Mexico Family Travel

Perfect Yucatan Itinerary: 20 Best Ideas For Visiting Yucatan With Kids

August 3, 2023

The Yucatan Peninsula is a treasure trove of natural wonders, vibrant culture, and fascinating history. Located in southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula offers visitors a diverse range of attractions to include in a Yucatan itinerary. From ancient Mayan ruins to stunning beaches, vibrant cities to hidden cenotes, there is no shortage of things to see and do in the Yucatan with kids. It’s the perfect spot for families!

Since the first time my family set foot on the Yucatan Peninsula, we fell in love. We enjoy the tropical climate, the delicious cuisine, and the countless opportunities to learn about Mayan culture. The diversity of things to do in this region of Mexico (whether you’re a nature lover, beach lover, or history lover) is what keeps us coming back again and again. 

Visiting Uxmal during a Yucatan itinerary

We think other families will love the Yucatán Peninsula too. That’s why I’ve put together this post of the 20 best places to go in the Yucatan with kids. It’s the ultimate list to help you start planning your dream Yucatan itinerary to this incredible part of the world.

This article was originally published on March 25, 2023.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means this blog will receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something. However, this will not result in any extra costs to you.

Yucatan with kids highlights

Don't have time to read the whole post? The Yucatan Peninsula is well-known for its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, Mayan ruins, and cenotes. And taking a tour to see all three is the best way to experience the best of what the Yucatan has to offer.

This Yucatan tour, offered by Ocean Tours Mexico, takes families to see the Tulum Ruins, a beach for snorkeling, and a visit to a cenote.

20 must-see spots for visiting Yucatan with kids 

We love the vast diversity of the Yucatán Peninsula, and want to make sure families get a chance to see all that the region has to offer. The Yucatán Peninsula is divided into three states: Quintana Roo, Yucatán, and Campeche.

Enjoying beach time during a Yucatan itinerary

While the states do share similarities, each one has something that makes it unique. So it’s worth spending time in each state, rather than just focusing on one. For ease of reading, I’ve grouped my favorite Yucatán itinerary spots below by state. Take some time to read about what each Yucatan Peninsula state has to offer.

Yucatan itinerary ideas in Quintana Roo state

Families visiting the Yucatan with kids should be sure to build in some time in Quintana Roo during their Yucatan itinerary. This state is known for its many beach cities and laid-back islands.

The city of Cancun is a great starting point for exploring Quintana Roo. From there, families can play on the beaches of Playa del Carmen and other parts of the Riviera Maya, take excursions out to the islands of Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, or Isla Holbox, see the ruins of Tulum, or head off to the hidden gem of Bacalar. 

Read more to see all the fun Yucatan itinerary ideas in Quintana Roo for families visiting Yucatan with kids. 

1. Cancun

Cancun is a fantastic destination for families looking for a fun and memorable vacation in the Yucatan with kids. 

The Hotel Zone in Cancun

One of the best things about Cancun is that it has a wide range of family friendly accommodations (both on the beach and off the beach), including all-inclusive resorts that cater specifically to families. Kids will love the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and play on the beach while parents can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

When it comes to things to see and do in Cancun, families will have no shortage of options. One of the top attractions is the Cancun Underwater Museum, which is a unique underwater art installation that features over 500 sculptures. Families can take a snorkel through the museum's galleries to see the sculptures up close. 

Another popular activity is visiting Xcaret Park, an eco-archaeological park that offers a range of activities such as snorkeling, water theme park activities, and exploring Mayan ruins.

Book this highly rated tour to get a taste of Yucatecan cuisine in Cancun:  

3-in-1 Street Food Tour

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Cancun: 

La Villa du Golf à Cancun

2. Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is another wonderful destination for families visiting the Yucatan with kids. With its beautiful beaches, lively atmosphere, and numerous family-friendly activities, Playa del Carmen has something to offer for everyone. 

Playa del Carmen, a must-see for a Yucatan itinerary

The town has a wide range of accommodations to choose from, including all-inclusive resorts and rental homes that cater specifically to families. Playa del Carmen is also a great base to explore nearby spots like the Tulum Ruins or Cozumel Island.

