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HI we want to go to a nice warm Mexico beach hotel/resorty sort of
place this summer with our baby who will be about 16 months old... I
want to role out of bed (at 6am when baby wakes...oy) and go sit
under an umbrella on the beach... any ideas? Clean, Safe, Warm, Baby
Friendly, no Hassle... Puerta Vallarta? THanks!
Mamma needs a margarita.
We just had a great Mexico trip in Salyulita, Mexico, near
Puerto Vallerta. Three couples went; we had a 9 month old, 1
year old and 16 month old. We stayed at Ventana Al Mar, which
is a villa that had three bedrooms, a main house and a pool.
It was beautiful and a short walk to the beach. Although,
truthfully, it was much easier to do the pool, with the kids,
b/c the rooms, kitchen, etc. were right there. We had a great
time. It was safe and easy. Yes, you do get up early, so the
margaritas are usually on the early side too! Have fun.
another margarita loving mama
Cabo, the Riu Hotel. We went there for our honeymoon a few
years ago and it was wonderful and there were lots of
families. We now have an 18-month-old and can't wait to bring
I am looking for a place to go on a combined family vacation. There will
be two adults
and five children, ranging in age from 4 - 12. We thought of Mexico, as
one of us is
fluent in Spanish and loves the country. We are looking for somewhere with
a beach, a
pool, as well as fun activities (pyramids, ruins, jungles, snorkeling,
bikes, etc) that will
appeal to our combined five children (3 boys, ages 9, 11, and 12, and two
girls, 4 and
9). Also, we would like any recommendations regarding inclusive resorts
such as Club
Med, regular resort-type places, hotels, and renting a house, casita, or
villa. We are
planning to go for the last two weeks of July. Any and all thoughts and
ideas for this
exciting trip for us are welcome! Thank you.
We have been to Mexico a few times with our two sons, now age 9 and 10. We have a mixed race family and have
been very comfortable there at all times. We love the combination of beach/snorkel activities with climbing
up jungle ruins. The Yucatan Peninsula area or ''Mayan Riviera'' is definitely the place to start on a first
trip. You can easily reach Tulum, which are beautiful ruins by the sea, or take a day trip to Chicheniza, a
much more extravagant site. My kids love pretending to sacrifice each other at the tops of the pyramids.
Xel-Ha is excellent for kids for snorkeling, and staying near Akumal would be a great place. If you google
search ''Playa Del Carmen Forums'' you will find a GREAT forum of people who go to that area often who have
neat tips and tricks about where to stay, what to do, etc. Feel free to contact me more directly for more
info, or if you'd like to borrow a couple of the better adventure travel guides to that area.
Staying in a condo is a nice way to go, we don't tend to do the resort stuff. But there are plenty of good
grocery stores around to buy what you need. Have fun! Eden
We are interested in going to Mexico in December with 3 1/2
year old. Wondering if any advice on nice places with charm
and swimmable beach. Would like to avoid mega-resorts, but
doesn not have to be rustic. Any advice is appreciated.
Zihuatanejo! I went in December a few years ago and it was
perfect for kids. Hotels on the very flat, calm, warm water
beach (Playa Ropa). There are pricey resorts and smaller
hotels to choose from, or you can rent a condo/apt a few blocks
from the beach. Lots of other families -- mostly Mexican,
although a few Americans too
We went to Akumal on the Yucatan peninsula last December-it was
wonderful. There is a wide range of places to stay, some with
childcare. I would go to www.locogringo.com. We stayed at Hotel
Club Caribe, which was nice-not super luxury, but right by the
beach, with a wonderful restaurant.
I recommend Puerto Vallarta. It has nice family resorts, and
the place has a nice ''colonial'' charm to it. I think it is the
best combo of nice colonial town with a beach. There are many
direct flights from the Bay area
We just got back from a trip to the Yucatan and I highly
recommend going there for a family vacation. We stayed in Puerto
Morelos, which is a sleepy little town, not yet overrun with
tourists. The town is just south of Cancun. We stayed at an
apartment – Villas Marushina
(http://www.hometown.aol.com/mayanparadise/). The apartment has
2 twin beds, 1 double bed, plus futons in the living room, full
kitchen, dining area, two patios, a large bottled water
dispenser, a washer and dryer, plus a coffee maker. For people
with older kids or no kids, consider staying at “The Beach
House/Palapa” (http://members.aol.com/corredorpr/ ), which is
beautiful and large with a great patio on the second floor.
