Mexico offers a wealth of experiences and activities for children, and families who visit and live here can enjoy a worthwhile travel experiences across the country
This guide helps you to prepare for your travels to Mexico with children, providing background information as well as practical and health advice to make the most of your visit.
Rules about traveling to Mexico with minors
Children with food allergies
Practical and health considerations
Related resources on Mexperience
Great locations in Mexico for children
Traveling with children in Mexico
One of the first things that parents seem to notice when they travel in Mexico with their children is that the country welcomes them with open arms. Restaurants, attractions, coffee shops and, indeed, most public places will gladly accept children and make them and their parents feel welcome.
Restaurants and diners in Mexico have children’s menus on the table; if not, you can ask for a children’s menu and one will be brought to you. Many chain restaurants and diners also offer children’s play areas.
Family is a pivotal element of Mexican society and culture and it’s quite usual to see three or four generations sitting at a restaurant table enjoying a meal: especially at the weekends.
Children are loved and adored in Mexico; something which is reflected in the fact that children have their very own day here, on April 30th, (like mother’s and father’s days), known simply as Dia del Niño; it is customary to give children presents on this day.
Mexican children don’t tend to go to bed early during weekends and school vacation periods, so you’ll frequently see children out late enjoying themselves with their parents and (extended) families.
Generally speaking, children over the age of six years will benefit more from a leisure trip to Mexico than those younger than this age. This is partly due to the long flights (especially if you are traveling from Europe) but also because Mexico is a country filled with culture, and slightly older children may gain more from the experience than young infants would. This said, plenty of parents with infants travel successfully in Mexico and your infant children will be just as welcome.
Traveling to Mexico with minors
If you plan to travel with your children to Mexico, you should check the current rules for leaving your home country with minors, especially if they will travel unaccompanied by either or both parents, or their legal guardian, as you might need to show authorization to border officials from the absent parent(s) in order for the child(ren) to be allowed to leave your home country.
See Traveling with Minors to Mexico for the latest updates on rules about traveling with minors to Mexico.
See Also: Mexican Consulates Abroad
Children with food allergies traveling to Mexico
If your child suffers from food allergies (e.g. diary, wheat, egg), then you may want to pack some non-wheat/egg/dairy snacks in your checked luggage for their use. Foods which come sealed in a container or air-tight package and intended for personal use should be allowed through customs. If you are questioned, explain that your child/children require them.
Lactose-free and Soy milk is now widely available in Mexico: ask for “leche deslactosada” or “leche de soya.” Rice and almond milk is also widely available. Most hotels and resorts offer dairy-free alternatives to milk an option for guests these days.
Many supermarkets in Mexico now stock ranges of “free from” foods, including soy, almond and rice milk, ‘lactose-free’ cow’s milk, gluten free, wheat-free and dairy-free foods and snacks. They are usually clustered together on one of the aisles or on a sales island: ask the attendant for assistance.
See also: Living and Working in Mexico: Buying Food
Practical and health matters for children traveling in Mexico
Mexico is generally regarded as a very safe place for children, which is one of the reasons why so many families take their vacations in Mexico every year. There are some health and practical matters to be mindful about, and we have published the latest list of significant matters for you to consider here:
Children and high elevations in Mexico
Away from the coasts, many attractive places in Mexico’s inland regions are situated at quite a high elevation (5,000 to 7,000 feet above sea-level is not uncommon), and this can be especially tiring for children. If you are visiting an elevated region, which includes most of the country’s picturesque colonial cities, Mexico City and Guadalajara, plan your itinerary accordingly, building-in plenty of restful breaks and keep children well-hydrated to counteract any effects caused by the elevation.
