Family Attractions in Cancun

Family Attractions in Cancun
Cancun obviously inspires images of romantic escapes but it’s also an incredible place to take your family for a vacation of a lifetime. Imagine the wonder the ancient ruins of the Mayan can inspire. The incredible delight your family will experience with an intimate dolphin encounter. The fun you can have playing and exploring Xcaret. The learning experiences a submarine or snorkeling adventure can instill. And the relaxing fun you and your family can have just spending a day on the beach taking in the sun, sand and surf. Cancun is actually a perfect vacation spot for an entire family as there are so many different options for activities and many of them have a built in educational component.

Water Fun

What better place to enjoy the water and water activities than an island, and Cancun is one of the best islands for visitors to explore? The beaches of Cancun are one of its biggest draws with powder soft white sand and miles of space. All of the beaches are public property and open to everyone but some are easier to access than others. If you’re looking for snorkeling fun then the area near the Westin Regina, on the southern tip of the hotel zone, is an excellent spot. Swimming is best done on the Caribbean side of the island. The opposite side, Nichupte Lagoon isn’t the best place to swim as there are crocodiles in the lagoon, although they’re not aggressive. But Nichupte Lagoon is a great place to try your hand at some other water activities such as jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing, and water-skiing. For those who prefer their aquatic adventures from a further distance there are a huge variety of boat trips that let you see the beautiful natural environment and the diversity of wildlife in this tourist paradise.

Crocodile Adventure

If the idea of encountering crocodiles sounds like family fun and excitement to you then maybe you’ll want to go on a Crocodile Adventure. Take a cruise through the wetlands of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere and keep your eyes peeled for wild giant crocodiles. Sian Ka’an is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and is exciting and beautiful in its own right, but it’s the crocodiles that really make the experience one to remember. But remember this trip can be a little scary for some so keep your child’s age and personality in mind before embarking.

Jeep Tour

If you’d like to go on a do-it-yourself tour then Joe’s Jeep Adventure might be the solution for you and your family. Take a self drive jeep tour into the jungles of Cancun and onto a private jungle nature reserve, explore a Mayan Ruin and swim in an underground cavern, visit the petting zoo, explore a Mexican village, and enjoy a buffet lunch on the beach. If you want just a bit more thrill and excitement, try a zip line ride through the jungle for only $15 more.

Theme Parks

Cancun isn’t known for its theme parks but there are a few that are must see experiences that could make for an unforgettable weekend getaway. Xcaret is an ancient Mayan archaeological site that has been transformed into an eco park. Visitors to Xcaret can immerse themselves in the culture by taking a complete archaeological site tour or explore individual sections. Additional activities include temascal, sharks tour, snuba and snorkeling adventures, paradise river, dolphin experiences, natural pools, the beach, the lagoon, underground rivers, the sea trek and a variety of local flora and fauna to explore.

Another exciting adventure park in Cancun is Xel-Ha, another Mayan archaeological site, but this one is focused on the water with a natural aquarium lagoon with a shark fence around that is open for guests of the park. In the Xel-Ha inlet there are hundreds of native species and a turtle preserve which works to maintain local populations. At the park you can create experiences with the creatures of Cancun through snorkeling, scuba diving, and special dolphin excursions.

Another interesting park experience in Cancun is the Atlantis Submarine it’s a great opportunity for those who don’t scuba dive to take a look at the marvels under the sea. The submarine seats 48 people and each seat has a porthole for viewing. You will drop down to 100 feet and explore the Chankanaab reef closely. The tour is guided and completely safe so it’s perfect for all visitors to Cancun

Archeological Vacation

Cancun is full of archeological wonders and it’s the perfect vacation hotspot for tourists looking to go on an archeological tour. The list of sites is impressive and includes Coba, Tulum, El Rey, El Meco, Kohunlich, Kinichna, Dzibnache, Oxtankah, Chacchoben, Muyil, and more. Some of the more popular sites are Paseo Kukulkan which is a smaller site but features two main plazas with streets which has important implications. Chichen Itza is the most extensive complex of Mayan ruins and dates back to 600 AD, this is easily the most popular tourist attraction. Coba is one of the largest Mayan cities with the Nohoch Mul which is 138 feet tall. Tulum was the only walled city in close proximity to the ocean that the Mayans built. It was a later site, built between 1200 and 1500, and is a bit of a distance from Cancun proper. Xel-Ha is usually combined with a trip to Tulum and visitors to Xel-Ha can take in the archeological wonders from a different perspective as they snorkel in the natural inlet.

Dolphin Discovery

Dive into the water with dolphins and manatees for an experience that will create memories that last a lifetime. Your trip to Dolphin Discovery will begin with an educational lesson on the creatures you will soon be meeting. Then you get an up close and personal experience with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. Staff will guide you through the experience and at the end you’ll receive a memorable token of affection, a kiss from a dolphin and one from a manatee.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Mom the Barbarian