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Exploring Mexico with Kids: A Guide to Quintana Roo and Yucatan

Mexico is an ideal destination for family vacations. Its diverse landscapes and delectable cuisine make it a hit with kids and adults alike. Plus, you’ll find a playground in every village, making it a child-friendly locale. We embarked on a journey with our kids, exploring the provinces of Yucatan and Quintana Roo in a rental car. The experience was nothing short of delightful. In this article, we share our top recommendations for fun activities in Quintana Roo and Yucatan for kids!

Top 10 Things to Do in Quintana Roo and Yucatan with Kids

#1 Snorkeling with Sea Turtles

One of the most impressive activities we’ve experienced in Mexico is snorkeling with sea turtles. We drove from Tulum to Akamal, a 35-minute journey, to access a protected area of the sea. With a guide and snorkel gear, we walked into the sea. Our guide brought an extra vest for our 5-year-old, who could hang onto it while being pulled through the water. Our 6-year-old, a confident swimmer, snorkeled independently.

We spent over an hour snorkeling, observing multiple gigantic sea turtles gracefully floating through the water. The cost for our family of four was approximately €70. We brought two snorkel masks, which made it easier for the kids to breathe and fully enjoy the experience.

#2 Los Rapidos Bacalar

Bacalar is renowned for its namesake lake, Lake Bacalar. In one of the lake’s foothills, you’ll find Los Rapidos, a small rapid. A hotspot has developed alongside this rapid, with an entry fee of €15. You can choose to relax at a table, in a hammock, on a swing, or in one of the cabanas. We opted for a table and chairs and quickly jumped into the water.

The rapid stretches several tens of meters long. You can simply lay back and let the clear blue water carry you. Snorkeling and canoeing are also available, or you can just relax in the water in one of the hammocks. Food and drink are available, making it a perfect way to spend your morning or afternoon.

Discover the Beauty of Travel

Traveling is more than just visiting different places. It’s about immersing yourself in diverse cultures, tasting exotic cuisines, and making unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip, our blog is here to inspire and guide you on your journey.

Explore Diverse Cultures

Traveling allows you to experience a variety of cultures firsthand. From the vibrant festivals of India to the tranquil tea ceremonies of Japan, every destination offers a unique cultural experience that broadens your perspective.

Savor Exotic Cuisines

Food is an integral part of travel. Each region has its own unique flavors and dishes that reflect its history and culture. Whether you’re sampling street food in Thailand or dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant in France, you’re sure to discover new and exciting flavors.

Create Unforgettable Memories

Traveling is about creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether it’s watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, or exploring the ancient ruins of Rome, these experiences will stay with you long after your trip is over.

Plan Your Next Adventure with Us

Our blog is here to help you plan your next adventure. We provide tips on the best places to visit, how to travel on a budget, and what to pack for your trip. So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a round-the-world trip, we’ve got you covered.

Exploring the Pink Lake, Las Coloradas

Prepare for a bit of a journey, but rest assured, it’s well worth it: the Pink Lake. Yes, you read that right. Thanks to the presence of certain micro-organisms, the water of this lake boasts a unique pink hue and maintains a temperature of around 60 degrees, as per our guide’s information.

Exploring the Pink Lake in Yucatan

While the setting may not be traditionally idyllic, the Pink Lake in Yucatan is a sight you won’t want to miss. Nestled next to a large salt factory, access to this private property is only granted with an official guide. For our group of four, the cost was around €20, a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge our guide shared about the lake and its surroundings.

Why the Pink Lake is a Must-See

Despite its unconventional location, the Pink Lake is a spectacle that will leave you and your family in awe. Our children were particularly impressed, with one quickly dubbing it the “Unicorn Lake”. If you’re planning a trip to Yucatan with kids, this unique attraction is definitely worth adding to your itinerary.

Exploring Isla Holbox in a Golf Cart

When you visit Yucatan and Quintana Roo, Isla Holbox is a must-see destination! This island is a true paradise with its pearly white beaches, bright blue sea, waving palm trees, sand roads, and hammocks and swings on the beach and in the sea.

Since cars are not allowed on Isla Holbox, the island is filled with bikes and golf carts with 4×4 wheels. We rented a golf cart for €55 for 4 hours to explore the island. It was a fun-filled adventure! We drove around the island at our own pace, stopping at all the beautiful spots. The kids had the time of their lives in the back of the cart!

Snorkeling at Gran Cenote

Tulum is a great location for fun day trips, and the Gran Cenote is one of them! This cenote is less touristy than the well-known cenotes around Tulum, such as Dos Ojos, making it quieter and more affordable.

We arrived at Gran Cenote at 07:50 with a handful of people and entered at 08:00. The entrance fee is €20, and snorkel gear and swim vests are an additional €15.

