You’ve locked down plans for your fabulous wedding, but you and your soon-to-be spouse haven’t decided how you’re going to celebrate your next chapter as newlyweds. You’ve thought about heading to Mexico for your honeymoon, but you don’t have any solid plans yet. What’s your honeymoon style? Do you want to explore a small colonial town, take a whale-watching tour or go museum hopping? Vacation is here to help! From Cabo San Lucas to Mexico City to Cancun, we’ve pulled together five popular honeymoon destinations and day trips you should consider for a post-nuptial celebration.
1. Cabo San Lucas
Located on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, this popular resort city is known for its beaches, scuba diving locations, whale watching, deep-sea fishing and golf courses designed by golf pros Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus – it is known as “Latin America’s Golf Capital.” And in case you didn’t know, Cabo San Lucas together with San José del Cabo is known as Los Cabos. That means newlyweds won’t have a shortage of things to do and see here. Head down to the Marina (Downtown Cabo) to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife and sample the fresh seafood at world-class restaurants. For honeymooners looking to explore more than the regular haunts, we recommend a private sailboat tour to the famous El Arco to spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling on Lover’s Beach. Or for a fun immersive jaunt, watch artisans demonstrate how they transform glass into exquisite artwork at the Glass Factory.
Where to Stay: We highly recommend Los Cabos – where the desert meets the sea! Honeymooners who want to be stay near the action – including tasty restaurants, shopping, hip nightspots and access to a variety of watersports – should consider staying in Cabo San Lucas. Large resort complexes with a grouping of pools, restaurants and bars in a center courtyard is commonplace here. Relax and maximize your pool time in the Corridor area – the route that hugs the shoreline and connects San Jose del Cabo with Cabo San Lucas. Book a suite for your sweet at one of many all-inclusive, beachfront resorts that offer spectacular balcony views of the Pacific Ocean, and where a few resorts are home to some of the best golf courses in the world. And in the north, San Jose del Cabo is a stark contrast to Cabo San Lucas. The quiet colonial town is perfect for laid-back newlyweds who enjoy walking the streets to browse through art galleries, clothing and jewelry stores usually stocked with local-handcrafted items. And the boutique-sized hotels here evoke the intimacy and comfort of private homes.
Day Trip: Explore the Baja Peninsula
If you want to get away, rent a car (or hire a driver) to explore one or more popular cities and towns in the Baja Peninsula. Start with an hour-drive to Todos Santos, a small village surrounded by the majestic Sierra de la Laguna Mountains and known for its art galleries. On your way, don’t miss out on the small surfing towns and beaches, like San Pedrito and Los Cerritos. Feeling adventurous? Continue your road trip an hour north of Todos Santos to La Paz, an old colonial town and the capital city of Baja California.
Vacation Expert Tip: Couples visiting La Paz can take a boat ride to Isla Espiritu – a prime location for snorkeling, kayaking and spotting wildlife such as sea turtles, whales and whale sharks. One of Vacation’s travel specialists can help you plan fun excursion with your new spouse!
Located in southeastern Mexico on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Cancun is the honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy shopping, dining at well-renown restaurants and celebrating at trendy nightclubs. Cancun is the most accessible beach destination in Mexico with nonstop flights from over 20 U.S. airports, and most of the hotels on Avenida Kukulkán are less than an hour transfer from the airport. White sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, and a variety of tours and excursions are just a few reasons why Cancun is a popular travel destination. Take a Playa del Carmen jungle tour, a cenote snorkeling excursion, a day trip to Chichén Itzá or visit the archeological sites in Tulum with the option of an underground river swim. The world is at your fingers tips with help from one of Vacation’s travel agent.