One activity that I suggest adding to your Yucatan itinerary is to explore Playa del Carmen's vibrant downtown area, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers. A highlight is the 5th Avenue pedestrian walkway, which is lined with colorful buildings and numerous shops and restaurants. 

Families can also spend their afternoons playing at the beach. There are many beach clubs in Playa del Carmen where you can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas for the day. Overall, Playa del Carmen offers a variety of activities and attractions that will ensure families have a fun and memorable vacation.

Book this highly rated tour to get a taste of street food in Playa del Carmen:

Playa del Carmen Food Tour

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Playa del Carmen: 

Riviera Maya Suites

3. Cozumel

Cozumel is a perfect island option for visiting the Yucatan with kids. This island is located just a short ferry ride from Playa del Carmen and offers a wide range of family-friendly activities. Cozumel is known for its picturesque waters, stunning beaches, and excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. 

Sea turtle during a Yucatan itinerary

One of our favorite things to do in Cozumel with kids is visiting the Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. The park features a variety of activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. 

Families can also visit Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, which features beautiful beaches, a lighthouse, and a lagoon for exploring nature. Or they can take a snorkeling trip from Playa Palancar to explore El Cielo, Colombia, and Palancar coral reefs.

Book this highly rated snorkel tour in Cozumel:   

The Cozumel Turtle Sanctuary Snorkel Tour

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Cozumel: 

Villas El Encanto

4. Tulum

For a more relaxed experience while visiting Yucatan with kids, head to the town of Tulum. This small town is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea and is famous for its ancient Mayan ruins, breathtaking sea views, and natural beauty. Families can learn about the Mayan culture of the area, relax on the beaches, and enjoy a range of outdoor activities. 

Tulum ruins during a Yucatan itinerary (photo credit: alicenerr)

One of the top things to do in Tulum with kids is visiting the Tulum Ruins. The ruins are perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea and offer stunning views. Families can take a guided tour of the site or explore on their own, learning about how Mayans lived back then and how they live now. 

Another great activity is visiting the nearby Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. The reserve is a protected area that offers a variety of activities like kayaking, birdwatching, and exploring the area's diverse wildlife. Families can also learn about the reserve’s unique ecosystem and the conservation efforts that protect it.

Book this highly rated tour to experience the Tulum Ruins:

Tulum Ruins Tour (Private, Half Day)

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Tulum: 

Hotel Casa Santiago

5. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a great choice for families looking for a more laid-back island pace while visiting the Yucatan with kids. The island is located just a short ferry ride from Cancun and is known for its relaxed vibe. Families can lounge on the beaches, explore the walkable island's natural beauty, and enjoy a range of family-friendly activities. 

Boat at Isla Mujeres during a Yucatan itinerary (photo credit: Gerson Repreza)

A unique activity for your family’s Yucatan itinerary is to rent a golf cart to explore the island's beaches and attractions. Families can drive around the island, stopping at various beaches, restaurants, and landmarks along the way. 

There are several fun beach clubs that families can choose from: Aquatic Funday Park, Kin Há Isla Mujeres, and Garrafon Park. Families can also take a snorkeling trip to Manchones Reef.

Book this highly rated Isla Mujeres snorkeling tour:

Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour Adventure

Stay at this highly rated hotel at Isla Mujeres: 

Hotel Secreto

6. Isla Holbox

If you’re looking for another hidden gem in your Yucatan itinerary, Isla Holbox is a perfect off-the-beaten-path choice. The island is located off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, accessible by ferry from the town of Chiquila. 

Photo by Michiel Ton on Unsplash
A swing in Isla Holbox during a Yucatan itinerary (photo credit: Michiel Ton)

One of the things to do in the sleepy fishing village of Isla Holbox is to take a whale shark tour. Families can take a guided tour to see these gentle giants up close and learn about their migration patterns and conservation efforts.

Another activity for families is to experience the island’s vibrant wildlife. Families can see flamingos at Punta Mosquitos, see wild birds at Isla Pajaros, or enjoy a bioluminescent tour. There is so much wonderful nature to experience in Isla Holbox!

