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The top 10 Things to Do In Playa Del Carmen with Kids

Mexico is an incredible destination to visit with kids. A family road trip through the Yucatán Peninsula is often a bucket list trip for traveling families. Within the peninsula you’ll find the state of Quintana Roo with lots of highlights. Like the Riviera Maya, a strip along the Caribbean coastline, with places like Akumal, Tulum, Cozumel island and Playa Del Carmen. This post is dedicated to all the best 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids! You’ll have an awesome Playa family vacation with these tips in hand.

Visiting Playa Del Carmen with kids is a must when you’re in Quintana Roo. It’s a laidback beach town where you’ll find many adventurous as well as relaxing activities. The food is amazing, the nature stunning and the people friendly. In Playa Del Carmen you’ll find a mix of backpackers, influencers and families with kids. Because it’s located in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, Playa Del Carmen is a great base to explore the area. And that makes it an attractive destination for all kinds of travelers.

When visiting Playa Del Carmen with kids you can enjoy yourselves by eating the local cuisine, swimming, diving and snorkeling in the sea or in cenotes, visit amusement (water) parks, shop til you drop at 5th Avenue and take day trips to Cozumel Island, the Coba Ruins, Tulum and Chichén Itzá.

Why Playa Del Carmen is a great choice for a family visit

The Yucatán Peninsula is often the first region families with kids visit in Mexico. One of the reasons is that the Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo are considered to be one of the safest states. And Quintana Roo is one of the most popular tourist areas with a relatively low crime rate.

Playa Del Carmen is located in the Riviera Maya, the heart of Quintana Roo. The Riviera Maya was recognized by the US State Department as the safest area in Mexico in 2023. Be cautious like you would be in any country you visit. Don’t flaunt around your valuables, don’t leave bags unattended and stick to the tourist zones.

Strolling through Playa Del Carmen - Mexico

The best thing about Playa Del Carmen is that it’s easy to get around. We did everything on foot. Walking to the beach, heading to dinner or lunch, doing groceries and exploring Fifth Avenue (a shopping haven). You can also find lots of family friendly activities here like swimming, snorkeling, diving, boat tours, visiting amusement (water) parks and hiking in nature. Fun things to do for kids are everywhere in this town.

Kid friendly food

The food scene is amazing here. In Playa Del Carmen restaurants that serve kid friendly food are everywhere. Small family owned restaurants without frills but mouthwatering Mexican dishes and lots of instagramworthy places where the dishes on your plate look like pieces of art and taste amazing. You can find any cuisine you can think of here, like French, Italian and Japanese. Fusion is also popular. There’s lots of food in Playa Del Carmen that kids love.

Use Playa as a base to explore Quintana Roo

In conclusion, Playa Del Carmen has lots to offer for families and it should definitely be part of your family trip through the Yucatán Peninsula. And if you’re short on time, Playa Del Carmen is a great base to explore the entire state, since it’s quite centrally located. Add an extra hour in the car and you can also visit places like Valladolid and Chichén Itzá in the Yucatán. The 3 best places to stay in the Riviera Maya with kids when you want to explore the region are Cancun, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen.

In summary, I often hear the question “is Playa Del Carmen family friendly?” and I can only reply with an absolute YES!

Read more >> Ultimate Yucatán Peninsula Family Road Trip Guide

Read more >> Where to stay in the Riviera Maya with kids: Cancun vs Playa Del Carmen vs Tulum

When to visit Playa Del Carmen

The best time to visit Playa Del Carmen with kids is between December and April. This is when it’s not hot enough to be unpleasant and the evenings are cool. The downside of visiting Playa with your family during this time of year is that it’s peak season. The prices are high and the crowds big. Accommodation and tickets to the most popular sights and attractions should definitely be pre-booked. As well as rental cars.

July and August is shoulder season. You’ll experience extreme heat and humidity should spend your day wisely by exploring early morning and chilling at the beach or near a pool in the afternoon. You do get better deals when it comes to rental cars and accommodation.

We traveled through the Yucatán Peninsula with family all of July and August and made sure we always had accommodation with a (plunge) pool. That way we could immediately cool off after a morning of exploring. Meaning that we were always back at our temporary home or a place with airconditioning around 11am. By doing it like this, bringing lots of water and wearing lots of sunscreen, bug repellent, hats and sunglasses, we had a great time and would do it again.

