Mexico is a perfect destination when traveling with kids. The country is very diverse and the cuisine is just great. Also, you will find a playground in every village. We took the kids in a rental car through the provinces Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Both were surprisingly good fun. I’ve listed all the fun stuff to do with kids for you in this article containing the most fun stuff to do in Quintana Roo and Yucatan with kids!
Quintana Roo and Yucatan with kids. Our TOP 10 things to do
#1 snorkeling with sea turtles
This is certainly one of the most impressive things we’ve done in Mexico. From Tulum, we drove to Akamal in 35 minutes. Upon arrival, you pay to access a protected area of the sea with a guide and snorkel gear. You walk into the sea with the guide. He takes an extra vest along for Lotte, who just turned 5. Lotte can hang onto the vest and the guide just pulls her along through the water. Floris, then 6 years old (with swimming diploma C), snorkels on his own.
We snorkel for over an hour through the sea and see multiple gigantic sea turtles floating through the water. So elegant and impressive! Floris keeps poking and pointing me enthusiastically under water.
The costs for the 4 of us is aprox. € 70,-. We had 2 snorkel masks with us, that’s pretty handy to have with kids. Breathing through a regular snorkel can be rather difficult and with these masks they can breathe easily and fully enjoy the snorkeling.
#2 Los Rapidos Bacalar
Bacalar is known for the lake of the same name: Lake Bacalar. In one of the foothills of this impressive, clear blue lake you will find Los Rapidos. As the name suspects, this is a small rapid. Alongside this rapid, a hotspot has emerged which we pay € 15 to enter. You can pick a spot at a table, a hammock, a swing or at one of the cabanas. We chose a table and chairs and jumped in the water as quickly as possible.
The rapid is several tens of meters long. You just lay back and let the clear blue water take you. You can snorkel there too, canoe, or just relax in the water in one of the hammocks. Of course you can eat and drink there too. A perfect way to spend your morning or afternoon.
3# The Pink Lake, Las Coloradas
It’s a bit of a drive, but it’s rather worth it: the Pink Lake. Yes, that’s right. Because of the micro-organisms the water of this lake is pink and 60 degrees in temperature, according to our guide.
The setting is a little less idyllic if you will. It’s located next to a large salt factory and seeing as it’s private property, you can only get close to the lake if you do so with an official guide. We paid about € 20 to go with the 4 of us and got a guide who knew a lot about the lake and its surroundings.
Despite the less idyllic setting, the pink lake Is really something you need to go see. The kids were impressed too. Lotte was quick to name it “Unicorn Lake”. This is certainly worth a visit when you visit Yucatan with kids.
4# Isla Holbox in a golfcart
As far as I’m concerned, when you go to Yucatan and Quintana Roo, Isla Holbox is a certain must do! This is an island as an island should be: pearly white beaches, bright blue sea, waving palm trees, sand roads and hammocks and swings on the beach and in the sea. A true little paradise!
Seeing as you are not allowed to take the car to Isla Holbox, there are hardly any cars on the islands. Instead, there are a lot of bikes and golf carts with 4×4 wheels. When we arrived, it has just rained heavily. Because of this, the sand roads had turned into mud pools making the bikes less fit but the golf carts all the more! We rented a golf cart for
€ 55,- for 4 hours to explore the island. This so much fun!!
We drove around the whole island in our own tempo and stopped at all the nice spots (which I will tell you more about later on). The kids had the times of their lived in the back of the cart!
5# Snorkeling at Gran Cenote
Tulum is a very handy location for some fun (day) trips. The Gran Cenote is one of those! This cenote is just a little less touristy than the well-known cenotes around Tulum (such as Dos Ojos). Because of this, it’s more quiet and cheap.
We are standing in front of Gran Cenote at 07:50 with a handful of people and enter at 08:00. The costs of entrée are €20,- and snorkel gear and swim vests are and additional € 15,-.
Upon arrival, you need to take a shower first, before you can enter the cenote. The Gran Cenote no longer has a roof, so you can see the dark blue water straight away. It’s surrounded by green and impressive rocks. Very beautiful! We enter the water to snorkel and immediately come across lots of fish and turtles. The cool thing about this cenote is that you can snorkel from one to another through the little canals of the caves.
