling toddlers to energetic teens. The waters are always a lovely shade of turquoise, but they can vary from calm to wavy (great for boogie boarding) depending on which part of the coast you’re on. Just ask us if you’ve got a preference and we’ll let you know what the beaches are like by each hotel.
The beaches in Mexico have so many watersports options available, so if you’ve got children who love trying out new things, they’ll love it. Ellen Pickover, Product Executive
History comes to life
Getting kids excited about history (particularly when they’re on holiday) isn’t always easy. But Mexico’s ancient ruins and temples are a fantastic introduction to the country’s Mayan history and heritage – and they’re fun to visit, too.
Chichen Itza is the big name here, but the drive there is a bit of a long one so it’s a better option for older kids. For something a bit closer to the coast, try Tulum, where the ruins overlook a gorgeous white-sand beach and there are plenty of grassy areas to run around (visit early in the day, as there’s not much shade). Coba is another interesting site, and the fact that it’s hidden in jungle-like greenery makes it seem very ‘Indiana Jones’.
Kids can swim and snorkel in underground rivers and lakes
This part of Mexico is honeycombed with caves and caverns filled with fresh water. These natural swimming holes are called cenotes, and are a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. The water is beautifully clear, too, so they’re perfect for budding snorkellers.
Alternatively, you could take the kids to one of Mexico’s eco-parks. Xcaret and Xel-Ha are both fantastic for family days out, with activities like zip-lining, river rafting and snorkelling on the cards. You can also learn about Mexican history and culture in the parks.
Mexico hotels go above and beyond for families
Although most of our Mexican hotels are fantastic for families, there are two that really go the extra mile, which means we’ve added them to our exclusive Family Collection. The first is the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. The entertainment for kids and teens here is world class. We particularly love the themed rooms in the kids’ club, like the Angelina Ballerina™ area, which features a ballet barre and dressing-up box filled with dancing dresses.
Teens at the Hard Rock can borrow guitars to play in their room, and there are stages dotted around for people to perform on if they like. Once a week, the hotel holds a guided tour of all the memorabilia, which is great for the whole family. Clare Mardell, Travel Expert
The Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda is the second of our Family Collection hotels. For a really special stay, we’d recommend the Family Concierge Suites – kids get their own small-sized bathrobes and slippers, and the free toiletries include factor 50 sun cream and Johnson’s baby oil. Parents also have the option to call the family concierge whenever they fancy, and they’ll go and personally check on the children in the kids’ club, just to make sure they’re having a good time.
Finally, although it’s not part of our Family Collection, we have to mention the Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Product Exec Ellen’s favourite hotel. It’s ideal for teens – their lounge is open until midnight, has a bartender whipping up mocktails to order, and features pool tables, sofas, games consoles and a TV.
The food is very kid-friendly
Tacos, fajitas, heaps of guacamole – Mexican food (especially the dishes you can eat with your hands) is definitely a favourite with kids. What’s more, all of our hotels here are all inclusive, which makes things nice and easy for any picky eaters. There are lots of different restaurants to choose from, and if kids love a particular restaurant, you can go back again and again if you like.