7 Family Friendly Destinations in Mexico

Author: Dan Brewer

Mexico is my happy place – I could travel there with my family again and again. With a rich blend of culture, tropical scenery, adventure, and relaxation, Mexico is an incredible destination for a family holiday. We have traveled to Mexico with our kids on many occasions and are eager to share our seven favorite family friendly destinations in Mexico.

From the vibrant streets of Mexico City to the serene beaches of Isla Mujeres, each of these family friendly Mexico destinations offer amazing scenery, culture and experiences. Traveling to these any of these family friendly places in Mexico will be a great choice for your next family vacation.

Family fun in Cabo!

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Our 7 Favorite Family Friendly Places in Mexico

It was really difficult, but we managed to sort through our list of kid-friendly destinations in Mexico and sorted them in order of our favorites. But, the great news is that even the “worst” place to visit in Mexico with kids, is still a great place to visit!

If you love visiting Mexico as much as we do, keep checking back as we add to our list of family-friendly destinations in Mexico.

1. Valle de Bravo

The competition was fierce, but our favourite place to travel in Mexico with kids is Valle de Bravo.

Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís in Valle de Bravo Mexico.

A small resort town, Valle de Bravo is just a short distance from Mexico City. People are drawn to Valle de Bravo for its beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains.

Valle de Bravo is a very popular weekend getaway for people from Mexico City to escape, relax and unwind. As a tourist visiting Mexico, there’s something magical about being around Mexican people who are also on holidays. What a refreshing change of pace from only being around Mexican people who are working while we are on holidays.

Hiking Mirador La Peña with kids in Valle de Bravo Mexico.
We enjoyed the lake views on this family-friendly hike in Valle de Bravo.

Of the many reasons to visit Valle de Bravo with kids, the best one is the monarch butterfly migration. A natural phenomenon featured on many wildlife documentaries, such as the iconic Life on Earth, every year monarch butterflies migrate from Canada all the way to a national park near Valle de Bravo.

If you time it right, the chance to walk around a forest with millions of monarch butterflies is an experience your family will never forget. It’s certainly one of the greatest wildlife encounters of my life!

Migration of Monarch Butterflies in Valle de Bravo Mexico.
The butterfly migration in Valle de Bravo was incredible!

In addition to the monarch butterfly migration, Valle de Bravo has a lot to offer families. We loved the small and charming pedestrian only historic town center. With colorful flags flying in the wind overhead, it’s so fun to explore and try new restaurants.

During our family trip to Valle de Bravo, we also enjoyed a stand-up paddleboarding tour on the lake, and lots of fun family hikes in the mountains which surround this magical resort town.

Stand Up Paddle Board with Kids in Valle de Bravo Mexico.
Our family on an SUP tour in Valle de Bravo.

I know Valle de Bravo lacks an ocean beach, which most families are looking for in a family-friendly destination in Mexico, but when you put it all together, Valle de Bravo is our favorite place to visit in Mexico with kids.

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Find out when to visit Valle de Bravo for the monarch butterfly migration in our blog post about visiting Valle de Bravo with kids.

2. Playa del Carmen

We spent a magical month in Playa del Carmen when our kids were 2 & 4. In my opinion, the Maya Riviera is one of the most beautiful family-friendly beaches destinations in the world. We prefer Playa del Carmen over Cancun as it’s more culturally authentic than the manufactured destination of Cancun.

Using Playa del Carmen as a central base for our family trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, we used our rental car to explore all corners of the region. Highlights of our month in Playa del Carmen include:

There are many world-class Mayan ruins within easy driving distance of Playa del Carmen. The can’t miss attraction in the area is the Chichen Itza ruins – a modern wonder of the world. In addition, we visited the beautiful beachfront Tulum ruins and the adventurous jungle ruins of Coba.

When visiting Chichen Itza arrive early to get good pictures of the El Castillo pyramid
Celine and our daughter at Chichen Itza.

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If you are interested in visiting these world-class ruins, check out our post on how to visit the best Mayan Ruins in Mexico.

Even though we didn’t stay at an all-inclusive resort this time, we were able to enjoy a ton of beautiful beaches around Playa del Carmen. Our favorite was Xpu-ha, which is one of the best family-friendly beaches in Mexico.

Small waves make Xpu-ha a very toddler-friendly beach near Playa del Carmen.
Xpu-ha is an amazing beach near Playa del Carmen!

When we were not at the beach or exploring the exciting Avenida Quinta, we spent a lot of time at the excellent eco-parks in the area. Xcaret and Xel-ha are two of the best, but there are many other family-friendly eco-parks near Playa del Carmen that we loved.

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There are so many fun things to do with kids around Playa del Carmen. Find out more in our post on planning a family trip to the Riviera Maya.

3. Mexico City

I must admit – I was really nervous about travelling to Mexico City with our kids. Mexico City is one of the biggest cities on Earth, in a country that is sometimes a little rough around the edges. Was it safe to visit Mexico City with kids? 

Alameda Central Mexico City
Our daughter exploring a park in central Mexico City.

