Hotel Riu Palace Cancun, A Family Friendly Resort

We have been to Cancun twice so far, we stayed at different resorts each time and the kids tried different activities.  On one trip we went parasailing and Miss Teen went diving.  A few years ago we stayed at the Mayan Riviera and went to visit the Mayan Ruins.  On a more recent trip, we took them to go swimming and kissing dolphins in Isla Mujeres at the Dolphin Discovery, in Cancun, which was a 30-minute boat ride from our resort.


Hotel Riu Palace Cancun, A Review

We loved the Riu Palace Peninsula Cancun, the rooms were recently renovated and had a contemporary look.  There was a nice café that served lattes and cappuccinos.  They even had a little art studio inside that did classes, which I didn’t know till the day we were leaving.  The beach was a smaller section and was quite rocky.  We had to walk over next door which was another Riu property, which had a better softer whiter sand beach!


Hotel Riu Palace Cancun Resort had 5 restaurants and 4 swimming pools and 1 with a swim-up bar.  As with all other all-inclusive beach resorts we ate at the on-property restaurants and the kids hung out at the pool and beach and rode the jet ski with dad, while mom just chilled with some cocktails and a book!

Miles of blue ocean views from the balcony

Exploring Beyond Cancun?

We loved exploring beyond Cancun, check out this Road trip in the Yucatan Peninsula to discover colorful towns, Cenotes, and Mayan Ruins. Or try one of these tours:

Boat ride to Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful is a peaceful paradise just across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun Mexico.  Isla Mujeres is blessed with clear turquoise waters and is part of the 2nd largest reef system in the world, The Great Mayan Reef! You can easily do a day trip here from Cancun or spend the night and explore more. 

Boat ride to Isla Mujeres to meet the Dolphins

Swimming with dolphins

We took a boat tour from Cancun and spent the afternoon at Dolphin Discovery Center.  Our kids did the Dolphin Swim adventure. You can enjoy playing with dolphins on the Dolphin Encounter, even if swimming isn’t your thing because there is a platform where every one stands-on while dolphins approach. The dolphins give you a handshake, a kiss and a hug.

The dolphin did aerial acrobatics for you, push you across the water surface while you ride a boogie board.  In addition, the Swim Adventure program includes the Belly Ride, where you will hold on to the dolphin’s fins as he rides backward across the water. 

I didn’t know any better about animal tourism or the plight of these dolphins in captivity. This is not something I would promote or do again. You live and you learn! I would much rather go see dolphins in the wild even if you can’t swim with them or kiss them!


The is so much to do in Isla Mujeres like the Tortuga Granja – a Turtle Farm,  Garrafon Reef Park where there are breathtaking cliffs and natural reefs and of course sun-kissed beaches and calm waters.  This is where we went to play with the Dolphins but didn’t have time for other activities.  Cancun is just 2 hours by flight from Dallas, I’m sure we will be going there again soon to explore more of this slice of paradise.

You might also like:
A family-friendly resort in Cancun
Resort with the best beach in Cancun
Road trip in the Yucatan Peninsula

The BEST all-inclusive resorts in Mexico

Have you been to the Mexican Riviera? What is your favorite beach destination?

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10 thoughts on “Hotel Riu Palace Cancun, A Family Friendly Resort”

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  5. How lovely! Are the dolphins confined or can they swim freely?
    I feel sorry for the confined ones, they only live 5 years, while the ones living in their natural habitat live around 25 years. I hope they take good care of them 😀
    Sorry, but I’m very worried about taking good care of the animals.

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  6. Hi there! New to your blog thanks to #MondayEscapes! I loved reading about your Cancun trip! I was actually just at Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas back in July and loved that hotel so much – looks like it was fairly similar for you too! As a west-coaster, I think we tend to hang out in Cabo and east-coasters in Cancun but I would definitely love to go out that way some time! xo

    1. Hi Kana – Welcome to my blog! Isnt that so true, we have not been to Cabo yet but it is on out list for sure, heard the waters can be rough there, so waiting for the kids to grow up a little being venturing out there! Cancun is beautiful, real calm waters – you should check it out sometime!

  7. I got goosebumps reading your post as we went to Cancun 14 years ago for our honeymoon. We also went swimming with the dolphins and it was the most amazing experience. I would love to return one day with our children. Your photos are amazing and looks like you had a fantastic holiday #Mondayescapes

    1. Thanks for stopping by Tracy, Cancun is a great place for honeymooners and family vacationers. Hope you take your children there soon! Glad to have rekindled some warm and loving memories 🙂

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