I have been to Riviera Maya four times with my family in the past several years. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort each time, so we did not venture out much (Went to Xcaret once, and usually would go to Playa Del Carman for a few hours each time). I would not take a stroll in most areas of Mexico, as evidenced by the security forces with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders, but it is no different than Jamaica for example. And, it is amazingly cheaper than, say, Aruba. Depends what you want - if you want to stroll in the city and mingle with the natives, I would choose somewhere other than Mexico (or Jamaica). If, on the other hand, you are looking for a nice beach (albeit rocky along Riviera Maya), pool and amenities at a great price, then Riviera Maya certainly makes sense.
^ Haven't taken the trip yet. Planning for next summer (Juneish 2013).
I saw your post and couldn't help but rep my home state of Colima. Don't know what kind of packages there would be, but I could easily imagine it being cheaper than a trip to Hawaii.
The two major cities there are Colima and Manzanillo. Geographically, it has this cool view of the "Volcan de Colima," an active volcano (I remember seeing lava flows at night). It's also on the coast, if you like the beach (black sand and seafood ).
Historically, it was one of, if not the, first western colonized cities in Mexico, since the Spaniards went straight to the west coast. Therefore, it has a ton of interesting architecture. The best part, however, are the archaeological sights. Wikipedia has a couple articles on "La Campana" and "El Chanal". They have pyramids, ball courts, altars, all that good stuff . I think your daughter would definitely enjoy it.
The only con for an outsider I think would be the humidity, but I don't mind it. I guess it's called "tropical savanna climate."
For some pix of what Colima would look like, check out the user submitted photos for the Best Western[tripadvisor.com] there. For archaeological pix, search google for "el chanal" without the quotes.
There might not be too many people who speak English outside the more "touristy" locations, but I think that's to be expected (although there's probably an app for that ). IMO, it's also pretty safe, but, when visiting anywhere, be sure to do some research.
Planning a trip to Mexico for next summer with my family (me/wife, 6 yr son and 10 yr daughter).
Initially we were looking at Hawaiian deals but friends tell us Mexico packages are usually cheaper so we took the suggestion.
What city/area would be 'kid-friendly'? Looking for places which are more geared for family fun rather than singles drinking/partying out. Also, apart from the beaches, is there anything else to do in Mexico? My daughter is very interested in history so we are trying to get her to visit some ancient tribal sites, etc but have no clue to what and where to even begin this with.
I've been checking out via Kayak, etc but need to know the destination.
Any help will be appreciated and *repped* :-).
Have you considered an all-inclusive? For families, I highly recommend it. They make your life sooooo easy!
Consider looking at Isla Mujeres, a small island just off Cancun. Beautiful beaches, a laid back atmosphere, and many good restaurants (no need to do all-inclusive and limit yourself to your hotel/resort). We went there for spring break last year with a family of 4 and loved it. Nothing like the spring break craziness that is Cancun (though you do see some day trippers from Cancun to Isla).
Check out online travel forums like TripAdvisor and others for more info. I've heard good things about other places along the "Riveria Maya" as well.
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