Mexico is a heavenly destination for all types of travelers. With dreamy beaches, colorful cities, and rich cultural hubs, it has a little something to offer everyone.
What might come as a surprise is the number of resorts that cater to families traveling with kids and the enormous scope of activities for the little ones you can find, making family vacations in Mexico an ideal getaway!
Mexican culture is very family-oriented, with children being welcome in most places. Many of the best resorts and attractions were built with families in mind, so rest assured that you and your kids will feel welcome everywhere you go.
If you’re currently crafting a family vacation, Mexico is definitely worth checking out for an exciting experience that will create long-lasting memories for you and the kids. Here are some of the best family beaches in Mexico to consider for your trip!
This post is part of our best family beach vacations series
Best Beaches in Mexico for Families
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1. Cancun, Quintana Roo
If you have always thought of Cancun as a beach destination for parties – you’re not exactly in the wrong, but there’s another side to this bustling city than just that.
Famed for being a lively beach city with vigorous nightlife, Cancun still manages to separate its party scene from quieter areas that are perfect for families traveling with kids.
Far away from the beach clubs and bars, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly all-inclusive resorts offering kids’ clubs, playgrounds, water slides, and fantastic swimming pools, as well as a wide array of activities the entire family can enjoy nearby.
Even though this beachside city itself is not specifically geared for children, the Caribbean waters are calm and shallow, which are amazing for the little ones to swim and snorkel in.
There are also two water parks in Cancun, All Ritmo and Ventura Park, both of which provide hours of fun amid zip lines and roller coasters. For educational entertainment, the Interactive Aquarium is also a great spot to kill a few hours between beach fun and meals.
Moreover, Cancun is also a great base point for exploring the whole Yucatan Peninsula. There are good day trips within easy reach, including stunning Xcaret and Xel-Ha water parks, the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, and the snorkeling paradise that is Akumal.
If you want to venture a little further, there are a number of bus tours that will take you to the world-famous Chichen-Itza Mayan ruins (124 miles away) as well as the multi-colored Bacalar Lagoon (214 miles away), which is one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches, ideal for swimming.
2. Los Cabos, Baja California Sur
Like most popular beach destinations in Mexico, Los Cabos is home to many all-inclusive resorts designed for all types of travelers, including families traveling with children and teenagers.
This means meals crafted to their liking and plenty of kids’ clubs offering an array of fun activities for the younger family members to enjoy while the adults take some time off for some well-deserved relaxation by the pool or bar.
While you can spend most of your time enjoying the resorts, The Cabos area offers a lot more for the whole family to experience together, including a camel-riding along the beach (yes, you read that right!), exciting ATV runs with different difficulty levels, horseback riding in Cuadra San Francisco and zipline adventures.
If your kids are keen to explore underwater, you’ll find plenty of tours and expeditions that offer snorkeling and marine life watching.
Dolphin pods, stingrays, and other marine creatures can be spotted all year long, which is a marvelous experience for people of all ages, but if you happen to be planning your family vacation in Mexico during the winter months, you’ll be able to witness humpback and gray whales, too!
As with most beach towns in Mexico, Los Cabos has its oceanside marina, a traditional promenade where you can spend a few hours enjoying the view while popping into the varied dining and shopping options spread around it.
3. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Set on the Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is one of the best family beaches in Mexico.
Like other beach destinations, it caters to couples and adult travelers but also offers a myriad of attractions and adventures to keep the whole family entertained. You’ll never run short of things to do in Puerto Vallarta.
Featuring several ocean-front all-inclusive resorts with enough swimming pools and activities for small and older kids alike, Puerto Vallarta provides lots of family fun in and beyond the resort limits. What’s more, Puerto Vallarta offers a perfect mix of the modern touristy and traditional Mexican flavor.
Most kids are happy enough to spend the whole day swimming in the pools and romping on the beach, but it is a good idea to tear them away so you all can explore the beach city and its surroundings.
A must-see landmark in town is the Los Arcos Amphitheater, which is backdropped by four stone arches.