Experience the Magic of Gran Cenote

Upon setting foot in Gran Cenote, you’ll be required to take a shower before immersing yourself in the cenote’s captivating beauty. The roofless cenote reveals the dark blue water immediately, surrounded by lush greenery and awe-inspiring rocks. It’s a sight to behold!

Snorkeling in Gran Cenote

As you dive into the water, you’ll encounter a variety of fish and turtles. The unique feature of this cenote is the ability to snorkel from one cenote to another through the small canals of the caves. It’s an underwater adventure that’s both thrilling and mesmerizing.

Gran Cenote: A Family-Friendly Adventure

While the experience might be a bit daunting for the little ones, with some encouragement, they’ll soon be snorkeling alongside you. Our own experiences with Lotte (5) and Floris (6) proved that this is a must-do activity when visiting Yucatan with kids. The enchanting setting turns this visit into a magical experience.

Pro Tip for Visiting Gran Cenote

Our valuable tip for you: arrive early. The experience is vastly different when you’re sharing the water with 50 people compared to just 3. Enjoy the tranquility and the beauty of Gran Cenote without the crowds.

6. Discover the Ancient Ruins of Coba by Bike

Another perfect outing from Tulum when you’re exploring Yucatan with kids is a visit to the ruins of Coba. This ancient Mayan village, nestled in the heart of the jungle, is just a 40-minute drive from Tulum.

We arrive at 08:00. Upon entering, you’ll find a bike rental on your left, just about 100 meters in. They even offer children’s bikes and child seats. We each choose a bike and set off on our adventure!

Our first stop, while it’s still peaceful and quiet, is El Castillo. This is the largest pyramid of the complex. Unlike Chichen Itza, you’re allowed to climb the ruins here. Lotte keeps guard at the bottom of the pyramid while Floris climbs halfway up to enjoy the view. Kev and I climb all the way to the top and take in the breathtaking panorama.

The view is simply incredible! We gaze out over the jungle, with tree tops stretching as far as the eye can see. After this extraordinary experience, we cycle around the complex a bit. Cycling is a very easy and enjoyable way to get around and explore the ruins!

The entry fee is €10, and the bike rental costs an additional €10.

7. Sailing Adventure on Lake Bacalar

Our planned sailing trip on Lake Bacalar unfortunately didn’t materialize due to a scam. However, if everything goes smoothly, this experience is truly amazing!

Lake Bacalar is known for its bright blue water. You can sail across the lake on an electric boat or catamaran, making several stops to swim, snorkel, and explore the surroundings.

The cost for this adventure was €100 for 4 people.

Exploring the Mysteries of the Mayas in Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit for anyone interested in the ancient Mayan civilization. This archaeological site, located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Here, you can marvel at the impressive El Castillo pyramid, explore the Great Ball Court, and learn about the Mayas’ advanced understanding of astronomy and mathematics.

Exploring Chichen Itza with Kids: A Must-Do in Yucatan

When you’re journeying through Yucatan with your children, a visit to the renowned Mayan city, Chichen Itza, is an absolute must!

Our Stay at a Unique Hotel

We chose to stay in a hotel offering a private entrance to Chichen Itza. This exclusive feature allowed us to be the first ones to enter at 08:00, providing us the opportunity to explore the extraordinary surroundings in tranquility. We even managed to secure a Dutch guide through the hotel, enabling the kids to immerse themselves in the captivating tales about the historical city and its past inhabitants.

Cost of the Visit

The entrance fee to Chichen Itza was €55, inclusive of tax, and the guide cost us an additional €75.

9. Spotting Flamingos at Punta Coco, Isla Holbox

On the far left side of the idyllic Isla Holbox, you’ll find Punta Coco. You can reach this paradise by driving yourself with a rented golf cart, taking a taxi golf cart, or cycling.

Punta Coco boasts 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. Hammocks are available in the sea, making it 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’ll see pink flamingos standing in the water from afar. They are looking for food on the sea bottom. The flamingos are easily startled, so be sure to observe them from a distance. They are truly 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.

Our First Cenote Experience in Mexico

Our first cenote experience in Mexico was nothing short of exciting. Upon paying the entrance fee, you have the option to go left to the first cenote or right to the second. Both cenotes require descending a long flight of stairs into a dark, moist area. Once your eyes adjust to the darkness, you’ll be awed by the impressive rock formations and the bright blue water. Both cenotes feature a roof with a small hole that allows a ray of light to filter through. We were early, so we had both cenotes almost to ourselves, save for a colony of bats high above us.

The water is pleasantly cool, and small fish swim below in the clear water, which allows for deep visibility. This experience is best enjoyed early in the day, as the magic of the place can be somewhat diminished when crowded with tourists. The cost to visit both cenotes was €15.

Family-Friendly Hotels in Yucatan & Quintana Roo

During our trip, we stayed in several hotels that we absolutely loved:

Each of these hotels offers a pool, family rooms, two bedrooms or free extra beds for kids, and are all conveniently located. We hope you’ll love them as much as we did!

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Yucatan with Kids

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