Planning a honeymoon in Riviera Maya in Mexico and overwhelmed by so many options? What is Akumal and Puerto Morelos and how different is Cancun from Tulum and Playa del Carmen? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Having been to Cancun and Riviera Maya 4 times, we have stayed in most areas and visited over 10 different hotels and resorts. Based on this experience, we wanted to write this guide to Riviera Maya so you have more clarity on where to go on your honeymoon and what to expect!
If you’re new to Honeymoon Worthy, hi! We are Liza and Jose, a couple of millennials based in London, UK. Jose is originally from Mexico, so we try to go to Mexico every year. We also had our honeymoon in Riviera Maya (it was split into two parts: Akumal and Cancun). I love writing about Riviera Maya – it always brings me great memories. Moreover, Riviera Maya is such a stunning honeymoon destination! I hope that our blog will help you plan your perfect honeymoon in Mexico.
Here’s what you will find in this post:
What is Riviera Maya? Where to stay in Riviera Maya for honeymoon (different areas explained)
The most important question I should probably clear first is what Riviera Maya is? Is Cancun in Riviera Maya or is it a completely different destination?
Basically, Riviera Maya is a long stretch of coastline and jungle that stretches all the way from after Cancun to Sian Kaan Natural Reserve (just after Tulum). While Cancun is almost a man-made artificial resort with a lot of massive tall hotels, Riviera Maya is much wilder – it still has a lot of wildlife, from iguanas to agoutis, and it’s much more authentic than Cancun! (No shade to Cancun, it’s perfect, just in a different way).
Let’s talk about each of the main areas of Riviera Maya in more detail:
Is Puerto Morelos any good? Honeymoon in Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos is the closest area of Riviera Maya to Cancun Airport – you would probably get there from Cancun in about 10-15 minutes. Is Puerto Morelos a good honeymoon destination? Well, I think any destination in Riviera Maya would be great for a honeymoon. As a town, Puerto Morelos is very small and doesn’t have that much to offer. If you want to be in the middle of nightlife, hassle and bustle, I don’t think that Puerto Morelos would be a great option (I would recommend choosing either Playa del Carmen or better Tulum).
However, there are some amazing honeymoon-worthy resorts close to Puerto Morelos, such as:
Dreams Jade Resort & Spa – an all-inclusive luxury resort just minutes away from Puerto Morelos that has 3 outdoor swimming pools and 8 restaurants to choose from. It’s also not that expensive.
Valentin Imperial – one of the best-rated adults-only hotels in the entire Riviera Maya. It’s located a bit further away, between Puerto Morelos and Punta Maroma. They have some amazing rooms with a sea view, which are definitely honeymoon-worthy!
Punta Maroma – the best honeymoon destination in Riviera Maya
A brand new area in Playa del Carmen that is currently developing a lot and has plans to be the “new Mayakoba” in Punta Maroma. In Punta Maroma, you can find a resort that has overwater villas, the same as in the Maldives (that would be an ultimate honeymoon destination in Riviera Maya).
Some other hotels like Four Seasons and W are planning to open hotels in Punta Maroma.
As of now, the best resorts for a honeymoon in Punta Maroma include:
Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma by Karisma (All-inclusive and adults only) – the ultimate honeymoon destination in the entire Riviera Maya. These bungalows are stunning – they look like the bungalows in the Maldives. They are usually booked months in advance, but you can check the prices and availability here >
Chable Maroma – another luxurious honeymoon resort in Punta Maroma. It’s a relatively small hotel (which will allow you a lot of privacy for your honeymoon); however, it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in the area. It’s not all-inclusive, so you need to pay in the restaurant (there are two restaurants); however, the food quality is amazing!
Mayakoba – another great option for honeymoon
Another confusing area in Riviera Maya is Mayakoba. Mayakoba is an upscale nature reserve with a gift course and 4 fancy resorts located around a lagoon full of turtles, herons and even crocodiles (however, chances of seeing one are slim). There aren’t that many animals you can see apart from occasional iguanas and a lot of birds.
Mayakoba feels very private and luxurious, and it’s home to some of Riviera Maya’s fanciest hotels, from Rosewood to Banyan tree, Fairmont and Andaz.
I wouldn’t say that Andaz is the best honeymoon hotel in Mayakoba, as it’s tailored towards young professionals and families with kids. However, neighbouring Rosewood would be a much better option for a honeymoon. Check the prices and availability of Rosewood Mayakoba here >
Playa del Carmen – is it a good destination for a honeymoon?
Playa del Carmen is probably the most famous city / town in the entire Riviera Maya. Playa is famous for its resorts, apartments, hostels and beach clubs (and nightlife as well). You can find pretty much everything in Playa del Carmen, from cheap bars to very expensive high-end steakhouses. There are plenty of resorts, hotels, hostels and apartments for any budget!
