Destination for 3 kids under 5 - Cancun?

May 24th, 2016, 09:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 26
Destination for 3 kids under 5 - Cancun?

We are looking for a vacation spot with warm Caribbean water that we can enjoy with two 4 year olds and a 3 year old. I think we will mostly be at the pool or beach - not too much sightseeing. Husband has his mind set on Riviera Maya/Cozumel/Cancun area based on random recommendations - not actual research to learn about the area. Is this a good area for kids? Are there hotels that you would recommend?

I have never stayed at an all inclusive, so I am not sure if this is worth it or if we should just get a regular hotel. We are not big drinkers - but I can't resist a fruity cocktail once in a while!

I doubt my kids will go to the Kids Clubs - very shy and reserved - so that is not a selling point for me. Yet, I would like a great pool and clean, relaxing beach so they can safely play.

Is there a different area that we should look into? Costa Rica? Belize? Other areas in the Caribbean?

We are traveling from Los Angeles and this would be the kids first flight - not sure how they will do - so I would like something relatively close.
karinehm is offline  
May 25th, 2016, 03:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I would say that Cancun is a great choice for your family. 20 minutes from the airport, more AI hotels than you can imagine, museums (underwater), warm turquoise water with unbelievable beaches, ferries (isla mujeres), it even has it´s own Mayan ruins in the middle of the city. I am certain that you will enjoy your stay...
Rohelio is online now  
May 25th, 2016, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I might suggest to save Belize or CR for when the kids are a bit older and can get the most out of visiting these two diverse countries
Katie_Valk is offline  
May 25th, 2016, 11:42 AM
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With 3 kids I would look into a 2 bedroom condo, space for the kids to nap and go to bed early leaving room for the adults to stay up later. You don't have to cook just because there is a kitchen, but the fridge is handy for snacks, drinks and bottled water, and you usually have maid service daily except Sunday.
jamie99 is offline  
May 26th, 2016, 10:24 AM
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The kids clubs are really fun for them, so they might just like them. In that case I would look at the Dreams properties or the Grand Palladium in the Mayan as the Dreams has kids clubs from 3 and the GP from 18 months and up. I have stayed at all of them and they are all great for different reasons. The Dreams are smaller and the GP is huge if that makes a difference.
maried11 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2016, 09:51 AM
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First...I would look at the length and duration of flights. If you are in LA, flying to the East Coast of Mexico may add a couple of hours on a plane. With three children that age, the less flying the better. Look at the options for non-stop flights vs layovers. Look at the cost of flights and how that fits into your overall budget.

Personally, I would never consider Cancun unless you are really attracted to something akin to Vegas on the Beach. I don't think your children will be interested in the ferry to Isla, an underwater museum or reproduction ruins.

For more info on Riviera Maya, look at If you decide on the East Coast, that's a good place to start looking at accommodations. Certainly more sandy beaches there.

Cozumel is wonderful (I spend a month there every winter), but you won't find the long sandy beaches. The reefs are great for snorkeling (not that your kids will do it) and the dining options in town are amazing. Still..probably not the best choice given your outline above.

I agree that a two bedroom condo would be a good choice with much more space to spread out and a place to keep snacks, drinks, etc. You can even hire a cook to prepare some meals for you. On Cozumel (and I'm sure everywhere else) you will find large grocery stores filled with US brands to please your kids needs.

Why is hubby set on the East Coast of Mexico? Is he a diver?
TC is offline  
Jun 1st, 2016, 09:01 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 26
TC - hubby wants Caribbean warm blue water. He thinks Hawaii is cold - and the whole Pacific Ocean. He's not a diver at all. Is there any other place you would recommend where we can get that warm blue ocean?

If we get a condo, are they on the beach? Do they have a pool so that we can hang out with other people around?

I'm also having trouble finding places that accommodate 5 people in one room. Is there a trick to finding resorts that do this? I may just call and plead my story so they accommodate us!
karinehm is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 08:30 AM
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In the Carribean, warm blue water largely depends on what time of year you go. July...January?
I disagree that the "whole Pacific Ocean" is cold. French Polynesia is wonderfully warm.
Private condos are less likely to have a lot of people hanging around a pool for entertainment than a resort. However with a bit of research you can find places that offer both.
With young children, I would ask if the pool is heated.
Standard resort (hotel) rooms will rarely accommodate 5 people. They usually have two beds at most. Since your children are small, just search for 4 people. Once booked you can request a roll-away or crib if you don't mind having everyone in one room.
Many locations in the Carribean will require long flights and lengthy layovers.

