As winter’s chill envelops many parts of the world, there’s no better time to escape to the sun-drenched havens of Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, the Islands of Loreto, and Cancun. These dreamy resort destinations have more to offer than just sandy beaches and luxurious getaways. They provide the backdrop for unforgettable family vacations that transcend seasons and create memories to last a lifetime. We’ll share our favorite family-friendly activities and must-visit attractions that visitors can explore this winter that are right near our resorts.
Winter in Nayarit welcomes a spectacular natural spectacle—the annual migration of humpback whales. To witness these gentle giants up close, whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is a must-add to your winter itinerary for an unforgettable encounter with nature’s wonders. Several tour operators offer these excursions, and for the best choice tailored to your preferences and schedules, consult with your Member Services or Pre-Arrival agent. They can provide valuable insights into your options.
For members and guests staying at Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta, the most common departure point for whale watching tours is A.P.I. Marina, located just a 7-minute drive (approximately 1.2 miles) from the resort. On these tours, you’ll have the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures breaching, tail-slapping, and playing in their natural habitat, all while learning from knowledgeable guides about their behavior and migration patterns.
Naval Historical Museum
Museo Histórico Naval in Puerto Vallarta’s Centro district is a museum dedicated to Mexico’s maritime history. It’s open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday (info subject to change), and showcases a diverse collection that includes paintings, photographs, historical documents, maps, and navigational tools. It’s a fantastic activity to consider after exploring the Malecón and nearby attractions, suitable for visitors of all ages, with older children likely to find the exhibits especially engaging. The museum is conveniently located just a 14-minute drive (2.5 miles) from Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta.
Discover a day of excitement and aquatic adventure at Aquaventuras Park in Nuevo Vallarta, just a short drive away from Villa del Palmar Flamingos in Riviera Nayarit, a mere 6 miles and 15 minutes by car. Bring the whole family for a day full of energy, entertainment, and thrilling water slides. Explore ten high-speed water slides like “Rompedientes,” the “Happy Widow,” and “Tiburón,” to get your adrenaline pumping. For a more laid-back experience, consider a leisurely ride down the “Lazy River.”
What’s more, there’s an excellent kids’ area where little ones can enjoy low-speed mini-water slides, paddling pools, and even a little pirate ship, ensuring a fantastic adventure for all ages. Dive into educational presentations about dolphins and sea lions that call the park home and learn more about conservation initiatives while you’re there. So, get the family together and prepare for a fun-filled day of aquatic fun.
Turtle Hatchling Releases
If you’re visiting in early winter, you can witness the release of baby sea turtles into the ocean. The region’s coastline serves as a crucial nesting ground for sea turtles, including olive ridley, leatherback, hawksbill, and black sea turtles, which lay their eggs there between June and December.
The Boca de Tomates Turtle Camp organizes regular sea turtle releases for visitors, allowing them to hold, name, and release the hatchlings during nighttime to reduce daytime predator threats. Visitors can take part in releasing baby turtles into the ocean and learn about various conservation efforts, like nest monitoring, egg collection, and night patrols. To join these releases, visitors can contact them through Facebook. The Sea Turtle Camp is located about a 25-minute drive (9 miles) from Villa del Palmar Flamingos, making it easily accessible for those staying at the resort.
The Yamil Lu’um Ruins offer a fantastic opportunity for families with young children who want to explore ancient ruins without venturing far from Cancun. These well-preserved ruins, dating back to the 13th century, stand proudly on Kukulcán Blvd. in the bustling Hotel Zone, providing a surreal juxtaposition with the modern beach resorts that surround them. Although the site is relatively small, wandering through these ancient remnants offers a delightful experience allowing contemplation of the people who once built and used this captivating site. The Yamil Lu’um Ruins are a 30-minute drive (13 miles) away from Villa del Palmar Cancun, making them easily accessible.