Where to Stay: First you should know that Cancun is comprised of three main tourist areas: the town’s resort strip (also known as the Hotel Zone), Playa Mujeres (north of Cancun) and Puerto Morelos (south of Cancun). Here’s the 4-1-1 on where to stay. On the Northside of Cancun, honeymooners can book a hotel near calm waters with an amazing view of Isla Mujeres in the distance. High-rise hotels with white sand coastline (think Miami Beach in Mexico) is what you should expect if you stay on the eastside of Cancun. Newlyweds who enjoy golfing will appreciate the sprawling resorts and golf communities located from Playa Mujeres to the area north of downtown Cancun. Looking for large, all-inclusive resorts? Consider staying south of the airport near the small fishing village of Puerto Morelos.
Day Trip: Plan a Romantic Getaway to Isla Mujeres
While visiting Cancun, adventurous couples looking for a perfect day trip should consider taking the ferry from Puerto Juarez to visit Isla Mujeres. The ferry costs between $8 and $10 per person, and it leaves every 30 minutes between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Honeymooners will appreciate this island because it’s not crowded and has a quaint, small-town charm with roadside vendors selling their goods, including fresh coconuts and seashells. For $50, you can rent a golf cart for the entire day to get around the island to experience the sun, sand and surf at beautiful Playa Norte, visit the cliff-side sculpture gardens at Punta Sur and check out the Turtle Farm in Tortugranja (the south side of the island). After your unforgettable experience with sea turtles, head back downtown to drop of your golf cart and grab a cocktail at a local bar to watch the sunset before heading back to Cancun.
Vacation Expert Tip: Spend more time on Isla Mujeres! A Vacation travel agent can book a room for you at a luxury resort featuring a 5-star restaurant that serves fresh seafood and an infinity pool with the perfect view of the ocean. Feeling adventurous? We can help you arrange an excursion to swim with whale sharks, too!
3. Playa Del Carmen
Once a small fishing village, Playa del Carmen is now a vibrant town with shops that sell everything from homemade leather belts and silver jewelry to standard souvenirs (think t-shirts, mugs and key chains). Yes, there are American restaurant chains here, but we recommend trying the locally-owned restaurants where it’s not uncommon for chefs to cook and personally serve your food. And you can’t leave Playa del Carmen without having a fresh seafood meal on the patio of a local eatery – where you can enjoy an authentic meal paired with beautiful weather.
Where to Stay: Playa del Carmen is for couples who want to stay in luxe oceanfront accommodations and experience a variety of things to see and do, including beautiful beaches and a lively nightlife when the sun goes down. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Puerto Aventuras is a laid-back alternative to Playa de Carmen, which is just 14 miles north of this slow-paced locale. Home to almost 6,000 people, this quiet town is divided into two parts: west of Highway 307 is the residential subdivision, and to the east of the highway (along the Caribbean coast) is the tourist zone with hotels and resorts, which is part of Riviera Maya. Nature lovers will enjoy a secret swim in a nearby Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino, or visit eco-park Kantun Chi. And 26 miles south of Puerto Aventuras, Tulum is the hot spot for history buffs who enjoy learning about Mayan archeological sites and relaxing on white sand beaches with crystal blue waters lapping at their toes. Most people take a cab to Playa del Carmen to hit the bars and nightclubs, but that can get expensive. And the hotels that line the beaches here are varying degrees between rustic and luxe accommodations.
Day Trips: Theme Park Hopping to Xel-Há, Xplor and Xcaret
Newlyweds looking for a day trip to experience Mexico’s natural habitat and culture should consider visiting one of three popular theme parks: Xcaret, Xel-Há and Xplor. Couples seeking an immersive experience should consider a day trip to Xcaret, located 6 miles south of Playa del Carmen. Cultural and wildlife highlights include the Mexican Folk Art Museum, Mayan archeological sites, pre-Hispanic dances, the “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular,” the Coral Reef Aquarium, the Butterfly Pavilion and the Island of Jaguars. At Xplor, just an 8-minute drive from Xcaret, honeymooners can take a zip-line tour or explore caves and underwater rivers on an amphibious ATV. And about 30 miles south of Playa del Carmen, Xel-Há Park is perfect for couples who like to stay active during their vacay. Go snorkeling to explore the marine life in the park’s amazing coves and cenotes; hop on a bike for a fun trek through the jungle; or take a relaxing inner tube ride across a river with your new spouse.
