Mexico has gotten a bad rap in the press lately, but that's no
reason not to visit the resort areas, which remain as safe as
My family and I are regular visitors to Mexico. We're huge fans
of Cancun and Riviera Maya (less than three hours from Chicago by
plane), which offer American travelers affordable luxury,
predictable Caribbean weather and a welcoming, family-friendly
Most recently, I visited as a guest of Dreams Resorts and the
Mexican Tourist Board, both of which wanted to prove that travel to
the resort areas of Mexico remain safe and welcoming to Americans.
We stayed at the beautiful all-inclusive Dreams Riviera Cancun. It
boasts "unlimited luxury," an expansive beach and plenty of
activities to keep kids and adults happy and safely on the property
throughout the stay.
Even better, book a room with a personal plunge pool and a
whirlpool tub on the balcony, then order your meals delivered by
room service and there won't even be a need to leave the room
(although I highly recommend a visit to the beach and a fire
Quintana Roo, the state that includes Cancun and Riviera Maya,
is not listed on the State Department's travel warning list for
Mexico. Still, opting for an excursion booked through the resort is
the safest option.
We spent a lovely morning at Selvatica, the adventure park that
was named Cancun's top attraction in 2010. The six-hour Extreme
Canopy Adventure includes a 12-segment zip line course, a relaxing
swim in a freshwater cenote, hotel transportation and lunch. (Cost:
$99 adults, $49 kids 5-12, free kids 3-4.)
The always-inviting Xcaret (pronounced Ish-ka-ret) ecotourism
park is one of my family's favorite Cancun activities. We don life
jackets and float through the underground river. Be forewarned,
there are sections of the underground river that get pretty dark,
so it may not be the best option if your kids are afraid of the
If you can, plan to stay for the evening show, which includes a
flashy demonstration of a Mayan ball game and an entertaining
Mexican history lesson that my kids remembered when they hit
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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