Villas Marushina and the palapa are 1 block or less from the
beach. We rented a car and had easy access to Cancun, the Zona
Hoteleria, and Playa Del Carmen. The ruinas at Chitchen Itza and
Ek Balaam are quite far away, but Tulum is easily accessible as
are many beaches, cenotes, and lagunas. Isla Mujeres and Cozumel
are also easy to get to. I recommend the Crococun Zoo for the
kids and I'd consider an ecopark for the kids as well. Xcaret
being the best of the ecoparks, but it is pricey. Feel free to
contact me if you have questions
Our family of four (two teens) is looking for suggestions for a
meaningful 8-10 day vacation for July. We'd love to go to
Mexico but have absolutely no desire to do the resort thing,
nor do we want to go the organic/yoga retreat route. We just
want a real downhome Mexico experience. Any and all suggestions
are welcomed as well as suggestions for other latin locations
wanna be ex pat
I would definitely recommend Oaxaca (the City of Oaxaca in the
state of Oaxaca). It is such a beautiful city and so rich with
culture and things to see. There are a lot of archaelogical
sites (Monte Alban was my favorite) nearby and other
interesting buildings and places to visit. The food is out of
this world, one of my favorites cuisines in Mexico, and you can
choose from either small family-owned restaurants or fancy
higher-end places. In my experience they were all amazing. And
if you want to experinece the local culture and activities, you
should visit the downtown area (Plaza) especially on the
weekend. I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful
Does anyone know of a beautiful area/city in Mexico which has
interesting Christmas celebrations during the week leading up
to Christmas? Can you reccommend a city relatively easy to get
to from SF? We would like to take a vacation with our two
I'm a little biased because we own a villa in Puerto Vallarta,
but I LOVE Christmas time there. It's a little more than three
hours by air to get there, and is a super family friendly place
During the month of December there are MANY Christmas
activities that go in around town, and there are firework
displays virtually every night. And you can participate in all
of them in your shorts, because the weather is absolutely
Please feel free to email me directly if you have any
questions. And here is a link to our photo album of our PV
villa - with private pool, panoramic ocean views, maid service,
chef, and great nanny available:
December 1 - 12 ''Guadalupe'' Processions.
During these twelve days, the Guadalupe Processions take place
to the downtown cathedral that bears the name of the patron
saint of both Puerto Vallarta and of Mexico. Guadalupe Day
(Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is celebrated on December
12, and almost every business, hotel, restaurant, neighborhood
and civic association makes a procession to the church for a
special mass they have devoted to the Virgin. For the larger
groups, these processions resemble a small parade, with
folkloric dancers, floats, singing and even fireworks following
their brief mass.
December 12 - Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe; this
important religious and social holiday marks the anniversary of
the day the Virgin Guadalupe made her miraculous appearance to
a peasant in Mexico. The processions (see above) culminate on
this day. On this day, fireworks abound and the central plaza
is filled with people street vendors selling fruits and other
local specialties. This date also marks Puerto
Vallarta’s “birthday.” In 1851, Don Guadalupe Sánchez Torres
founded Puerto Vallarta, when he brought his family and a few
friends to settle in an area alongside the Cuale River.
December 12 - Guadalupe Day in Quimixto (south of PV); the
small, south shore community pays homage to the Virgin
Guadalupe. Baptisms, first communions and sometimes weddings
take place within the local community, culminating with a
procession of small “flotilla” decorative fishing boats which
makes its way down the shoreline. The women and children that
fill the ‘pangas’ sing hymns in the Virgin Guadalupe’s honor.
December 16-24 - Christmas Week. All over Puerto Vallarta,
families, businesses and neighborhoods celebrate the holidays
with parties, known as “posadas.” This tradition is a re-
enactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging in Bethlehem.
