While it’s true that hearing the word “Cancun” conjures images of hoards of spring break partiers and umbrella drinks as far as the eye can see, this popular vacation spot has a lot to offer families as well. Here are my top five suggestions for places to take the kids in Cancun.
La Isla Shopping Plaza is a great place to hang out and enjoy world-class shopping and entertainment. Kids will especially enjoy watching the dolphin shows and even having the chance to swim with these enchanting creatures at the Interactive Aquarium. If you’re feeling brave, you can even feed the sharks as you’re lowered into their habitat in an acrylic cage (yikes!). It’s recommended that you reserve spots for both of these activities ahead of time.
Located 20 minutes (by ferry) from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a breathtaking island with plenty to offer families. If you’re in the mood to lounge on the beach, head to Playa Norte (if you choose to swim, be careful, since there tends to be a strong undertow in this area). Garrafon Natural Reef Park, also located on the island, offers a variety of recreational activities, such as dolphin encounters, swimming, snorkeling, zip-lining, parasailing, kayaking, and hiking.
One of the main tourist attractions near Cancun, Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Mayans. One of the most impressive sights is the Kukulkan Pyramid, also known as “El Castillo” (the castle), which was named one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007. Kids of all ages will be captivated by this amazing historical spot.
Take your young animal lovers to the Crococun Zoo. Home to a variety of indigenous animals, including macaws, swamp and river crocodiles, scorpion snakes, and tegus (a South American reptile), Crococun offers visitors the chance to explore the zoo on their own or take a guided tour. If you opt for the tour, you’ll have the chance to touch and hold some of the animals.
The whole family will enjoy taking a colorful boat tour through a five-mile trail of canals that runs through the jungle. Enjoy Mexican food and Mariachi music while learning about this UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally part of an Aztec agricultural technique used in wetland areas.
Pic via Flickr – ex_magician