In Cozumel, look at this resort as an example. You can get a two bedroom, condo style room with plenty of space for the kids. While there is no "beach", there is a nice sandy area for kids. The pool is very warm and shallow for little ones. While condo style rooms, there is also a restaurant, bars, spa, dive shop, car rental, etc. on site. It's a good mix of both. Snorkeling in front of the resort is stellar.
TC is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 09:52 AM
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There is a lot of misimformation here, to set the record straight, the so called reproduction ruins called El Rey date back to about the 10th century, close to the ones in Tulum. A nice area to relax, the kids will love to feed the iguanas as they are kept and fed by the park guard, they have grown accustomed to the public and are very safe.
The municipal ferry called El Embarcadero (to Isla Mujeres) is a convenient dropping point for the revolving tower called El Torre Cancun
And also for the Captain Hook dinner cruise on an original Pirate ship where the boat lites up after sunset for a cruise under the stars!
3 - the interactive aquarium with touch exibits ( kids can feel sting rays and nurse sharks and have their picture taken.
I have to say that this seems so much more age appropriate than being stuck on Cozumel island, snorkeling and dining with 3 and 4 year olds. Did I mention the Zoo and underwater museum ?
The only challenge here if finding thr appropriate accomodations...
Rohelio is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 10:31 AM
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Rohelio: please read posts in their entirety before judging. Here is my statement.

"Cozumel is wonderful (I spend a month there every winter), but you won't find the long sandy beaches. The reefs are great for snorkeling (not that your kids will do it) and the dining options in town are amazing. Still..probably not the best choice given your outline above.

I'm not sure if you have a three year old, let alone two four year olds, but Isla doesn't have any more to offer than other islands. I can't see what taking the ferry from Cancun to Isla would acomplish. The underwater museum isn't going to do much for babies, either. Can't imagine dragging three little ones around any ruins....reproduction or not. While the pirate cruise is fun for older kids, I wouldn't want to keep track of three little ones (way past bedtime) with a bunch of rowdy drinkers. But that's just me.

You obviously don't know that Cozumel also has interactive shark/stingray exhibits, swim with dolphin programs for the very young, two pirate cruises, lots of iguana to pet and authentic ruins. Activities abound everywhere.

I did NOT tell the OP to go to Cozumel. Personally, I think it's a long flight from LA...but so is Cancun. I simply said here is an "example" of a resort that offers two bedroom, condo style rooms with resort amenities.

For my two cents, I would look at some of the family specific all-inclusive resorts on the west coast of Mexico. Someplace with an easy flight from LAX and lots of play toys for the little ones.
TC is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 12:50 PM
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Here are two pages of 2 bedroom condo listings for Akumal alone:
I can personally recommend Playa Caribe, stayed there my last visit, it has a pool, full kitchen, AC and a wonderful caretaker, Agustin.
Some condos are on the beach, some are not, some have pools, some do not. You have to do a bit of your own research.
You don't sound much like an AI type if you don't drink much but if you want to go that route, look at Grand Palladium (you would need to book a suite with 5)since they have a baby club as well as a Kid's Club, multiple pools and restaurants and no reservations needed for the a la cartes with two exceptions. They also recently relaxed their dress code so men can wear smart shorts. Many AIs have a dress code for some of their restaurants where men have to wear long pants and closed toe shoes.
jamie99 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2016, 07:58 PM
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Hotel grand Bahia Akumal , GREAT BEACH for little tots , warm clear water and no surf as they have put sand whale ms out to build a protected section , lots of fish to see , no need to go in over your waist either , they are right there .

Grand Palladium has a great kiddie pool for tots , I wanted to play in it, zero entry , shallow and little water slides .
justineparis is offline  
Oct 9th, 2016, 10:02 PM
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justineparis: the thread is 5 months old and I think the thrip was over the summer.
janisj is online now  

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