Processions are formed to designated houses and carrying
candles, the people ask for lodging through a melodic song. The
host will refuse several times before finally opening wide the
door, signifying the start of the party. The main Christmas
celebration is a traditional family dinner on Christmas Eve,
followed by Midnight Mass
Hi, I am trying to figure out a nice, warm place to vacation
with my 1 yr old. It can be international or within US. I
prefer not to go to Hawaii. Any other place within 6hr plane
ride? I was thinking of the East Coast or Mexico but didn't
know which cities would be good. I have been to Cancun and
wasn't into the Mayan ruins thing.
Please consider Ixtapa/Zihuantanejo, one of the nicest, most
charming coastal spots in Mexico. They are side by side, and
Zih. is the more authentic, charming of the two. The bay/village
in Zih. is particularly picturesque and charming. If you go to
tripadvisor.com, the site can help with the full range of places
to stay. Ixtapa is larger and more commercial and there are some
large, hotel-chain type hotels there. There is one hotel in Z.
that is particularly nice that is carved into a mountain-side,
right over the water, with an infinity pool and an elevator down
to its beach.
Ix/Zi is an easy non-stop flight on Alaska airlines. Travel time
is between 3 and 4 hours.
We just went on a 3 week vacation there (spent part of the time
in Todos Santos and part of the time camping on Bahia Magdalena
and Bahia Concepcion). Wow it was an awesome (and not wildly
expensive) vacation. Beautiful, warm, remote at times, great
interesting people, awesome sunsets (and if you go in Jan-Mar
you can see the whales!)... You can fly into Cabo San Lucas,
rent a car, and just go. I cannot even begin to write about all
the things we did/places we saw. This is a link to an NY Times
Travel Section article about Todos Santos that we read right
after we got back. I thought it was pretty representative.
For the more luxurious part of our trip (not camping) in Todos
Santos we stayed at Casa Bentley -- very nice and unusual place,
and the owner has taken an interest in making it friendly for
We will definitely go back to Baja
I really would like to go with our two kids to Mexico (ages 11
and 8). What I would like in a vacation is to be able to
really relax, and to also feel like we are in another culture
in a landscape with lots of natural beauty. I also want not to
worry about things I've heard about like getting sick from food
or drink, or worry that people might try to take advantage of
us in some way (steal our money). Does anyone have any
specific recommendations of places (towns, hotels) to stay in
where they were able to enjoy the landscape and the people and
not worry about stuff (I admit I am a worrier). Any good places
to snorkel (without sharks, I worry about that too). I'd like
to hear about people's experiences there, and also specific
places to stay that worked out well or didn't work out and to
wishing to see Mexico
Hi! You should go to Mexico and not be worried. I went with my hubby, 2 year old daughter, and mom in September, 2005 and we had a great time. We rented a house in Playa Del Carmen (South of Cancun) and had none of the problems you are concerned about. None of us got sick from the water or anything else. We took some precautions, like using iodine drops to wash out sippy cups, but we didn't use them to wash out the coffee pot we used everyday and had no trouble. The one thing that I was not prepared for was the heat. It was blistering. The house we rented had a/c in one bedroom - and it was not the master bedroom! So we suffered through some hot nights. We realized how very spoiled we are living in the Bay Area's near perfect climate. But, on the upside, the house had a pool and we swam many times a day. My daughter was in a swim diaper or naked for a lot of our stay. We took a boat to Cozumel one day and snorkeled with a group - it was a ball. My daughter had !
a little floatation device and jus
looking security dissuade you from going in. 2) If you rent a house, make sure you get at least a couple of rooms with A/C. Unless you don't mind the heat in which case - you'll love Mexico. 3) You don't have to rent a car for the whole time you're there. We rented one for a day and the guy came to out house to drop it off and pick it up. It was about $40 if I recall. If you want to e-mail me for more details please do. avernetti
I have traveled a great deal all over Mexico. One great trip is
going to ''Club Med'' in the outskirts of Teotihuacan, the pyramids
of the Sun and the Moon, 1/1/2 hours away from Mexico city. You
may fly direct from SFO or Oakland to Mexico City; either arrange
pick-up or rent a car and drive to Teotihuacan. The Club Med is
very relaxed, perfect for kids,(no need to worry about a mess).
