After an intense year of work and school, what could be better than a relaxing getaway in the Mexican-Caribbean: the region is packed full of activities and attractions to dazzle the whole family, from exploring Mayan ruins to snorkelling in crystal-clear water.
Of all the cities along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, Cancun is by far the most popular: this summer, at least 4 million international tourists are set to visit the sun-soaked city for their share of stunning beaches and exquisite Mexican food. But with so many visitors in the area, many hotels reach their maximum occupancy rates weeks in advance, with little to no room for last-minute arrangements.
This is also true for the various activities and attractions that Cancun offers its visitors. The most popular beaches and Mayan ruins are often incredibly noisy and overcrowded, which is not ideal for families travelling with small children looking for a peaceful getaway.
This is why the seaside town of Puerto Morelos is an excellent family-friendly alternative destination to Cancun. This once-sleepy fishing village now offers families the perfect mix of pristine beaches and action-packed activities without being too crowded by international tourists. Just a 34-minute drive away from downtown Cancun, Puerto Morelos is an excellent option for a summer vacation with little ones.
There’s a reason that Puerto Morelos is known as one of the best snorkelling spots for families in the Mexican-Caribbean. The ocean is incredibly shallow along this stretch of land, which is ideal for children learning to snorkel or paddle for the first time.
Here, the ocean is filled with a multitude of tropical marine life, not limited to sting rays, turtles, barracudas and other colourful species. As this area is less well-known than neighbouring Cancun, families are able to enjoy the beauty of the coastline without it being crowded with other tourists.
Animal-lovers will also have a fantastic time at Croco Cun Zoo. Here, children have the opportunity to interact with crocodiles and see spider monkeys in their natural habitat. What’s more, children under the age of 5 are completely free, so you can enjoy your time with the animals without worrying about the price.
The seaside village is also home to multiple all-inclusive resorts that are catered to the needs of every family. Why not stay at the Hotel Catalonia at Playa Maroma whilst visiting: set with a tennis court, fitness centre and snorkelling equipment, the resort is perfect for active families. There is even a kids club on-site to ensure little ones make the most of their vacation whilst their parents relax.
Another great option is the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun. This resort boasts multiple swimming pools and has a wide array of affordable and spacious suites for even the largest of families. There are also five eateries on site, ranging from the sophisticated Lighthouse Grill to the relaxed Heaven Beach and Pool bar. The kid’s club at this resort even teaches children traditional Mayan games and has pinata-making classes.
There is also an endless supply of family-friendly eateries in Puerto Morales. El Nicho mixes traditional Mexican fare with a western twist. Serving up everything from enchiladas and huevos rancheros to fresh juices and chia lemonade, this eatery is an excellent choice for breakfast or lunch out with the family.
For kids who are pickier, head to tourist-favourite MEM for a selection of Italian meals and fish and meat dishes. This restaurant is praised for the excellent quality of its fresh ingredients and affordable prices – make sure to try a charcoal pizza if you decide to visit.
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