Snack o’clock after climbing the ruins © Celine Brewer

This month’s family travel snap includes tips from our Pathfinder Celine Brewer (familycantravel.com) for exploring the Cobá ruins in Mexico with small children.

What’s the story behind this photo?

In this picture the kids are eating a well-earned snack after climbing the Nohoch Mul pyramid at the Cobá ruins in Mexico. The Nohoch Mul pyramid is one of the tallest Mayan temples in Mexico. We had visited both the Chichén Itzá and Tulum ruins earlier in our trip. While both are impressive and worth a visit, the ropes keep the little climbers off. Our daughter was especially excited about being able to climb this pyramid so – of course – our toddler also insisted that he do it. This quiet moment spent refuelling was just what we needed before we walked back through the jungle to explore the other areas of Cobá. We also played a game of hide-and-seek amongst the trees!

I love this picture because it represents the next level of travelling that we can do with our kids. Seeing their faces at the top when they accomplished something they had set out to do was priceless. In fact, that memory is possibly even better than the incredible view. It demonstrated to us how much more fun we are going to have travelling with our children as they get older; not only because of their changing abilities and the additional experiences we can have together, but also watching them grow by learning about new cultures and pushing their physical limitations.

Kids’ perspective

I showed the picture to our daughter (4) who immediately said: ‘Those are the ruins and I remember climbing it. I remember using the rope and climbing up and up and up.’

Our two-year-old who was nearby also wanted to see and responded: ‘Climbing stairs!’

Celine’s tips for visiting the Cobá ruins with kids:

1) Arrive as early as possible and take a pedicab straight to the pyramid. This will ensure you are there before the crowds and won’t use up all your kids’ energy before climbing the pyramid.

2) Don’t try to see everything: we ended up skipping a section of the ruins because they were farther away and we could tell our kids were hitting their limit. Instead we had a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and took them to swim in a nearby cenote.

3) Use a carrier to carry little ones back down the pyramid, as it is very steep.

4) Don’t forget the snacks and water!

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

Next for us is an extended trip where we will visit the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Iceland. Croatia and Iceland have both been on our travel wish list for a very long time, so we are very excited to finally visit. As we researched the Czech Republic, we got pretty excited about all the hiking we could do there so we ended up extending our trip to explore more.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always…

…pack all the gear we need to be outside! Hiking shoes, carriers and rain gear (if needed). Even in cities we find the best places to explore nature and we don’t want to miss those opportunities.

Want to learn more about exploring Mexico with kids? Lonely Planet has advice and recommendations.