Your Way, Your Pace: A Flexible Family Itinerary for Cancun with Kids

by Jen

Are there so many activities and sights to choose from in Cancun that you’re having trouble organizing a family holiday there?

It might be difficult to plan an itinerary that accommodates everyone’s interests because there is so much to see and do, especially if you are traveling with children.

To accommodate your family’s particular requirements and interests, I have created a flexible itinerary!

This itinerary can be changed to suit your preferences, whether you want to spend your days lounging on the beach, discovering Mayan sites, or engaging in exhilarating excursions. 

Picking and choosing your favorites from this list will make it simple to combine relaxation and adventure, so there’s no need to stick to a strict schedule or pass up anything you really want to do.

Spend a Day at the Beach

Spending the first day of your vacation relaxing on the beach is a great way to get things going. 

The beaches in Cancun are among the most stunning in the world, with smooth white sand and crystalline blue waters. 

Playa Delfina’s is one of the less busy beaches in the neighborhood, so I suggest going there. 

Build sandcastles, have a swim in the ocean, and enjoy the day in the sun!

Visit a Mayan Ruin and Cenote

Take a break from the beach and head inland to explore the fascinating history and culture of the region.

Many head straight to Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

To avoid crowds and increase your chance of climbing the pyramids—which your kids will love—I advise going to one of the smaller, lesser-known Mayan structures. 

Crowded, hot, and in direct sunlight is Chicken Itza. To keep the pyramids safe, you are no longer permitted to climb them. Your children will become agitated and bored due to the long day. 

Even though Chichen Itza is amazing, my kids loved Ek Balam. They had more hands-on experience because it was in the jungle and they could still climb all the pyramids. 

Many of the pyramids had been reconstructed, but some remained buried in the jungle.

This gave the kids a perspective of both how the jungle took over once the Mayans left and how the archeologist put them back together again. Plus, there were NO crowds! Score!

After Ek Balam, our tour guide took us to a beautiful Cenote for lunch, rappelling and swimming.

Cancun is home to a series of Cenotes, natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone caves. These unique geological formations offer you a chance to swim in crystal clear waters surrounded by lush jungles. You kids will never forget this experience!

This was one very long day but we prepared for it by learning about Mexican culture and Mayan history before leaving for our trip.

The kids were super excited to be face to face with what they had been learning about at home before leaving.

Water Park Adventure

Get your adrenaline pumping with a day spent at one of Cancun’s many water parks.

Xcaret Park is a great choice for families, with a variety of water slides, lazy rivers and other attractions.

Kids will love the chance to swim with dolphins, watch a spectacular show with trained birds and explore the parks many water slides and pools.

Swim with the Dolphins

For many families traveling to Cancun, swimming with the dolphins is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

There are several possibilities to engage with these perceptive and lively animals while in Cancun thanks to the warm Caribbean seas, which provide the ideal habitat for them. 

The following locations are well-known and renowned for dolphin swimming:

  1. Dolphin Discovery (Cancun and Isla de Mujeres)
  2. Delphinus
  3. Xcaret Park
  4. Xel-Ha Park

Outdoor Adventure

ATV rides, zip lining, and other outdoor adventures are among the things that are popular in Cancun. 

For a day of thrilling outdoor activities, such as zip lining, off-roading, and more, head to Selvatica. 

This park is a fantastic option for families because it provides a variety of activities suitable for all ages.

Shopping and Cultural Experiences

Take a break from the action and spend a day exploring Cancun’s cultural and shipping offerings.

Start your day at the Mercado 28, a traditional Mexican market where you can find handmade souvenirs and other treasures.

Then, head to the Museo Maya de Cancun, a museum that showcases the history and culture of the Mayan people.

Finally, end your day with a stroll along the bustling Avenida Kukulcan, where you can shop, dine, and people-watch to your hearts content.

Head out into the Water

The waters off Cancun offer a variety of activites for water enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing snorkel or an adrenaline-pumping jet ski ride, there is something for every family to enjoy in the beautiful waters of Cancun.

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Scuba diving
  3. Parasailing
  4. Jet Skiing
  5. Deep Sea Fishing
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks
  7. Sunset Katamaran Cruise

Visit Isla de Mujeres

Located just a short ferry ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island known for its laid-back vibe and stunning beaches.

You can rent a golf cart to explore the island, go snorkeling or scuba diving, go shopping in the beautiful market or just simply relax on the beach.

Enjoy Kid-Friendly Entertainment

There are a ton of kid-friendly entertainment choices to choose from.

If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, check out the nightly shows they offer. Many are family friendly and spectacular!

Xenses Park is another great choice for families, with a variety of sensory experience that will delight and amaze both kids and adults. From optical illusions to waterfall, this park offers a variety of interactive experiences that are sure to create lasting memories.

Do Nothing!

With all the choices for what to do in Cancun, you can easily do too much and miss the most important part of your vacation, relaxing.

The best flexible itineraries is not to try to do it all but pick a few favorites and then spend the rest of your days at the beach or pool.

For example, if you will be visiting Cancun for a week, plan on spending every other day relaxing. Otherwise you will be needed a vacation from your vacation when you get back home!

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