Mexico's classic honeymoon destinations have a timeless appeal, with names that evoke paradisiacal imagery in a single word: Cabo, Baja, Cozumel, Cancun. But another Mexico also awaits couples with a sense of adventure and a taste for culture and history, beckoning visitors to discover the high-energy charms of Mexico City as well as quiet colonial towns like Cuernavaca and Taxco. Honeymoons who choose Mexico for their first vacation as husband and wife will discover an intriguing mix of romantic destinations and resorts that celebrate Mexico's diverse culture.
© Mexico Tourist Board
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, thrust into the warm center of the Caribbean Sea, is the heartland of the ancient Mayan culture, home to the great ruins at Chichen Itza and Tulum. Along the Riviera Maya are Cancun and Cozumel, known for their white-sand beaches, nonstop nightlife, and beautiful oceanfront resorts.
The Ritz-Carlton Cancun boasts a refined shorefront location with ocean-view suites for discriminating honeymooners. The Ritz is an oasis with a pair of outdoor pools, luxury Kayanta Spa, and a Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center. The resort is a epicurian's dream, with a pair of renowned restaurants that can host intimate dinners for two, and a Culinary Center where newlyweds can learn the art of cooking alongside world-class chefs.
Cozumel is literally a Caribbean island unto itself, sitting just off the Yucatan coast south of Cancun. Like the Ritz-Carlton, the InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa is a five-star resort recently reopened after a multimillion-dollar upgrade; the resort sits alongside one of the Caribbean's best marine parks, with great reef diving and snorkeling expeditions organized by the hotel's PADI-certified Five Palm watersports center. Honeymooners can luxuriate in oceanfront suites with private butler service, enjoy a day on the links at the Cozumel Country Club, or swim with the dolphins and explore the gardens at nearby Chankanaab National Park.
Hollywood stars made the Baja California towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo the "in" place in the 1950s, and the reputation for exclusive luxury remains intact at the One&Only Palmilla, where past guests have included author/adventurer Ernest Hemingway and silver-screen legend Jean Harlow. Honeymooners are whisked from the airport in the resort's Mercedes GL450 sedan and swiftly introduced to a private "casa" with sliding doors leading to a beachfront patio, 24-hour butler service, and a telescope for whale-watching or stargazing. Couples are pampered with intimate dinners on the beach and at the resort's Charlie Trotter restaurant, "C," outings to a secluded cove, and spa treatment and a flower bath in a private villa.
Mexico City, the country's sprawling capital, is rich in history and culture, from the canals of Xochimilco to the Basilica of Guadeloupe. Close to the museums and greenways of Chapultepec Park, the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City is ideally located for explorations of the Distrito Federal, with the hotel's impeccable service complimented by an outdoor pool and adjoining fitness center.
Honeymooners can easily combine a fascinating day or two in the Mexican capital with a visit to such colonial gems as Cuernavaca and Taxco, as well as the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán. The sedate mountain town of Taxco is located at the heart of Mexico's silver country, and the jewelry produced by local craftspeople is world famous.
Cuernavaca, known as the "land of eternal spring" for its predictably pleasant year-round climate, is full of authentic colonial homes, fabulous restaurants and health spas. The only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Mexico, Las Mañanitas is treasured both for its finely appointed rooms and its traditional restaurant. The grand Mañanitas Suite features a covered private terrace overlooking the main garden, full of towering palms and ponds and beautifully illuminated at night.
Couples have been drawn to Cuernavaca ever since the Emperor Maximillian built a home in the town for his lover, Carlota, and the romantic "Corazon de Mexico" will remain in your heart forever.