7 Outstanding Attractions Near Playa del Carmen That Your Kids Will Find Super Cool
Spider monkeys, crocodiles, and a feet-nibbling fish? These are just a few of the interesting characters you can meet around Playa del Carmen if you play your cards right. This beach town is the perfect base for invoking a sense of awe in adventurous families with curious kids.
1. The Jungle Place
Located approximately 15 km south of Akumal near the village of Chemuyil, The Jungle Place is a licensed sanctuary for endangered Spider monkeys. These fascinating Mayan forest dwellers arrive at the jungle refuge for safekeeping and necessary medical attention. While some come from the black market of animal trade and exploitation, others are displaced due to habitat destruction.
During your jungle encounter, you’ll first observe the lively lot as they make their way through the trees, swinging by their lanky limbs and tails. Before entering the massive caged structures with the amusing potbellied primates, you’ll be instructed on safety protocols. The interactive spider monkey encounter within the cage lasts about 1 hour.
Tips: Bring a beach bag with you to store any jewelry, hats, and sunglasses while you’re inside the cage. Grabbing at your shiny and unattached belongings are all part of the entertainment thanks to the monkeys’ curious natures. So hold on to your flip flops! Also, avoid using bug repellents, sunblock, and perfumes as these products can make the monkeys very ill.
Although the sanctuary is open to the public again, they are offering limited monthly tours with a maximum of eight visitors in their slow open approach. For more information, email email@example.com well in advance of your Riviera Maya vacation in order to arrange a tour.
2. Xel Ha Park
In all honesty, you cannot go wrong when choosing any one of the exhilarating “X” parks by Grupo Xcaret. The company goes above and beyond when it comes to establishing scenic and captivating theme parks. Not only do they offer riveting entertainment and extraordinary nature encounters, but they are also committed to sustaining both the environment and the vibrant Mexican culture.
That being said, Xel Ha Park is at the top of our list for younger kids. For certain, there is a vast list of highly engaging activities at Xcaret, the area’s largest park. However, the seemingly endless things to do and see can be overwhelming for little ones.
On the other hand, with the perfect amount of draws to keep youngsters fixed on fun, Xel Ha Park is a winning choice for parents. Beginning at Children’s World, your kiddos will be thrilled to leap on the lily pads, slip down the water slide, wade in the mini pool, and climb the rope structures and bridges. The crystal clear aquatic park presents a wonderful opportunity to snorkel alongside the real life version of Dori and other exotic fish. Without a doubt, floating along the mangrove river and ziplining into the refreshing waters are highlights for all ages.
For the bravest adventurers, the Cliff of Courage is a heart-pumping thrill, as is the Scenic Lighthouse. In addition to a remarkable view spanning across the entire ecopark and beyond, the kids will enjoy the speedy slides, twisting downward into a pristine pool.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pack much as Xel Ha is all-inclusive. A waterproof smartphone case and biodegradable sunscreen are recommended. But as for water and food, you’ll find all you need at the traditional Mexican and international restaurants. Furthermore, there are snack and beverage huts throughout the park where you can hydrate and relax in between attractions.
Tip: Book online at least 7 days in advance for discounted admission prices. Kids 4 and under are free, while those aged 5-11 pay half the price of an adult ticket.
3. Ventura Park
With 7 worlds of stimulating fun, Ventura Park near the entrance of the Cancun hotel zone, is sure to be a hit whether you have tykes or teens. In the Wet ‘n Wild waterpark area, kids love cruising with the current of the lazy river and riding the waves in the main pool. The inner tube and dingy waterslides are great for the family, while the toilet bowl that sends kids flying out of its drain into the waters below. For the tiniest of travelers, a shallow pool spray park will keep them smiling.
Take a walk or a leap rather on the wild side at Aaah!Ventura, with its bungee jump and stretches of ziplines offering an eagle-eye view of the park. Satisfy the need for speed on the Grand Prix Go-Kart track. Then, at Fun World, take a spin on the carousel or Crazy Chairs, which give the impression that you’re swinging over the Caribbean. End the thrilling adventure zipping around on the Hurricane, a modest, yet hair-raising rollercoaster ride.
Entrance fees range from $29 to $68 USD depending on the ticket you choose. The basic package ($29 online promo for adults) includes the water park, rollercoaster, and zip line areas, plus one meal and non-alcoholic beverages. For under $10 USD more you can get an unlimited domestic open-bar option. VIP packages grant access to all the worlds including Underworld (laser tag and virtual reality experiences) as well as the exotic reptile sanctuary and dolphin encounter experience. Kids aged 3-11 receive a discounted rate.
Tips: If you’ve opted for the VIP package, begin at the Go-Karts and Underworld first as participants must be dry in order to enter. Also, bring a towel and change of clothes, which can be stored in lockers in the change rooms.
4. 3D Museum of Wonders
This immersive museum experience allows you to become part of the art. Not your average museum, the staff encourages you to take photos! Inserting yourself into magnificent optical illusions is all part of the unique experience. Not to mention, the collection of whimsical pics will make fun mementos of your trip to Playa del Carmen. This is a perfect all-weather activity for the young and old.