Playa del Carmen doesn’t have the nicest beaches, especially the public ones, as the problem with the seaweed is still strong in Mexico and for some unfortunate reason, public beaches don’t get cleaned very well unless you use the beaches of various private clubs.
However, if you’re wondering whether Playa del Carmen is a good destination for a honeymoon, well, it depends on what’s a perfect honeymoon for you. If you want a quiet resort, where you can have a lot of privacy and relaxation, then definitely not. Mayakoba, Akumal and Punta Maroma would be much better options. However, if you want a budget-friendly honeymoon and you’d like to be in a large town, where there are plenty of things to do, from shops to different beaches and restaurants, then Playa would be a great option.
What are the best honeymoon hotels in Playa del Carmen:
If you’re looking for a resort, then Mahekal Playa del Carmen would be a great option. It has a nice private beach and beautiful rooms.
A slightly pricier option would be Palmaïa – The House of AïA Wellness Enclave All Inclusive.
It’s located at the edge of PLAYACAR, a short driving distance to Playa del Carmen. You can also walk there in about 1 hour.
If you’re more inclined towards hotels/apartments, consider staying at Serenity Hotel Boutique – a nice 5* block of apartments located just minutes away from a private beach with a discounted entry!
Akumal area – what are the best parts about Akumal
Akumal is the area with the most amazing nature spots and cenotes in Riviera Maya. There is a lot of wildlife in Akumal as well: from turtles to agoutis and even tapirs. Akumal is home to huge resorts that spread over large terrains and some resorts are even built-in within the jungle. When we came to Riviera Maya for the first time over 5 years ago, we stayed in Grand Palladium in Akumal. Hence, this spot has a special place in my heart.
If you want to wander around a resort that looks more like a jungle / mangrove and is home to many amazing wild animals, I recommend picking a hotel around the Akumal area!
Some of the best honeymoon-worthy resorts in Akumal:
TRS Yucatan Adults Only – a new resort that has amazing rooms (some have their own private pool). It’s adults only and all-inclusive, with a variety of buffets and a la carte restaurants to choose from.
Secrets Akumal Adults Only – another lovely hotel to consider. It’s an All-inclusive adults-only resort with a very high review rating and a great location!
Tulum – the trendiest place in Riviera Maya?
Finally, we have Tulum, probably the trendiest place in Riviera Maya right now. Tulum consists of two main parts, Tulum town that is located away from the beach and Tulum Beach, an area on the beach with the trendiest and the most Instagrammable hotels!
Tulum town centre is full of stunning award-winning boutique hotels with boho design and a focus on wellness and spa. However, it’s a bit inconvenient to get to the beach from Tulum city centre, as you need to get to the beach (at least 30 min cycling) and then either stay on a public beach or pay for a beach club (at least $15 per person).
Zona Hotelera is home to some of the trendiest and fanciest hotels in entire Mexico. The only downside: trendy hotels are quite expensive. Zona Hotelera is also a fancy party place. It has a great tropical vibe, and it’s probably the most unique place I’ve seen in the entire world.
Honeymoon in Tulum: is it worth it?
If you decide to spend your honeymoon in Tulum, I recommend splitting your honeymoon into two parts and spend some time in the city centre in one of the stunning hotels like Bardo Hotel and another part of your honeymoon you can spend close to the beach, in one of the beachfront properties.
If you’re looking for something quiet and relaxing, Mezzanine a Colibri Boutique Hotel would be a great option. It’s located in a quiet part of Tulum Beach – Playa Paraiso.
If you want to be close to fancy clubs, shops and restaurants and don’t mind going to sleep late, then Delek Tulum is absolutely stunning. Other amazing options include Ana y Jose Spa Hotel and Azulik.
What about Cancun?
Well, technically, Cancun is not in Riviera Maya at all! However, Cancun is also an option for a great honeymoon! We have a separate blog post about a honeymoon in Cancun & the perfect itinerary for a 7-day honeymoon in Cancun, so feel free to check it out.
Summary: honeymoon in Riviera Maya – where to stay? The guide to Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Punta Maroma and More
I hope that this article helped you with planning your perfect honeymoon in Riviera Maya. Whether you choose Tulum, Punta Maroma, Playa del Carmen or any other destination on the Caribbean Coast of Mexico, we just wanted to let you that you will love it!
You can split your honeymoon into two or more parts (just like we did) if you feel like you could miss out on some amazing locations. For example, you could stay 3 days in an overwater bungalow in Punta Maroma and 4-5 more days in the Colibri Boutique hotel in Tulum. Your possibilities are endless.
Any questions? Give us a shout on Instagram (@lizatripsget)!