For what it’s worth, we had an excellent family trip to Mexico City. We stayed in the main tourist areas, and felt safe the entire time.

There are so many fun things to do in Mexico City with kids, ranging from pyramids, museums and even fun, cultural boat rides. 

Museo de Arte Popular with kids in Mexico City
Even the museums in CDMX were a lot of fun for the kids!

Our favorite family-friendly activity in Mexico City was the Xochimilco canals. These canals are located around the remnants of the lake which Mexico City was originally settled around. Today, a ride on the colourful boats which cruise these canals is a fun activity for locals and tourist alike. Many people have a picnic on the boats, enjoying mariachi music and a fun trip through the canals. 

The canals are pretty far from the city center, so an organized tour is the easiest way to go.

Boats on Xochimilco Canals.
We loved the colorful boats on the Xochimilco canals.

Another of our favorite things to do in Mexico City with kids was the Teotihuacan Pyramids. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Teotihuacan Pyramids are some of the most significant pyramids in all of Mexico.  

It was very exciting for our kids to climb the Pyramid of the Sun. Not only was it a fun cultural experience, but it was a big confidence builder for them too. 

Temple of the Moon - Teotihuacan Pyramids
Our kids climbed the Pyramid of the Sun all by themselves!

We spent a lot of time around the Bosque de Chapultepec park as it was a beautiful place to escape the craziness of the city. There’s even a real castle perched up high on a hill in the park. Most of the family-friendly Mexico City hotels are located within easy walking distance of the park.

Castillo de Chapultepec - Mexico City with Kids
A real castle in Mexico City! Our kids loved it!

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Find out where we stayed and what we did during our family trip to Mexico City.

4. Cancun

It’s easy to understand why Cancun was famously chosen as the location for a planned beach resort community in Mexico. The Zona Hotelera sits on one of the most incredible white sand beaches on earth. Add in the brilliant turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea and it’s one of the most beautiful beach destinations for a family trip in Mexico and perhaps even the world. 

The beautiful turquoise water and white sand beaches make Cancun one of the best beach destinations in Mexico for families.

With an abundance of family friendly resorts in Cancun, it’s super easy to plan a family beach vacation here. Once here, it’s equally easy to see all the same area attractions as in Playa del Carmen. You can book bus tours to Chichen Itza, Xcaret and much more.

With such incredible beach scenery, you may be wondering why Cancun isn’t sitting on top of our favorite destinations for families in Mexico. If you are 100% focused on a beach holiday, it may very well be the best, but we knocked it down our list as there is nothing culturally authentic about Cancun. There’s no historic old town to explore, etc, which is something we really enjoy on our family trips to Mexico.

5. Isla Mujeres

We have never stayed overnight on Isla Mujeres, but we loved the day trip we took here from Playa del Carmen. Ever since, we have talked about returning for a family trip to this magical island near Cancun.

Isla Mujeres - kids love it.

First of all, you can get around Isla Mujeres on a golf cart. How fun is that? Our kids loved it! 

Isla Mujeres is blessed with many beautiful beaches, a charming town, oceanfront parks filled with art and even a turtle sanctuary. 

Smiling kids holding baby turtles at the Isla Mujeres turtle farm
Our kids loved the turtle sanctuary.

We can’t wait to come back for a family beach vacation to Isla Mujeres.

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We had an amazing day on The Island of Women. Find out what we got up to in our post on visiting Isla Mujeres with kids.

6. Cozumel

We also visited Cozumel with our kids as a day trip from Playa del Carmen, but I had the good fortune to spend a week here with my family before I had my own kids.

Located near one of the biggest coral reefs in the world, Cozumel is renowned as a diving destination. Even if you don’t dive, there is excellent snorkeling just offshore near the hotels and national park.

Cozumel has a nice, small old town and wild beaches on the ocean side which are fun to explore.

I loved my family trip to Cozumel, and I’m certain your family will too.

7. Cabo San Lucas

One of my favorite family trips to Mexico was to Playa del Carmen. I’ve put Cabo at the bottom of our list of favorite places to visit in Mexico with kids, only because we never actually visited Cabo.

Our family trip to Cabo San Lucas was in early 2022, just as travel was starting to resume during COVID. To keep things as simple as possible, we stayed at a family-friendly all-inclusive resort. Normally, we shy away from all-inclusives as we prefer to be immersed in the local culture, but I have to admit, we had an awesome time. 

A review of the Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas all-inclusive resort.
What a view from the infinity pool!

We stayed at the RIU Palace Cabo San Lucas. It was on a beautiful beach front location with amazing views of the famous Cabo rocks. We enjoyed long family walks on the beach every day, and were treated to watching humpback whales breach not far off shore – incredible!

Dan and Celine Brewer, owners of the Family Can Travel blog, share a laugh during a family walk along the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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Our kids loved our family trip to Cabo. We have written a detailed review of the RIU Palace Cabo San Lucas all-inclusive resort.

We hope you found some inspiration in our list of our favorite family-friendly destinations in Mexico. We’re heading back to Mexico for another family vacation this winter – this time to Oaxaca. Come back soon and see where it landed on our list!

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Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.

When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).