Book this unique and highly rated bioluminescent tour in Isla Holbox:

Magic Night of Stargazing and Bioluminescence

Stay at this highly rated hotel at Isla Holbox: 

Villas HM Paraiso Del Mar

7. Bacalar

Bacalar is a city located in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula that families should consider visiting while in the Yucatan with kids. The city is known for its beautiful lagoon, also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors, which boasts a range of hues from deep blue water to turquoise. 

Visiting the lagoon in Bacalar for a Yucatan itinerary (photo credit: Camila Vázquez on Unsplash)

Families can explore the lagoon, do some snorkeling, and enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking. Bacalar is also a great choice for a romantic destination in Mexico. Make it a special experience by booking a sunset boat tour!

Book this highly rated boat tour of the lagoon in Bacalar:

Bacalar Boat Tour and Visit to Cenotes

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Bacalar: 

Hotel and Suites Oasis Bacalar

Yucatan itinerary ideas in Yucatan state 

Yucatan state is brimming with captivating destinations that families will remember for a lifetime. For awe-inspiring architecture and rich Mayan history, head to the archeological sites of Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, or Uxmal. To get a glimpse of vibrant Mayan and Spanish cultures, visit the cities of Merida, Valladolid, and Izamal. 

Or if you’re more in the mood for beach and nature in your Yucatan itinerary, head to the cities of Progreso and Celestun. And finally, the cenotes, unique to the Yucatán Peninsula, offer a truly memorable experience for families with their mesmerizing waters and lush vegetation. Take a look at the wide variety of destinations that families will enjoy while visiting Yucatan with kids.

8. Chichen Itza

For families looking to include some history into their Yucatan itinerary, a visit to Chichen Itza is a must! It is one of the most iconic ancient Mayan ruins in the world. Not only is it a popular Mexico bucket list destination, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is located in between Cancun and Merida, a few hours from either city. It's about 45 minutes from Valladolid.

Visiting Chichen Itza on a Yucatan itinerary

Chichen Itza is famous for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and rich history. Visitors can explore the site on their own or take a guided tour to learn more about the site's structure. 

If you're going to visit Chichen Itza, plan to arrive early in the morning. The site opens at 8 am, and arriving right when it opens is the best way to avoid the crowds and the hottest part of the day. Chichen Itza is located in a hot and humid part of Mexico, and visitors should come prepared with water, sunscreen, and a hat to protect themselves from the sun. 

Hire a guide ahead of time for your visit to Chichen Itza:

Guide Service in the Archaeological Zone of Chichen Itza

9. Merida

Known as the "White City" for its beautiful colonial architecture and white buildings, Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, offers a fulfilling cultural experience for families visiting Yucatan with kids. Its museums, galleries, and festivals give families a chance to enjoy the city's vibrant atmosphere and experience its unique blend of Mayan and Spanish cultures. 

Merida at night during a Yucatan itinerary

Merida offers a variety of family-friendly lodging, including hotels and rental homes. Seek out places in the Centro and San Antonio neighborhoods. 

One of the top things to do in Merida with kids is visiting the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya. This museum features interactive exhibits that showcase the history and culture of the Maya civilization, including artifacts, artwork, and replicas of ancient temples.

Families can also explore the city's lively and colorful downtown area, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and local vendors. The city's main square is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Merida is a great starting point for a day trip to nearby attractions like the Mayan ruins of Uxmal or the area's many cenotes.

Book this highly rated tour to sample Yucatecan cuisine in Merida:

Merida Street Food Walking Tour

Stay at this hotel in Merida that we personally enjoy:

Gran Hotel de Merida 

10. Valladolid 

For a visit to another colonial city, head to Valladolid. Families will enjoy experiencing this designated Pueblo Magico (Magic Town). 

Passing by a cathedral in Valladolid during a Yucatan itinerary

Valladolid is also a great base for exploring nearby attractions like the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza or the region’s natural cenotes (there are at least 4 popular cenotes near Valladolid). A cenote is a natural limestone sinkhole that visitors can swim in. 

Another great activity is spending an afternoon at Parque Principal Francisco Canton Rosado. Or families can visit the city’s Casa de los Venados (a private folk art museum) or the Museo de Ropa Etnica de Mexico (Museum of Mexican Ethnic Clothes).