Located on 10th Avenue between Calle 8 and 10, you can request a guided tour or shoot photos at your own pace. The duration of a typical visit is about an hour and a half.
Tip: If you’re planning to visit the 3D Museum of Wonders for the first time, book online for a discounted rate.
5. Xplor Park
Best known for its scenic aerial adventures over the Mayan forest, Xplor Park presents 2 exhilarating circuits with 14 zip lines in all. But there’s far more that captures the attention of even the most hard-to-please teens. Their jaws will drop as they paddle through underground caves that were flooded with sparkling turquoise water over 20000 years ago.
Beyond the zip lines and underground river rafting, the all-inclusive excursion includes a jungle trek on an amphibious vehicle, a hammock splash through a waterfall, cavern aquatic slides, a buffet meal, as well as unlimited snacks and nonalcoholic beverages. Best of all, this riveting nature park is just 5 minutes from Playa del Carmen.
What to Bring:
- Swimsuit (come wearing it)
- Change of clothes
- Eco-friendly insect repellent
- Water shoes
Tip: Kids aged 5-11 receive half off the admission. The recommended minimum age is 5 and the minimum weight for the zip line circuit is 88 pounds. Book online 7 or more days ahead of your visit for a 10 to 15% discount off the regular rate.
6. Croco Cun Zoo
Kids go wild for this up-close-and-personal encounter with the fascinating creatures of this region. While it’s enjoyable to talk to residents and learn about Mexican culture, spending a day at Croco Cun gives new meaning to ‘meeting the locals.’ You and your crew will be able to reach out and touch many of the native species that call the animal shelter home.
Exceptional guides lead you through exhibits where you’ll learn about boa constrictors, crocodiles, parrots, and turtles. Most days, the spider monkeys like to make an appearance— one of the many highlights during the one-and-a-half-hour exotic animal interaction.
Croco Cun is located just past Puerto Morelos (20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen.) You can get there via taxi or private van transfer, which is good for a large family or small group. The private van allows you to customize an entire day trip. Add a stop at the seaside town of Puerto Morelos for ice cream in the charming town square. Or dine seaside at one of the many beach clubs along the powdery shoreline. Plus spend the day snorkeling the Mesoamerican Reef just off the beach.
Tip: An additional transportation alternative includes the Playa Express shuttle or a colectivo (shared van taxi), which leave frequently from Playa del Carmen on Calle 2 between 20th & 25th Avenue. Announce to the driver at the time of boarding that you would like to get off at Croco Cun Zoo. Currently, the cost is approximately $70 pesos per person.
No matter what age your child(ren) is, a cenote visit is the salsa on taco so to speak. Just as salsa completes a taco, a refreshing dip in a spectacular limestone swimming hole is the perfect accompaniment to a Playa del Carmen vacation.
Popular choices are Cenote Eden, Cristalino, and Azul, which are tucked in the lush forest, 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen along the 307 Highway. The kids will love jumping off modest cliff ledges into the cool water below. Also included in the $200 MXN entrance fee (less for kids) is a fish pedicure. Sit along the edges of the stunning natural pools and let the catfish nibble at your feet. It seems alarming when they first huddle around your feet. However, their gentle kisses are harmless, injecting an element of interest and maybe a giggle into the overall wonderful experience.
Tip: Lifejackets are available for youngsters and snorkel gear can be rented at Cenote Eden. Bring Mxn pesos for the entrance fee. USD and credit cards are not usually accepted at the small, family-run businesses.
Bonus: Marquesitas and Parque Fundadores
One of Playa del Carmen’s characteristics that is most appreciated by our clients is its walkability factor. Since the majority of Bric Vacation Rental properties are located near the city center, the city’s best restaurants, pubs, cafes, shops, dive centers, and beaches are a short walk away.
For some close to free entertainment, take the clan to the municipal building square on 20th Avenue between Calle 8th and 10. Oftentimes, you’ll discover cultural shows, concerts, markets, and vendors selling authentic Mexican street foods. One particular treat that’s worth heading over for is the marquesita— a crispy, rolled crepe filled with choices such as Nutella, grated cheese, fruit, or cajeta, a creamy caramel sauce.
Next, you’ll want to wander to Parque Fundadores at 5th Avenue and Benito Juarez on the south end of town. This is where the iconic Portal Maya structure sits on the alabaster coast overlooking the Caribbean. Everyday and evening, performers act out traditional Mayan ceremonies. Watch the Los Voladores de Papantla (The Mayan Flying Men) climb and swing down from a towering pole near the main square by the chapel.
Likewise, you can view traditional ceremonies under the Portal Maya enacted by warriors dressed in magnificent costumes. The dances, the drums, and the fire jugglers are a sight to see.
For more family-friendly activities in Playa del Carmen, visit our travel blog page or contact a Bric ambassador at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our hospitality team is a group of Riviera Maya experts dedicated to making your vacation dreams a reality.