Six of the Best Family-Friendly Places to Holiday in Mexico

Published 02 Apr, 2024

Destination: Mexico

Written By Travel Writer: Rosie Bell

Mexico’s 32 states have a treasure trove of delights to accommodate all ages and interests. It is a vibrant playground with expansive jungles, wildlife-rich waterways, secluded islands with sand castle-ready beaches, and the open-air museums of the Maya civilization. From juicy tacos and tamales to empanadas and enchiladas, gastronomic exploration is equally diverse, promising to satisfy the tastes of even the most selective eaters.
Due to the emphasis on familial values, children receive a heartfelt bienvenidos in Mexico and numerous resorts sweeten the deal with family-centric lodgings and special offers for the under-twelve set.

Explore our curated list of family-friendly destinations in Mexico that promise to delight every member of your clan, from the youngest to the oldest.


Note that if you are arriving in Mexico on an international flight, you may only bring one video game console, five video games, and a maximum of five toys according to the country’s Tax Administration Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria).


Best for: Flamingo sightings, eco-stays, and turning down the tempo

Despite its humble dimensions—spanning just a mile in width and 26 miles in length—the island of Holbox offers some of Mexico's most impressive natural encounters. Families can mingle with bubble-gum pink flamingos at Punta Mosquito, and see whale sharks from mid-May to September. It’s worth postponing bedtime for the little ones to be mesmerized by the bioluminescent organisms that light up the waters and this is best seen when the moon is dim. To maximize your time outdoors in Holbox, plan your visit outside the June to November rainy season to avoid the heaviest downpours, especially in October.
Holbox (pronounced 'hol-bosh') is known for powdered-sugar beaches that stretch into shallow, tepid waters thus creating a safe and serene environment for children to play and explore. The island's car-free, sandy streets are safe for kids to roam and bike rides are highly recommended. Embrace the sporadic internet as a chance to swap digital distractions for cinematic beaches and convivial shared meals (don't miss digging into some of the lobster pizza that the island is famous for). Holbox can be reached after a two-hour bus or drive from Playa del Carmen to Chiquilá and then a 25-minute ferry ride.

Where to stay: You can choose between swimming in the ocean or the large outdoor pool at Villas HM Paraiso del Mar.


Oaxaca City

Best for: Cultural celebrations and tapping into Mexico's culinary history

A multitude of educational and enjoyable experiences are on offer in Oaxaca City, particularly for culturally curious families. It is known for its artisan markets, the ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán, and its cuisine which is heavily inspired by the 16 indigenous groups that reside in Oaxaca State. To many, this is the culinary heart of Mexico. Dishes are a marriage of corn, beans, chile, cheese, and smoke, and there is no shortage of heart-tugging restaurants or street carts at which to sample tlayudas, memelas, mole, or slow-roasted lamb barbecue. Cooking class, anyone?
Located in the southeast of Mexico, Oaxaca City has an international airport that serves over a million passengers annually. It’s worth timing your trip to coincide with one of the many colorful cultural festivals there like July’s Guelaguetza, an homage to the goddess of corn, or to witness the fireworks and painted faces of Dia de Muertos in late October. December 23rd's Noche de Rábanos sees the main square throng with people of all ages marveling at radishes competitively carved into everything from mariachi bands to mythical figures.

Where to stay: Casa de las Bugambilias is a stone’s throw away from the botanical garden and you can book tours and cooking classes directly with the hotel.


Puerto Vallarta

Best for: Whale watching. family hikes, secret beaches, and ziplining adventures

Embraced by the Sierra Madre Mountains and Bahía de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta is a stunning coastal city. Big fun and high-octane adventures are on the cards without or with tour companies like Vallarta Adventures. Independently, families can explore the vibrant sculpture-adorned Malécon boardwalk, gasping at upside-down street performers along the way. Older children will find excitement via water sports on beaches like Playa de Muertos, while Playa Conchas Chinas provides serene waters suitable for younger ones.
Seasonal highlights include whale-watching tours where the gang can witness humpbacks from December to March, and dolphin sightings year-round. Conservation-oriented folks can join turtle-release programs and help hatchlings reach the ocean, which is an especially poignant experience for older kids and teens between July and December.

Where to stay: Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa has a kids’ pool with slides and has its very own sea turtle conservation program for those wishing to see baby turtle releases.


Mexico City

Best for: Urban exploration, museum hopping and leafy parks

Perfect for families who love history and the arts, majestic Mexico City is a mecca of colorful streetscapes and museums, and numerous historical walking tours are available. The city's heart, Chapultepec Park, invites young explorers to its zoo, lake, botanical garden, and children's fair, while museums waive fees for students. Each neighborhood pulses with its own rhythm, with areas like Polanco, Roma, and Condesa boasting child-friendly parks, such as Parque España. June to October are the rainiest months in Mexico City, so skip these if you'll be partaking in outdoor pursuits.

Where to stay: Zócalo Central Hotel couldn’t be closer to the action right opposite the Metropolitan Cathedral and has family rooms accommodating four.



Best for: Non-stop beaching, snorkelling, all-inclusive resorts and access to Mayan ruins

With its vast selection of all-inclusive resorts, next-level snorkeling, nearby eco-parks like Xcaret, pirate-themed cruises, and proximity to freshwater cenotes for swimming and ancient Mayan ruins for budding historians, Cancún is a paradise for both adventure-seeking and relaxation-oriented families. It's Mexico's most-visited destination for a reason. Children aren't just welcome at many of Cancún's beachfront hotels, they are celebrated with amenities that run the gamut from science labs and wave simulators to state-of-the-art kids’ clubs and even acting classes.

Where to stay: Moon Palace Cancun provides free roundtrip airport transfers and a playroom, dreamery and arcade lounge to cater to kids of all ages.



Best for: Marine life and tranquility

Water babies young and old flock to Akumal for close encounters with sea turtles. This beach town between Playa del Carmen and Tulum is great for water-loving families seeking a more peaceful alternative in Riviera Maya. Akumal is Mayan for "place of the turtles" and the seagrass at the bottom of the bay draws them there en masse for feeding. Just steps from the seashore, your entire brood can swim with turtles of all sizes. Just be sure to wear a life jacket and leave the flippers behind so as not to interfere with the seagrass. While in town, visit the Akumal Animal Sanctuary to meet an array of exotic wildlife including flamingos, zebras, ostriches, boars, and playful titi monkeys.

Where to stay: You won’t have to go far for turtle swimming when staying at Hotel Akumal Caribe.


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