How to Plan the Ultimate Honeymoon in Riviera Maya, Mexico
Whether you're planning your honeymoon or pre-wedding getaway, these are the places to see and stay at along the way.
If you're dreaming of the perfect honeymoon getaway, look no further than Riviera Maya, Mexico. The 86-mile coastline, stretching from just south of Cancún down to Tulum is lined with dense viridian jungle, sun-bleached sand, and natural limestone pools. Here are the places to see and stay throughout the entire area-plus one spot you absolutely need to visit for an unforgettable swim.
Stay: Unico 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya
This 448-room, adults-only newcomer, seen above, has even the most seasoned travelers reconsidering their allergy to all-inclusives. Amenities include unlimited golf, select spa treatments, and activities like dolphin swims-plus 24/7 butler service (from $365 per night).
Stay: Rosewood Mayakoba
Part of a four-resort development, the Rosewood Mayakoba (from $695 per night) has luxe suites with private plunge pools, and the dining is big-city quality, thanks to all-star chef Juan Pablo Loza. Nearby, end a blissful afternoon at the Banyan Tree Spa Mayakoba, where treatments enhanced with Melipona honey are held in pavilions nestled among trees.
Stay: Mahekal Beach Resort
The best thing about this cluster of airy casitas in Playa del Carmen is its location: at the beach, yet just two blocks from the shops and bars on bustling Fifth Avenue. Of the resort's four pools, the palm-fringed one by Fuego restaurant is quiet and has the comfiest lounge chairs (from $190 per night).
Stay: Hotel Esencia
This lush 50-acre estate on empty Xpu-ha Beach looks more Mediterranean than Mayan (which makes sense, since it once belonged to an Italian duchess). Amenities at the 29-room hotel include sunrise yoga, a cold-pressed-juice bar, and afternoon tea (from $615 per night).
Eat: La Cueva del Chango
Spread out under a lush jungle canopy, the atmospheric hangout opens early for fresh-pressed fruit juice. Come evening, head here for grilled tuna tostadas and wine from Mexico's buzzy Valle de Guadalupe.
Eat: Antojitos La Chiapaneca
The al pastor tacos from this hole-in-the-wall are the main reason to leave the beach and go into town. Get them topped with caramelized pineapple, white onion, and cilantro.
Swim: Cenote Jardín del Edén
Set at the end of a long, rocky path off the highway, the large swimming hole has rocks to dive off and helpful staff. Go early to avoid the crowds.