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Mexico & Cuba with kids

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#1 eachschoolholidays

Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

DH is no longer keen to go to Europe in the Christmas holidays but seems quite keen on Mexico & Cuba  eexcite.gif

We would be taking DD and DS who will be 4 1/3 and 2 1/3 at the time.  

We have travelled extensively through Europe and Asia pre-kids and have done quite a lot with the kids through Asia so hygiene / jet lag etc don't worry me.

I just have no idea where to start with Mexico / Cuba!  Because we will be travelling with the kids we are aiming to base ourselves in a couple of places and hang / do day trips.  I was thinking of flying into Dallas / LAX and the getting a connecting flight to Mexico City for about a week.  We would fly from there over to Havana for a week and then back to a beach area in Mexico for another week before flying home.  I am open to adding another city in Mexico / Cuba.

I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for accommodation?  We are looking for mid-range (with connecting rooms for most of the time) and then somewhere nice for the last week on the beach with a kids club.

We are looking to go for 3 - 5 weeks.

Thanks for your help!!

#2 Fairey

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

I don't have any advice but just wanted to say... that is SO AWESOME!!

Mexico and Cuba are on my one day list! Happy travels!

#3 MrsLexiK

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:35 PM

Haven't been to Cuba but went to Cabos, Mexico City and Cozumel. I would recommend Cozumel with kids def, Cabos was nice but it was too "flashy Americans and big boats" type of thing and I feel that the area played off that (in food prices, types of shops, attractions, exchange rate etc) I wouldn't go back to Mexico City I very much disliked it. We pulled into our hotel late at night, not only was there a big metal security gate with barb wire, there was a security guard with some massive rifle/weapon. Our hotel was a nice hotel but the surrounds not so great, driving around to see everything the next few days I was actually a bit scared. (I have travelled a bit over my life and have never felt scared before)

Flying into Mexico City at night with all the city lights was beautiful though.

#4 eachschoolholidays

Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

Thanks MrsLExiK!  That's exactly what I wanted to hear - Cabos doesn't sound like my style at all!  I'll have a lot at Cozumel.  Thanks again!

#5 MrsLexiK

Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

Away from the marina it is less like that, great food and tequila still!

We meet a family at Cozumel when we went snorkelling from Canada who had children and they commented how safe they felt hiring a car and driving the island by themselves. They had holidayed in other parts of Mexico and (as was our experience in both Mexico City and Cabos) once you get out of the main areas you are on alert. We didn't feel this in Cozumel at all.

A lot of the hotels are all inclusive too over there. We still ate out a fair bit and didn't over spend. Food and drink was much cheaper in Cozumel then Cabos and they did a true conversion. Ie in Cabos they would just say $10 us or $100 pasos. In Cozumel it was $100 pasos or $8.50 us (or whatever the exchange rate was at the time)

#6 kandj

Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

I would think flying into cancun might be a better option? at least then you would be on the coast and not in a big (dodgy) city and you can get easy flights from cancun to havana for cheaper i'm pretty sure...

my sister loved tulum as a beach side destination for mexico.

we looked into it quite heavily but coiuldn't take the risk as my son can't get travel insurance for his medical condition and the only logical way to get there seems to be via the states!

sounds like a great trip original.gif

#7 eachschoolholidays

Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for the extra info ladies.

We would definitely be going to Mexico City.  I am a history teacher and teach a little Aztec history so I definitely want to see the temples out of Mexico City.

#8 Tulipa

Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

If you decide to look into Mexico's interior, Mexico City can be a bit daunting but there is a lot to do. A really nice town to visit is Guanajuato (a few hrs north of Mexico City). Queretaro (I lived there for a yr)  is also a laid back easy town but maybe not so much to do. A lot of people also like San Miguel de Allende.

In the other direction, Oaxaca is also a good place to visit. However, I think if you base yourself on the east coast, you'll have plenty to do (beaches, Tulum, etc). I think the beaches are also nicer on the east coast, although Acapulco has the cliff divers, which is cool, but not really worth the visit.

Can't help you with Cuba, sorry.

#9 fibilly

Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

I went to Mexico and Cuba pre-kids in 2005.

We went to Mexico City, the mountains  and San cristobal de las Casas, down to the Yucatan peninsula. The Yucatan peninsula would be great for kids - plenty of awesome ruins to climb and colourful towns to see. I loved the mountains and San cristobal as it seemed less touristy but I'm not sure what would be good for kids to do there.

Also went to Cancun - I wouldn't rush back. Very touristy and full of American college students. There are plenty of resorts but I thought the surf was too rough for swimming - I've heard there are plenty of much nicer towns south along the coast from Cancun, and I'd go there like playa del Carmen.

Havana was awesome - so different to Mexico. One option is to go to a resort by the Bach in Cuba - we went to Varadero. Certainly the resorts were nowhere near as good as the resorts in Mexico, but the beaches were pretty good.

Have an awesome trip - I'm jealous!

#10 eachschoolholidays

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

Have just checked out Cozumel and it looks awesome!  DH is an advanced scuba diver so he thinks it would be perfect.   rolleyes.gif

Also thinking that Tulum could be nice too.

Thanks for all the advice!

#11 kwiggle

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

I have been to Cuba once and mexico twice.  Isla Mujeres is a much more chilled out area just off cancun, so you could maximise cheap flights.  The yucutan is full of amazing Mayan ruins.
I absolutely adored San Cristobel de las Casas in Chiapas.  So pretty.
Water safety will be your main concern with the kids.  I've never been sick in Asia, but got incredibly crook in Mexico.  Take some gastro drugs for sure.

#12 baddmammajamma

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:47 PM

QUOTE (nlman @ 28/01/2013, 09:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have just checked out Cozumel and it looks awesome!  DH is an advanced scuba diver so he thinks it would be perfect.   rolleyes.gif

Also thinking that Tulum could be nice too.

Thanks for all the advice!

Cozumel is fantastic -- I used to go every year to dive when I lived in the U.S.  Easy flight from the U.S. Very "warm community" feel.

I am still in touch with my dive master there (and American expat who gave up the rat race and moved there decades ago), in case your husband wants to be hooked up! The diving there is BEAUTIFUL!

#13 eachschoolholidays

Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 28/01/2013, 09:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cozumel is fantastic -- I used to go every year to dive when I lived in the U.S.  Easy flight from the U.S. Very "warm community" feel.

I am still in touch with my dive master there (and American expat who gave up the rat race and moved there decades ago), in case your husband wants to be hooked up! The diving there is BEAUTIFUL!

That would be awesome BMJ! If/when we book, I'll let you know - that will save DH the inevitable weeks researching a reputable dive group.  Thanks so much!

#14 vonmax

Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

I LOVED Playa Del Carmen. Laid back lovely coastal town about an hours bus ride/drive from the very tacky Cancun (which I wouldnt recommend). Plenty of accomodation choices to fit all budgets there too. Cozumel, Tulum, and Isla de Mujeres all nice. Found Mexico really easy to get around as the buses are just so good. Cuba was hard to get around when I went about 10 years ago but may be different now so Havana was all I saw. Havana an amazing city with plenty of interest. People we spoke to liked Varadero, a resort just outside of Havana but I didnt go there. Second the gastro-Montezumas revenge is no fun. Will be an amazing trip. I just loved Mexico.

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