Our resident honeymoon expert Sara Margulis is back with this week’s honeymoon deals and ideas! Sara is co-founder of Honeyfund, the world’s most popular honeymoon registry. Sara and her husband, Josh, also started Plumfund, the easiest way to raise money for travel, gifts, or anything else—for free. As a champion of budget-conscious honeymooners for the better part of a decade, Sara’s got an eagle-eye for romantic travel deals. Learn more or start your Honeyfund today!
For Californians like myself, Mexico is a popular getaway. Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are well known hotspots and the obvious choice for American tourists. But allow me to say: your honeymoon just may be way too cool for Cancun. If you’re looking for something slightly off the touristy path, peek at these destinations where authentic Mexican romance, history, and culture will make your honeymoon truly unique.
Destination: Mexico City
Four Seasons Mexico City via Four Seasons
Mexico City is a great destination for couples who thrive in an urban scene, or who seek an edgier experience than the typical beach honeymoon. It’s also an extremely eclectic city, where you can check out ancient pyramids, colonial buildings, avant-garde dining, and world-class art galleries and shopping all in one day.
Best time of year to go: Between March and May. Even though it’s a popular time, you’ll have the most beautiful weather of the year. You should also prep yourself for the thinner air at Mexico City’s elevation.
When to book: At least two months in advance.
Top honeymoon tip: Have an outdoor cocktail in Polanco, one of the city’s most romantic neighborhoods. Or, for adventure lovers, take a hot-air balloon ride over the Teotihuacan Pyramids.
Don’t miss: A stroll through the cobblestone streets, a visit to the Mercado de San Juan (farmers market produce, cheeses, artisanal breads, and international specialties), and the art scene. Visit Museo Frida Kahlo, the former home of the famous painter, or see Diego Rivera’s awe-inspiring murals at the Palacio Nacional.
- 4.5 star Las Alcobas hotel, set right in the romantic Polanco district, starting at $359 per night
- Four Seasons Mexico City – a 5 star resort starting at $337 per night
Destination: Nuevo Vallarta
OMG get us to the beach now! The infinity pool at Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta (via Dreams Resorts)
North of Puerto Vallarta, across the county line, you’ll find three miles of golden beaches known as Nuevo Vallarta, home to some of the most luxurious and exclusive resorts in all of Mexico. Many of them are all-inclusive with private beaches, a great setting for the perfect honeymoon. The location is also the perfect starting off point to explore the city of Puerto Vallarta (a few miles south), the jungles inland (hello zip-lining!), and the greater Riviera Nayarit region.
Best time of year to go: The best time to avoid tourists, high rates, and rain is April to June. If you’re interested in whale watching and can afford peak rates, visit from January to March.
When to book: At least 3 months in advance.
Top honeymoon tip: Many resorts have “honeymoon” packages and/or multi-night discounts. Be sure to inquire when booking. To avoid getting bored with one place, look for resorts that have several restaurants on site, or reciprocal deals with neighboring resorts to share restaurants, spas, and beaches.
Don’t miss: A day trip to Sayulita. This laid-back fishing village, offering not much more than great surfing and eats, will charm you like no other. Enjoy a beach-side seafood dinner at Don Pedro’s. If you’re visiting January to March, promise me you’ll see the whales. Ask your resort for tour information.
- Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta – an all-inclusive resort starting at $284 per night
- Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa - a 4.5 star resort starting at $265 per night
- Marival Residences Luxury Nuevo Vallarta – an all-inclusive resort starting at $603 per night
Destination: Playa del Carmen
The Zebras honeymooned on the Riviera Maya! Check out the details here.
A lovely reprieve from tourist-laden Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers the same luxury and beauty without the “spring break” vibe. Shoppers, foodies, and night owls will love this beach-side town and its many opportunities for swanky adventure.
Playa del Carmen is also wonderfully close to the ancient ruins of the region. From here you can visit Tulum, an ancient city built on bluffs facing the Caribbean Sea, and, of course, Chichen Itza, with its famous El Castillo Pyramid (one of the new seven wonders of the world).
Best time of year to go: If you want the best weather in the area—still sunny, but milder and with less rainfall and virtually no risk of storms—plan your vacation from December to April. May works too, but it’s hotter and more humid.
When to book: At least 2-3 months in advance.
Don’t miss: The Riviera Maya is known for giant sinkholes filled with groundwater called cenotes. Think natural swimming pools created by underground rivers. Ask for a tour of Río Secreto, the longest system of underground rivers in the area, where you’ll see stalagmites, stalactites, and coral. Animal lovers should not miss Akumal—the “place of the turtles,” where you can spy these large sea creatures swimming and snacking on sea grass.
Top honeymoon tip: Set aside one day for a tour of Chichen Itza, followed by a dip in one of many cenotes in the region (see above). Bring cash on all day trips.
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya – a 5 star all-inclusive resort starting at $787 per night
- Blue Diamond Riviera Maya – a 4.5 star all-inclusive resort starting at $654 per night
More great Mexico honeymoon deals:
More about our resident honeymoon expert, Sara:
I am a wedding-industry CEO and lover of all things wedding, gifting, and travel. I’ve stayed at luxury all-inclusive resorts, hostels, and everything in between. Between myself and my co-founder and husband, Josh, we have visited five continents and will see the sixth this year (South America). Our love of travel fueled our own honeymoon dream, halfway around the world in Fiji. We already had everything we needed for our home, we just wanted one fantastic journey to start our lives together. From the generous contributions of our own wedding guests, Honeyfund was born! Sign up today!
Stay tuned next week as Sara jets us off to our next honeymoon locale! Are you headed to the Caribbean for your honeymoon? Where and when are you headed there?
Catch up with all of Sara’s honeymoon tips and ideas here.