How to get to Playa Del Carmen

Fly

Cancun Airport is about an hour drive from Playa Del Carmen. This is the second busiest airport in Mexico, so make sure you have enough time for the drop off and check in when returning home. Arriving here was a breeze. It was a short walk from customs to the baggage claim and after collecting your luggage you walk to the exit in less than 10 minutes.

You can also fly to and from Cozumel International Airport from several US and Canadian cities. Since Cozumel is only a 35 minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen, this could be a great option for you.

We always book our international flights through Expedia, to get the cheapest fares.

When you’re already in Mexico or Central America and flying to Playa Del Carmen from there, it’s better to book through 12Go. They offer the best continental and short international flight deals.

Bus & Ferry

To book your transport for your family road trip Yucatan Peninsula with kids, whether by bus or ferry, we recommend using 12Go. This is a user-friendly website that will show you all the different price options and comparisons as well as reviews from fellow travelers. Train is not yet an option, Mexico is hard at work creating a train network in the Yucatán Peninsula, but it’s hard to tell when it’s finished. I’ve heard everything from 2025 to 2028

There are many bus companies in Mexico, the most popular being ADO. They travel about anywhere in the peninsula. Whether you use them as an airport transfer or to get from one town to another, ADO is a way cheaper option than a taxi. And they’re always clean and have airco.

Powered by 12Go system

Getting around Playa Del Carmen

Like I mentioned before you can get to most of the places of interest by walking. When walking with a stroller, note that curbs are often high and uneven. You might have to pick the stroller up every now and then to continue on. But other than that visiting Playa Del Carmen with a toddler is a breeze.

You can also explore Playa by bike. There are even some bike paths around and when they’re not, just make sure you stay close to the curbs or sides of the road and pay extra attention when crossing a road or taking a turn right. You can rent bikes at Biciplaya.

Since we used Playa Del Carmen as a base to explore the region a bit, we rented a car. In fact, we had the same rental car for a 4 week road trip through the Yucatan Peninsula. We always use Discover Cars to rent cars all over the world.

ADO

The main ADO bus terminal in Playa del Carmen is located on 5th Avenue and Avenida Benito Juarez. The Playa del Carmen ADO bus station also serves as a Riviera Maya transportation hub to nearby destinations like Cancun, Tulum, Merida, Valladolid and Bacalar.

Colectivo

You’ve probably seen them on pictures before, the Colectivo, the large vans (or small buses) that can take you from A to B cheap and safe. You can find them all over Mexico. Lots of them are privately owned, so it’s good to know that they don’t have the strictest of schedules, but we’ve never waited more than an extra 10 minutes tops. Cash only and most trips cost between €2 to €5 for a one way ticket. It’s a great alternative for a taxi or Uber.

And that brings me to the last mode of transportation and that’s a car. La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) and some of the streets around it are closed for cars, but other than that you can get around Playa Del Carmen easily by (rental) car, taxi or Uber.

Strolling through Playa Del Carmen - Mexico

Top tours in Playa Del Carmen with kids

Now that I’ve shared with you all the general information for your Playa Del Carmen family trip, let’s get to the best 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids!

10 Things to Do In Playa Del Carmen with Kids

Swim in a cenote (or two)

Spend a day at the beach

Stroll around Fifth Avenue

Zipline through the jungle

Visit the 3D Museum of Wonders

Explore the underground at Rio Secreto

Check out the Xaman Há Ruins

Play at Parque Fundadores

Get tickets for Chanolandia Water Park

Base yourselves in Playa Del Carmen and explore the region

Exploring Cenote Azul near Playa Del Carmen in Mexico
Toddler's first dip in Cenote Azul near Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

Swim in a cenote (or two)

There are lots of cenotes to explore in and around Playa Del Carmen. Some more family friendly than others. These natural sinkholes filled with crystal clear water are the ideal place to cool off a bit and have a lounge day. Here are the 3 best cenotes in Playa Del Carmen with kids.

Bring your snorkel, because in most cenotes in Playa Del Carmen snorkeling is a great way to get a good look at the many fish.

Cenote Cristalino

This is a small cenote, they offer life jackets for free. I didn’t see any for kids 0-2, so bring your floaties or own life vest for kids this age. The part that makes this cenote fun is the fact that it has a cave tunnel. Because the water isn’t that clear here, you can get surprised by fish nibbling on your toes. Our toddler didn’t like it, while he didn’t mind in cenotes with clear water. I guess because of the unwanted element of surprise.

