Brinavet

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Brinavet

Mexico, Mexico City
Prefer not to say
Children:
7
6
Countries visited with kids:
Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, Iceland, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, USA, Zimbabwe
Favorite activities:
Farms / Ranches, Outdoor Activities, Parks / Nature Sights, Sport / Physical Activities, Tourist Attractions / Landmarks, Water Parks / Pools, Zoos / Aquariums

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Reviews

  • Great Xperience

    Reviewed 17 April 2018

    I had thought that diving the cenotes would be pretty great, but I wasn't sure how different it would be to snorkeling. Well, it was a drastically different experience that blew my expectations out of the water (pun intended). You simply cannot see even remotely the same features while snorkeling as you can see while diving...exploring underwater to emerge in hidden bat caves, giant scorpion spiders floating by your face, sailing through gigantic stalactites, flying over white clouds of sulfuric acid, hazy moments of transition through the halocline (where the salt water meets the fresh water), and bent rays of blue and green light that behaves like a dynamic prism. It's simply an ethereal experience in the firmament. It is unique diving available no where else on this planet and one that no diver should miss, when awarded the opportunity. Cenote Xperience was a great small business to work with. Nicolas and Martin were extremely helpful and catered my experience to my specific requests, and then some. I had planned to do one day of diving the cenotes and one day of diving the reef near Cozumel. Due to unforeseen circumstances (strong winds and rough waters), the marina was closed and so we were unable to do the Cozumel dives. Martin offered a few different options and I chose to dive more cenotes, which did not disappoint. They refunded the money from the Cozumel dive via PayPal and Martin didn't even accept a tip from me. I plan to return with my family in November and we will be happy to use Cenote Xperience again. In fact, I plan to purchase an underwater camera to proper capture the experience. I won't make that mistake again (GoPro was good for video, but camera would be better for still photos and composition).

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    Tips

    Your kids have to be 10 years old to dive. However, many of these cenotes will offer swimming/snorkeling for children of any age. If you ask Nicolas and Martin about options, they would cater your trip to your needs and may even be able to help you find a babysitter if you do not want to take turns diving.

  • Beautiful Agua Azul

    Reviewed 18 March 2018

    These waterfalls are every bit as beautiful as they look in the photographs, but the camera cannot capture how dramatic they are. There are multiple waterfalls cascading into turquoise waters. Don't be fooled as the water is very cold. The couple of complaints I have are that it is very crowded and it is too built-up. The kiosks are lining the waterfall and distract from the natural beauty. That being said, it's still worth a visit as I can't imagine any place like this elsewhere on the planet.

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    Tips

    - The water is very cold. If your kids have wetsuits, it would be worth bringing them. - Bring a waterproof camera.

  • Based in Lachatao

    Reviewed 18 March 2018

    We originally planned to do horseback riding and hiking between the villages, but then we realized this might be too much to plan with our young children (ages 4&5 years). Therefore, we contacted Lachatao Expeditions and booked cabanas through them with the intentions of doing day trips out of the village. They were incredibly helpful and accommodating. We had a meal made by a local family in their kitchen and they gave us a tour of their property/small farm. We did a shorter horseback ride (totaling 3 hours) through the forest with Spanish moss. While we admired the view, we relaxed on the porch and played games with no access to the rest of the world.

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    Tips

    - We used Lachatao Expediciones www.lachataoexpediciones.com.mx and they catered our trip to our needs with children. It saved us about $1,000 to do the trip based out of Lachatao. -Be sure to have at least one meal with a local family in their home. Ask to have a tour and learn more about the ecotourism initiative. -Do ALL of your grocery shopping before you arrive as there are no grocery stores here and only a couple of people selling eggs out of their garages. There are kitchens and refrigerators in the cabanas. - Bring smores for the fireplaces or fire pits.

  • Top priority while visiting CDMX

    Reviewed 16 March 2018

    The Teotihuacan ruins are truly an amazing place to visit. You can do it in a half day, but take your time to explore the entire location and to climb the Pyramid of the Sun. An English speaking guide would be helpful as knowledge of the history makes this visit so much more meaningful and amazing.

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    Tips

    - No access for strollers, bring a backpack to carry the littles if you want them to climb the pyramids with you. - Eat at La Gruta (the cave) restaurant. It's touristy, but oh so worth it! - Go to the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in CDMX prior to your visit (and maybe again after) to get the full experience.

