By Torie Temple

A part of the Oasis Palm Resort. 

Cancun isn’t exactly the first place on the list of family vacations. Known as the college spring-break capital of the world, this coastal city has lived up to its reputation as having a lively night scene and wild beaches. However, a softer side of Cancun awaits those looking for calmer nights and white sandy beaches.

After a few trips to Mexico exploring the coast lined with turquoise water, Crestwood resident Tammy Temple drifted onto a family-friendly find that excludes no one from a dream Mexico vacation.

Her third trip to Cancun brought Tammy Temple and her family to the Oasis Palm Resort. This all-inclusive resort and spa offers amenities, entertainment, and delicacies that appeal to the entire family. “What makes this a great family resort is the entertainment that is geared towards kids,” says Tammy. “My 5-year-old grandson was able to enjoy the pools, pirates, and baby sea turtles.”

In efforts to save the sea turtles from becoming extinct, some hotels in Cancun have partnered with conservationists to create a sea turtle rescue program. Hotel staff remove the eggs from the beach and relocate them to a safe place until they are released into the ocean. This educational outing is not always available for a scheduled viewing, so check with the hotel before making plans.

Tammy’s daughter, Samantha Temple, ziplines through the jungles of Mexico.

Continuing with the kid-friendly theme, the Oasis Palm presents an up close and personal experience with pirates. The Captain Hook’s Pirate Cruise serves dinner before setting off to float through the Caribbean with pirates on an adventure to find treasure. Imaginations soar with the start of swashbuckling sword fights and the hoisting of the Jolly Roger. Once the ship makes port, children 4 to 12 years old can join the resort staff at the Kids Club for planned activities such as a kids only pool with a water slide. While the little ones are in the secure environment of the Kids Club, parents can take advantage of the many watersports the resort has to offer. Complimentary paddle boats, kayaks, and surfboards are available for those looking to spend the day on the water — for all the less adventurous landlubbers there is an executive nine holes golf course at the resort.

 La Bamba is one of the restaurants at the Oasis Palm Resort. 

Six restaurants, eight bars including a swim-up bar and beach bar, ensure that no one goes hungry at the Oasis Palm. “There were restaurants that served authentic Mexican food, an Italian restaurant, and one that served more American-style foods like steak and fish,” says Tammy. “If my grandson got hungry while playing on the beach, we could just walk over to the beach bar and grab a hotdog. There was no need to leave the beach because everything was right there. The best part was, since the resort is all-inclusive, we didn’t have to worry about paying for any of the food — the drinks were free too.”

After dinner, guests can walk down the boardwalk and visit the vendors displaying handmade jewelry and gifts. “Every night after dinner vendors would set up along the boardwalk to sell bracelets, sharktooth necklaces that you can have names painted on them, or bags and blankets,” says Tammy.

Though there is plenty of shopping at the resort, just a couple of miles down the road is a mall where the buying power can continue and you can receive a fishy pedicure. “For about ten pesos you can take the bus to a mall where you can have a pedicure done by fish,” says Tammy. “You just stick your feet in the tank and let these tiny fish nibble at your toes.”

These swimming pedicurists are Garra Rufa fish, also called doctor fish, that feed off skin. They have been integrated into spa treatments to rid dry skin and calluses off of those willing to let their feet swim with the fishes.

This all inclusive resort has thought of everything to include all. The entire family can gaze at the kaleidoscope of turquoise water, sink into crushed coral beaches, and let your imagination sail away.

Tammy, Hudson, and Hudson’s grandfather Rick Temple on the boardwalk.