Relax on Warm Beaches Surrounded by Mayan History


They live just outside Paris, France and used to live in New York, US.  
They have 4 kids aged from 3 years to 12 years
Good food is a must and they prefer to stay in small, charming and well-decorated hotels, which must of course be kid-friendly. 
Active holidays mixing cultural discovery with some relaxing. It is also an opportunity to try new sports.
Celine created a personalized and colorful eight day family trip to Yucatan. They didn’t have much time, but they fulfilled the objective of visiting the famous Mayan sites in the area close to Cancun and to enjoy the white sandy beaches after a long winter in New York. They enjoyed Mayan culture, Tulum’s white sandy beaches, good food, and the warmth of the locals. They stopped in four places and didn’t drive too much during this eight day trip. This itinerary is from April 2015.
Photo @lailabog ©
4 hours direct flight
$500 per person
710 km in 8 days
9,5 hours on the road – 4 stops
$1410 / pp for 8 nights all included
$760 /pp for 8 nights (without breakfast)
$150 /pp for rental car & taxi
$500 /pp 
Combine culture and beach time
Lunch in Merida: La Chaya
Local market in Merida: Lucas Galvez Market
Beach breakfast: posada Margherita 
Lodging and activities

In a snapshot


122 km/2h
  • We found a great little hotel on the beach called Coco Tulum. They offer small cabanas scattered in between palm trees.
    The rooms are very simple, painted in white with a wonderful private terrace with a hammock.
    They have a cool restaurant on the beach where they serve food and drinks or you can eat in their restaurant, which is half outside and half inside. The pizzas and the cocktails are delicious.
    It’s very important to know (and not obvious on their internet site) that the bathrooms are common with one exclusively for women and another for men. When we stayed there, it was very clean, nicely decorated with small candles, flowers, and towels and had a nice incense smell.
    We ate breakfast at  posadamargherita. It is nicely decorated and has good food and excellent fruit juices. Another hotel that looked very nice: casa violeta Tulum
  • We stayed 4 days in Tulum, which was perfect.
    You can spend one morning visiting the Tulum ruins. Go there early in the morning. A taxi can take you there in 5 minutes from the hotel. There is a splendid walk in the ruins and a marvelous view.
    Another day, you can go for on a snorkeling trip for the day with your kids in Yal-Ku and explore the seabed and the colorful sea life.
    You can easily spend 2-3 days just relaxing on the beach with a good book. While we were reading, the kids jumped in the big waves for hours. We went for lunch in the many bohemian chic restaurants along the street and discovered many small Mexican designer shops. The center of Tulum is not as interesting. 


280 km/3h30
    We stopped in COBA on the way to Merida. The Maya site is beautiful, the temples are scattered in a dense tropical forest. We did a nice bicycle hike  there and we climbed the Maya Pyramide. Really a great adventure for the Kids. Don’t forget to take with you water, sunglasses and sun cream. It can be really hot there even in the forest. It’s also a good idea to bring some food as the only thing you find in the park is expensive snacks. 
    There are also plenty of CENOTE on the road to Merida. We recommend to take the tollroad as it is very fast and empty. It costs you a couple of dialers but it will save you a lot of time.
  • We stayed in at Hacienda Santa Cruz. They have a perfect family room called LA CASITA for 5-6 persons. 
    Visit the local market, buy a hammock in typical artisans shops, and eat in local restaurant, or just walk around and enjoy the historical part of the city. One day is enough.
    Of course, you can stay one more day relaxing at the Hacienda and come to town to eat an authentic meal. We really liked Merida because it has more of a local flavor than Tulum.


123 km/1h30
Chichen Iza
  • We stayed at the Hacienda Chichen. This one was very well located and had a private entrance to the Chichen-Itza ruins. They bought the entrance ticket for us in the early morning and took us to the site through their private entrance. We were able to enjoy the ruins almost by ourselves, as we were visiting in the opposite direction of all the crowded buses that were arriving. Chichen-Itza is very touristic and touristy facilities are lacking of charm and authenticity. If we had known this, we would not have stayed the night in Chichen-Itza.
    Visit the ruins and then enjoy the swimming pool at the Hacienda. You can visit Chichen-Itza in one day. With kids, we recommend half a day. Make sure to bring plenty of water and hats, as it is very hot there, even in the early morning. Don’t forget to take your travel guide with you to read about the ruins while visiting. We didn’t use a local guide, as we were told that it was very touristy. 


210 km/2h30
  • We went to an amazing hotel designed by the Mexican Architect, Alejandro Escudero called Nizuc. It was the best way to finish our holidays, just a quick drive from Cancun’s Intl Airport. Our night in the hotel was not originally part of our trip. We managed to book a room with 2 double queen beds at the last minute. We even negotiated an extra bed. Although it is a high priced hotel, it was really worth the splurge. It is literally a 20 min taxi ride to Cancun’s Intl airport, making it very convenient for an early flight departure.
  • We relaxed and enjoyed the hotel Nizuc’s facilities! 


– The roads are in good condition and are very safe. You will need to stop at several security checks on the way to tulum. From Cancun airport to Tulum we had a very kind taxi driver and we paid $140 for a big car, which accommodated the whole family. 
– Be aware that there is a lot of alga on the beach. Sometimes there is so much that you can’t swim. if we had to go there again we would select an hotel on the beach with a swimming pool.

– The Maya coast is very expensive. Restaurant selection has to be done very carefully to make sure you get the good Mexican food at a fair price.

Wake up early to visit the ruins. It is written in every guide and it is crucial to do so. If not, the sites are fully packed with touristic buses and it looses its beauty and charm.

We would have arrived very late in Chichen Itza the day before the visit and departed directly after the visits. There is nothing else to do there and the restaurants are not authentic.