Leisurely strolls along the Malecon, the promenade which connects Vallarta’s historic downtown with the waterfront area, are a surefire way to entertain the whole clan, with cafes, restaurants, shops, and street vendors along the way offering all kinds of goodies and snacks. Moreover, a climb up the El Faro lighthouse is well rewarded with stunning views of the town and the bay.
Venturing outside the city limits for some nature adventures is very much worth the whole family’s while. Horseback riding amid the lush jungle and the Sierra Madre mountains, ziplining over the gorgeous landscape, and visiting the Aquaventuras Water Park are only a few options.
Day trips to other beach towns in the area, like Yelapa and Sayulita, are also on the menu if you want to experience a more authentic side of Mexico.
4. Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is another great destination for a family vacation in Mexico if you are yearning for a Caribbean escape without the hustle and bustle of larger Cancun. The Playa Norte (North Beach side) is particularly great for those traveling with small kids because of its shallow waters and gentle waves.
Located off the Cancun coast on the Riviera Maya area, Isla Mujeres is an island that can be accessed by ferry from the mainland. Even though it is tiny in size, it manages to pack a whole slew of attractions and fantastic places.
All around Isla Mujeres, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops along a pedestrian-only avenue in the lively (but not wild) main town. If your kids are feeling adventurous, you can take them to Tortugranja, a turtle breeding “farm” located right on the beach that provides plenty of educational opportunities.
For all things marine life, make sure you book a snorkeling tour at Garrafon Natural Reef Park, an incredible spot for the kids to observe colorful coral, tropical fish, and many other species that live under the water.
As a bonus, Isla Mujeres is a car-free island. While walking is possible, most visitors opt to rent golf carts to get around in, which is usually a brand new adventure for younger kids!
5. Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur
Set in the Baja California Peninsula, Santa Rosalia is one of Mexico’s most unique family beaches, especially if a hidden gem is what you’re after.
Here, you’ll get to feel as though you traveled across the Atlantic and somehow landed in a seaside French village. This coastal town was founded in the late 1800s by the owners of a French copper mining company. Even though the mines aren’t functioning anymore, the French heritage and architecture is still alive and thriving in this curious Mexican port town.
Simply put, Santa Rosalia is not exactly what you would expect when traveling to Mexico for some beach fun, but it is a great spot for you and your family to learn about mining while enjoying the beach.
Moreover, for some snorkeling fun, the Sea of Cortez, which Santa Rosalia faces, is considered one of the best places in the world to see marine life.
Highlights in town include checking out the Mining History Museum and the Santa Barbara Church (which residents swear was built by Gustave Eiffel). To please the kids’ sweet tooth, make sure to peek into the Boleo Bakery, which was founded in 1901 and still follows the same pastry recipes it did back then!
Where to Stay: There are no big chains here which is part of the charm; for an authentic Mexican beach stay, try renting a vrbo property
6. Bucerias, Nayarit
Bucerias is an artsy, relaxed beach town full of traditional Mexican culture.
This former small fishing town set on the Pacific Ocean has gotten on travelers’ radar due to its fine-sand beaches, colorful buildings, and quaint cobblestoned streets lined with art galleries and local artisan shops.
Located on the Banderas Bay in the state of Nayarit, Bucerias is a splendid destination if you want to avoid big crowds and immerse yourself in real Mexican vibes while still enjoying the perks of a beach resort.
The town’s streets and beaches are very clean, and there are a number of landmarks that are typical of most towns and cities in Mexico, including the main town square with a kiosk and benches, a pretty church, and a colorful street market where you can find all kinds of goodies for the whole family.
The whole Nayarit coastal region is famous for its splendid surfing opportunities, and Bucerias is no exception. Watching surfers riding the waves is part of the beach entertainment in the area. Surfing classes are available for all levels as well, including children!
Snorkeling, hiking, and paddling adventures are also on the menu, as well as different boat tours (whale watching is huge here during the winter months). Bucerias is also a great base point for visiting other nearby beachside towns, including Sayulita, Punta Mita, and San Pancho.
