How to Plan the Ultimate Honeymoon in Riviera Maya, Mexico
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.