Boat Trip and Snorkeling to Isla Mujeres
Set out on an exciting boat trip and snorkel tour to the captivating Isla Mujeres, a favorite day-trip destination. The adventure kicks off with a ferry ride, which can be taken within walking distance from the resort; to get to the ferry from Villa del Palmar Cancun walk to the left when standing on the beach at the resort. Isla Mujeres boasts pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and scenic ocean vistas, with bohemian-themed eateries lining the coastline. Explore the island with available golf cart rentals and discover ancient Mayan ruins, exotic wildlife, and vibrant murals. While snorkeling opportunities abound in the crystal-clear waters, it’s advisable for children ages 5 and up. The island guarantees endless family fun and adventure. For snorkeling and boat tour packages, consult your Member Services or Pre-Arrival agent.
During the winter months, humpback and gray whales migrate to Baja California Sur. Gray whales are known for their smaller size and distinctive gray appearance, while humpbacks, often gray to black with white underbellies, boast more acrobatic behaviors. Besides these magnificent creatures, you might also encounter dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, and Mobula rays. Witnessing these majestic creatures in Cabo San Lucas, whether humpback or gray whales, is a remarkable family activity. All whale watching tours set sail from Cabo San Lucas marina, which is conveniently situated near our resorts. Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa, Villa del Arco, and Villa La Estancia Cabo are just a 12-minute drive (2.5 miles) away, while Villa La Valencia Beach Resort & Spa is a 25-minute drive (12.9 miles) from the marina. Reach out to your Member Services or Pre-Arrival agent for tour recommendations, including those with resort pick-up and drop-off services.
Family Beach Day
A family beach day in Los Cabos is a fantastic idea, even in the winter. The consistently pleasant temperatures, often hovering in the upper 70s and 80s, create ideal conditions to enjoy the sun, sand, and waves. Whether you prefer lounging on the soft sands or engaging in more active pursuits like surfing and snorkeling, there are options to suit every beach enthusiast.
Los Cabos offers a range of popular beach choices, each with its unique appeal. Chileno Beach is perfect for snorkeling with its calm waters, while Medano Beach, a local favorite, offers a vibrant atmosphere. For a serene and relaxing experience, Palmilla Beach provides stunning ocean views. Be mindful of water conditions and currents when swimming, but with a little planning, a family beach day in Los Cabos promises a wonderful winter getaway, with opportunities for both thrilling ocean adventures and tranquil beachside relaxation.
Islands of Loreto
Hike Tabor Canyon
Hiking the Tabor Canyon Trail is a must for adventurous families. This moderately challenging hike that leads you up the Sierra de la Giganta mountain and follows a creek. The trail, which spans 1.6 miles, is accessible from Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto with a short 17-minute (9.5 miles) car ride to the trailhead.
This hike offers a unique adventure, but it’s important to note that it’s moderately difficult, making it more suitable for families with older children. You’ll encounter river crossings, so water shoes are advisable. Additionally, there are bouldering sections where you’ll need proper footwear, not flip-flops. As you progress along the well-marked trail, you’ll reach the sparkling Big Rockfall waterfall, an inviting swimming spot where wearing your swimsuit is a must for a refreshing dip. The entire out-and-back journey typically takes about an hour and a half. You have the flexibility to explore the trail on your own or opt for a guided tour; simply inquire about available options with Member Services or the concierge upon your arrival.
Enjoy a Cultural Family Day Out
Loreto offers an enriching cultural adventure suitable for visitors of all ages. At its heart lies the historic Mission of Our Lady of Loreto, the first mission in Baja California Sur and the inaugural California mission established by the Spanish in 1697. Inside the mission, a remarkable collection of paintings awaits, and the adjacent Museum of Missions displays an array of religious artifacts dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Guided tours are available, providing an educational experience that’s equally captivating for children and adults alike. Beyond the mission, Loreto’s cobblestone streets invite exploration, artisan shops beckon for browsing, and local restaurants offer a delectable taste of regional cuisine. Whether you’re in search of history, culture, or a dose of local charm, a day trip to Loreto ensures a memorable family outing.
Our resort destinations in Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, the Islands of Loreto, and Cancun offer a wide array of family-friendly winter activities that promise unforgettable experiences for everyone. From beach days and whale watching to exploring historic sites and cultural activities, there’s no shortage of excursions that provide enriching family experiences. Each destination provides its own distinctive blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re chasing the winter sun, seeking adventure, or immersing yourself in local culture, our resort destinations ensure a wonderful family getaway. So, pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable winter filled with exploration, relaxation, and quality family time in these incredible destinations.