Book this highly rated unique bike tour from Valladolid exploring Mayan culture:

Go Maya by bike in Valladolid (Local market-Cenotes-Mayan Family)

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Valladolid: 

Casa Quetzal Hotel Boutique

11. Progreso

If you are looking for a low key beach city, consider heading to Progreso. This charming beach town is located on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The town is known for its long stretch of sandy beach and delicious fresh seafood. 

Spending time at El Corchito during a Yucatan itinerary

Besides walking along the Malecon or playing on the beach, families can visit the nearby archeological sites of Dzibilchaltun and Xcambo. Additionally, families can spend an afternoon at the nearby El Corchito cenote and nature reserve, kayak through nearby mangroves, or see the pink waters of Laguna Rosada. 

Overall, Progreso is a fantastic destination for families looking to relax on the beach and explore the natural beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Book this highly rated tour from Progreso to visit El Corchito:

4 in 1, Corchito Ecopark, Flamingos, Salt Flats and Mayan Site

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Progreso: 

Tecnohotel Casa Villamar

12. Rio Lagartos

Ria Lagartos is a natural reserve located on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is known for its diverse wildlife and ecosystems, including pink flamingos, crocodiles, and mangroves.

The pink waters of Rio Lagartos during a Yucatan itinerary (Copyright: eline24)

To visit Ria Lagartos, families can either take a guided tour or explore the reserve on their own. If you’re taking a guided tour from a tour company, transportation to and from the reserve will likely be included, as well as a knowledgeable guide and a boat tour through the area. Families can also explore the reserve on their own by renting a car.

Book this tour of Rio Lagartos:

Nature tour by boat in the Natural Reserve in Río Lagartos

13. Izamal

If you’re looking for a break from beaches, cenotes, or water activities, head to the colonial town of Izamal. This town is known for its distinctive yellow buildings, which have earned it the nickname "The Yellow City." Izamal is also a designated Pueblo Magico.

Spending an afternoon at Izamal during a Yucatan itinerary

One activity that families can do in Izamal is visiting the Convento de San Antonio de Padua, which is a former Franciscan monastery that dates back to the 16th century. The monastery features a large central courtyard, a museum, and several ornate chapels. For a small donation, families can learn about the history of the monastery and explore its unique architecture. 

Izamal is also a noteworthy destination because it is home to a Mayan pyramid, the Kinich Kakmó Pyramid. This pyramid is within walking distance from the convent, and is free and open to the public.

Book this highly rated private tour of Izamal:

Izamal Magic Town and Mayan Handcraft Workshop Private Tour

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Izamal:

Hotel Hacienda Izamal

14. Uxmal

When it comes to archeological sites in Mexico, most visitors to the Yucatán Peninsula focus only on Chichen Itza. But there are other sites that are interesting to visit too, such as the archeological site of Uxmal. This UNESCO World Heritage site is an ideal destination for families interested in learning about Maya civilization. 

Visiting Uxmal during a Yucatan itinerary

Notable structures at Uxmal are the Governor’s Palace, the Pyramid of the Magician, and the Ballcourt. The site was built by the Maya people and showcases their impressive engineering and architectural skills. According to Mayan records, Uxmal was created around 500 AD (though most construction occurred in the 800s and 900s) and was once a thriving city that housed around 15,000 people.

Uxmal is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm, and visitors can enjoy guided tours or explore the site on their own.

Book this highly rated tour of Uxmal and the nearby Choco Story:

UXMAL and Chocolate Museum plus Cenote Private Tour

Stay at this highly rated historic hotel near Uxmal:

Hacienda Uxmal Plantation & Museum

15. Ek Balam

Another noteworthy archeological site to visit for your Yucatan itinerary is Ek Balam. This site is located just north of Valladolid, and was most prominent during the years of 770-840 CE.

Seeing the ruins of Ek Balam during a Yucatan itinerary

Like other archeological sites in Mexico, Ek Balam has plenty of impressive architecture, including the imposing Acropolis pyramid, which stands over 100 feet tall. The Acropolis also has a tomb of a Mayan king, Ukit Kan Lek Tok’. 

