Cancun, Mexico – Beach, Ancient History and More!

A beach vacation is always welcome in the middle of February, especially if you live in a place that experiences cool winters.  When we decided to visit Cancun, Mexico with our young kids, we were a little apprehensive…. after all, Cancun is popular among young adults… would it be a good choice for families?  After visiting, we have no regrets what so ever!

We stayed at the Westin which was very family friendly… so it was a smooth vacation.  Normally I don’t mention where we stay, but, in this case I am, because the difference we experienced really set the tone for our vacation.

Here is what we were able to accomplish during our stay.  We scheduled our activities such that sunrise and sunset were spent on the beach or in the hotel pool.

Day 1:  Travel Day, Sunset on the beach

It was a long day travelling to Cancun and so we thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening by the beach before calling it a day.

Day 2:  Cancun Walmart, local market and chilling out by the beach

With two young kids and a bunch of day trips planned, we wanted to make sure we were properly stocked, so we headed to the Walmart in Cancun.  I mention this because when we got there, the place was filled with tourists stocking up!  Great minds think alike ;).  After buying what we needed, we headed to the local market and checked out the local stores and the downtown area before heading back to the hotel.

We travelled around on the city bus which was a nice experience.

We spent the rest of the day by the pool and beach.

Day 3:  Tulum, Cenote Calavera

We rented a car and headed to Tulum.  Tulum is a nice place to see Mayan ruins on tall cliffs.  The surprise was walking down the cliff (more like sliding) to reach a very nice beach.  The kids had a blast!

Afterwards we headed to Cenote Calavera.  This was also a nice place to see a large natural Cenote.  A lot of folks enjoyed swimming and diving into the Cenote.

Because Cancun wasn’t too far away, we were able to get back early in the evening.  We spent the evening exploring Cancun and eating some awesome food!

Day 4:  Chichen Itza, Cenote lk kil

We rented a car again and this time drove to Chichen Itza… a UNESCO World Heritage Site!  It was an amazing experience.  We hired a guide and he was very detailed in giving us the history of the area.  Afterwards, the kids had a lot of fun running around and seeing & exploring the ruins.  The “Great Ballcourt” was an interesting experience as well and our imagination knew no bounds when we saw the show at X-Caret the next day.

Late in the afternoon, we checked out Cenote lk kil.  This time, my older one and my husband went down to explore the cenote close up.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel and chilled out by the beach.

Day 5:  Beach, pool and XCaret!

We wanted to watch the evening show at XCaret, so we decided to spend the morning chilling out in the hotel.  Late morning we headed to XCaret and spent the rest of the day enjoying the park.

Our timing was perfect on that day.  They happened to be releasing some turtles into the sea on that particular day.  Our older son had an opportunity to participate in the event which was very cool! 

After spending the day exploring the attractions, we settled in to watch the evening show after which we called it a day.

Day 6:  Oops… need to explore Cancun too!

With all the day trips we were taking, we realised we did not really explore Cancun too much.  So, on Day 6, we once again got on the local bus and decided to explore the area.  This time around we chose a subsee tour as our main activity to explore the area and admire the sea life beneath.

After an amazing day exploring, we headed back to the hotel and enjoyed the evening by the beach.

Day 7:  Goodbye Cancun!

Travel day again.  It was time to say goodbye!

Final thoughts

Stocking up on food in Cancun worked out well.  While we did eat out for our major meals, snacks were taken care of with stocked food and it made day trips a lot more manageable.

Clothes – Pack plenty of swimming clothes.  Lots of different types of opportunities to enjoy the water – beach, pool, cenotes, XCaret and more!

Cancun or somewhere else?  Where should you stay?  The part of Cancun where we stayed was very nice and the beach was amazing… not very crowded at all.  We also enjoyed the opportunity of getting on a local bus to explore Cancun. Picking Cancun was a great choice for us.

When we visited Cancun, we were not really well versed in the concept of UNESCO World Heritage sites… there were 2 others close by which we missed because we did not do our research properly.  Chichen Itza was a given… but we are sorry we missed seeing Sian Ka’an and Uxmal.  Luckily, there is always the next time!

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