Planning a family vacation to Mexico and wondering what are the best places to stay in Yucatan?
With its rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, and family-friendly activities, Yucatan is a great destination for families, especially if you’re looking to stray away from popular destinations in the Quintana Roo side of the peninsula and discover a lesser-known side of the Mexican Caribbean. It’s also the perfect region to explore if you rent a car in Mexico!
With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to stay in Yucatan, Mexico, so we decided to put together a blog post with the best places to stay in Yucatan for families as well as recommendations on family-friendly hotels to choose from in each destination.
Best Places to Stay in Yucatan, Mexico
Merida is a great city to stay in if you’re looking for a mix of culture, history, and entertainment. It’s the capital of Yucatan and has a lot to offer for families, not to mention it’s ranked as the safest city in Mexico. For most people, it’s at the top of their list of where to go in Yucatan, Mexico.
Merida is a city where history, culture, and colors reign supreme, making it one of the best places to stay in Yucatan if you want to explore a more authentic side of Mexico. Some of the can’t-miss things to do in Merida include checking out the many museums on offer, taking a guided history tour, and visiting the many cenotes scattered all around the area.
Moreover, Merida is located a stone’s throw away from some of the major Mayan ruins sites in Yucatan, including Chichen Itza. Other interesting sites nearby include Uxmal and Ek Balam.
If you want to explore the Yucatan without a car, you’ll definitely want to base yourself in Merida. It has the largest airport in the state and there are tons of wonderful guided tours to choose from that cover history, culture and nature! Other towns and cities in this article are wonderful to visit and stay in but are much better if you rent a car.
Where to Stay in Merida
There are many options for places to stay in Merida, but we recommend staying as close to the centro as possible. This way, you can easily walk to many of the city’s main attractions.
- Hyatt Regency Merida (Luxury): if you’re looking for a more luxurious stay, the Hyatt Regency Merida is a great option. It has a great pool and is located in the heart of the city.
- Hotel Luz en Yucatan (Budget): great mid-range hotel with a pool in the centro. They have rooms with 2 beds, making it a great option for families.
If you want to stay in Merida for (almost) free, grab this travel credit card and transfer the points you earn to your Hyatt account! The Hyatt Regency Merida starts at just 3500 points per night – an incredible bargain that’ll leave you with enough extra for a few nights at an all-inclusive on the other side of the peninsula.
Best things to do in Merida
- Day trip to Chichen Itza, Izamal, Valladolid and a cenote (this is a long day)
- Street food walking tour
- Cooking class
If you’re looking for a quiet and charming town to stay in Yucatan with your family, Valladolid is a great option. Located in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, this town has a lot to offer for families looking to explore the culture and history of Mexico.
Valladolid is pretty small and easy to navigate, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with wonderful activities nearby. You’ll fall in love with its charming colonial center and lively main square, which is a great place to wander around and soak up the local atmosphere.
Moreover, one of the best things about Valladolid is the fact that you’ll have access to lots of cenotes that are not as visited as those near Tulum or Cancun. Cenotes are natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock and you can easily visit plenty of them in one go from Valladolid (Oxman, Zaci, X’keken and Samulá, and Cenote Suytún are all musts!)
Be sure to read these tips for renting a car in Mexico to make the most of your experience in Valladolid.
Note from Melissa: On our first trip to Mexico with kids, we stayed in Valladolid for two nights and used it as a base to explore Yucatan State. In my experience it was a great option but we probably would have been better off extending to a third night because there’s so much to do nearby!
Where to Stay in Valladolid
Valladolid has a variety of accommodation options that are family-friendly. Here are a few options to consider:
- Casa Sisal: This budget-friendly hotel is located right in the heart of the city. It offers stylish and comfortable rooms at an affordable rate.
- Hotel Posada San Juan: This colonial-style hotel is located in the heart of Valladolid. It has spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant that serves delicious Mexican cuisine.
- Casa Hamaca: This boutique hotel is located in a beautifully restored colonial house. It has a swimming pool, a garden, and comfortable rooms decorated with traditional Mexican textiles.
Best things to do in Valladolid
- Cenote Hacienda Oxman (pictured above)
- Chichen Itza or Ek Balam self-drive
- Private Valladolid walking tour
- Cooking class
Celestun is a small fishing town located on the northwest coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and it’s famous for its beautiful beaches, calm waters, and diverse wildlife, including flamingos!
This place is all about relaxing, checking out gorgeous (and very uncrowded) beaches, and simply enjoying nature. It’s a popular weekend getaway for Merida locals, too!
Where to stay in Celestun
- Hotel Beach Don Gonzalo: This small budget-friendly hotel is right by the beach also has a swimming pool and a cafe – plus you can easily walk to town. The rooms are simple but large, clean and an unbeatable price.
- Casa de Celeste Vida: A lovely Canadian-owned hotel that offers comfortable and well-equipped rooms with kitchenettes. The hotel has a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, and it’s perfect for families as it has a garden, a swimming pool, and a terrace.
