The Mayan Riviera stretches from the luxury beach resort of Playa Del Carmen down to the peaceful, powdery white-sand beaches of Puerto Aventura and then to the mystical ancient Mayan sites of Tulum. This perfect mix of tranquil seclusion and stunning archaeological ruins make Riviera Maya the ideal honeymoon destination. And that’s not all; a vast selection of luxury all inclusive accommodation, boutique hotels and private villas mean you really need not think twice about this one!
The beauty of Mexico is that it offers great holiday weather all year round. Temperatures range from the early twenties to 30°C throughout the year, with the wettest months being May to October. Weather-wise there is really no bad time to go but the holiday months, July and August, as well as Christmas, New Years and Easter are busy periods. Around these times the coastal areas attract crowds and hotel rates will be higher, with limited availability.
The nearest airport to Riviera Maya is Cancun International. Flights from the UK will involve at least one stop, usually the US or Canada, for around £600-£700 per person. Flight time is between nine and ten hours. Now, if you’re not in too much of a hurry and decide to go for a flight with two stops then your options will include stop-overs in Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Mexico City.
The airport is about 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen, 60 minutes from Akumal and about 90 minutes from the town of Tulum. It is advisable to arrange your transfers with your hotel, ensuring that someone will be waiting for you when you arrive.
The warm Caribbean coast welcomes you into its clear turquoise waters for a range of water activities, including scuba diving and swimming with dolphins. Don’t miss the opportunity to go snorkelling over the beautiful reefs to feast your eyes on a world of colourful, tropical aquatic animals.
For the shoppers among you, the Sunday market at Puerto Morelos is definitely worth a visit. Carmen Del Playa’s La Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) is great for both shopping and dining. Or you can head to Wayan Village for tempting mix of authentic Mexican goodies, clothing and more.
Riviera Maya is also home to some of the most spectacular archaeological ruins. Many jungle-covered Mayan ruins remain largely unvisited by the throngs of tourists who visit the area for its appeal as a modern coastal holiday resort. The stunning ancient ruins of Tulum are a must-see site.
Xcaret is an archeological theme park where you can easily spend a whole day discovering the Mayan village, underground river, ancient ruins and beach. As the largest eco-park in Mexico, it is home to jaguars, pumas, sea turtles, dolphins and much more. The evenings come alive with firelight Mayan sports, ceremonial performances and wonderful regional Mexican music.
When planning a honeymoon here, it’s usually a good idea to go for all-inclusive hotel that provides a fine variety of international cuisine. Riviera Maya offers an abundance of these. In addition you can rely on a good selection of Italian, Argentine and Continental as well as local Mexican dishes. Vegetarian options are not difficult to come by around Playa Del Carmen and you will also find a sprinkling of vegetarian restaurants in Tulum.
Where to stay
A good selection of beachfront all-inclusive properties are available all over the Mayan Riviera if lazing on the beach and relaxing spa treatments are your priority. For pure unadulterated honeymoon luxury, expect to pay between £100 and £250 per night.
If you plan to spend a lot of time away from the hotel sightseeing, then Playa Del Carmen is a good choice as there are a great many restaurants worth trying. Staying near Fifth Avenue is a good shout as this is where a lot of the restaurants are located.
Romance, relaxation and ancient ruins make Tulum the ideal romantic escape. Take your pick of secluded retreats offering beach or jungle suites with 24 hour room service and private hot-tubs. Akumal, Puerto Morelos and the relatively under-developed Puerto Aventura have also maintained their charm as small, friendly towns. Yet all three have no shortage of beautiful beaches and luxury all-inclusive hotels for a perfect honeymoon getaway.