Ek Balam is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day. Visitors can take guided tours or opt to explore the site on their own. There is also a nearby cenote, called Cenote Xcanche, that features a zipline. And don’t forget to visit the nearby town of Ek Balam, where you can buy affordable hand-woven hammocks from local Mayan artisans.

Visiting Ek Balam offers families a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the Maya people while exploring an impressive archeological site. It’s an unforgettable destination for families who want to learn about Mayan culture.

Book this highly rated tour to visit the community of Ek Balam, as well as the pyramid and cenote: 

Visit to the Community of Ek Balam, Cenote & Pyramids Tour

16. Cenotes

No Yucatan itinerary would be complete without a visit to one of the Yucatán Peninsula’s many cenotes. Cenotes are natural sinkholes that are found in this part of Mexico and are believed to have been formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes the underlying groundwater. 

Swimming in cenotes, a must-do for a Yucatan itinerary

In addition to being naturally beautiful, cenotes are also culturally significant to Mayan culture. For ancient Mayan communities, cenotes were considered sacred. Many still hold spiritual and cultural importance for the local Mayan communities today. 

Many cenotes are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving, allowing families to explore the natural beauty of the underground rivers and caves. Here are the ten most popular cenotes to visit in Yucatan with kids:

  • Dos Ojos (near Tulum)
  • Azul (between Akumal and Playa del Carmen)
  • Hubiku (near Valladolid)
  • Yal-ku (near Akumal)
  • Multum Ha (between Valladolid and Tulum)
  • Hacienda Mucuyche (south of Merida)
  • Saamal (near Valladolid)
  • Xcajum (near Valladolid)
  • Xlacah (north of Merida)
  • Il Kil (near Chichen Itza)

Book this highly rated private Cenote tour:

The best Cenotes in Yucatan - Suytun & Oxman

17. Celestun

For families seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation, head to Celestun, located on the western side of Yucatan state. It's known for its natural beauty and interesting wildlife, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Seeing flamingos during a Yucatan itinerary

A highlight of Celestun is the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, which is home to a vast array of wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds, crocodiles, and pink flamingos. Families can take a guided boat tour through the reserve to see these animals up close and learn about the unique ecosystem of the area.

Another highlight of Celestun is its beautiful beaches, which offers opportunities for families to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the stunning ocean views. Overall, Celestun is an excellent destination for families seeking an outdoor adventure and a chance to experience the nature of Mexico. 

Book this tour to see flamingos in Celestun:

Celestun Nature Reserve Flamingo Tour-Boat to Flamingo Paradise

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Celestun:

Hotel Beach Don Gonzalo

Yucatan itinerary for Campeche state

If you’re wanting a more off-the-beaten-path destination during your visit to Yucatan with kids, head to the state of Campeche, located on the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula. Campeche offers a great mix of colonial and pre-hispanic history, as well as stunning nature.

During your Yucatan itinerary in Campeche state, be sure to visit the colorful colonial city of Campeche, as well as the ancient Mayan archeological site of Edzna. Also be sure to take a trip to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve to experience the biodiversity of the region and explore even more Mayan ruins. 

Read more to see why you don’t want to miss a visit to Campeche state during your trip to the Yucatan with kids.

18. Campeche

For a visit to a colonial city during your Yucatan itinerary that’s packed with cultural and historical heritage, head to the city of Campeche. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Campeche is home to a large number of historical monuments, churches, and forts that reflect the city's colonial past. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Eating breakfast in Campeche during a Yucatan itineray

Besides historical monuments, families can also enjoy strolling along the city’s Malecon. Alternatively, spend an evening enjoying the lively street life of Campeche’s Zona Centro. There are also plenty of great restaurants for families to sample local Campechano cuisine.

Campeche City is an excellent  jumping off point for adventuring through the rest of Campeche state. Take day trips out to nearby beaches, or Mayan archeological sites like Edzna, Becan, Chicanna. 

