Cancun vs Cabo San Lucas for Families? An honest Comparison to Help you Decide!

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Cancun vs Cabo for families? Many people face this dilemma when planning a family vacation to Mexico. Both of these destinations are excellent places for a family vacation. Both of these destinations are beautiful in their own ways and offer quite different experiences.

In this article, we have compared these two destinations with different parameters in order to help you to choose the right destination for your family vacation.

Cancun is an excellent family vacation destination if you value beaches and want access to a variety of water activities as well as a lively atmosphere. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation with plenty of sightseeing options and authentic Mexican vibes, Cabo is the place to go.

Cancun vs Cabo San Lucas for Families?

Why You Should Visit Cancun over Cabo for a Family Vacation?

Cancun beach
White sandy beach with umbrellas in Cancun

If turquoise blue Caribbean beaches, world-class and affordable resorts, and upscale shopping malls are the main priorities for your family vacation then choose Cancun over Cabo.

Why You Should NOT Visit Cancun over Cabo for a Family Vacation?

Cancun is a highly commercialized travel destination. Many people find Cancun a “Concrete Jungle”. So, if you are a nature lover or want to experience genuine Mexican vibes and tranquil beach experience then Cancun is not a place to go.

Why You Should Visit Cabo over Cancun for a Family Vacation?

Cabo beach

If the beach is not a priority for you and you want to spend your family vacation exploring numerous adventurous and touristic activities along with genuine Mexican vibes then Cabo San Lucas is a better option than Cancun.

Why you Should NOT Visit Cabo over Cancun for a Family Vacation?

If you are a beach kind of person and beaches are the main priority for you then Cancun is a better option than Cabo. Cancun has safer and more beautiful beaches than Cabo. Also, Cabo is a little more expensive than Cancun.

Cancun vs Cabo: Which has better Family-friendly Beaches?

Cancun vibes

Beaches may be the deciding factor for many people when choosing between Cancun and Cabo for a family vacation. Cancun and Cabo are both excellent family vacation destinations. However, when it comes to family-friendly beaches, Cancun comes out on top.

The majority of Cabo San Lucas’ beaches are not swimmable. Numerous beaches in Cabo San Lucas are dangerous for children and families due to the presence of strong undercurrents.

Additionally, Cabo is located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, whereas Cancun is located on the Caribbean coast. As a result, unlike the flat white sand beaches of Cancun, the beaches of Cabo feature rugged or mountainous topography.

El Medano beach
El Medano beach
Lover's beach
Lover’s beach

Along Cabo San Lucas beaches, large rock formations can be found. This does not imply, however, that all of Cabo’s beaches are dangerous. Cabo, too, has a few family-friendly beaches, such as Playa Medano and Lovers Beach.

Cancun, on the other hand, has a number of family-friendly beaches that are quite safe for kids. In addition, most of Cancun’s beaches have lifeguards, which ensures the safety of families with kids.

Cancun also has a number of kid-friendly water activities. Cancun has without a doubt the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, with its wide, long, well-equipped white sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters.

Winner: Cancun

Cancun vs Cabo: Which has Better Family-friendly Resorts?

One of the main reasons Mexico has become a popular honeymoon and family vacation destination is due to its affordable all-inclusive resorts. Between $2000 and $3000, you can easily find an affordable all-inclusive family vacation package that covers almost all of your expenses, including flights, meals, drinks, and lodging.

When it comes to all-inclusive family vacation packages, Cancun is a better option than Cabo. Cancun offers more sophisticated, diverse, and affordable resorts than Cabo.

Cabo is known as the top luxury vacation destination in Mexico. So, unlike Cancun, most of the hotels in Cabo are upscale and hence are a little expensive. Whereas Cancun is well-known for its affordable and world-class family-friendly resorts.

Winner: Cancun

Average cost of accomodation per day for a family of four

Mid-range hotel$180$190
Villas/Luxury rooms$325$380

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Cancun vs Cabo: Vibes?

Cancun beach city
Cancun beach| Image by Keith Pomakis oon Wikimedia Commons

Before comparing Cancun and Cabo, you should know what kind of destination are you looking for your family vacation. Because, while both Cancun and Cabo are excellent family vacation destinations, they have very different vibes.

Cancun has a cosmopolitan vibe. Cancun is more lively and congested, but it still offers an ideal beach experience due to its miles of long, wide beautiful beaches.

It is a highly commercialized vacation destination, which contributes to the widespread perception of Cancun as a concrete jungle. Cancun is Americanized as a result of its high commercialization, and you will not find authentic Mexican vibes there.

cabo nightlife

Cabo, on the other hand, has a small-town vibe. Cabo, like Cancun, has a more tranquil setting with less commercialized beaches. However, unlike Cancun, Cabo maintains an authentic Mexican vibe. Cabo is also a foodie’s paradise; it’s an excellent location for exploring delicious local Mexican food.

