Mexico's Riviera Maya offers honeymooners plenty to do. Its pristine beauty combines with rites and rituals to offer unforgettable experiences, along with a true balm for the soul.
What to do when you're there:
Perched on a bluff above the Caribbean Sea, the enigmatic walled city of Tulum was founded around 900 BC as the last major city of the Maya Empire. It is the only known archaeological site to have been built by the sea.
The marine wonderland of Xel-Há, is one of the greatest natural aquariums in the world. The chain of coves, lagoons, cenotes (underwater fresh water pools) and underground rivers ringed by thick jungle provide a perfect respite for lovers of the “wet and wild.” The waters are calm and crystal-clear, a mix of ocean and fresh water springs. The fish are friendly – and abundant - and you’re allowed to snorkel alongside them or float down the waterways in oversized inner tubes.
Get up close and personal with Mother Nature and book a jungle tour with “allTOURnative” off track adventures. Start with a bike tour along jungle paths to view plantations worked by modern-day Maya. From there, you experience an ancient “purification” ceremony in a mystical cenote. Later, zip through the air along a series of “you Tarzan, me Jane” flights high above the jungle via a series of “z-wires” which become progressively longer, steeper – and more exhilarating.
Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida
Known as Xaman-Há in ancient times, Playa del Carmen has come a long way since its start as a sleeping fishing village. Once the embarkation point for the sacred island of Cozumel today, it is one of the fastest growing communities in Mexico and is the Riviera Maya. Today, Quinta Avenida (5th Ave) is a lengthy pedestrian-only path where bistros, restaurants and cafes vie with boutiques and trendy shops for your attention.
A slate of eco-adventures beckon such as snorkeling in cenotes, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, scuba diving, bird watching and basic beach pleasures. Or if you prefer, transport yourself to the secret world of the ancient Maya, visiting jungle studded archaeological sites, and a replica of a Maya village. When night falls, the Gran Tlachco amphitheatre stages a musical tour of Mexico's history.
Mexico’s ancient cultures employed the temazcál, a purifying steam bath intended to heal the body and cleanse the mind and soul. Unlike steam baths or sweat lodges of indigenous cultures of the north, which were used for ceremonial reasons, it was used primarily for therapeutic purposes. Nowadays, they are conducted at many area resorts and they typically combine the exotic elements of a Turkish bath, a Finnish sauna and a Native American “sweat hut” flavored with ancient Maya rituals.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 1.3 million acre biosphere is perfect for anyone interested in getting up close and personal with nature in lagoons, tropical forests, mangrove swamps and barrier reefs.