See Also: Breathing Easy at High Elevation in Mexico
Traveling with Children in Mexico City
Mexico City’s mixture of elevation, heat, and air pollution can make the city an uncomfortable place for children for prolonged periods and many people spend two-to-three days in Mexico City and leave to travel on to the colonial provinces, coastal resorts, or a combination of both. Mexico City is much quieter with less people and less pollution during Easter and between Christmas and New Year. The worst months for air pollution in the capital tend to be January through March, due to the colder air creating thermal inversions. Winds in the springtime, and the rain season (May – October), especially, help keep the capital’s air pollution levels down.
Age of children traveling in Mexico
While older children are likely to get more out of a sight-seeing trip here than young babies or toddlers, children of all ages are welcome in Mexico. Children aged from around six years and up are likely to benefit more from a tour, and will be better prepared for the long flight (especially when traveling from Europe or Australasia).
If you’re planning to take a restful holiday at a beach in Mexico, you’ll find that baby-sitting facilities and day-care centers are available for toddlers and children in many family-oriented resorts; and daily activities and games are often laid-on for children, too. Note that some hotels and resorts have restrictions on child ages, and a small few are adult-only.
Baby sitters and child minders in Mexico
Baby sitters and child minders may be arranged if the adults want a night out; ask at your hotel for details.
Baby consumables in Mexico
Diapers and the usual basket of necessities for children (clean wipes, generic moisturizing creams, etc.) are readily available at pharmacies and supermarkets across Mexico, so there’s no need to weigh your bags down with a supply for your trip. If you have specialist creams or medicines for your children – take these with you.
Carrying Baby and Toddler Gear
If you’re traveling on a family vacation to Los Cabos, an innovative company called Baja Baby Gear can help you take away the weight and strain of carrying baby and toddler gear on your trip. They deliver safety-approved and sterilized children’s gear to your hotel or other accommodations and collect it from you when you leave.
Sun care for children in Mexico
One of Mexico’s top attractions – its warmth and sunlight – can also be a health risk, especially to young skin. Take great care with your children in Mexico’s sun. Ensure your children are adequately protected by making them wear high-factor suntan and sun block lotion. If you forget to pack a hat for them you can buy one locally. The impact of Mexico’s sun, especially in exposed areas like archaeological parks (pyramids) and beach locations, cannot be over-emphasized. Even on cloudy days, UV rays penetrate the clouds and will burn you and your children. Sun creams (and after sun lotions including gels like Aloe Vera) may be purchased at pharmacies throughout Mexico.
See also: Health in Mexico: Sun Burn
Traffic and children in Mexico
The presence of road traffic, whether in big cities or smaller towns, is a safety hazard for children in Mexico. If you’re exploring local areas, keep your children well-away from busy roads and keep a constant eye out for traffic movements when you are walking near any road traffic — even local residential traffic. Some major roads have foot bridges crossing them; underground pathways are less common. In colonial cities, cobbled-stone streets keep traffic speeds down, although there are many blind corners and when it rains, the cobbles become particularly slippery.
Related resources on Mexperience
Here are a number of links to other useful pages on Mexperience, related to traveling with children:
Weather and Climates in Mexico – Check the weather and climates Mexico offers by region and season
Mexico Essentials Guide – Complete practical and background information about Mexico including lots of tips and local knowledge
Travel Health in Mexico – Guide to you and your family’s health and well-being when you are traveling in Mexico
Buying Medicines in Mexico – Part of the Mexperience living and working guides, this section talks about how and where to find pharmacies.
Buying Food in Mexico – Part of the Mexperience living and working guides, this section shows you where to buy food in Mexico; also includes a section about eating out at Mexican Diners and Coffee Shops
Health and Healthcare in Mexico – If you want a more complete overview about healthcare in Mexico, read this section which is also part of the Mexperience living and working guides
Foreign Consulate Advice – See our directory of Foreign Consulates in Mexico as well as Mexican Consulates Abroad.
Also, Read the article about Consular Assistance in Mexico for advice about what consulates can and cannot do for you.
Best locations in Mexico for Children
Mexico is full of bright shapes and colors, and the new sounds and sights they’ll encounter will provide great stimulation and experience for your children on a trip to Mexico.