- Celestun beach house: This is the perfect rental home for a Mexico extended family vacation! There’s enough space to sleep about a dozen people and it sits on a secluded stretch of beach. You’ll also enjoy a gorgeous deck while the kids splash in the small pool.
Best things to do in Celestun
- Official flamingo tour – These run daily from the tourist office just outside of town
- Tour in the mangroves – Most of the tours you can book in advance on big sites are pricey day trips from Merida, but if you’re already staying in Celestun this is a much better option as it’s very personal and much more affordable since you don’t need transportation
Located on the northwest coast of Yucatan, El Cuyo is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
El Cuyo is all about spending time at a beach that offers calm and shallow waters perfect for the kids to swim in, lots of fun water activities like kitesurfing and snorkeling, and lots of nature to explore as a family.
El Cuyo is located inside the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, which is a place where you’ll find lots of eco-friendly activities and plenty of chances to explore the wild side of Yucatan. One of the best ways to explore the area is by taking a boat tour through the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of birds, including flamingos, as well as crocodiles and other wildlife.
Moreover, you’ll also find Las Coloradas nearby, which is a small town known for homing pink salt lakes!
The lakes are located inside a salt factory and right next to a virgin beach, which means you can easily plan a half-day adventure out of it!
The kids will love checking out the unusual color of the water (there’s also an orange lake here that you can access if you book the guided tour) as well as getting to float on the water (while you can’t swim in the pink lake, there’s a high salinity lake where people can soak in and float like on the Dead Sea in Israel).
Where to Stay in El Cuyo
- Cucu Hotel – El Cuyo: This gorgeous hotel has six rooms, including four that can accommodate families. It has everything you’ll want for a comfortable visit: a pool, AC, WiFi, free breakfast and more. It’s also steps from the beach as well as plenty of restaurants.
- Casa Cuyo Hotel: This is exactly the kind of place we love to stay! It’s an intimate hotel where every guest has a private room with a bathroom, but there are vibrant communal spaces to enjoy. Take advantage of the great beach access during the day and then spend your evenings on the charming deck playing board games while you listen to the water.
- Casa Tropicana en El Cuyo: For more space and privacy, choose these apartment-style rooms that are great for families.
Best things to do in El Cuyo
Known as the “Yellow City” due to the color of most of its buildings, Izamal is a small town that offers a unique experience for visitors and is one of the most unique places to stay in Yucatan.
One of the main attractions in Izamal is the Convento de San Antonio de Padua, a beautiful colonial-era monastery that dates back to the 16th century.
This is a great place to visit with your family, as it offers a glimpse into the history and architecture of the region. You can also visit the Zona Arqueológica de Izamal, an archaeological site that features the ruins of an ancient Mayan city.
Where to Stay in Izamal
- Izamal Plaza: A gorgeous boutique hotel with lots of character that offers a pool, garden, terrace, and family-friendly amenities. It’s right in the center of town too!
- Hotel Boutique Kocai Izamal: A cozy boutique hotel located just a 5-minute walk from Chaltun-Ha. It offers a gorgeous pool and only 7 rooms, so you’ll have lots of privacy.
Best things to do in Izamal
- Izamal walking tour
- Undiscovered Mayapan & Telchaquillo private tour (ruins + cenote)
- Cenotes of Cuzamá Xtohil or Cenote Yokdzonot
Progreso is a charming coastal town and one of the most underrated beach destinations in Mexico. It’s just 40 minutes from Merida so it’s one of the more accessible destinations for families in Yucatan.
You’ll love the long wide beach for kids to play and swim at thanks to its incredibly calm waters. You’ll also be able to enjoy plenty of water sports here such as kayaking and paddleboarding as well as boat tours to explore the nearby mangroves and wildlife.
Aside from the beach, Progreso offers several attractions, including the Progreso Pier, which is the longest pier in Mexico and offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, you can also visit the nearby Mayan ruins of Dzibilchaltun, which offer a glimpse into the ancient Mayan world.
Progreso is a cruise port, so the town may feel very busy when there’s a ship in port and much quieter on other days.
Where to Stay in Progreso
- Hotel Playa Linda: This beachfront hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with ocean views and is definitely one of the best places to stay in Yucatan’s Progreso. It also has a swimming pool and children’s pool, playground, and game room. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar on site.
- Hotel & Suites Domani: This hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites with kitchenettes, as well as a swimming pool, hot tub, and rooftop terrace with ocean views. The hotel is located just steps from the beach.
Best things to do in Progreso
Best Places to Stay in Yucatan: Before You Go…
We hope this guide to where to stay in Yucatan for families helped you plot your next getaway!
Even though these destinations are not as widely visited compared to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, they make for wonderful places to visit if you want to check out less touristy destinations and truly dive into the culture of the Yucatan peninsula.