7. Huatulco, Oaxaca
If you’re looking to travel with the kids for a fun-filled beach vacation and teach them about Mexican culture at the same time, Huatulco is the perfect destination for doing just that.
This Pacific Coast beach destination has managed to preserve its small-town rustic vibe, despite the many resorts that have sprung up in the last few years.
Huatulco is not a town or city per se, but rather a huge coastal area made up of 9 bays and 30 beaches and the stunning Sierra Madre mountain range as a backdrop, the perfect place to visit on an Oaxaca road trip.
Even though the Huatulco playas have become quite popular over the past few years, its large area allows for resorts and hotels to be spread out. Plus, the sheer number of beaches allows for a very enjoyable getaway where escaping the crowds is easy.
Locals of Huatulco have a very relaxed and friendly vibe, which will make you and your family feel very welcome here.
Huatulco features a number of all-inclusive resorts for all budgets as well as smaller hotels and house rentals, so you can pretty much choose what fits your travel style best.
Once you’re settled, get ready for lots of poolside and beach fun, with the calm waters of the Pacific being perfect for the smaller members of the family. When hunger strikes, take a walk to the downtown area of the main town (known as Las Crucecitas), where you’ll find plenty of dining options, from traditional Mexican dishes to international delicacies.
As for outdoor adventures, the Huatulco area is full of them. Hike up to the Hagia Sofia Ecological Park botanical gardens, where the whole family can learn about the region’s exotic flora while enjoying the bays’ mountainside vistas.
For a dive into ancient culture and history, explore the Copalita Ecological Park and ruins. If you want to find a beach that is completely empty, you can take the kids on an easy 30-minute walk through the jungle until you arrive in Cacaluta, a virgin beach no one ever visits!
There are also a number of tours available for the kids to practice kayaking and ziplining as well as a crocodile and turtle exploration adventure for the more daring ones. Most of these day trips will take you to rural villages where you can experience local culture up close and acquire artisan crafts, including the world-famous alebrijes typical of the state of Oaxaca.
The Best Time to Plan Your Mexico Beach Vacation
Whilst Mexico’s arid to tropical climate see’s mild to hot weather for much of the year, the prime time for a beach vacation in Mexico is the dry season, after the hurricane season is over, ie, from late November to around March – April.
This is when the weather is clearest and the humidity lowest. It is also when the beaches are busiest, and prices can be sky high. Book well in advance if you’ll be visiting over prime vacation times such as Christmas to New Year or Spring Break.
There are, of course, significant regional variations across the country. The north Pacific coast experiences cooler waters in the winter, whilst the further south you head, you can expect warm tropical waters year-round – if you’re prepared to put up with summer humidity.
We’d suggest families with younger children avoid Cancun and the Spring Break crowd in March-April. Summer may also be less preferable as not only is there a hurricane risk (primarily August to October), the beaches can often be covered in sargassum (seaweed); stick to late spring or winter.
More For Your Family Beach Vacation
- Our Ultimate Beach Packing List – planning any sort of day trip to the beach or beach vacation, you’ll want to check out our essentials + a downloadable beach packing checklist
- Tips for your baby’s very first trip to the beach – keep control in the sand and sun with all the items you’ll want to pack to keep your baby comfortable
- Toddler beach essentials – sun, sand, snoozes, and splashing about, everything you’ll want for a beach vacation with a toddler
- The best kids’ beach toys for summer – essentials we always keep in our beach bag
- Will your kids need beach shoes? Protecting little ones’ feet at the beach, we look at different styles of water shoes and when you might need them
- Perfect gifts for Mamas who love the beach – a gift guide for unique beach gifts ladies in your life will love
Are you currently planning a family vacation in Mexico? Which of these family beaches catch your eye the most? Let us know in the comment section below!
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With thanks to Dani, one of our lovely writers from Mexico, who helped with many of the details in this article. Helping us narrow down the huge selection of beaches and beach towns in Mexico to those with the best attractions and facilities ideal for family travelers new to Mexico, both on and off the beaten path! You can see more of Dani’s Mexico adventures here
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