Cenote Jardin Del Eden

Cenote Jardin Del Eden is perfect for (pre)teens. This is the place to jump and dive. Our toddler didn’t enjoy this cenote much, there wasn’t much else for him to do than float around.

Cenote Azul

Chilling in the water at Cenote Azul near Playa Del Carmen in Mexico
One of the pool areas at Cenote Azul near Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

The most beautiful and kid friendly cenote in Playa Del Carmen is Cenote Azul. There are many shallow spots here so you can visit this cenote with kids of all ages. Older kids will enjoy the pool with a cliff you can jump off from. We spotted a few iguanas in this area. They walk around the entire area, but we only saw them here. Because of the diversity of depth and adventure, this is our number one cenote in Playa Del Carmen with kids.

Chilling in the sand on a beach in Playa Del Carmen - Mexico

Spend a day at the beach

One of the top 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids is to spend a day at one of the many beaches. But what are the best beaches for families?

Calle 10 beach

Playa Del Carmen has some great beaches you can hang out at. If you’re into beach clubs you should head out to Calle 10 Beach. Here you’ll find lots of hip and not too pricey beach clubs. Visiting a beach club at Calle 10 Beach is actually a great budget alternative to the beach clubs at Tulum’s North Beach.

A great tip is to visit the public beaches at Calle 10 beach, most people hang out at the beach clubs, meaning that the public parts are less crowded, while you can still enjoy some people watching.

Playacar beach

Playacar beach is also a great option. It looks a little more bounty than Calle 10 beach, probably because it’s a little further from the center and also because the private counsel of Playacar cleans up the seaweed in the early morning. It’s almost impossible to avoid seaweed, unfortunately, so for some perfect family beach photo’s head on out to Playacar beach early in the morning.

Calle 38 beach

Not a popular opinion, but we loved Calle 38 beach, a public beach that’s mostly visited by locals after a day at work. We hung out here two mornings right next to Mamita’s Beach Club (where we loved the lunch menu). Less tourists and more locals, we liked the vibe of this beach. Visiting one of the public beaches, like calle 38 beach, is one of the best free things to do in Playa Del Carmen.

Other popular beaches in Playa Del Carmen

Punta Esmeralda beach, Playacar beach, the beach next to Parque Fundadores, playa Coco en Playa 88 (aka calle 88 beach) are also great options for a day of playing in the sea and sand.

Shopping at Avenida Quenta in Playa Del Carmen - Mexico
Shopping at Fifth Avenue in Playa Del Carmen - Mexico

Stroll around Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, locally known as Avenida Quinta, is a street filled with restaurants, bars and shops. Shops include brands lime Zara and Lacoste, but also lots of local shops where they sell home decor like rugs, ceramic pieces and wooden furniture.

You’ll also find lots of souvenir shops here, but I would advise against buying your souvenirs here, prices are twice or even three times higher than basically anywhere else in Playa Del Carmen. With one exception, there are some souvenir shops selling locally made goods. But be aware of signs saying stuff is handmade, more often than not you’ll see made in China on the bottom of an item.

Grab a bite at Avenida Quinta

We had great meals at 5th Avenue, we often avoid eating at the most busy places in any town. Mostly they’re overpriced and not that good, you basically pay for the location and get crappy service as an added bonus ;). But we heard that you can enjoy some amazing food here and tried a few out ourselves.

We loved breakfast at the french bakery Chez Céline. Had some amazing seafood at El Muelle and enjoyed the best coffee and hot chocolate at Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe. For lunch head over to Las Hijas de la Tostada, we loved their taco’s and tostadas! Lastly, the dinner options are also amazing. If you want to go for a traditional meal and the best Mezcal check out La Perla Pixan and if your looking for great steaks and burgers, visit Harry’s Prime Steakhouse and Raw Bar.

Breakfast is served at Chez Céline a restaurant in Playa Del Carmen - Mexico

Zipline through the jungle

A man waiting for his moment to start ziplining through the jungle at Xplor in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

Next on this list of 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids is a dose of adventure: ziplines! There are a few places in Playa Del Carmen where you can go ziplining through the jungle.

