Teen Travel Chat: Cancun- A Tropical City for All Ages

**In our first installment of Teen Travel Talk, BarrisTourista introduces you to Brooke Lauryn, a teenage traveler. So here she goes! From Brooke:

Upon arriving in Cancún, I was surrounded by a rich, vibrant, and lively Mexican culture. The heat and humidity were also impossible to ignore once I walked out of the airport. The airport is where I learned my first lesson in Mexico: Be prepared to say ‘no’ to the many people who will approach any and every adult to attend time-share presentations. This will get you to your destination in a timely manner so you can get your vacation started ASAP and experience the fabulous ocean breeze.

Cancún is a great place for parents to get some R&R while the kids enjoy the pool, beach, mall, or other activities. With a variety of things to do and places to go, you can plan a lot for each day. On the other hand, you can also plan to just chill and relax.

The Resort

Cancun Resort WP

My family and I stayed at The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Cancún in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Westin is an amazing resort that is perfect for families, couples or solo travelers. The resort offered a wide variety of daily activities such as miniature golf, Spanish lessons, tie dye, pool workouts, beach volleyball, karaoke and bonfires. I personally enjoyed the music and high-energy instructor during the afternoon pool workout. It was really fun and allowed me to meet new people. I also really enjoyed the Spanish lessons. Learning the language as taught by a native was a cool experience. My advice: Check out the daily resort activities brochure to see if any are of interest to you or your kids ahead of time. You can also talk to the activities director to see if they can clue you in on when they will release the baby sea turtles back into the ocean.

The resort staff, along with the stunning view of the infinity pool, provided a warm and welcome atmosphere the moment you walk into the resort lobby. The two-bedroom unit was spacious and furnished beautifully with Mexican flavor. Our balcony overlooked the “quiet” pool and the blue ombrė colors of the ocean. The resort has three restaurants, all offering a variety of Mexican and traditional American dishes.

Selvatica Day Trip

brooke zipline

While there, I highly recommend taking a trip to Selvatica, which is about 45 minutes from the resort area. Selvatica is a ziplining adventure that the whole family can enjoy (ages 3 to 99) and is well worth the money. The adventure is very well planned and executed. Every Selvatica staff member that I encountered had a good sense of humor and provided reassurance to anyone who was fearful of what they got themselves into as they climbed the steep steps to the first zip line. They were also extremely organized. While you zip line, they take some pretty cool action shots. It is definitely a trip that the kids will remember, and you will have great photos to capture the moment. After doing 12 zip lines, there is a short drive to the Cenote (a natural sink hole). There we were allowed to zip line or jump into the refreshing water, where more pictures were taken. The adventure wrapped up with a surprisingly good lunch that included refried beans, rice, and chicken. During our meal, the staff played a video that they put together and the pictures they captured. Both are available for purchase. The ziplining adventure at Selvatica was memorable and I would highly recommend it. Tip: Be sure to wear sunscreen, closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing (I wore shorts and a tank top), and don’t forget to bring a towel to dry off after you swim in the Cenote.

The Food

cancun statue

The main purpose of our family vacation was to unwind before the start of the school year, so we decided not to do any other activities off the resort property. We did find a few restaurants that are worth mentioning, as my mom is a self-proclaimed foodie. One restaurant, which was absolutely delicious and very unique, was La Madonna. It emphasizes Northern Italian/Swiss recipes. I ordered spaghetti with marinara sauce and it was super tasty! I must confess, I ordered it twice as my family and I liked it so much we dined there twice. My parents enjoyed their lasagna, ravioli stuffed with pesto ricotta with pomodoro sauce and the four cheese pizza. La Madonna is a great choice for families with children who are picky eaters (I’m still a picky eater) and aren’t very excited about Mexican food. The décor at La Madonna is gorgeous. There are three-story statues of angels and appealing artwork to feast your eyes on. There is also a huge reproduction of the Mona Lisa painting that catches your eye as soon as you walk into the main seating area. La Madonna has an amazing ambience with its music and style. The staff is very hospitable. They welcomed us back for our second visit as if we were old friends. La Madonna is a great place to eat.

The other restaurant worth mentioning is La Parrilla Grill. It is a traditional Mexican restaurant and was quite fun. They had staff on hand that took pictures of their guests wearing colorful sombreros. Another sight was one of a waiter balancing two drinks on his head before serving them to a couple. The lively environment was family friendly and entertaining, and the food was delicious. I didn’t stray from my typical (picky) eating habits while there. I ordered crispy chicken tenders and French fries for our first visit but got carryout another night. But I did enjoy the chicken, rice and refried beans. La Parrilla was an awesome place to go to experience more Mexican culture, food, and the immense amount of excitement the Mexican people have for soccer. There were multiple televisions throughout the restaurant and they were all tuned into their football (soccer) team. The place literally went wild every time they scored a GOOOOOOOOAL.

cancun waves

For anyone interested in experiencing Mexican culture, food, and a wonderful vacation, I highly recommend Cancún. It is perfect for everyone – families, couples, or single travelers – with a large number and variety of things to do, places to see, and activities to try.


brooke bio cancunI am Brooke Lauryn. I am a high school student with diverse interests. I enjoy being a member of my high school band and marching at Friday night football games, along with participating in basketball and track & field. I appreciate art and music and learning about other cultures. I love spending time with my family and friends. Since I was a child I have always enjoyed traveling, and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite places and “cool” things to do with you.