Book this highly rated private walking tour of Campeche:

Half Day Private Tour of Campeche, the Walled City

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Campeche: 

Gamma Campeche Malecon

19. Edzna

If you’re in the mood for ancient history while visiting Campeche on your Yucatan itinerary, head to Edzna, an ancient Mayan archaeological site located 52 km from Campeche city. Edzna was a significant political and economic center for the Mayan civilization, and was established around 600 BC. 

The ruins of Edzna, a great option for a Yucatan itinerary (Copyright: demerzel21)

The archaeological site features several impressive architectural structures, including the Great Acropolis, the Temple of the Masks, and the Ball Court. The buildings are adorned with intricate carvings and impressive stucco facades. 

The Edzna archaeological site is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, and the entrance fee is approximately $5 USD per person. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water, and wear sunscreen.

Stay at this highly rated hotel near Edzna: 

Hotel Los Cedros Uayamon

20. Calakmul Biosphere Reserve

For a nature fix during the Campeche portion of your Yucatan itinerary, head to Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. This reserve is a fantastic destination for families looking to immerse themselves in nature and learn about ancient civilizations. Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is home to the ancient Mayan city of Calakmul. Families can explore the ruins and learn about the Mayan culture of the region.

Calakmul ruins (Copyright: jkraft5)

The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species (around 70,000!), including jaguars, tapirs, and howler monkeys. The reserve is also home to a wide variety of bird species (including ocellated turkeys, crested guans, toucans, and parrots), making it a popular destination for birdwatching.

The reserve is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting Calakmul Biosphere Reserve also offers families an opportunity to learn about the local culture and traditions as the reserve is home to several indigenous communities.

Visitors are advised to bring insect repellent, comfortable clothing, and sturdy shoes when visiting the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The best time to visit the reserve is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. 

Stay at this highly rated hotel in Calakmul:

Hotel Maya Balam

Book this highly rated tour to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve:

Calakmul Excursion

Check out more Yucatan Peninsula spots for your multiple week Mexico itinerary!

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    Sample Yucatan itinerary for visiting Yucatan with kids

    Now that you have some ideas of where to visit in the Yucatan with kids, it’s time to build the perfect Yucatan itinerary for you! Mix and match the spots we’ve shared above to find ones that fit your family’s preferences.

    To help you with your itinerary planning, I’ve put together some sample itineraries based on different travel styles. I’m defaulting to a 14 day Yucatan itinerary. But if you have more time to spend in the Yucatan Peninsula, you’re welcome to add in more days to each destination, or add more destinations to your itinerary.

    Yucatan with kids highlights itinerary

    If you’re looking for the highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula, check out this Yucatan itinerary. This itinerary includes a mix of ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and vibrant cities, giving families a diverse and exciting experience of the Yucatan Peninsula.

    • Cancun (Day 1)
    • Tulum (Day 2)
    • Chichen Itza (Day 3)
    • Merida (Day 4-5)
    • Campeche (Day 6-7)
    • Celestun (Day 8)
    • Progreso (Day 9)
    • Valladolid (Day 10)
    • Playa del Carmen (Day 11-12)
    • Cozumel (Day 13)
    • Cancun (Day 14)

    Riviera Maya Yucatan itinerary

    The Riviera Maya is a stretch of Caribbean coastline in the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, extending south from Cancun to Tulum. This Yucatan itinerary focuses solely on destinations within the Riviera Maya. It offers a perfect blend of sun, sand, history, and culture, giving visitors an unforgettable experience of the Yucatan Peninsula.

    • Cancun (Day 1)
    • Isla Holbox (Day 2-3)
    • Isla Mujeres (Day 4-5)
    • Playa del Carmen (Day 6-8)
    • Playa Cozumel (Day 9-10)
    • Tulum (Day 11-12)
    • Cancun (Day 13-14)

    Yucatan itinerary for history and culture

    As you’ve seen from this post, there’s more to the Yucatan Peninsula than beautiful beaches. The region is also rich with history and culture. For families looking for a more culturally immersive experience on a multiple day Yucatan road trip or vacation, this Yucatan itinerary is a perfect way to explore the rich history and natural beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula.