The pyramids are great, plenty of space to run around and
explore. The Pyramids are surrounded by very cute and colorful
restaurants. You will need at least 4-5 days to explore the
entire valley of the Dead.In Mexico city, you may visit the
famous archeological museum and the famous inner lakes of
Xiochimilco. Take a boat ride in the colorful lake boats( maybe
your husband may hire a Mariachi band to serenate you while the
kids look at the scenery- they ride along side the other boats)
and carry a picninc on board. The best bet in Mexico city is the
Sheraton '' Maria Isabel''.
Have a great trip.
We just came back from Akumal, Mexico. It's very child-friendly, very safe, lovely. The beach is right there, and the caribbean is amazing. There is wonderful snorkeling at a lagoon a mile away (Blue Lagoon was filmed there). The people were very friendly and kind, and you can do as little or as much as you want-relax on the beach, see ruins, snorkel, scuba dive, go inland to the jungle. I highly recommend it.
We're travelling to Puerta Vallarta with our 10 month old in February, and I'm
confused about whether or not my baby needs a passport. We're flying, and I've
checked the firstgov website which says that everyone travelling by air or sea needs
to use a passport by Dec 31, 2006. My mother in law said that the airline requires a
county certified birth certificate. My son was born at Alta Bates and I have the City
of Berkeley birth certificate. I'm wondering if that's enough. Does anybody have
experience with this?
You need not worry about getting a passport for your child until Dec. 2006. The Birth Certificate you have will suffice.
Been to Mexico with child
I took my son to Puerto Vallarta when he was 4 mos old. He is now 8 =. With the new anti-terrorism and strict laws, and in case something happens, I always feel secure with a passport because one - it proves he is a US citizen, two -it proves that I am the parent of this child and three - it has his picture that proves he is the child with that name.
If anything happens, I have a clear documentation of the baby.
We went to the Dominican Republic last year when our baby was 3 months old and we needed a passport for him. We got the photo done at the travel store in North Berkeley across the street from Longs.
The baby does not have to have a passport yet, but by next year will need one. So why not just go ahead and get one for him/her? That way it is done, and you are all ready when the next travel opportunity arises! Almost all other countries require an infant to have a passport, so it gives you more flexibility if they have one. And it's pretty funny later to look at that passport with the little baby picture in it!
We are traveling to Puerto Vallarta in February as well with our 5 month old daughter. According to the Alaska Airlines website and from the woman at the passport office in the Berkeley post office - the only documents you need are a birthcertificate and photo ID (for adults). If you look on the top of the birthcertificate you got from Berkeley it will say ''State of California Certification of Vital Record''. I believe that qualifies it as a state document. That is what I am going with anyway.
FYI - in order to get a passport for your kid - both parents need to show up at a passport office or you need a notorized letter from the absent parent. Have a great trip!
Passport is required to travel abroad, but if you have the kind of
passport that allows to include your children in it(some foreign
passports do), the more power to you. Mexico is one of the countries in
Latin America that will not allow a minor to travel without both parents
in or out. If by any chance either of you has a problem you have to have
a notirized letter stating that the minor XYZ is allowed to travel with
parent CVB, to be able to go in or out.
Has anyone rented a house in Mexico recently? We are looking to
travel to Mexico in January with another family and are trying
to decide between renting a house vs going to Club Med Ixtapa.
Any recent reviews of Club Med??
We went to Mexico for a month last January with our 11 month old
baby. We spend about 1/3 of the time at an all-inclusive resort
and the rest of the time at a house that we found on the
internet. We much preferred the house, but it probably depends on
how old your kids are. Check with the hotels/ club med to see
what age the children can participate in the kids program. We
stayed at Sunscape in Puerta Aventuras. Although our son was too
young to go in the programs, we hired some of the staff to watch
him a few times per day so that we could go swimming together.
Our son was so young when we went and he really still needed two
naps per day and he went to bed pretty early, so we were stuck in
the room pretty early in the evening, and wished that we could
have gone out more.
The house we rented we found through Vacation Rental By Owner
(www.vrbo.com). We ended up at Julie's Getaway in Solomon Bay
just north of Tulum. It consisted of 3 cabanas. Two with bedrooms
and one as a kitchen. It was a little rustic, yet beautiful. The
best part was the caretakers, Louis and Gabby. They were the
sweetest people and loved babysitting our kid. We completely
trusted them and it made our stay there extra wonderful. They
also cooked for us and got us food in town when we asked them to
(of course we paid them extra for all of this, but it was well
Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great time!