  • Wonderful personalized vacation

    Reviewed 16 March 2018

    We have been planning to charter a boat for many years and our kids are finally old enough to make the memories worth the cost. We planned a 2 week trip through Baja CA sur that included 4 full days/nights on El Duque (with 6 adults and 4 kids, ages 5, 6, 8, & 10). Cat and Norm were incredibly helpful with planning the details of our entire trip, not just the part they were spending with us (at no extra charge, and I'm sure our constant questions must have been annoying).We ended up doing the whale sharks with them and loved it so much that we went for a second day. Cat and Norm swam our kids out to the sharks so that we could enjoy our experience without having to focus on the kids...huge bonus. When we boarded El Duque, they catered the trip to our own preferences and were happy to adjust the plans to make us all happy (diving/snorkeling, beaches, hiking, kayaking, animal sanctuaries, etc). We spent one day with the sea lions in Los Islotes and again, we loved it so much we just had to return for a second day. Norm woke up early and drove us out there on the panga so as not to interfere with our diving plans for the rest of the day. There were 3 of us getting various PADI certificates with Cat while we were on board, so we did a lot of diving. She was a fantastic instructor and made sure we were competent and comfortable with the various dives. We also had a 10-year-old on the boat that wanted to try diving and although it was difficult to fit into our very packed schedule, Cat made it work and was able to take her on her first dive. She was very nervous and Cat was very patient and made her feel comfortable under the water. It was incredibly nice not to have to focus on cooking; Cat made delicious food for the adults and even catered to the picky appetites of the kids. Cat and Norm were very professional, yet they were very pleasant to fraternize with and we very much enjoyed their company. They are constantly working to keep their guests happy and to make sure they have the best experience possible. We hope to return again next year.

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    Tips

    It's cold on the water with the wind, so bring many layers. -Cat and Normal also will do personalized shorter trips. They were the guide for our snorkeling with whale sharks experience. They are wonderful people and when we return next year, we will use their services again. I cannot recommend them highly enough. The photos under the description are from our trip.

  • Wonderful natural playground/waterpark

    Reviewed 15 March 2018

    Las Estacas is a great place to explore with your kids. There are plenty of beautiful, clear, river paths to swim/snorkel. There are a few waterfalls, some diving platforms, and rope swings, as well as some children's waterpark activities. Food is available at a few restaurants, though you may bring your own food as well. We loved exploring at night before bed too. My only complaint is that the camping is a little expensive for what it is; it's a giant field with tents pitched in any random order. If it is crowded, the tents are only a few feet apart. They do have a group bonfire at night if your little ones stay up late enough.

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    Tips

    -Bring your snorkel, sunscreen, inflatable floating mattresses -Explore the grounds at night with your flashlight and look for moulting cicadas on the trees, coatimundis roaming the grounds, owls in the trees, frogs, and fireflies. -No dogs allowed.

  • Spectacular natural phenomena not to be missed.

    Reviewed 08 February 2018

    You can visit these locations as a day trip to Mexico City or Morelia, or you can stay in the village of Angangueo. Alternatively, making a weekend of the adventure and staying in the wonderful city of Valle de Bravo is my preferred method of experiencing the butterflies. The butterfly reserves are open daily from mid-November through March from 9am-6pm, but February is the best time to visit as the monarch concentrations are highest at this time. The butterflies weigh down the trees prior to the sun reaching them and this is worth seeing for yourself. However, they won’t take flight until the sun hits them and millions of butterflies flying around you is also a magical experience that should not be missed. In February, the sun begins to hit the butterflies around 11am or so, so try to plan your trip to arrive to the top around 10:00-10:30 am, if possible, and be sure to stay long enough to see the butterflies take flight.  

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    Tips

    Do not expect the journey to the top to be easy; each reserve has a steep journey to get to the congregation of butterflies. You can hike the trails, but they are very dusty and it can make it difficult to breathe. Alternatively, you can rent a horse to take you up and down. This keeps you a bit above the dust and lessons the difficulty a bit. Be sure to wear a mask to help reduce dust inhalation. Bring plenty of water, wear comfortable shoes, and dress in layers as the temperature can get quite chilly with the elevation. Most importantly, bring your sense of adventure and your cameras!

  • Favorite camping experience in Mexico

    Reviewed 05 December 2017

    Fantastic place to explore with the dogs and the kids. Love the proximity to CDMX and the ability to get there in a 2-day weekend. The best part of all is how secluded you are; you feel like you have the place practically to yourself! Next time we'll bring the climbing gear.

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    Tips

    -The temperature varies a lot, so layers are beneficial. -Make sure you have a spare tire as the roads aren't great for the final stretch to the ranch. -Don't forget your helmet and biking gloves as they are required by Santa Elena. -Thought 2 days is doable, I recommend 3-4 days to explore. -All the camping sites are very nice and each has their perk, but Fondo de Presa is the best. It is also meant for large groups, so this may be an issue when you try to book in advance if you are just going as a family.

  • Most beautiful mountain in the world

    Reviewed 04 December 2017

    I am from Seattle and haven't lived there since 2002. Whenever I return, visiting Mt. Rainier is my top priority. It is the most beautiful mountain in the world that offers plenty of hiking opportunities for people of all ages. Some girlfriends of mine and I made it an annual tradition to take our kids camping (sans husbands) every summer. I plan to do the Wonderland Trail next year with my husband.

