Family Vacations to Yucatan Peninsula

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Yucatan Peninsula – Family Vacation Guide

The Yucatan is probably best known for Cancun, which was one of Mexico’s first planned resort destinations, carved out of a peninsula that juts into the ocean with talcum-sand beaches and gin-clear water. Just an hour’s drive south of Cancun is the Riviera Maya, which is the Caribbean coast at its finest. The Riviera Maya is home to the beach towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Further inland, you’ll find the impressive Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza and plenty of historic villages to explore (don’t miss Merida). Offshore, the enchanting islands of Cozumel and the Isla Mujeres beckon family vacationers with their easy-going vibe.

Why Go

  • Easy Access

    There are direct flights from most major U.S. cities to the Yucatan’s most popular hub, Cancun. Some flights go direct into the island of Cozumel.

  • Rich Culture

    The Yucatan Peninsula traces its roots back to the Mayan civilization. Even the country’s traditional cuisine has UNESCO World Heritage status.

  • Lush Landscapes

    Whether it’s exploring jungle forests or diving in cenotes (natural pools) or surfing on the turquoise-blue coast, the Yucatan has a spectacular landscape that is made for outdoor adventure.


  • Diverse Wildlife

    Mexico is one of the world’s top-five most bio-diverse countries, with almost 3,000 native bird and animal species and 30,000 indigenous plant species.

Where to Go

No matter what kind of family vacation experience you’re looking for, the Yucatan Peninsula delivers. Beachy and sunny, the Yucatan Peninsula also has exceptional places to stay. Plus, you don’t have to travel far to find ancient history.


With its tequila bars and waterfront clubs, Cancun has gained a reputation for its party atmosphere. But it’s also great for families, with resorts are lined up along the coast, including a number of family-friendly all-inclusive options.

There’s plenty to do here, including Ventura Park, where seven worlds in one vast park include Wet ‘n’ Wild, Grand Prix and Dolphinaris. Isla Mujeres is a tropical island escape just 15 minutes by boat from Cancun:You can go for the day or spend the night.

Isla Mujeres is packed with kid-size excitement. Don’t miss the turtle farm, a government-sponsored hatchery for endangered sea turtles. Another popular day trip is Chichen Itza, thanks to its spectacular Mayan ruins. Another perk of a vacation in Cancun: There are direct flights from across the U.S., so it’s easy to get here.

Riviera Maya

Just an hour’s drive south of Cancun, this is the Caribbean coast at its finest: You’ll find stunning beaches and fewer crowds. The weather is fantastic all year round, the sea is world famous for diving and there’s lots of jungle to explore (if you can drag the kids off the white sand beaches). Tulum’s oceanfront Mayan ruins are also in this area. Further south, the Sian Ka’an UNESCO biosphere reserve is where you’ll spot rare sea turtles. And Xel-Ha is the world’s largest, natural aquarium — a magical experience for children. Playa del Carmen is popular with families, thanks to its all-inclusive hotels and superb water sports.

Take Me to Riviera Maya

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An island off the coast of the Yucatan, Cozumel has everything you could find on the mainland — pretty beaches, Mayan ruins, great hotels — and yet it’s just a little quieter and calmer. On the far side of the island, miles of white-sand beaches are lined with casual beach bars, the perfect place to grab a cerveza and while away the day.

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Getting Around

No matter which part of the Yucatan Peninsula you’re visiting, you’ll want to have a car to get out and explore.

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