Mexico had been one of my dream destinations for a long time. I had a pen pal growing up in Mexcio and studied Frida Kahlo. Mexico had long been on our dreamy travel list.
Our USA and Mexico was an all in one hectic trip. These are my personal outtakes on the trip and travelling with a nine, seven and ten month old. To be honest when we started our research we found little on travelling with kids and in particular babies in Mexico. We had so many questions about the access into centos etc. So I am going to cover off some of the information that wasn't available when we started researching our trips.
We have mentioned it before, but we plan all our trips well in advance and we pop a lot of time into researching and pre-booking everything. This is very different to the way we travelled prior to kids but we have also worked out that things run so much smoother when you put the legwork in before you hit the ground travelling with little ones.
Playa Del Carmen was our first stop. We thought that this would be a good place to base ourselves for some of the places we had pin pointed that we wanted to visit. I am not going to lie, my first impressions of Playa Del Carmen weere not what I had expected. I was very surprised how 'touristy' this little Mexican town was. We decided not to stay at an all-inclusive resort, as we like to wander and find the hidden gems. However the all-inclusive resorts seems to be a must do when travelling with kids in Mexico. We booked 5 nights at the Hotel Magic Blue, which was a little Oasis right in the hub and opposite the COCO Bongo Nightclub.
This hotel was the perfect hub to return to and enjoy a swing in a hammock, a swim and a margarita. For a family of five we had to have separate rooms which we didn't realise when booking. Our children are still young and so we weren’t able to have connecting rooms. It meant the adults had to join the kids in a room each which was not ideal.
We booked our first day tour and to be honest after speaking to a lot of travel groups not many were keen to take on our whole family of 5. So we opted for a private taxi booked through our hotel. To be honest this ended up being the best option! Our driver was so good and we are thankful that he to also had a family and understood our needs.
Our first stop on our day tour was Chichen Itza. We arrived there early to beat both the heat and the crowds... and hot it was! We lasted two hours with the kids. Their amazement soon turned to 'it's so hot'. Walking around with a baby was next level. We were so grateful for the advice to make this our first stop and the umbrella that our driver had provided us with to block out the sun.
Next stop was Cenotes and this to is something we were all looking forward to, plus was our chance to cool off. A centoe is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath and they are spectacular with the clearest coldest water I have ever seen.
Our first Cenote was nearly empty upon arrival. Our driver recommended that we go to the smaller cenotes to avoid the large crowds and bus groups. The water was super cold but so refreshing.
Information regarding kids and particularly babies when visiting cenotes was limited when I began researching. While in Mexico we got to visit quite a few cenotes. Our baby was 10 months old and we were able to take her. We even did the cave diving, which I was super nervous about but she was amazing and embraced it all. The water is cold so after the initial shock she really loved the cold relief from our warm day tours. We did have a life jacket for her and recommend if you are travelling with smaller ones under 12 months to take your own fitted life jacket.
But it was a highlight for our whole family to enjoy the cenotes. The walk to some is quite steep so we always had her in a baby carrier and held onto the walking rails.
Again I want to stress this is something we felt comfortable doing with all our kids. They love the water and despite the super chilled temperature of the water, Coco loved every minute of it. I suggest to do whatever works with your kids but this was a favourite.
After cooling off we headed to Valladolid, a quaint brightly coloured Mexican town, for lunch. This beautiful little Mexican village is exactly what I had expected Mexico to be. We had wished that we had booked a couple of nights in this beautiful little place. We ate ice cream, visited a beautiful church and sat in the love seats.
This day trip was a highlight for our little family, but it was a super big day of travel. We headed back to our hotel late with some yummy Fajitas.
Our other Day trip we did was Coba Ruins. This was a highlight and it was the ruins that our kids really enjoyed. We hired two bikes for our family of five, which made seeing and climbing the different ruins super achievable and also fun.
The kids loved the pace of the bikes weaving in and around the leafy paths. They also enjoyed climbing one of the ruins, which had me shaking in my boots. Going up not so bad but the coming down.
While in Playa Del Carmen we spaced our day trips with days by the pool and days to catch up on washing and work emails. We needed to slow the pace and our little one also caught hand foot and mouth, which also meant minimal sleep over this period.
We loved the pace of Playa Del Carmen the Mexican food off the beaten track was amazing. It was certainly a great place to base yourself for day trips. If I had my time again I would reduce the 5 days to two days and head straight to Tulum, which was our next stop and a welcomed change of pace that we loved.
Must see day trips
We didn’t get there but was on our wish list was a day visit to Xcaret Eco Archaeological Park
We found some quaint little places off the beaten track that served delicious Mexican food.
Hotel Magic Blue - buffer breakfast was incredible as where there margaritas . The staff where super friendly and incredibly helpful .
We had heard lots of things about tourists being targeted by police and so were very nervous to hire a car. We found the idea of a driver and inexpensive and great way to get around. He was also able to show us some hidden spots for our family to enjoy and we could not recommended this experience more.