Mexico (Riviera Maya)

The Caribbean-fronting coast of Mexico is an ever-popular honeymoon destination, thanks to its many white-sand beaches, jungle terrain, incredible historic attractions, and luxury resorts. The Riviera Maya -- which consists of an 80-mile section that stretches from Tulum to the Punta Allen peninsula -- boasts a plethora of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, making it a fantastic honeymoon choice for couples looking to combine relaxation and adventure.

For instance, after a morning of yoga and relaxing on a private stretch of sand, you can easily go afternoon snorkeling, scuba diving, or take a dip in a crystal-clear cenote (which is a naturally forming sinkhole considered sacred in Mayan culture).

The possibilities are practically endless. Below, we've listed our favorite places to stay, things to do, and restaurants to eat for this incredible tropical travel destination.

Where to Stay

Riviera Maya hotel

Fairmont Mayakoba - Couples can expect elegant accommodations and incredible amenities at this renowned resort. Rooms iclude lagoon and jungle view casitas and beach area suites located on the Playa del Carmen luxury resort's 47-acre retreat setting in the Riviera Maya. Guestrooms offer private furnished balconies, spa-style bathrooms and luxurious amenities.

Rosewood Mayakoba - The five-star resort is located on a remote stretch of white Caribbean sand south of Cancun and north of Playa del Carmen. Guests have the option of staying in deluxe overwater lagoon suites, complete with a lounge terrace, plunge pool, outdoor garden shower, king bed, and spectacular views of a lagoon and surrounding mangroves. Quite simply, this is a honeymooner's dream.

Habitas Tulum - We’re huge fans of this boutique hotel, which just opened in 2017. The eco-friendly retreat — situated on one of most spectacular stretches of sand in the region — features an elegant bohemian design and glamping-style accommodations. Highlights include fantastic dining on the beach, seafront infinity pool, nature trails through the jungle, and a private beach.

Casa Malca - Located on a private white-sand beach in Tulum’s quieter southern end, Casa Malca expertly merges contemporary art, relaxed luxury, and nature for a one-of-a-kind experience. Couples will find 42 rooms and suites (many with premium ocean views thanks to floor to ceiling windows), three swimming pools, a restaurant and rooftop bar, and museum-worthy artwork.

Where to Eat

Riviera Maya restaurant

Posada Margherita - Newlyweds can dine on fresh Italian pastas and breads here, which are designed around the catch of the day. We love the candlelit dining area, where rustic wooden tables meet the soft white sand of the beach — perfect for a memorable honeymoon meal with ocean views.

Hartwood - The picturesque restaurant, which allows diners to eat out under the stars beneath swaying palm trees, uses wood burning ovens and open grills to prepare fresh, local food (everything from grilled fish to pork belly). Meanwhile, the beach huts, whitewashed roofs, wooden tables, and candles all add to the magical atmosphere.

El Tabano - Here's our go-to spot for contemporary Mexican dishes and regional wines. Set in a lovely rustic garden, the restaurant features a daily chalkboard menu that hangs from the thatched-roof ceiling of the main building. The open-air atmosphere is relaxed and romantic, especially at night under the stars.

Gitano - The jungle merges with a club atmosphere at Gitano, one of Tulum’s hottest restaurants and overall a fantastic choice for capping off the night with cocktails and light snacks. Couples have a long list of terrific cocktails to choose from, however our favorite is the Stardust, made with mezcal, dark rum, pineapple, papaya and a homemade coconut cream.

What To Do

Riviera Maya cenote

Jungle Tour - Get your exploration on through a jungle tour with an experienced tour company like Alltournative. The exciting options include 4X4 rides through the dense jungle, cave snorkeling, cenote repelling, and zip lining through the trees.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve - This massive reserve was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an astounding home to thousands of species of fauna and flora. Couples can take part in snorkel tours, fly fishing, sunset birdwatching, and even an ancient Mayan tour that combines visits to historic sites with unique outdoor activities like snorkeling.

Cenote Exploration - These naturally forming sinkholes are not only gorgeous but also incredible places to take a swim, go diving, or go snorkeling. A few of our favorites include Gran Cenote, Suytun, and Dos Ojos.

Bike Tour - With countless historical sites, dreamy beach scenes and ample jungle terrain, the region is a fantastic place to embark on a bike tour. Many tours such as Tulum Bike Tours also feature food stops, unique shopping detours, and even a dip in a breathtaking cenote along the route.

Getting There

You'll arrive via Cancun International Airport (CAN), which is about 80 miles from Tulum and many of Riviera Maya's top attractions. Once on the ground, you'll find a variety of taxi, car rental, and bus options, or you can arrange private transportation through your hotel or resort.