Although I haven't been to Ixtapa, I highly recomend Club Med.
Over the past 8 years, our extended family (adult siblings with
children ranging from toddlers to young adults, plus
grandparents)has taken several trips to Club Meds, both in
Europe and the Caribbean. The big advantage we found with Club
Med over a house rental is that at Club Med, the adults get a
real vacation, too. No cooking, no cleaning, as much (or
little) activity as each family member wants, very good kids
club if you want to use it, lots of activities to do with your
kids (or for them to do on their own, depending on their age).
Club Med is not super luxury rooms, or wild nightlife (at least
not at the family ones)- but they excel at well organized, fun
sports and other activities, good, healthy, plentiful food,
stunning locations, clean, comfortable rooms, good
organization, and a warm and welcoming family atmosphere.
So we have now had 4 wonderful ClubMed vacations where grandma
could lounge by the pool, grand kids could go off and play
soccer, sail, swim, play tennis, learn trapeze, etc, etc. (the
list is endless) and we parents could do a little of both.
Also, many Club Meds are located in areas where there are lots
of easy and fun day trips that can be done.
What a wonderful vacation when the biggest questions of the day
are: Read or Nap? Go sailing or go visit ruins? Play a game
with the kids or try out the flying trapeze?
We will definitely be going back to club med!
clubmed vacations R 4 us
We stayed last year at the Melia Hotel Ixtapa, right next door
to Club Med. We loved it, they had little suites (not much
more expensive than a room) with refridg, it was all-inclusive,
for meals and drinks the hotel is about 2 years old, very clean
and nice. Wonderful swimming pools, including a great one just
for kids -- much nicer than Club Meds. Also have childcare
throughout the day for little kids in a special room (cribs
for nappers) and kid activities for bigger kids -- all included
in the price. You might find it to be a great compromise
between Club Med and a house. When we went it was considerably
cheaper than Club Med. Check it out! solmelia.com
Stayed at Club Med Iztapa about a year ago...a great place to
vacation for families. Lots of activities for children so
parents can REALLY relax. Food is plentiful and delicious, with
lots of selections for picky kids. It was wonderful to meet so
many families from all over the world.
More reveiws of Club Med Ixtapa
We are planning a family (kids age 3 and 2 mos) vacation this
summer. We would like to go somewhere that has children's
activites for our 3 yr old. I was hoping for one of the big
resorts in Hawaii (like Sheraton Kaanapali or Hilton Waikoloa),
but it looks like their children's programs begin at age 5.
Any suggestions? We prefer the beach, but at this point, I am
open to any and all suggestions.
We've been twice to the Melia Hotels in Mexico, once to Ixtapa
and once to Puerto Vallarta. The first time we went our kids
were 18 mo & 3 yrs. It's great because they welcome babies as
young as 2 months and have a really good set up for childcare for
young kids/babies. They do art projects, play with them, have a
nice room with toys, cribs for babies to nap, good ratio staff to
kids. It is an all inclusive so childcare, food and drinks are
included in one price (and it is reasonable). They have a
childrens pool at both properties, the one in Ixtapa is really
nice with slides, water safe climbing structures. The restaurant
are very kid friendly -- with good food and lost of choices to
please even picky eaters. We would go with our kids for a quick
lunch and then take them to the kids club and return for a
leisure lunch while they napped. This situation gave us great
adult time alone and quality time with our kids. The property in
Ixtapa is newer and is nicer, but PV is also really good. Have
fun! More information is available at their website
We want to take our 5 yr old to Mexico this February, but would
like to go to a place that's relatively inexpensive to fly to and
stay at, and, preferably, a place that is warm enough to go to
the beach. Also, I've heard that at some places, like Puerta
Vallarta, one is constantly harrassed by folks on the beach
trying to sell you whatever. Any place without this would also
I've checked the archives; just looking for some updated info,
and some info on the hassle-free beaches!
Please reply to me directly - thanks.
Puerto Vallarta (2)
Playa del Carmen Capitan LaFitte Hotel
We're traveling to Mexico in March, with an 11 mo. old. Does
anyone know if infant car seats are required there? If not,
what's your opinion on whether or not we bring ours for the
We were just in Puerto Vallarta last month with my in-laws.