Selvatica Adventure Park

Adventure Park Selvatica is a great option for families, because there are different levels of difficulty, so even young kids can join in on the ziplining fun here. The park is known for its safety measures. Besides ziplining you can also enjoy ATV rides (they do have age limits, of course) and swim in a few cenotes.

Xplor Adventure Park

Xplor Adventure Park is an amazing park for parents and kids ages 8 and up. Ziplining here was amazing, but far from the only adventure we had here. No fun for the toddler though, so we split up this day and I went with our teenager. We drove an amphibious vehicle through the jungle, went rafting through caves and spend the majority of the day flying through the jungle.

Animal abuse at Xcaret

Xplor is part of a few theme parks that fall under Xcaret. We made sure that our ticket was only for Xplor. Why? Xcaret calls itself an eco park, but that’s definitely false advertisement. At Xel Ha (also a part of this group of parks) and Xcaret you can swim with dolphins and they have to perform tricks. At Xcaret the manatees are kept in very small basins and you can pay to feed wild animals like jaguars.

Before buying tickets to Xplor we made sure that this park doesn’t offer activities involving animals. And we didn’t see any of this kind of activities while we were there. Please let me know if I’m in the wrong here, so I can change this post.

I’m writing this so you can decide for yourselves if you want to spend your money on tickets to Xplor. Or the other parks of Xcaret, the main park called Xcaret and Xel-Ha. There’s lots of info about animals in Xel-Ha and Xcaret on Google if you’d like more info about this.

Read more >> Animal abuse in the tourism industry

Other zipline options around Playa Del Carmen

You can book day trips to 2 other zipline companies. One is Boca Del Puma where you can zipline and swim at 2 cenotes. The drive from Playa is about 30 to 40 minutes. The other is Jungle Maya Native Park in Tulum, also a 30 to 40 minute drive from Playa Del Carmen. We didn’t try these yet, but I’ve read some great reviews.

Visit the 3D Museum of Wonders

We’re already halfway through this top 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids. Visiting a museum while in Playa with kids is maybe not the first thing on your mind, but the 3D Museum of Wonders is a museum your whole family will enjoy. Our toddler loved it and so did our teen, and it’s also fun for adults.

The 3D Museum of Wonders is an interactive experience. There are 3D Art Exhibits, like a collection of awesome optical illusions. It’s very much aimed at photography (hello Instagram!). Most of the artwork creates the illusion of depth and perspective, which makes it fun to pose for pictures in.

You can opt for a guided tour, but if you don’t want that there are enough signs for you to read and learn about all the different creations by local and international artists.

Stalactites in the stunning underground river in the cave Rio Secreto in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

Explore the underground at Rio Secreto

As you might have guessed by now, Playa and the region Riviera Maya is the place to be for adventure seekers. Next on this list of 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids is an underground adventure. A visit to Río Secreto, a place that the Mayans considered to be one of the holiest places on earth, will be an experience you won’t forget.

This stunning cave is filled with natural cave formations like stalagmites and stalactites (one of the few pictures that actually came out decent is from the latter, pictured above). You can walk through the underground river, which is a great experience in itself, but you can also swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear water and get a closer look at the rock formations under the water.

We also spotted lots of bats, which made the outing even cooler!

A view of the side of a Maya ruin surrounded by trees at the site of Xaman Ha in Playa Del Carmen

Check out the Xaman Há Ruins

Not many people have heard about the Xaman Há Ruins, in fact we hadn’t either. I read about the ruins while we were in Playa and I was looking for things to do and stumbled upon a post at Anna Everywhere (also a family travel blogger that I highly recommend you check out) where she mentions these Maya Ruins.

While Playa is one of the few places where you won’t find Mayan ruins easily, the Xaman-Há Ruins are an exception. And it’s not crowded like many other Mayan sites are. You can find the site at Playacar, a gated community on the south side of Playa Del Carmen. Here you’ll find all inclusive resorts, golf clubs and villas. If you’re looking for accommodation then you can find some of the top family resorts in Playa Del Carmen, here.

Entrance to the ruins of Xaman Ha

There are 2 entrances to Playacar, Phase 1 and Phase 2. For the ruins you should enter at Phase 1, after a short walk you see signs to the ruins and the beach. Top tip: the beach of Playacar is also pretty spectacular. This is practically a two for one deal on this best 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids list.