    • Merida (Day 1-2)
    • Campeche (3-4)
    • Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (Day 4)
    • Edzna (Day 6)
    • Uxmal (Day 7)
    • Izamal (Day 8)
    • Chichen Itza (Day 9)
    • Valladolid (Day 10-11)
    • Ek Balam (Day 12)
    • Merida (Day 13-14)

    Mayan Train Yucatan itinerary

    The Mayan Train, also known as the Tren Maya, is a proposed railway project in Mexico (set to complete in September 2023) that aims to connect popular tourist destinations within the Yucatan Peninsula. 

    While the Mayan Train is intended to boost tourism and make travel around the region easier, there has been controversy surrounding the Mayan Train’s environmental footprint and impact on indigenous communities. Take some time to learn about the communities and areas impacted by this project. 

    This Yucatan itinerary focuses on major stops along the Mayan Train route. It can also make an excellent Mexico road trip itinerary too.

    • Cancun (Day 1-2)
    • Valladolid (Day 3)
    • Chichen Itza (Day 4)
    • Izamal (Day 6)
    • Merida (Day 6-7)
    • Campeche (Day 8-9)
    • Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (Day 10)
    • Bacalar (Day 11)
    • Tulum (Day 12)
    • Playa del Carmen (Day 13)
    • Cancun (Day 14)

    Slow travel Yucatan itinerary

    The best way to experience the Yucatan Peninsula is to take it slow. If you are filling a multiple week Yucatan itinerary, rather than jumping from one city to the next every other day, slow down the pace and focus on one city in each state. 

    This Yucatan Peninsula itinerary gives families a chance to dive deeper into this wonderful part of Mexico.

    • Merida (Day 1-2)
    • Campeche (Day 3-6)
    • Merida (Day 7-8)
    • Playa del Carmen (Day 9-13)
    • Merida (Day 14) 

    Why you should go to the Yucatán with kids

    Beach lovers will enjoy spending time in the region’s beautiful beaches. And for those who love to snorkel, the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea are teeming with colorful coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. The region’s many cenotes also offer families a chance to experience some unique natural wonders.

    If you’re looking for a fantastic destination to visit with kids of all ages, the Yucatán Peninsula is it. With a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, the Yucatan offers a unique and enriching travel experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

    For families seeking a cultural experience, the Yucatán offers plenty of opportunities for families to learn about Mayan culture, both past and present. There really is something for everyone in the Yucatán Peninsula!

    Packing tips for a Yucatan itinerary

    When preparing for your Yucatan itinerary, make sure you have the basic travel essentials. If you’re planning to spend time at the beach, be sure to bring a beach blanket and reef-safe sunscreen. For snorkeling activities, you should be able to rent snorkel gear while you’re there. 

    Most supplies are readily available in the Yucatan Peninsula, including first aid gear, baby gear, and a SIM card. However, there are some things that you’ll want to get ahead of time. Be sure you get these items for your Yucatan Peninsula trip:

    Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage

    Shacke Pak 5 Set Packing Cubes

    KEEN Kid's Newport Sandal

    If you’re doing family travel with young kids, know that some of the streets may have uneven walking terrain. It’s helpful to bring a backpack carrier if your little one is light enough. While it’s possible to bring a compact stroller for your vacation to Yucatan with kids, it might not be ideal depending on where you go. 

    Buy one of these highly recommended baby carriers or strollers for your trip:

    Kelty Journey Perfect Fit Elite Child Carrier

    Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier

    Thule Spring Compact Stroller 

    Other things to know for a Yucatan itinerary

    Before jetting off on your trip to the Yucatan with kids, familiarize yourself with some helpful tips and basic facts. Understanding the best time to go to the Yucatan, how to get there, how to get around, and what to pack will be extremely helpful in planning a Yucatan itinerary that’s perfect for your family.

    Kayaking near Progreso during a Yucatan itinerary

    And to really make the most of your visit, understanding the region’s history and culture will be helpful as well. Here are some Mexico travel tips you should know for a great trip to the Yucatán Peninsula.

    How to get to Yucatan with kids from outside of Mexico

    The best way to get to the Yucatán Peninsula from outside Mexico is by airplane. The major international airports in the Yucatán Peninsula are Merida International Airport and Cancun International Airport.  

