Riviera Maya, Mexico…with a toddler

What a crazy few weeks weather-wise we’ve had! I really everyone in the path of Harvey and Irma are safe. It seems Mother Nature is not too happy these days, I’ve had Mexico on my thoughts a lot lately and everyone affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning there.  This got me thinking about our recent trip down to the Riviera Maya and how every time I visit Mexico we meet some of the friendliest and welcoming people.

We travel as much as we can, most often to visit family or friends, for weddings, or with other couples. But we try to take at least one trip for just us, and now that includes bringing Jackson!  Last year Ryan and I went to Grand Cayman, this year we decided to bring Jackson along and head down to Mexico.

It was difficult to decide where to go…there are so many options out there that are accommodating and welcoming to young children, who knew?! With a couple goals in mind…to keep the flight under four hours, stay at a resort that provided almost everything we needed so we could travel light, some culture to explore, and finally (and probably most important) not somewhere with character breakfasts or anything too kitschy.  I know this sounds like a tall ask, but it all worked out perfectly.

Where we stayed: Azul Beach Resort, Riviera Maya

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View from our hotel suite
The beach and cabanas from the ocean

This resort was just what we were looking for…right on the beach, with multiple pools, swim-up bars, five restaurants on property and babysitting services!  While it was super kid friendly – with a 1.5 foot deep kids pool, smoothies available at the bars, and a kids gym/playhouse – it wasn’t over the top at all.  I would absolutely recommend this to other families looking for somewhere to getaway to.  There is a Nickelodeon option that does include character breakfasts and activities, but we didn’t opt into this and never saw any of it.

While the resort was perfect for us, it is a little secluded, and I’m not sure if this is where I would chose to stay if it was just Ryan and I traveling.  You can definitely schedule excursions to the Mayan Ruins or other ares of interest, but there were not the beachside local restaurants to check out or areas to explore right around the resort. With Jackson in tow our only real option was to take a taxi into nearby Puerto Morelos city center. We headed in town one afternoon and really enjoyed ourselves walking around and checking out the scene. It is very small and can easily be explored in an afternoon. There are a few restaurants on the beach, some other cute cafes just a couple blocks back, shopping stalls and an adorable ice cream parlor.

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Puerto Morelos
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The cutest ice cream shop we spent time at

Aside from exploring Puerto Morales we ended up staying on hotel property for the majority of our trip…and it was fantastic. We spent mornings having breakfast beachside or in our room, stopping by the kids gym area and by the pool.  Afternoons were in the pool, getting ice-cream and at the swim-up bars (Jackson LOVED their Mango Smoothies!).

My favorite day though was when we were able to get a cabana on the beach with butler service…Ryan and Jackson napped beachside while I relaxed with fruity cocktails reading.  If only Jackson had taken to liking the beach and sand as much as he had enjoyed the pool we would have done this more often.

Overall it was just what we needed out of a family trip, and we want to plan a trip back soon with a couple other families!

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