Winner: Draw

Cancun vs Cabo: Safety

It is no secret that Mexico does not have a good reputation when it comes to safety. But, fortunately, Cancun and Cabo both are quite safe destinations.

It is true that many parts of Mexico are dangerous but fortunately, popular tourist destinations like Cancun, Cabo, Tulum, and Puerto Vallarta are quite safe. So, in terms of safety both of these destinations are good options.

Winner: Draw

Cancun vs Cabo: Activities

Activities are another important parameter to compare these two destinations. In short, if you want your vacation to revolve around the resort, beaches, and a plethora of water activities then Cancun is a better option.

But if you want to spend your vacation while exploring endless adventure activities and authentic Mexican vibes then Cabo is a better option than Cancun.

Cancun is a destination where tourists spend most of their time around resorts, beautiful beaches, and upscale shopping malls. Cancun offers long, wide white sandy beaches with endless water activities suitable for everyone including families with little kids.

Cancun cenote
Cenote with beautiful turquoise water for snorkeling at Xel-Ha, Cancun

Cancun is also known for its upscale shopping malls and wild nightlife so it is a great place for shopaholics and party animals, too. One of the best things to do for families in Cancun is to visit “Cenotes“.

Cenotes are natural swimming pools that can be found across Mexico and are known for their natural relaxing and healing properties.

Like Cancun, Cabo, too, has great nightlife and a shopping scene but apart from that, there are a lot of things to do in Cabo. It is a great place for families that love adventure.

Mayan City Chichén itzá
Mayan City Chichén itzá

Cabo, due to its rugged, desert, mountainous terrain offers endless adventure opportunities for adventurous souls. You may hike ⛰Mount Solmar or embark on an ATV adventure with your family, explore the spectacular rock formations of El Arco, take whale watching tours, zipline tours, or sunset tours; the list of things to do in Cabo is endless.

Winner: Cabo

Cancun vs Cabo San Lucas: Things to do with Family


Cancun activities family
Play With Dolphins

This is a great activity for families with kids. Dolphins are extremely social creatures that youngsters and kids adore. There are many places in Cancun where your children can swim with dolphins and interact with them, including Playa Mujeres and Punta Cancun. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Captain Hook Pirate Dinner Cruise

The Captain Hook Pirate Dinner Cruise is a wonderful way for families to spend an evening in Cancun. This exciting experience will take you on a tour of the Caribbean’s magnificent seas onboard a replica Spanish galleon from the 18th century. This trip includes food, beverages, and pirate acts loaded with fascinating historical tales enjoyed by children.

The Xcaret Natural Park

XCaret park
Xcaret park,

The Xcaret Natural Park is Cancun’s well-kept secret. This site offers an abundance of family-friendly activities. This park is home to Mayan ruins, endless water activities, and an abundance of animals and ecosystems.

Visit Cenotes

Cancun cenote
Cenote with beautiful turquoise water for snorkeling at Xel-Ha, Cancun

Cenotes are quite popular among Cancun tourists. They are natural sinkholes found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, near Cancun. The Mayans believed that Cenotes possessed healing abilities. Cenotes are an excellent place to visit for a families since you may swim and dive into the refreshing water in a tranquil and pleasant setting.

❤️Suggested Read: Is Cancun Worth Visiting? REAL Pros and Cons to HELP you decide!!

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo activities

Whale Watching Tour

Cabo whale watching
Cabo whale watching

Whale watching is undoubtedly one of the most exciting activities in Cabo San Lucas for families. Between November and March, thousands of humpback whales migrate from the Arctic to the warm seas of Cabo, making it an ideal location for whale watching. There, you can observe a variety of whales, most notably humpback whales, blue whales, and orcas.

Take ATV Tour

Cabo San Lucas’ rocky, mountainous landscape makes it an ideal location for adventure activities. ATV tours are one of the top adventurous activities for families who love adventure. Cabo is well-known for its adrenaline-pumping ATV tours. Cabo’s Baja California Peninsula, in particular, is extremely popular for this activity.

Visit Marina

Cabo Marina- Cancun vs Cabo for families?

Marina is the most popular tourist destination in Cabo San Lucas. For families, there are numerous activities and places to visit in this area. Aside from the breathtaking views, this area has a plethora of shopping and dining options. Marina should definitely be on your itinerary if you’re visiting Cabo.

❤️Suggested Read: Is Cabo San Lucas worth Visiting? 9 Reasons Why You Must Visit!!

So, which is better for family vacation, Cancun or Cabo?

Cancun and Cabo both are great family vacation destinations. It finally comes down to what kind of destination you want for your family vacation. Cancun is better for beach-loving families, while Cabo is better for adventure-seeking families.

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Chetan is a travel enthusiast, who finds solace in traveling. Reading, writing, and sharing about outdoor adventures, culture, and traditions has been his lifelong passion.

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