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The "Mayan Riviera" south of Cancun, Mexico, has many all-inclusives that welcome families; most have kids' programs for ages 4 to 12. This area also offers fun and fascinating activities outside the resorts. Highlights:
- second-largest barrier coral reef in the world
- unique "eco-archeological" theme parks
- lagoons full of colorful fish
- "cenotes" (natural pools of clear water-- lovely to swim in)
- fascinating Mayan ruins at Tulum and Coba.
All Inclusive Resorts
Allegro Playacar by Occidental
A 20 minute walk-- 5 minute taxi ride -- from busy tourist town Playa del Carmen. Kids' club; watersports; etc.
AZUL Hotels by Karisma These all inclusive resorts in the Mayan Riviera all have special programs for kids under five, created with toy company Fisher Price, and lots of complimentary gear for babies; kids clubs too, for older kids. Signature features of AZUL by Karisma include: 24-hour room service; beach butlers; "gourmet inclusive". AZUL Beach Hotel is a quiet boutique resort; the larger AZUL Sensatori adds My Gym's Children Fitness Center (with rope courses, trapeze, and more); both these resorts are just 20 minutes from the Cancun airport. Further south, in Playa del Carmen, AZUL Fives Hotel is an all-suite property (including luxury penthouses); some units sleep up to eight. Upscale spa; huge pool.
Bahia Principe Akumal
One-half of the Bahia Principe Resort, which has 1240 rooms and a shopping/entertainment area. Akumal is an hour south of Cancun; the area has a nice lagoon for snorkeling.
Barcelo Maya Beach Resort
South of Playa del Carmen, and near the Xcaret and Xel-Ha eco-parks; large lush grounds, 2km white sand beach, snorkeling on the spot.
Copacabana Beach Resort, Mayan Riviera, Mexico
An all-inclusive at a good price point.
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Near the beautiful sea-side Mayan ruins at Tulum; two miles of beach; natural cenote; numerous activities; 24-hr. room service.; Explorer Club for kids.
Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
All-inclusive just 30 minutes south of the Cancun airport, and next to great snorkeling on the coral reef. Cute waterplay zone.
El Cozumeleno Resort, Cozumel Mexico
On the island of Cozumel, off Playa del Carmen; popular with families, and five minutes from the island airport.
Gala Resort, Playacar, Mayan Riviera, Mexico
45 minutes south; two kids pools, programs for ages two to teens.
Another property on this pretty island. Kids program, large pool, kids pool, snorkeling on-site, convenient diving.
Iberostar Playa Paraiso: Mayan Riviera, Mexico
Iberostar is a Spanish company with resorts worldwide, including this major complex at Playa Paraiso, 30 minutes south of the Cancun airport. Playa Paraiso has two pairs of resorts; a fifth resort that debuted the Iberostar's luxury "Grand Hotel" brand; many pools including lake-style pool, lazy river, wave pool, kids' pool and activity pool; P.B. Dye golf course.
Popular all-inclusive near Playa del Carmen, with lush grounds, large pool complex, low-rise buildings with palapa roofs.
Moon Palace Golf Resort
Five miles south of the airport; over 2000 rooms in 3-story villas; two giant lagoon pools, watersports, in-line skating, kids' club, etc. Guests can make day-visits to other Palace properties.
Palladium Grand Resort and Spa - Colonial and Kantenah
Two resorts in one: the Colonial Palladium Grand Resort and Spa and the Kantenah Palladium Grand Resorts and Spa are side-by-side all-inclusives on a 1/2-mile of beach; guests have access to the facilities at both. Big pool; lovely beach and grounds.
Paradisus Riviera Cancun, Mayan Riviera
Just 15 minutes south of the airport, and part of the Sol Melia chain. Kids program; large lake-like pool.
Sunscape Puerto Aventuras- central Mayan Riviera; coral reef offshore.