Between our two families we had a 4 year old, 2 year old, and
18 month old. None of us brought car seats and I'm so glad we
didn't bother. We took taxis everywhere and it would have been
such a hassle to deal with car seats. No one there seemed to
notice and/or care. With all the other crap we had to pack it
just seemed like one less thing to worry about.
If it were me, I would absolutely bring my carseat, whether or
not they were required. An 11-month old wouldn't stay put on
their own in a car, and kids on laps are constantly being
thrown from cars during accidents. Didn't a Bay Area woman
recently lose her 6-month-old that way? I guess I just firmly
believe that, while nothing is foolproof, carseats are
certainly safer than nothing, and I wouldn't want to take that
We have been to Mexico four times with children who have ranged
in age from 4 months to 5 years old. Although car seats are not
required in Mexico (although they are recommended), we still
used them because our kids were used to them and we felt it was
the safest method for them to travel in. Of course we drove so
it was easy to transport their seats and our kids were used to
them. We felt that if we did not use them our kids would mutiny
and not want to wear them when we got back.
If you use a carseat in America, why wouldn't you use one in
Mexico? I suppose you could skip it if it you stick to public
transportation or if ! you rent a car that comes with a car seat.
The laws we have here were enacted to save lives -- not to inconvenience people.
Take the carseat and use it on the airplane, too.
Better safe than sorry!
Are you planning to transport your baby in a car while in
Mexico? If so, then you need a carseat for him.
Maybe I'm missing something about your question, but putting a
baby in a car without a carseat doesn't get safer just because
you're in a different country. Who cares what the law says?!
In any event, you'll need the carseat for the trip TO Mexico,
no? So you'll have it with you anyway. (If you're flying, and
planned not to buy a ticket for your son, I beg you to
reconsider. He, you, and your fellow passengers will all be
happier if you get him a seat and use his carseat on the plane.
Most if not all airlines charge significantly lower prices for
passengers under 2.)
You should not really look at it as ''it is required there'' but
that you will be in a car with your 11mth old. Whether or not
it is required, if you get in an accident, your child may be
injured. At that age, it is so easy to haul the car seat
(buckle the clasp and wear it like a backpack). Not worth the
chance if you don't.
ask yourself....do you use a carseat here at home because a) it's ! the law and
you have to or b) because it keeps your child safe?
I think you have your answer..... ;-)
Have a great trip!
-I'd strap 'em in!
I have traveled in Mexico with my daughter at ages 2 and 5. I
brought my own carseat/booster and often found that the cars
don't even have seatbelts. While there are so many people who
live in both Mexico and the US that I imagine consciousness and
use of carseats is increasing there, I deeply doubt that
carseats are required. You will see many children in cars,
buses, trucks, bikes--in/on front and back seats and most
people without seatbelts. If you rent a car make sure it has
working belts so you can use the with your own carseat, and in
public transit be prepared to hold on to your kid! Don't drive
at night (except in a city) as the roads are often rough and
hazards are hard to see. I love Mexico, can't wait to go back
this summer, and hope you have a wonderful time! ;)
When our son was 3 months old, we took him to the Dominican
Republic. We took our car seat but never used it. For one
thing, we didn't want to stand out as Americans always in need
of special treatment. The Dominicans didn't use car seats and
it was even rare to find a car that had seat belts. We also
didn't want to be installing the car seat every time we took a
I don't know about the laws in Mexico, but on my numerous trips
there, I've never seen a child's car seat. If I were renting a
car so that I could install it once for the whole trip, then I
would consider bringing it. But if you are going to be taxiing
around, I think that it would be too much of a hassle to haul
around the car seat and install it over and over. Just my
Have a good trip!
I didn't read your original post, but here is a story you should hear:
A very close friend of my brothers was traveling in Costa Rica with their 4 year
old daughter. They were experienced travelers, and have been to many
different countries with their daughter. Either due to Costa Rica law or their
own preference, they didn't use a carseat. One afternoon while driving back to
their hotel from the beach they got hit by a drunk driver. Their 4 year old
daughter was killed instantly.
My pregnant wife and I are thinking of going to Zihuatanejo, MX
in November. She'll be about 5 months pregnant when we go.
Looking for a hotel recommendation as well as any other advice
people may have to share re: travelling in Mexico while pregnant.
