Riviera Maya activities on a budget
Fun Riviera Maya ideas for families on a budget
Constant economic upturns and downturns can wreak havoc on the family vacation budget. When you factor in the cost of flights and hotel, sometimes there is not a lot left over for entertainment. Families visiting Cancun and the Riviera Maya can still enjoy a great get-away without breaking the bank. Here are a few either free or very inexpensive family vacation ideas for visiting Mexico.
Beach visit – free
Regardless of where you staying in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, the beaches won’t be far away, however, it can cost money to rent umbrellas and chairs. To keep your family vacation budget in check, head out to Playa Delfines in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
For about 7 peso per adult – less for kids – you can catch a public bus that takes you directly to the drop off point. If you have a rental car, parking at Delfines is free. This is a large public beach so you’ll need to bring your own sunblock, towels and snacks. Once there you can easily claim one of the permanent palapas as yours for the day – they’re also gratis — and enjoy some of the best sand and scenery in the hotel zone.
El Rey Ruins
Catching a bus to Chichen Itza can be expensive, especially if you’re a large family. It can also prove to be a tedious day for young kids since the trip is two hours each way and the ruin site, large. An alternative option is the El Rey Ruins in the heart of the Cancun Hotel Zone.
These ruins are very easy to get to by public transportation and cost less than $5.00 US for entrance fee. Once inside families can take in the local Maya culture while kids wander awe-struck by and hundreds of sunbathing iguanas, which makes for a nice vacation photo. El Rey Ruins are open daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tulum is another great opportunity to learn about the local culture. Only 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen, it’s inexpensive to hop on a local colectivo and head to the ancient Mayan ruins. The entrance fee is around $5.00 US – free for kids under 13 — and is small enough for it to be enjoyable for children. Once you’ve visited the sites you can head down the large, wooden staircase to the beach for a swim. Don’t forget your bathing suit.
Snorkeling — free
A lot of people pay for snorkeling adventures, which is fine if you want to be taken out to sea for a motorized daytrip. Those with young kids, however, will likely want to stay closer to shore. For a few dollars families can take a local colectivo to Puerto Aventuras and snorkel in warm, calm waters. It’s one of the best places to spot a wide variety of fish and sea turtles. If you don’t have your own snorkel mask and tube, you can rent them shore side.
Located just south of Akumal past the Bahia Principe complex is Xcacell Beach. This Local Beach is a favorite among locals and entrance fee is a donation. There is also access to a cent which is included with the Entrance. The Beach is great and during the summer months a lot of title lay there eggs here.