Lotte (5) finds it a little exciting and Floris (6) needs bite through his fears at first but soon he’s snorkeling along just fine. The setting really turns this visit into an enchanting experience. A real must do when visiting Yucatan with kids.
Valuable tip: go there early. This experience is very different when you’re in the water with 50 people instead of 3!
6# Cycling through the ruins of Coba
Another perfect outing for Tulum when you visit Yucatan with kids: the ruins of Coba! You will find this ancient Mayan village in the jungle, just a 40 minute drive from Tulum.
Here too, we arrive at 08:00. When you enter, you will come across a bike rental on your left hand side, after about 100 meters. Here, they even rent out children’s bikes and child seats. We choose a bike each and off we go!
Our first stop when it’s still nice and quiet, is El Castillo. This is the largest pyramid of the complex. In contrast to Chichen Itza, you are allowed to climb the ruins here. Lotte keeps guard at the bottom of the pyramid while Floris climbs half and enjoys the view. Kev and I climb all the way up and enjoy the view there too.
This is incredible!! We look out over the jungle: tree tops as far as the eye can reach. After this extraordinary experience we cycle around the complex a little. Cycling is a very easy way to get around and explore the ruins!
Entry is € 10,- and the bike rental is €10,- too.
7# Sailing a boat on Lake Bacalar
With us, this “outing” unfortunately didn’t go through because of a scam (read here what happened). But if all goes well, this is sure amazing!
Lake Bacalar has bright blue water. With an electric boat or catamaran you sail across the lake and make several stops to swim, snorkel and explore the surroundings.
We paid €100,- for 4 people.
8# Learning about the Mayas in Chichen Itza
When you travel through Yucatan with kids, you must pay the well-known Mayan city Chichen Itza a visit!
We stay in a hotel with a private entrance which enables us to enter first at 08:00. This way we can explore the exceptional surroundings in peace and quiet. We’ve even managed to book a Dutch guide through the hotel. This way, the kids can listen to the beautiful stories about the historical city and its inhabitants.
We pay €55,- including tax to enter and the guide is € 75,-.
9# Spotting flamingo’s at Punta Coco, Isla Holbox
On the far left side of the idyllic Isla Holbox you will find Punta Coco.
We drove here ourselves with a rented golf cart but you can take a taxi golf cart too or go cycling.
Punta Coco has a beach with white sand, clear blue water and waving palm trees. You can rent a bed on the beach and buy a fresh coconut or mango on a stick from one of the street vendors. In the sea you will find hammocks… A true paradise!
But the best is yet to come. When you walk quietly to your left over the white sand, past the hammocks and recliners, you will see pink flamingo’s standing in the water from afar. They are looking for food on the sea bottom. The flamingos are startled easily so be sure to observe them from a distance. Such impressive birds!
Costs: free! Although you need to pay for the beds of course but you can just as easily lay down on a towel.
10# Swimming in Cenote Samula and Xkeken
When we drive from Chichen Itza to Valladolid, we decide to take another swim-stop at 2 special cenotes; Samula and Xkeken. It’s a one-stop shop where you visit both cenotes.
This is our first cenote experience in Mexico and I find it rather exciting. When you pay the entrance fee and get in, you can go left to the first cenote and right to the second. With both cenotes, you need to descend down a long flight of stairs and you will enter a dark, moist area. Once your eyes get accustomed to the dark you will make out the impressive rock formations and the bright blue water, wow! Both cenotes have a roof with a small hole that let’s through a ray of light. Kev and Lotte are daredevils and enter the water. We are early here too so we have both cenotes almost to ourselves. Although we do need to share with a colony of bats high above us.
The water is nice and cool and small fish swim below. Because of the clear water you can see very deep. This experience is best when you arrive early. I reckon the place really loses some of it’s magic when you’re floating around with 50 tourists.
We paid € 15,- to visit both cenotes.
Looking for family friendly hotels in Yucatan & Quintana Roo?
We stayed in these hotels during our trip and we absolutely love all of these places:
- Cielito Holbox – Isla Holbox
- Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows – Chichen Itza (with the secret entrance into Chicken Itza)
- Azul 36 Hotel – Bacalar
- Coco Village – Tulum
Hope you will love them as much as we did!