Best for a Beach Getaway
On a barrier isle that skirts the northern Yucatan coast, this Mexican hot spot is the most touristy of the bunch and also the easiest to reach for most Americans. There are frequent direct flights from New York, Chicago, and Dallas.
Family Fun: If your family is all about the three S's (sun, surf, and sand), this is the destination for you. The white sands and aquamarine shallows here are so spectacular, in fact, that the Mexican government transformed the area from a fishing village into a glitzy vacation mecca.
After basking on the beach, take your kids on a snorkeling outing and see the great Mayan Reef from a dive boat at Aquaworld (aquaworld.com.mx), or take part in a dolphin program where children ages 3 and up can pet these sea creatures and kids over four feet tall can swim with them (dolphinaris.com). And don't forget to squeeze in a bit of culture as well. Cancun is a cushy base for exploring the Yucatan, including the great Mayan ceremonial center, Chichen Itza.
Hotel Highlights: The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa (888-813-2776, jwmarriottcancun.com) caters to families and offers nail and hair services for those as young as 6. The kids' club at Le Meridien Cancun Resort & Spa (011-52-998-881-2200, cancun.lemeridien.com) offers supervised aquatic games and art and cooking lessons. The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun (800-241-3333, ritzcarlton.com) has "itsy-bitsy" baby rooms with cribs, changing tables, and phones that light up instead of ringing (for your little nappers).
Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the October 2007 issue of Parents magazine.