My husband and I have visited Zihuat three times; we love it. We really
like the Catalina Hotel/Resort (you can google 'em; they have a site)
right on Playa La Ropa. If your wife doesn't mind climbing stairs, we
highly recommend this hotel. Perfect beach location, easy taxi ride to
town, lovely infinity pool, great staff and pretty (though steep) grounds.
We usually go in October, after the hot season and before the big tourist
deluge so I don't know how it will be when more crowded. We chose not
to go this summer (I'm now 7 months pregnant) because of the
pregnancy. I'm not a particularly paranoid person, and most of the
restaurants we've been to are great about serving agua pura to the
gringos, but to have to watch out for the cheese and whatever else just
seemed like work. We ended up in Kauai, where it seems all the
pregnant ladies are. Had a wonderful time, but a totally different
experience. That said, if that's not stopping you, have a GREAT time! If
you can afford to splurge on a dinner out, be sure to go to Kaukan, one
of the most romantic restaurants we've been to anywhere, with
wonderful food and an incredible view of Zihuat town and harbor (and
walking distance from the Catalina). Also, don't miss the chance to pick
up carnitas at the stall at the back of the central market (along with all
the fixings: fresh tortillas, limes, cilantro, tomatoes, etc from inside the
market) and feast back at the hotel. Bring lots of books.
Might want to check with your doctor before you make your travel
plans. When I was pregnant, I had a job that entailed travel to
third world countries, and I was advised not to go. My doctor's
reasoning was that if you get into trouble, they probably would
not have the best health care system to help you out. However,
I have been to CLUB MED IXTAPA with my child and the water is
safe to drink, the food was fabulous, the day care was good and
clean, and although the accommodations were spartan and a teeny
bit run down, it was a relaxing vacation.
I went to Puero Vallarta when I was 32 weeks pregnant. The one
thing that I would tell your wife is be really careful with the
water issue. You don't want to have stomach problems because
you drank the water. I bought bottled water in the store and
just carried them everywhere. I didn't drink anything else the
whole time I was gone. Not only have to be careful with
drinking the water, but having ice in the glass, the water that
they wash the dishes in, making coffee in the morning with
water, etc. Way better safe than sorry!! Also, something about
the extra hormones, I had to use double the amount of sun screen
than I was used to.
Hi, I didn't see your original post, but it looks as though you
are considering traveling to Mexico while pregnant -
(Ixtapa/Zijhua). I went to Ixtapa when I was 23 weeks pregnant
(March 2002). I opted to go because I figured if (God forbid)
something did go wrong with the pregnancy, the baby could not
be saved whether I was in the US or a third world country. We
stayed at the Presidente - All-Inclusive resort in Ixtapa. We
had the BEST time. We only ate at the resort and I didn't get
sick at all (and I do have a sensitive stomach). When I was
pregnant with my second child we opted for a quick 3 day trip
to Cabo - another all-inclusive (Jan 2004). This time around
I was 7 months pregnant and could have ended up in a Mexican
hospital had the baby decided to come early. But I had peace
about going, and again we had a great time. We are going back
to Ixtapa over Thanksgiving, and we're bringing our 2 year old
and 7 month old. We are again staying at the Presidente
because we thought the service was great, and we know what to
expect for the little ones. As far as Mexico goes, Ixtapa is a
great place because it is clean & safe. We will see how family-
friendly it is in 2 weeks! If you want to e-mail me when I get
back I will let you know how it went.
I am looking for a nice house in Southern Mexico to rent for the holidays. It needs to
be toddler friendly, ideally with a pool and reasonably near a beach. I want
something for 3-4 people. Any suggestions?
We took a similar vacation in Mexico and used
www.A1vacations.com. They were fantastic. The house was on
the beach with a pool, cook, and somebody to clean the house
daily. It was very inexpensive and luxurious. Take a look at
the website, they have a lot to choose from.