Crumbling monuments

While most Mayan Ruins have been nicely preserved or are being preserved right now (before we get to admire them) that is not the case with Xaman-Ha. The ruins are a cluster of crumbling stone buildings used by Mayans until they left somewhere in the 16th century.

While there are no guides or security there, please refrain from climbing or touching the ruins. That way we can all admire what’s left of these, seemingly forgotten, ruins for decades to come. A visit to Xaman-Ha is one of the most unique things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids.

A large iguana chilling in the sun at the Xaman-Ha ruins in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

Iguanas of Xaman Ha

Like at the Tulum Ruins there’s no way to escape from iguanas here. There large and curious and come up to you without any fear. Don’t worry they won’t climb on your lap or anything, but it’s very clear that they’re used to humans around here. The fact that they live here makes this sight more fun for kids.

Sunset at the Portal Maya statue in Parque Fundadores in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

Play at Parque Fundadores

Parque Fundadores, translated into Founders Park, is next on this top 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids. There’s lots to do at this park. You can spend some time at the beach, soaking up the sun and walk around and enjoy a street performance. We went here 3 times during our stay in Playa and there was always some kind of performance going on in the park.

You can also opt to do some shopping here, local artisans sell there arts and crafts here, like jewelry, paintings and clothing.

We loved to see the sunset behind the Portal Maya Statue, a drink in hand. Parque Fundadores is a great place to just hang and relax. And it’s another free thing to do in Playa Del Carmen!

Get tickets for Chanolandia Water Park

A place where we only spotted locals was Chanolandia Water Park. It’s family owned so we liked to invest into the local economy a bit, instead of going to one of the bigger water parks in the Riviera Maya. It’s a simple park, no huge slides, so great with younger kids. You can swim in the pools or in one of the natural cenotes. You can easily spend a morning or afternoon here, without breaking the bank. We paid about 4 euro for the adult and 2 for our youngest. This was the day our family split up and the eldest and I went to Xplor to go ziplining. This way we all had a great and age appropriate day.

PS: no picture because we left our camera, GoPro and phones at home.

Playing in the pool of our apartment in Playa Del Carmen - Mexico
The outside of a white apartment complex with a pool in Playa Del Carmen - Mexico

Base yourselves in Playa Del Carmen and explore the region

Last on this top 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids is the tip to use Playa Del Carmen to explore the region. There is so much to do in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan and instead of changing accommodation every other day to get to some of the sights, you can choose to base yourselves in Playa Del Carmen.

Playa Del Carmen is centrally located and if you don’t have a rental car, there are lots of tours that start in Playa and will take you to all the highlights in the area. The public transport options are also great here. Just rent yourselves an apartment or villa with a pool and explore the region in the morning and cool off at the pool in the afternoon.

Now that you’ve read the top 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids, let’s share some great things you can do around Playa Del Carmen.

Day trips from Playa Del Carmen with kids

Here are some of the best day trips from Playa Del Carmen for families.

Mayan ruins

There are lots of Mayan ruins to explore in the area. Let’s list the best ones.

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and a must see when in the Yucatan Peninsula. If you have a rental car or book a private transfer then make sure you start exploring Chichen Itza as early in the morning as you can to avoid the crowds and the heat. The drive from Playa Del Carmen to Chichén Itzá takes about 2,5 hours.

Another option is to book a day tour via Viator or Get Your Guide, the options are endless. And lastly, you can take the ADO bus, leaving from Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) every morning around 8am. It will take you three hours to get to this world wonder.

El Castillo in Chichen Itza - Mexico
View of El Castillo at the Tulum ruins - Mexico

Cobá

Another well known Mayan complex is Cobá. Not a world wonder, but certainly worth a visit. And a little closer to Playa Del Carmen.

In about 1,5 hours you can drive to the Coba ruins. With the ADO it will take you 2 hours, the bus will drive via Tulum leaves multiple times a day. Because Coba is not as far as Chichen Itza, another option is to take the Colectivo. You can’t prebook, so if the Colectivo is full, you’d have to wait for the next one. Note that only some Colectivo’s have aircon. The ones we used didn’t, so we didn’t risk taking the 2 hour drive to Coba with a Colectivo and drove there ourselves.

You can also opt to book a tour to Coba via Get Your Guide or Viator.

Tulum Ruins

The closest ruins are the ones in Tulum. Take a day trip and explore this popular town and the ruins in one day. A rental car, Colectivo and the ADO bus are all great option. It’s only a 50 minute drive. With public transport it will take you a little over an hour. If you want to combine a city trip and a visit to the Tulum ruins, I’d go with one of these three options.

