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Mexico (flying into Cancun) Christmas 2020: 4 adults & a 6 month old

Hi!
We might be crazy, but we just booked a tentative trip to Mexico for 5 nights over Christmas. Travelers include 4 adults (me, my husband, his brother/wife & our new baby, who will be 5 months old by then).

My husband & I have extensive travel experience so this is run of the mill for us. We are looking forward to continuing our adventure-filled lifestyle with our baby in tow, provided everything in the world is safe with COVID etc. :)

We are flying in & out of Cancun. We have been to Cancun several times and would like to try a new location. Anyone have suggestions?? Thinking maybe Tulum? Would love advice on location and specific hotels/AirBnB links if you have them!

Thank you so much!! :)

Posted by
5324 posts

If you haven't been to the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, I strongly recommend going there for a day.

Also, take a boat ride to Isla Mujeres Island.

As for Mexico, the Mexico City area has a lot to see. Of course, you have to avoid some areas of the city, but there the Ballet Folklorico, Chapultepec Castle and the Archeological Museum are great. The Pyramids of Teotihuacan are a must see.

Posted by
1734 posts

I can’t tell how long your flight will be, but flying from Seattle for a wedding, the van from Cancun airport to Tulum seemed to take forever. Maybe plan accordingly for the baby. There is lots to do in the Tulum area. The littlest one in our group was 11 months. The wedding was at all-inclusive Dreams Tulum and they had pack n play, and staff from their children’s program were willing to babysit for a reasonable price in the evening.

Posted by
6850 posts

Valladolid, Merida, Izamal, or Tulum are great alternatives, but they are not very close to Cancun (you'll need a few extra hours to get to them). The first three don't have beaches though since they are inland, but have a rich traditional, colonial character (they are dubbed "Pueblos Mágicos") and more local feel (tourism is not rampant and particularly prominent). Tulum is absolutely stunning, but is suffering from overdevelopment and really pricy all-inclusive resorts, which don't appeal to me. I've never traveled to Mexico with family so I'm reticent to make lodging recommendations, especially not knowing what type of room arrangement you are looking for in terms of the size and composition of your party. Very nice, affordable places with lots of character can be found on www.Booking.com.

Posted by
3209 posts

My family have stayed at resorts near Tulum several times. It is quite a bus ride from the airport, but it was worth it to us. Plus there are off resort sites nearby to explore. The resort we have stayed at most is the Bahia Principe Grand Tulum. It's closed right now for remodelling, but is supposed to reopen in late fall.

Posted by
21647 posts

You have more confidence that we do that this "thing" will be over by Christmas. Mexico is being hard hit today. We see little relief within the next year. We canceled Costa Rica for TGiving just because we could not predicted the next six months. Good Luck.

Posted by
5766 posts

We have been to the Yucatan maybe 8 times over the years, and always stay in small local hotels and eat locally, from Puerto Morales down to Tulum. It sounds like you are not looking for the resort experience? What are you wanting to do? (Beach, Ruins, Diving, Snorkeling, Cenotes, Big activity parks?) Looking to use Public Transport? Comfortable renting a Car? Are you OK eating in local restaurants, using Pesos? How much "grime" and "grit" are you comfortable with? Looking for top of the line accommodations, or bottom of the budget?

Posted by
290 posts

If you plan on driving and looking for something more adventurous (and local) than Cancun or Tulum, check out Ek Balam. It’s north of Valladolid in a small village known for hammock making. Stay at Genesis and the owner (Canadian woman) can arrange local village tours to meet the people and see what they’re making (no pressure to buy), or get a chocolate class also by a local woman. This is not the type of very organized, tour group kind of place though. Much more casual. It’s near the Ek Balam ruins and cenote to visit either by car or bikes to borrow from Genesis, and easy enough drive north to the coast for a flamingo boat trip that the owner can help arrange. Again, not as formal as concierge service, but would be a different experience than the usual in Yucatán even if you just went for a couple full days.

Posted by
11450 posts

So you haven’t had the baBy yet right ?

Lol - you may be old hats at travel but travel with a baby is a lot different, we started with ours when they were very young - 3 months in country and 5 months out of country - however there was a steep learning curve .

Keep in mind you may or may not have a baby that cries a lot - think about people in room next to you , lol , looking for a self contained unit might be best .

Don’t take this as anti Mexico ( we’ve been to Riveria Mayan areas 6 times in last 8 years and we love it , much prefer it to west coast ourselves ) or anti travel with baby - we’ve done stuff with three kids under six , including an infant - but I’m just giving you a heads up on some issues . One of my kids was a horrible traveller , even as an infant , the crier , the sickly one , the cranky didn’t like change one , and one of my kids ( youngest ) was easy as pie - and our oldest was what I’d call “ average “ , so fingers crossed you get an easy one !

Also flight is about 5-6 hours - then drive to Tulum is about another 1.5 hours . Baby may not be too cooperative- or they may be great , problem is you won’t know till baby comes .

Personally I would not go too remote - if baby is sick ( they can get sick fast ) at that age you should be near proper medical facilities. Ones that have paediatricians , 5 months is young . .

At this point I would not assume everything will be back to normal by Xmas .

Posted by
5 posts

I reccomend watching the YouTube videos from Viajefest. They are in spanish but usually have English subtitles. Brsides Rick, these are some of the best travel videos I have seen. They are from Mexico so they show places that actual Mexicans go not just the tourist spots.

https://www.viajefest.com/

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you so much, everyone! Really appreciate all the great feedback. Who knows if we’ll even be able to go on this trip, but the flight deals were too good to pass up so we will see how things shake out! Love all the suggestions. :) Cheers!!

Posted by
76 posts

We are some of those people who really like Mexico and take it's criticism with a grain of salt. We like Riviera Maya -- there are some fabulous resorts there. We haven't stayed in Playacar, in Playa Del Carmen, but it looks very, very nice and safe---it's gated. We've also stayed in Puerto Aventuras. We intend to try Tulum next time. I'm with Pat, you may want to stick with a little larger municipality since you have a baby. It will be very relaxing for you. I imagine some of the Riviera Mayan resorts will have some very special Christmas meals. Just a note if you stay in a property that's a Timeshare. They can be persistant---once when we were in Cabo, after approaching us several times, it was recommended to take the person to the side and say it wasn't my husband I was with (it was) and so I couldn't buy---and they won't bother me any more!

Posted by
277 posts

Keep in mind that a six-month-old will not yet be fully immunized against many other diseases besides Covid (for instance, measles). You’ll want to check whether the areas you will visit have had any outbreaks, and talk with your pediatrician about any precautions you should take.