Vacation Expert Tip: Consult with one of Vacation’s travel specialists to help you determine which park fits your honeymoon personality or if you’re considering a visit to more than one park. Maximize your fun with a travel agent!
4. Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is where Mexico’s majestic mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. This city is known for its beautiful city center with cobblestone streets as well as its local art galleries, shopping and 5-star restaurants. Head to Pueblo Viejo and stroll along the beachside promenade downtown where old-world traditions meet trendy pop culture. Fishing, snorkeling, golfing and ATV excursions are just a few fun activities that will keep newlyweds busy.
Where to Stay: Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone and Marina Vallarta are just a few miles from the city’s airport and right on the waterfront. Popular Playa Los Muertos is located on the city’s southern side, where expansive luxury resorts near beautiful stretches of sand are easy to find. Stay in El Centro if you want to explore the city’s oldest architecture and streets, including the renowned Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, on Hidalgo Street. North and east of the city are popular pueblos or towns that offer a less commercialized and more authentic glimpse of the Mexican lifestyle. If small towns and watersports are more your thing, you may want to consider staying in a beach town like Punta Mita or colonial town like San Blas. A Vacation travel agent can book your accommodations based on your honeymoon style.
Day Trip: Take a Tequila Tasting Tour
Get in the spirit! Newlyweds can book a tequila tasting tour to see how the popular liquor is made from the blue agave plant. Learn about the differences and characteristics between the various types of the tequila as you taste them. Rancho Verano Distilleria de Tequila and Tequila Mama Lucia are a couple places in Puerto Vallarta that offer tastings and tours.
Vacation Expert Tip: Need more day-trip options? Go shopping in Guadalajara for handmade goods (i.e. pottery, jewelry, soap, glassware, furniture); go surfing in the ex-pat town of Sayulita; get some sun, sand and surf on a secluded beach in Yelapa; or go whale-watching near the Marietas Islands. Leave the planning to us… a Vacation travel expert can customize a fun day-trip excursion for you!
5. Mexico City
One the largest cities in the world, Mexico City can be an alternative to newlyweds looking for an urban escape rather than a beach getaway. Celebrity chef-owned restaurants, more than 150 museums, and the Teotihuacan Pyramids are a few things to keep you and your beloved busy. Take a stroll down Avenida Michoacán to check out the hip boutiques along La Condesa’s main drag. Take a break or two at a popular outdoor café to watch the world go by. Visit one of the oldest Latin American cathedrals (Metropolitan Cathedral); take a romantic boat ride through a series of man-made islands in Xochimilco; take a tour of the Soumaya Museum where more than 60,000 works of art, including art by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Vincent van Gough. History buffs have found the perfect haven to explore Mexican cultural at its best… in Mexico City!
Where to Stay: It may be hard to find a quiet respite in the middle of a city with 20 million residents, but a Vacation travel agent can help you book a room at an urban resort located in Mexico city’s elite neighborhood near major businesses, boutiques and attractions. Stay in a contemporary suite with luxurious amenities, including an aromatherapy kit, a bathroom with a multi-jet tub and walk-in shower, a personal concierge service and a spa that offers revitalizing treatments using ancestral techniques.
Day Trip: Experience Picture-Perfect Puebla
Need a break from the city? Take a 2-hour road trip to Puebla (southeast of Mexico City), where history and modernity strike a beautiful balance. This city is renowned for its colonial-era charms, colorful buildings adorned with painted ceramic tiles and a thriving art scene. A well-preserved city center and awe-inspiring cathedrals will appeal to honeymooners who are history lovers. And foodies can discover a long history of traditional, regional cuisine at local restaurants.
Vacation Expert Tip: Don’t miss the world-renowned Ballet Folklórico de México perform traditional folk dances at the Palacio de Ballas Artes or Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. Foodies will be happy to know that 50 regional cuisines from across Mexico can be found in this city and that fine dining options are available at modest prices. Buen provecho!
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable honeymoon in Mexico? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent to customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.