One of the Captain Hook pirate ships. — Photo courtesy of The Galleon Captain Hook
Cancun is a family-friendly destination with hotels and restaurants that cater to families traveling with children. There are also many activities and attractions that are kid-friendly; both for families with small children and for those traveling with older children or teens.
The most popular excursions and attractions for youngsters are the Interactive Aquarium, the Captain Hook Dinner Cruise, the Duck Tour, zip-lining at Selvatica park, Wet 'n Wild water park, Crococun Zoo, the Hummer Jungle Tour, and swimming with dolphins (this activity is offered by several suppliers, at various locations throughout the region).
The Interactive Aquarium is located right in Cancun's hotel zone, in La Isla Shopping Village. Dolphin shows, where dolphins do tricks and jump, are held a few times a day. Your admission ticket to the aquarium includes entrance to see the dolphin shows. Visitors to the aquarium can also see sharks, crabs, and numerous species of fish. In an outdoor area, there is a tank where manta rays and sea turtles reside. Aquarium guests can touch manta rays and pose for photos with sea turtles and manta rays.
In the hotel zone, there are several locations where you can swim with dolphins. Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa has their own dolphinarium (dolphin aquarium) on-site and Delphinus offers swim with dolphin programs at the Dreams location. Wet 'n Wild water park and the Interactive Aquarium also have dolphin programs. Some locations require an adult to accompany small children, while they swim with dolphins. Xcaret and Xel-Ha (two incredibly popular eco-parks in Riviera Maya) also offer swimming with dolphins as an optional activity (not included in the price of admission to the parks).
Children, as young as three years old, can soar through the jungle on a zip-line, at Selvatica park. Kids have to be tethered to a guide if they are under eight years of age, however. Young thrill-seekers (ages 3-4 years old) are free at Selvatica.
The Captain Hook Dinner Cruise is fun for children and adults. The entire staff and crew are dressed as pirates and the boats are replicas of 17th century Spanish galleons. During this cruise, you sail around the Bay of Mujeres, while dining and enjoying drinks from the open bar. At one point, the two pirate ships come together and the crew members stage a battle. Crew from the other boat boards your ship and it is an exciting show. Small children are sometimes frightened by the fighting, simply because they don't understand it is all a show. Other than that, this tour is a big hit with kids.
The Jungle Hummer Tour combines a visit to the ruins of El Rey with a stop at Crococun Zoo, a small zoo which houses deer, tropical birds, and crocodiles, and a cenote (a natural well). You drive your own Hummer, during this tour. Lunch at a local restaurant and a tour of town are also on the itinerary.
Wet 'n Wild water park has a special area for children, where they can safely enjoy frolicking in the water. Admission tickets to the park include food and beverages, during your visit to the park.
The Duck Tour offers a tour of Cancun, aboard an amphibious vehicle. During the tour, quacking like a duck, with devices that look like duck bills, is encouraged. That is a big plus for little ones, but they also enjoy riding in a vehicle that can travel by land and sea.
Any of the activities mentioned above are sure to please the little travelers in your family. Excursions and activities can be booked in advance or at tour desks in your hotel, after you arrive in Cancun.