If you want to skip the town or safe it for another day, then booking a tour from Playa Del Carmen to the Tulum Ruins via Viator or Get Your Guide might be a better option than the ADO or Colectivo. You don’t have to change buses this way. So either go for a self-drive or a day tour to the Tulum ruins.

Read more >> 13 Things to Do In Tulum with Kids

Ek Balam

The last ruin complex I want to mention here is Ek Balam. Ek Balam is one of the largest Mayan sights in the Yucatán Peninsula and greatly preserved. It was one of our favorites. To far with a Colectivo and I haven’t heard of a great ADO connection. So either book a private transfer or tour or self drive from Playa Del Carmen to Ek Balam. This will take you a little over 2 hours.

Both Viator and Get Your Guide offer some great tours, mostly in combination with visits to a cenote or nearby town or city.

Cenotes

There are lots of great cenotes to explore around Playa Del Carmen. There are so many great ones that it’s not easy for me to pick the best ones. I narrowed it down to a top 5 best cenotes near Playa Del Carmen for families. I left out the ones that are not kid friendly, like insta famous places like Cenote Ik Kil and Cenote Suytun.

Cenote Zacil-Ha

One of the best cenotes for families is Zacil-Ha. It’s small and is known for its crystal clear waters. You can jump in from the rocks and even zipline through it. Great for kids ages 8 and up. But if you have younger kids or kids in multiple age ranges (like us) you can swim in the swimming pools and chill in the hammocks. It’s great for all age ranges and you get here in 55 minutes by car.

Casa Cenote

Casa Cenote or Cenote Casa Tortuga, is quite unique. It’s surrounded by mangroves and beautiful trees. Your family can swim, snorkel, kayak and paddle board here. It’s very family friendly because the deepest point of the cenote is 6 meters. You can get here from Playa Del Carmen in 50 minutes by car.

Coba Cenotes

This is best done in combination with a trip to the Coba ruins. After exploring the ruins you can cool off in one of 3 cenotes. Cenote Choo-Ha, Tamcach-Ha or Multum-Ha. They’re all quite small. We only went to Choo-Ha, because it seems to be the most family friendly of the three. The shallow waters make it perfect for a swim with kids.

Dos Ojos Cenote

One of the most popular cenotes in the Riviera Maya is Dos Ojos. This is because it’s the largest underwater cave system in the world. Dos Ojos translates into 2 eyes and that’s because there are two underwater pools. One great for families (the blue pool) and the other for divers (the dark pool). We loved seeing the stalagmites and stalactites. It’s a great alternative to a visit to the Río Secreto (part of the 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids). It takes about 50 minutes to drive to Dos Ojos from Playa.

View of Laguna Kaan Luum - Mexico
Platform to the Laguna Kaan Luum - Mexico

Laguna Kaan Luum

Laguna Kaan Luum is a shallow lake or very large cenote, mostly used by locals. It’s kind of a unique thing to do in Tulum with kids. Kaan Luum Lagoon is filled with turquoise blue water (not on our pics, because it was cloudy so it’s beauty is not really noticable on the pictures). The safe part is demarcated by ropes, so you know where you can swim with your kids. The cenote area has a depth of 85 meters and only accessible if you’re a certified diver or with a diving instructor.

Towns and cities

Day trip to Cozumel

Cozumel island is an amazing place to spend a day. And it’s only a short 45 minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen.

The cosy and small city center has a nice plaza surrounded by orange and yellow colored buildings. There are lots of places to eat. If you’re a coffee lover, don’t skip Coz Coffee Roasting Company for their special: peanut butter coffee. It sounds strange, but it’s amazing! Shopping here is also possible, especially for swimming and diving gear.

Two other things to do here are a visit to Punta Sur Ecological Park to spot crocodiles, birds and other wildlife. Or you can visit one of the many water parks. We loved Playa Mia Grand Beach Park, but there are more options. You can prebook your tickets or buy them once you arrive at the Cozumel pier.

Day trip to Tulum

We’ve talked about a day trip from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum before. Not just to visit the Mayan Ruins. But also to check out some of the dreamy beach resorts where you can buy a day pass for their part of the beach, eat delicious food and to check out the jungle surrounding the beaches and cenotes that Tulum is known for.

