Riviera Maya is Big on Little Ones by Lisa Codianne Fowler

Kids. Whether you have them, have one on the way, or are simply young at heart, you’ll go loco for Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa. Squeals of delight pervade the family-friendly property, a sprawling all-inclusive resort with a private beach hugging the Caribbean Sea.

This wasn’t our first trip to the strikingly beautiful – and incredibly friendly – Riviera Maya. But what set this visit apart was the discovery that this area is not only a romantic retreat and a party haven for singles and couples alike, but it also provides an ideal setting for families, especially when your vantage point is Dreams Tulum.
The resort offers a wealth of luxury accommodations set amid manicured gardens, sensuous spa services, seven international restaurants serving gourmet fare, six lounges offering unlimited premium brand beverages, and a lively events calendar with more than enough varied activities to fill your days, nights and memories. With impeccable quality and services, it’s no wonder that Dreams Tulum earned the Elite Recognition Award by Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Here’s what’s not immediately clear….of its 431 rooms, the resort boasts 180 that connect. A huge convenience for parents traveling with kids. More obvious is the Mayan-themed Explorer’s Club, as much a treat for grownups as for their children, ages 3 – 12.

Parents can truly relax during spa treatments and other adult activities, knowing their kids are safely ensconced in a wonderful world of tribal adventure, enjoying supervised activities based around nature, science, exploration and creative arts. There’s a playground, splash fountain, climbing wall, game room, big screen movies under the stars, a weekly camp-out and more.
One of the resort’s key features is its proximity to the area’s renowned archaeological sites and natural wonders. Tulum held a mystical power over the ancient Mayan civilization, which built its world famous pyramids here. Hire a guide for insights into the culture. You’ll witness first-hand the remains of mansions and temples and glean why they go hand-in-hand. Our guide explained, “The higher you are in society, the closer you are to the temple and therefore the closer you are to God.” You’ll also learn about how and why human sacrifices occurred: morbid, perhaps, by American standards, but sacred to the people of this land. Be on the lookout for animals great and small: monkeys, deer, raccoons, and the ubiquitous iguana, sure to steal your creature-loving heart.



A River Runs Through It

A most extraordinary natural occurrence here is the cenotes (pronounced Say-NOTE-Ayes), refreshingly cool underground rivers. These wells, found in the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula, are filled with turquoise and green crystalline waters that attract snorkelers and divers from around the world. Adventure-seekers will thrill to ziplining through the jungles with a jolting cenote-dunk finale.
At Xcaret (pronounced Esh-Car-ET), you can get up close and personal with colorful native birds, butterflies, jaguars, monkeys, bulls, and curious animals whose Mexican name has no American counterpart. Don’t miss the horse show, which, according to the narrator, “…demonstrates the cheerfulness and risky temperament of our people.” Shows are non-stop at this magical eco-park, but the most magnificent in all of Mexico is Xcaret’s “Mexico Espectacular” – a larger-than-life extravaganza with fire-throwing, flying men, music and pageantry in a heart-pounding, emotional portrayal of the traditions, history, diversity and mysticism of Mexico.