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Picture This: December Vacation in Mexico

Some mamas are awesome about planning ahead. Anne is one of them!

We are looking to travel to Mexico over the December holidays with an almost 2 year old. We normally travel with backpacks in cheap shoestring traveler settings and would like to avoid the unpredictability of this method while traveling with a two year old. Has anyone spent a vacation on a beach in Mexico that they can recommend for kiddos???


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I'll let you know! We are traveling to Zihuatanejo, Mexico this fall with another couple and our toddlers. They will both be about 2 when we go. We have travelled extensively in Mexico but this will be our first trip to Zihua. Our hotel seems to be very family friendly and the beach out front is known to be perfect for small children because it's very calm. Another town in Mexico that I like going to is Playa del Carmen, it's become a bit too touristy for me but still gorgeous and has all the amenities I like when traveling with children (medical facilities, large grocery store, etc.)

Hi! I've spent some time on Isla Mujeres, a small island off of Cancun that is generally slow and quiet and has a very nice beach with gentle waves and lots of kids. I took my son there and rented an apartment for $20 a night and we had a great time. There was a hurricane there (was it last year?) that damaged some things, so I don't know how that has effected the beach, but I would image it has recovered by now.

We went to Sayulita with an almost 2-year old around the holidays of 2005, and we're heading abck this Thanksgiving with a 4 and 1/2 year old and 1 and 1/2 year old. Great surfing, great ocean swimming (flat for what seems like miles), mellow atmosphere, dirt streets, easy to rent a house, enough gringos to allow you to get around with no Spanish if you need that. Only downside, a little touristy around the December holidays - both Mexicans and gringos. But I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a 30-minute cab ride north of Puerto Vallarta. Also, if you don't need to surf (like my husband), check out Yelapa - it's reachable only by boat out of Puerto Vallarta and there are NO CARS there b/c it is not accessible by any road anywhere. Pretty amazing. We stayed in some palapas at Hotel Lagunitas. Have fun!

We went to Cabo for Christmas last year. Did the all inclusive with the Grandparents, Aunts, and three toddlers. It was an excellent vacation. The Melia Resort is where we stayed. Extremely kids friendly, kids club for 6 months and up- free babysitting, lots for toddlers to do, play year, kiddie pool, etc. There were lots of families and the staff was excellent. It was not very cultural, instead just a relaxing beach and swim vacation.

We loved Sayulita too, but will be slightly weary of returning with our 2 year old after I found a poisonous scorpion in her pajamas (not while she was wearing them). There is a safety protocol to follow that locals swear by... shake clothes/towels before use, wear shoes etc. My understanding is that there are more scorpions during the wet season in the fall, but we found several in January. We also enjoyed Todos Santos north of Cabo when our daughter was 8 mos old, but you would need to rent a car to get around and down to the beach.

We went to Playa del Carmen for my cousin's wedding with a almost two year old several years ago. It was great in part because of all the family around and friends of my cousin. Our daughter was the only child but we were surrounded by soon to be parents and I wanna be a grandparent types. We were in a all inclusive resort which was not my favorite but worked for that event. Eating every meal out was hard so we used room service for dinner most nights.

While there we went to Cozumel and Tulum - both of which were great. We have friends that have stayed in Tulum with kids and love it. Hopefully in the next year we make it back and that is where we would stay. If you search the web there are a lot of cool places that say they are welcoming to behaved children.

Our biggest issue was explaining to the ticket people that the carseat should not be checked since she needed to sit in it on the plane. Alaska Air had just started service to the area so the people were new and they kept telling us it would be too big to fit in the overhead bins. Finally a woman they brought in to help get the service started interened and even gave us the bulk head seats.

We love Mexico and Central America and find them to be very child friendly. The culture really values children and families.

Sayulita is a wonderful place to go with any combination of family. I have traveled with my young children there for the last 3 years and always wish we could spend a month.

There are some great houses to rent, and also a really neat "eco-lodge" type place right on the beach, basically deluex huge tents with kitchenette, etc. Easy to get to, no need for a car, fly alaska direct to PV, and then jump in a cab.

After seaching and searching for info on travelling with toddlers, I finally found this post. great advice. keep it coming! we want to go to mexico in nov. with a 20 month old. we used to do the buget, back-pack, off -the beaten path, roughin it thing, before the baby, so any places that are low-key and less touristy and more affordable.. please do tell!!

Has anyone had any luck finding babysitters that are reliable in Sayulita? Going to a wedding and need the ceremony and reception covered for the ninos.

And I'd be interested in hearing any reports about traveling to Zihuatanejo with toddler in tow...

Any tips on Zihua and South would be appreciated. My husband and I (along with our 2 year old son) are headed down there in January for a 3 month road trip. I'm looking for good longboard breaks that are safe and close enough to medical facilities for my son if needed, but not too touristy. I've been to Sayulita a couple of times and loved it, but we want to head South of PV.

We just made plans to go back to Costa Azul in the spring after a successful trip this year. Located just north of Sayulita in the small town of San Francisco (San Pancho to the locals) about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. Loved the nonstop flight on Alaska and Costa Azul arranged a shuttle that was waiting for us.
The little town is a 15 minute walk down the beach from the hotel.

Costa Azul (www.costaazul.com) is very mellow, only like 16 rooms, right on the beach and has all-inclusive with food and adventure trips or room-only rates. Has a nice pool and small kiddy pool and the beach is practically empty!

Plus, we got a ground-floor room that opened onto the pool and were able to sit outside with the baby monitor while our son slept! We met a number of happy families there -

We're going to Sayulita in January. Does anyone know whether or not the taxis require a carseat for a three-year-old from the airport in Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita? If you have brought one, are they easy to install in the taxi?


They don't require a car seat in Mexico - and by law you don't have to have one in a taxi in Portland. But we took one to Mexico for a 45 minute cab ride because I couldn't handle the guilt if anything happened the one time we didn't have it.
And we just put our carseat in a taxi in Portland last week for a Thanksgiving trip - no harder to do than in any other car.
But the cab driver last week told us that he thought the little metal loops for the LATCH system were really for handcuffs :)

To Dawnn: which type "neat eco-lodge type place right on the beach" were you referring to? trying to find the best one. thanks!

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