Besides the sea and sand of the coastal areas, archaeological sites provide pyramids to climb, tunnels to explore and wide open spaces to roam about in.
The list of locations below also highlights specific attractions for children in some of Mexico’s more popular destinations:
Castillo del Rey Leon (Lion King’s Castle) – A relatively new center that’s great for kids, it also has swimming pools and and a zoo.
CICI – Stands for Centro Internacional de Convivencia Infantil – but everyone knows it as just CICI. This is a family-oriented water sports park that features dolphin shows, aquariums, toboggan rides, and a small tidal wave pool and much more. Lots here to keep children entertained!
Magico Mundo Marino – Magical Marine World. This too has aquariums and water rides and activity pools to play in. Also featured here are sea lion shows, crocodile feeding, piranhas, turtles and much more!
Cancun and environs
Aquaworld – This Cancun’s largest water sports and marine center, featuring a wealth of attractions and activities, and you can also get diving and snorkeling lessons here.
Aqua Fun – If you want your children to have the opportunity to learn some water based sports, take them to Aqua Fun. Sailing lessons, snorkeling, diving and jet-skis, canoes and windsurfing equipment and lessons are available from here.
Wet ‘n Wild – American style water theme park with toboggan rides, slides, play pools, water chutes, etc – as well as diving and snorkeling lessons. They also have special pools for very young children.
Crocosun – On the highway between Cancun and Tulum, just about 1 mile north of Puerto Morelos is this small zoo, which is distinctive in that visitors are allowed to carry some of the animals! The zoo has some interesting attractions, including being home to over 300 crocodiles, white-tailed deer and Mexican hairless dogs!
Dolphin Discovery – One of the top attractions of the island, is also a great place to take children! At dolphin discovery, you can actually swim with the dolphins (children must be aged eight or older, accompanied by an adult). More details on the Mexperience page about Isla Mujeres.
Acuario Mazatlan – One of Mexico’s largest aquariums is found in Mazatlan – this one boasts over 50 aquaria hosting over 200 species of fish and marine life from all over the world. The center also has a sea lion area, a theatre, gardens, and a museum. Very popular with Children and adults alike!
Museo Papalote (Kite Museum) – You’ll find this popular museum in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. All of the hi-tech exhibits here are ‘hands on’ and interactive – so kids love it! There’s also an IMAX screen here, which shows a variety of programs from cultural themes to historical documentaries.
Feria de Chapultepec – Mexico City’s main fun fair, which has been there many years and has recently been updated with a whole series of new rides. It also hosts La Montaña? Rusa (The Russian Mountain) – Mexico’s only wooden roller-coaster. Try to go during the week (closed on Mondays) as at weekends, the crowds are here in full force!
Six Flags Mexico – The American-style theme park, Six Flags, is now in Mexico. All the latest heart-pounding rides and theme events can be found here. As with Chapultepec, weekends bring long queues so go during the week if you can.
Chapultepec Zoo – Mexico City’s zoo is home to over 1,500 animals and is spread over 15 hectares of land. It is an integral part of Mexico City’s vast Chapultepec Park on the west side of the city. The zoo claims to be the world’s oldest, since it was founded by the Aztecs.
Africam – Puebla is a great city, and a favorite attraction with children here is the Africam Zoo. Africam has been brilliantly designed to recreate a natural ‘African wilderness’ environment for the animals who live here. Endangered species are preserved and bred here; some of the animals featured include lions, giraffes, flamingos, monkeys and rhinos. You either drive through the area with your own car, or in one of the park’s chauffeured vehicles.
Acuario Veracruz – One of Mexico’s most fascinating aquariums can be found in Veracruz. It features a fabulous array of tropical fish – and sharks – which are all view-able from the underwater viewing tank. This is an extremely popular attraction with adults and children alike and a ‘must-see’ attraction if you are visiting Veracruz.
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