It’s an Instagram-worthy place, photoshoots are happening on every corner. If you’re looking to take pictures at some of the highlights often seen on social media, get there early to avoid the lines.

A little boy running through the sand at a beach club in Tulum - Mexico

Day trip to Valladolid

A day trip from Playa Del Carmen to Valladolid is highly recommended. The drive there takes 1 hour and 45 minutes, but you’ll get the real Mexican vibe in return. It’s very different from Cancun, Playa, Cozumel and Tulum.

Valladolid is filled with colonial buildings in all the colors you can think of. It’s also rated as one of the safest destinations in Mexico. Bring your swimwear, because Valladolid is filled with cenotes in the middle of the city.

And that’s it. We’ve covered the 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids and I ended this post with the best Playa Del Carmen day trips. This is an extensive post about Playa Del Carmen with kids and I hope it was helpful!

FAQ – Playa Del Carmen with kids

Before I end this post let’s answer some frequently asked questions about family travel to Playa Del Carmen. If you don’t have time to read the entire article, read this FAQ for a quick fix.

Is Playa Del Carmen good for families?

Playa Del Carmen is a laidback beach town where you’ll find many adventurous as well as relaxing activities. The food is amazing, the nature stunning and the people friendly. In Playa Del Carmen you’ll find a mix of backpackers, influencers and families with kids. Because it’s located in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, Playa Del Carmen is a great base to explore the area. And that makes it an attractive destination for all kinds of travelers. Playa Del Carmen is definitely a great place to visit for families with kids.

Is Playa Del Carmen kid friendly?

Definitely! With its prisitine beaches and gentle waters, cenotes nearby and lots of family resorts and rental homes with pools it’s easy to beat the heat and enjoy hours in the water or playing in the sand. The food scene is amazing, local food but also pizza, pasta, burgers you can find it all in Playa Del Carmen. With all the adventure and water parks around there are lots of family friendly activities to do. Playgrounds in Playa Del Carmen can be found in the parks.

Is Playa Del Carmen safe for families and kids?

Yes, just take the precautions you would take in any other city. Don’t wander around in the dark or outside of the main tourist area’s and don’t flaunt your valuables. Don’t drink to much and don’t buy and use drugs. But I guess I’m preaching to the choir here, this is a family travel blog after all.

How far is Playa Del Carmen from Cancun?

Driving to Cancun will take you about an hour. The same goes for the ADO buses that go back and forth.

How far is Playa Del Carmen from Tulum?

Driving to Tulum wil also take about an hour by car, Colectivo and ADO.

What airport do you fly into to go to Playa Del Carmen?

Internationally, you’ll probably arrive at Cancun Airport. It will take you about 55 minutes to get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen.

You can also fly to and from Cozumel International Airport from several US and Canadian cities. Since Cozumel is only a 35 minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen, this could be a great option for you.

What is Playa Del Carmen famous for?

The fact that it’s close to many highlights in the Riviera Maya with great infrastructure and lots of accommodation options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a rental home, hotel or an all inclusive resort, you’ll have no trouble finding the place that suits your family best. Playa is also known for its gorgeous beaches, amazing food and there are lots of shopping options.

Is it safe to swim in Playa Del Carmen?

Yes, but it’s not known for its abundance of life guards. Stay close to shore and let smaller kids wear life vests. The waves will not get to big, so no surfers here. This makes it a great place to swim for children.

You can find flags on every beach in Playa. Green means it’s safe to swim, yellow means that certain activities like paddle boarding and kayaking are suspended and red means no swimming and no water sports.

Did you enjoy this list of the Top 10 Things to Do In Playa Del Carmen with Kids?

If so, read more about family travel in Mexico

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloA picture of blogger Saskia is accompanied by a picture of a coffee cup with a lid on it. The text invites people to buy the blogger a cup of coffee to support her work so she can continue to offer free family travel resources. Clicking on this image leads to a page where you can support by paying an amount of your choice in support of Sas Crossing Countries.Download my FREE printable bucket lists

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloA picture of blogger Saskia is accompanied by a picture of a coffee cup with a lid on it. The text invites people to buy the blogger a cup of coffee to support her work so she can continue to offer free family travel resources. Clicking on this image leads to a page where you can support by paying an amount of your choice in support of Sas Crossing Countries.Download my FREE printable bucket lists