I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

38 comments on “Teen Travel Chat: Cancun- A Tropical City for All Ages”

  1. Great post! My husband and I stayed in Tulum (south of Cancun) a few years ago. We stayed in a pretty rustic little cabana so we could splurge on our adventures. We went snorkeling at Xel-ha, zip-lining at Xplor, and loved swimming and snorkeling in the cenotes that are everywhere. We also enjoyed touring the ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza. I think any of those activities would be great for teens as well as adults too!

  2. I’d love to visit Cancun! Since I have nothing but teens in the house, it’s nice to get a perspective from someone their age. Lots to consider next time we travel.

  3. Nice job, Brooke! Great writing. I love this perspective from someone other than an adult. I’ll think about Cancun now, when planning family vacations. Thank you!

  4. It sounds awesome! I’ve been to Alcupolco and remember that humid heat down there, imagine Cancun is the same way. I’ve been zip lining in Mexico too. It was so fun!

  5. Cancun seems like an interesting place just heard it was where the nonstop party goer head to. The scenery look awesome sunshine and blue clear water a natural way to experience the wonders of the Mexican culture.

  6. Oh Cancun is on my bucket list. It sounds incredible and looks beautiful. This adventure sounds so much fun! I love the “ombre” colors of the ocean! The food sounds great and the ziplining looks fun!

    1. You should definitely try to go to Cancun – It’s a lot of fun and there are so many options to choose from while you are there! You can choose to relax or go explore something totally new.

  7. Cancun is on my list of places to visit. My boss just returned from there and raved about how much his children (pre-teens) enjoyed it. I have been to Cozumel but it appears that Cancun has more diverse activities.

  8. What a mature young lady! She’s written brilliantly and my niece now wants to go to Cancun after reading this! My parents love Mexico but I’ve never been – I’m inspired to do so now though!

  9. This sounds like an amazing vacation indeed for the whole family. I have always dreamed of visiting Cancun one day and hopefully this dream with come true soon. The resort sounds totally fantastic and I love all the activities they have there for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I know a few people who went to Cancun for family vacations and just raved about it. I would love to visit one day and take my family, it would be just lovely.

  11. Cancun is such an amazing place and it’s definitely on my bucket list! I’ll definitely be noting the activities you guys did. It looks like so much fun!

  12. That sound like the kind of resort I could really enjoy–just lie back and relax–which for me is what vacations should be about. Zip Lining–I doubt I could be even double dog dared into doing that–I’d probably flap my arms like a chicken and go scampering off into the far distance!

    1. I was a little nervous to zip line too! But I really think you should try it. My mom, who is afraid of heights, had a great time after the first zip. If you zip line at Selvatica, the staff will cheer you on and make everything 10x better with their jokes and personality. Before my family zip lined, we took a family picture and a woman who worked there put a parrot on my hand! I was scared but she told me that I shouldn’t be scared and that today was going to be all about overcoming fears. So I recommend you try it! I believe in you!

  13. I actually got invited to go to Cancun once all expenses paid. I had small kids at the time and didn’t want to take them, and I didn’t want to leave them home. After reading this, I wish I had gone.

  14. Loved hearing the teenage perspective from Brook! La Madonna sounds great, our family loves Italian food. When I think Cancun I think party time but this resort is now on the family wishlist

    1. La Madonna is calling your family’s name! The food is delicious and I’m sure you and your family will really enjoy dining there. The resort is amazing as well. Hope you all can check Cancún off of your wish list soon!

  15. My kids would love a trip to Cancun. A couple of their friends went there this summer on family vacations and they really had a wonderful time. Such a beautiful place!

  16. Excellent post Brooke, you shared so many things that I as an adult with kids would also enjoy as a traveler. I love Cancun and I am looking forward to traveling there again with my kids.

    1. Jess, those stories are mostly in the country and border towns, not resort areas like Cancun. It all comes down to being a safe traveler, no matter where you are. Those stories are the exception to the rule… I mean, look at the amount of crime in the US!

  17. Wow, the writing was really great, and the trip sounds amazing, what a great way to see things from our childrens prospective…something to think about when planning family trips

  18. After reading that very descriptive and detailed travel report from Brooke Lauryn, I am ready to pack my bags for the adventure and the food! Thanks for sharing your review!

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