Advice about Visiting Mexico

Parent Q&A

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  • We’re traveling to Mexico for the first time in decades (Puerto Vallarta area) & need some advice. 
    If I travel w the wide variety of daily supplements and Chinese herbs that I take (none are narcotics nor are they prescribed), might I have trouble w immigration? 
    The quantity will be small, as they’re just for me and just for a week. 
    I need these supplements for digestion, stress and hormonal support among other reasons, so going w/o them (even for a week) would be challenging. BUT I definitely do NOT want any trouble w police, immigration, etc. 

    Please write in if you have any personal experience with this OR if you have resources that I should know about. 
    lastly, if you’ve been in a similar situation, did you keep the pills in their original bottles (bulky, from a packing standpoint) or in smaller, non-labeled containers?
    Thank you! 

    No responses received.

    Reply now »
  • Mexico/C.R. beach vacation with teens?

    (2 replies)

    Archives are old...Considering a trip to a Spanish-speaking place with 3 kids next August--17,15 & 12.  2 kids are taking Spanish and want to try using it!  We love to snorkel, so near a beach with clear water a plus.  Must have a nice pool.  We've NEVER been to Mexico or beyond (Costa Rica, Dominican Republic??)...  Any recommendations for a hotel or resort (all inclusive ok) with these features, that won't break the bank?  Club Med?  (or do they all speak French?)  Thanks for any hints, tips, or recommendations.

    I've traveled several times to Mexico and Costa Rica both with and without children over the last 20 years   Things have changed a lot (more people speak English now). If the goal is to get your kids to work on their Spanish, you will need to stay away from all-inclusives and resort-type areas.  My kids attend a Spanish immersion school so their Spanish is good but I find that when we are in resort area where there are lots of people who can speak or understand English it just isn't used.  I went to Nicaragua with my 13-year old earlier this year and that was a bit better but Costa Rica has gotten really developed since I first went there 17 years ago.  That said, Costa Rica is a great country and easy to navigate.  I say try to rent a few Air BnBs near Arenal and on the Nicoya Pensinsula away from touristy areas like Tamarindo.  Places south of Tamarindo have great beaches and you are more likely to find places for your kids to brush up on their Spanish.  There is a little resort called the Flying Crocodile near Samara that might suit you as well. 

    Lapa Rios on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is one of my favorite places in the whole world. It is beautiful, wild, and luxurious, all at the same time. It is pretty far removed from any kind of town or nightlife, though, so I'm not sure if the kids would get bored if they are looking for more social stuff. I agree with the other poster about Spanish not really being necessary at the all-inclusive / touristy areas in Mexico or Central and Latin America. That said, I found that people usually really appreciated being spoken to in Spanish and would quickly switch to Spanish when they realized I didn't need them to speak English. Have fun! 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Mexico Beach Resort with 16 month old?

April 2008

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 him.

Mexico Vacation for blended family

April 2007

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. Melissa

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

Mexico in December with a 3 year old

August 2006

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. joe

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 --loved Zihuat

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 We stayed at Hotel Club Caribe, which was nice-not super luxury, but right by the beach, with a wonderful restaurant. anon

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 Toni

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 \x96 Villas Marushina ( 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 \x93The Beach House/Palapa\x94 ( ), 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 kiwi

Vacation with Teens in Rural Mexico?

June 2006

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 vacation! ma_rojas1

Christmas in Mexico

October 2006

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 children.

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 to visit.

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 perfect.

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 (D\xeda de Nuestra Se\xf1ora 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\x92s \x93birthday.\x94 In 1851, Don Guadalupe S\xe1nchez 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 \x93flotilla\x94 decorative fishing boats which makes its way down the shoreline. The women and children that fill the \x91pangas\x92 sing hymns in the Virgin Guadalupe\x92s honor.

December 16-24 - Christmas Week. All over Puerto Vallarta, families, businesses and neighborhoods celebrate the holidays with parties, known as \x93posadas.\x94 This tradition is a re- enactment of Joseph and Mary\x92s 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


Nice warm place to vacation with a one-year-old

June 2006

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.

Hola KS,
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, 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.

Buena suerte!
Que disfruten!

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 kids.
We will definitely go back to Baja

No Worries Mexico Vacation with Kids

Jan 2006

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 avoid. Thanks
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. Answers

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.

Does baby need passport for Mexico?

Jan 2006

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? Michelle

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. Annabelle

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. Kim

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! travelin' mama

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! Megan

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. solid advice

House in Mexico vs. Club Med Ixtapa

Sept 2005

Hi, 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?? Thanks Anne

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 ( 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 worth it). Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great time! heysuzywolf

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! amyw

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. anon

More reveiws of Club Med Ixtapa

Resort with childrens' activities

March 2005

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. Ynez

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

Warm, cheap, hassle-free place in Mexico?

Jan 2005

Hi- 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 be great. 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. michael


  • Puerto Vallarta (2)
  • Playa del Carmen Capitan LaFitte Hotel

    Take carseat to Mexico?

    Jan 2005

    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 baby? D.

    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. Dawn
    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 chance. Stacey
    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. ARA
    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. anon
    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.) anon
    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. DiAnn
    ask 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! ;) Travelin' Mom
    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 taxi somewhere.

    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 opinion. Have a good trip! Kim

    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. Laurey

    Travel to Mexico while Pregnant

    Oct 2004

    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. Thanks! josh

    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. Nicole
    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. Leslie
    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. DiAnn
    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. ataylor

    Mexico House Rental

    Sept 2004

    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 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. Enjoy Monica

    Mexico with Kids -- Turista Concerns

    Feb 2003

    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. karen

    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. anon
    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 Claire

    Mar de Jade

    I would like to recommend a great non-touristy resort in Mexico that is also great for families -- and inexpensive too (rates start at $60 per person per day, and that includes all meals; kids 7 - 12 are $25 per day and kids under 6 are free). It's called Mar de Jade and is located about 2 hours north of 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 had 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 comfortable, but not luxurious, i.e. no room service, no TV or phones in the rooms (which I consider a blessing, but not everyone does). The woman who runs the place, 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 Web site ( ) If you're adventurous and can take a few inconveniences in stride, it will be a memorable vacation. Colleen


    Jan 2003

    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? Cindy

    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. anon