My husband and I both turn 40 this April, and we are considering
celebrating by taking a vacation in Mexico with our two
children, who are 4 1/2 and 1 1/2. I have a few
questions/concerns that weren't addressed in the archives on the
website: First off, I am somewhat concerned about the kids
having intestinal problems, as I have had problems on both of my
trips to Mexico. What experiences do other people have with
this? Second, I would love recommendations for places to go. I
am looking for a beautiful beach town that is not too touristy
but has some restaurants and amenities. (As a point of
reference, Playa del Carmen had become a bit too developed for
my taste when I was there in the mid 90s.) I'd like nice
accommodations on or near the beach with two bedrooms, kitchen
facilities and a nice bathroom. Finally, what is the weather
like in Mexico in April? Thanks for your help.
For a not too touristy (but still okay for kids) place in
Mexico, check out Zihuatanejo. I have stayed at the Hotel
Catalina y Sotavento on Playa La Ropa. (They are two linked
hotels - I stayed at, and preferred, the older one). The hotel
is set up on a hill overlooking the bay, and the beach is just
down a few steps. The rooms do not have kitchens, but there are
several restaurants on the beachfront (easy walk) that have
great, cheap food. (It's a fishing village, so the fish is
especially delicious). I never had a problem with food
poisioning. The downtown is a short taxi ride away and features
more restaurants, as well as a craftsman's market, and other
storefronts where you can buy things like fresh mangoes and
homemade tortillas. It's easy to get to because it's near a
major tourist destination -- Ixtapa maybe. My one caveat is
that I went there before I had kids, so I didn't really evaluate
it as a parent at the time. Don't know what the weather is at
this time of year.
Being careful not to drink lots (or any, if possible) of sugary sodas helps keep the body from overloading in the heat. Lots of (bottled) water with every meal, not too much citrus. Those are things I do in Mexico, and stay healthy. Intestinal bugs seem to love sugar, so we stick to fruit popsicles/palettas for our sweets.
As for a great place to stay: Villas Clarita in Puerto Morelos was excellent. About $50. a night for a big bedroom with a little
kitchenette and fridge, and separate bathroom. Lots of small gardens and a pool. There are probably 10 rooms total, and it's not
especially high-end in any way. Just basic, clean and charming. It's a block from the beach, were the water is totally flat and great for
small kids. The town of Puertos Morelos is just south of Cancun, north of Playa del Carmen. I have spend a lot of time in this area and PdC has simply exploded beyond recognition with tourism. Puertos Morelos has enough restaurants to keep you fed, a small grocery
store and diversions within a short cab ride (the crocodile farm, a small botanical garden, etc.). We just took a cab from the Cancun
airport--it cost about $12. a few years ago. Email if you need more info. Buen viaje-- Claire
Mar de Jade
I would like to recommend a great non-touristy resort in Mexico that is
great for families -- and inexpensive too (rates start at $60 per person
day, and that includes all meals; kids 7 - 12 are $25 per day and kids
6 are free). It's called Mar de Jade and is located about 2 hours north
Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful cove next to a small fishing village called
Chacala. We've been there several times over the years and have always
a great time. The last time we went with our 5-year-old, she made friends
with a little Mexican girl from the village and they were inseparable for
the week we were there. It's not for everyone, though -- it's
but not luxurious, i.e. no room service, no TV or phones in the rooms
I consider a blessing, but not everyone does). The woman who runs the
Laura del Valle, is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She's
bi-cultural -- Mexican/American -- and has a deep commitment to social
justice and the environment. You can read more about the place on their
If you're adventurous and can take a few
inconveniences in stride, it will be a memorable vacation.
We are traveling with another family to Mazaltan, Mexico in a
few weeks and we're looking for off the beaten path
activities that would be fun for adults and kids (3 year old
and 8 year old, both are fabulous travellers.) We've traveled
to Mexico before (life before kids), but never to Mazaltan and
never to ''tourist central.'' Any suggestions?
We have a (rarely used now) timeshare in Mazatlan and think
Mazatlan is the least touristy coastal city. (Resist the
temptation to buy a time share..only buy on the secondary market.)
You can ride a great city bus and go to the downtown market to
look and if you like shop. There is also a wonderful outdoor
shrimp market there. See where the fishermen sell shrimp wholesale.
We also felt safe taking a sailboat ride on a small catamaran. RE
the parachute stuff you'll see on the beach (boats pull people
wearing parachutes and the person essentially becomes a kite)
...we've seen rough landings, with reports of some people dumped
in trees. If anyone in your party wants to do that, make sure
you've observed the crew for many successes before you try it.
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