A trip to Mexico is on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a country filled with natural beauty, amazing wildlife, great food and fascinating history. Best of all, it’s a destination that satisfies the whole family. Here’s our guide to the top activities for families travelling to Mexico.
1. Underwater adventuresThe Sea of Cortez off the west coast of Mexico was once described by French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as ‘the aquarium of the world’. Take a look beneath the waves and it’s easy to see why. The waters surrounding both Mexico’s east and west coasts are teeming with marine life and are home to many of the world’s finest dive sites. There are opportunities to snorkel with sea lions, whale sharks and dolphins off the coast of Baja, something all the family can enjoy. The Yucatan Peninsula’s Caribbean Sea is also a great spot for both diving and snorkelling trips. Commonly-sighted species include turtles, rays and sharks.
2. Visit a cenoteFound on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, cenotes are naturally forming sinkholes characteristic of this limestone area. Nature’s own secret swimming holes are filled with pure freshwater and often you can see right to the bottom. The word cenote derives from the Mayan meaning ‘sacred well’ – this ancient civilisation believed they provided a portal to the gods. There are many cenotes located throughout the peninsula that are worth a visit.
3. Get close to Mexican wildlife at an eco-parkMexico’s family-friendly Riviera Maya has a number of excellent eco-parks, which make for a great day trip. Xel-Há provides a range of adventures including snorkelling in cenotes and aquatic zip-lining. Wildlife attractions include manatee and stingray encounters, plus coatis roam freely in hidden corners of the park. Alternatively, Xcaret offers nature-lovers an aviary, butterfly pavilion and jungle trails to explore. They are actively involved in marine turtle conservation and also provide a chance to get close to jaguars.
4. Learn about Mayan historyMexico’s famous Mayan ruins are a must-do during your visit. Chichén Itzá is without a doubt the most famous site and can easily be visited on a day trip from the Riviera Maya. Tulum’s clifftop ruins are probably the most picturesque in the country; visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds that can ruin their beauty. Nearby to Tulum, the Cobá ruins provide an opportunity to climb one of the famous Mayan pyramids and take in some fantastic jungle views. Only 22 miles from the Guatemalan border, the site of Calakmul in Campeche is located in a UNESCO World Heritage area due to the biodiverse jungle that surrounds it. Calakmul has a great museum that explains the significance of the ancient structures.
5. Go on a whale watching tour off the Baja PeninsulaThe wild Pacific coast of Baja is world-famous for it’s whale watching tours. More varieties of whales and dolphins can be found in the seas of Baja than anywhere else in the world. Grey whales breed in the area and are known for their friendliness, as they regularly come within touching distance of tour boats. There are also humpback whales, the most acrobatic species, to be spotted in abundance. If you’re really lucky you might even spot nature’s greatest giant: a blue whale. The whale watching season in Baja usually runs from February to April.
Something for all the family in Mexico
Undoubtedly, Mexico is a rich and fascinating country to visit as a family. The natural beauty and historical past of the country make it an excellent destination. A lot of the best family activities are situated on the east or west coasts, meaning most attractions are convenient to visit as day trips and making for a more relaxing holiday.
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