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    Tips

    -Weather fluctuations are great, so layers are a must. -Ohanapecosh is the best campsite for kids as it has a swimming river and plenty of other kids to join in on scavenger hunts. Book your camping many months in advance, no matter which campsite you choose. -Be sure to utilize the ranger's advice as they know the park better than anyone and can help you use your time the best. They can also tell you which trails to hike with your kids' abilities. -Bring your camera, wide angle lens, and tripod and hit reflection lake for sunrise. -Don't worry about high expectations, you will not be disappointed (unless it's raining or the mountain is socked in by clouds).

  • Wonderful ruins

    Reviewed 27 November 2017

    El Tajin is an amazing site to visit. The history and the archaeology spur the imagination and transport you to a time period and culture we can only dream about. Archaeological ruins, and particularly El Tajin, are one of the best features that Mexico has to offer. I highly recommend spending a few hours exploring the ruins.  

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    Tips

    -The region is hot, so bring plenty of water and snacks. -The area is not wheelchair accessible. -Young kids may get bored, so be sure to do your research beforehand for a better experience. -Be kind to the street dogs as they don't seem to be treated very well here.

  • Escape to the woodlands

    Reviewed 23 November 2017

    Desiertos is a great place to escape the city and explore the many trails and old communes. There are hundreds of miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking, but bring your compass as it's easy to get lost. This is a great place to take your dogs off leash, as long as it's not a weekend (it gets crowded). I have heard of stray dogs being an issue, so it might be worth bringing some pepper spray or something to protect yourself and your dogs, but I have never seen them myself. I have been hiking here a few times and my kids loved it as well.

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    Tips

    -It's easy to get lost. -This place is not good for strollers or wheelchairs. -Bring pepper/bear spray or a baseball bat in case you come across feral dogs. -Bring your sense of adventure, wide angle camera lens, and enjoy!

  • Bouldering confidence

    Reviewed 09 November 2017

    We regularly climb at Adamanta as a family (two girls ages 4 to 6) and we really enjoy it. The gym is very small compared to other indoor locations I've climbed in other countries, but there are varying routes of all levels and the staff and guests are very friendly. The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the lack of a top rope, which I think is better (and safer) for young children learning to climb. That being said, there are no climbing gyms in CDMX that have a top-roping option. This is a happy place for me and I can see the confidence building in my girls when they first successfully complete a climb after multiple attempts. I highly recommend climbing with your kids.

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    Tips

    When they are learning, kids don't understand there ability (or lack thereof) to climb down and will often go too high. They cannot jump from the top without getting hurt, so be sure they don't go too high. When your kids get tired, let them stop and don't push them too hard or they will hate it. Praise them for perseverance and not just for reaching the top. Our kids love when we place a superhero cape at a height that is their goal and it's great motivation to make them work hard. If your children are young and don't listen well, you may need to have one parent to monitor each child to prevent them from running underneath other climbers.

  • Cuetzalan adventures

    Reviewed 08 November 2017

    For our family of four, including two young children (ages 5 & 6), our favorite part of Cuetzalan was exploring the natural wonders of the region. We organized a guided tour to rappel down the 160 ft. Las Golondrinas waterfall, followed by swimming in the water at its base. The guides, which were organized by our lodge, were very adept with their climbing skills and we had full faith in their ability and attention to safety. There was a short 15-minute easy hike to get to the start of the rappel and about a 30 minute mild uphill hike out. We did pass by the top of the more famous La Cascada de las Brisas waterfall on our way out; however, we didn't have extra time to hike into the bottom with the kids. The rappelling lasted about 1.5 hours for the 4 of us to ensure everyone got down two separate walls safely; the hiking was about 45 minutes total. Our second full day, we hired guides to take us on an exploration of an underground river. The air circulated well, so there was no feeling of claustrophobia. The fear of the darkness and unfamiliar pushed our kids to be brave and adventuresome and when they finished, they felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. We weaved and waded our way through the river, sometimes crossing pools that were too deep to touch the bottom. The kids stood beneath underground waterfalls, which they loved. This adventure did require a lot of interaction with the kids as they required assistance for quite a few obstacles. However, this was the highlight of the trip for the girls and they enjoyed it even more than the rappelling. The adventure itself took about 3 hours in total and there were a couple miles of hiking to get to and from the cave entrance. There was also an option to do an 8-9 hour adventure in these caves that included rappelling and underground river exploration, but we felt this would be too much for our children and therefore, we opted for the shorter adventure. We only had 2 full days when we went to Cuetazalan, but we are heading back to the region this November, so I may have an update. Exploring the ancient archeological sites (Yohualichan,Tajin, and Cempoala) via the Corazon del Bosque waterfall on horseback is next on our list of adventures. In summary, Cuetazalan is a wonderful puebla to visit with children, but you must come with a little courage and a sense of adventure. In addition, especially if they are young, your kids may take a little motivation to build their courage to jump right in.

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    Tips

    Come with your sense of adventure. Bring a life jacket for your kids, if possible; they do have them, but they may not fit well. If you have kids that are too small, or too scared to rappel on their own, the guides will rappel tandem or will allow you to do so if you are comfortable.