    Aerial view of Cancun during a Yucatan itinerary

    An alternative way to come to the Yucatán Peninsula from Central America is via the land borders. Border crossings can be found along the borders of Guatemala and Belize. Visit the Banjercito website for more information on border crossings.

    Cruise ships also make ports of calls in various ports around the Yucatán Peninsula. Cozumel, Progreso, and Cancun are popular cruise ship destinations.

    All international travelers require a passport to enter Mexico. All travelers, including travelers from visa-free countries, need to fill out a form, called an FMM, before entering the country. Most inbound flights will provide this form to you before landing.

    Getting to and getting around Yucatan with kids from within Mexico

    Getting to the Yucatán Peninsula from within Mexico is relatively easy. Mexico has airports throughout the country that fly into Merida and Cancun. Popular domestic airlines include AeroMexico, AeroMar, Volaris, and VivaAerobus.

    A car in Valladolid

    There is also a fairly extensive bus system. The buses that operate in the Yucatan Peninsula include ADO bus or OCC bus (managed by ADO). ADO has more schedule options, and the cost can range from 375 to 600 pesos (roughly $18.75 to $30 USD). Check rates on their website.

    Another option is to rent a car and do an ultimate Yucatan road trip. If you’re planning on getting a rental car for a Yucatan road trip itinerary, you should also purchase insurance along with the rental. 

    If you have a USA driver’s license, you won’t need an international driver permit (IDP) to get to drive around the Yucatán Peninsula. However, nationals from other countries may need to get an IDP before coming to Mexico in order to legally drive.

    Best time to visit Yucatan with kids

    The Yucatán Peninsula has a tropical climate, with generally high temperatures and humidity levels compared to other parts of Mexico. 

    A traditional beach shelter in Cozumel during a Yucatan itinerary made with a straw roof and a wooden pole on sand with blue-green waves in the background
    A beach in Cozumel

    The best time to visit Yucatán with kids is during the dry season, which typically runs from November through April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from 60-95 degrees Fahrenheit and 17-36 degrees Celsius. 

    While the months of May and July are typically the hottest months of the year, the rainy season actually runs from May to October and can bring heavy rains. Hurricane season runs typically from July to October. If you’re planning your Yucatan itinerary during that time, be sure to be prepared for the weather. 

    Getting to know Mexican culture and history

    If you’re planning to visit this part of Mexico, take some time to learn about the Yucatán Peninsula’s culture and history. 

    A traditional temazcal for a Yucatan itinerary

    The area was first inhabited by the Maya people group around 2500 BC. Ancient Mayan cities like Chichen Itza, one of the most iconic sites in the region, were prominent around 250-800 CE. The peninsula was later colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century, and it became an important center of the colonial era, with cities such as Merida and Campeche flourishing.

    Today, Mayan culture is still alive and well in the Yucatán Peninsula. And there are plenty of ways to experience the culture. You can visit Mayan villages, sample traditional cuisine, and take part in ceremonies like a traditional temazcal. And if you want to get a general overview of Mexican culture before your trip, why not read some books about Mexico with your kids!

    Planning to go to Mexico City too? Check out this Mexico City itinerary!

    Creating the perfect Yucatan itinerary

    Visiting the Yucatan with kids is an experience that the whole family will cherish for years to come. With a perfect mix of adventure, culture, and relaxation, the Yucatan offers something for everyone. 

    Whether your Yucatan itinerary is filled with visits to ancient Mayan ruins, swims in stunning cenotes, or sunbathing on the beautiful beaches, there is no shortage of activities for kids and adults alike. With its warm climate, deep history, and breathtaking natural beauty, the Yucatan Peninsula is the perfect destination for a family vacation that your kids will never forget.

    The Perfect Yucatan Itinerary: 20 Best Ideas For Visiting Yucatan With Kids | Mexico Family Travel | Pinterest image of a blurry pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico with text overlay.

    Want to experience more of Mexico? Check out these ideas:

    Best 10 Day Mexico Itinerary For Families: 4 Ideas For The Perfect Mexico Family Trip

    15 Safest Cities in Mexico To Travel: Safe Places in Mexico For Travel

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