This guide to the best Mexico destinations for couples and honeymoons homes in on the most romantic places there are in the land of tacos and tamales. Whether you’re looking to share a loved-up minimoon with the other half or just want to treat someone special to a trip they’ll remember (jalapenos included), it’s sure to have something to suit.
Variety is the keyword. We’ve gone for places on the talcum-white beaches of the Caribbean coast. There are surf towns on the wavy Pacific Ocean. There are even secret Mexicana towns and villages that ooze Wild West charm and sport handsome Spanish-era churches.
Remember that Mexico is so big that different places have different climates at different times of the year. It’s always worth checking that, along with things like the whale-watching season if you’re keen on Cabo or Puerto Vallarta. Oh, and it’s also worth knowing that a few of these places – Cancun, especially – are noticeably less romantic during the US spring break holidays in February and March.
Cabo San Lucas
Good-time seekers have been flocking to the Pacific coast town of Cabo, as it’s usually known, for decades. It’s a place where the pressures of the Rat Race drift away in a haze of tequila-soaked evenings and visions of gold-tinted beaches by the ocean. Granted, there’s a little bit of a spring-breaker rep, but the resort has also morphed into one of Mexico’s top luxury destinations in recent years.
Check out the long run of stunning all-inclusive hotels that fringe The Corridor, a 20-mile stretch of shoreline on the Sea of Cortez that links Cabo San Lucas to the nearby town of San Jose del Cabo (where the region’s airport is). They’re perfect for honeymooners on the hunt for proper R&R, what with on-site spas and infinity pools and more. Some of the finest options include the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort and the Casa Del Mar Boutique Resort & Spa, but there are oodles besides.
When it comes to romantic things to do in Cabo, couples can take their pick. How about a sunset cruise to Land’s End? You’ll watch the evening set in through craggy stone pillars and coastal caves there. Or what about a whale-watching cruise? Humpbacks migrate this way from December to April. Of course, a pitstop at Lovers Beach is a must – the name says it all!
Cancun is the hottest resort town in Mexico right now. It made its name as a major spring-break party spot. But you don’t have to come for the wet T-shirt contests and the mezcal drinking. There’s now a whole other side to the place that’s based on pure luxury. Head to the south end of the Hotel Zone and you’ll catch five-star accommodations with wellness facilities, sprawling honeymoon suites, and access to secluded, sugary Caribbean beaches.
We especially love the Nizuc Resort & Spa. It’s got suites with a touch of Balinese luxury and a location in the uber-quiet part of Cancun’s tourist zone, meaning glimmering turquoise lagoons all to yourself. A bit further north is the Ritz-Carlton Cancun. Go there for classic grand hotel styles and access to water on the Caribbean and lagoon sides of town alike.
Romantic pursuits in Cancun aren’t hard to come by. Day trips to the reef-ringed isle of Cozumel could mean encountering rare sea turtles in the wild. Or you could hit Chichen Itza to strike a line from the bucket list together. And then there’s the laid-back Isla Holbox, for swimming with whale sharks and kiteboarding.
Stretching down the Pacific coast of Mexico for some 200 miles until it reaches the buzzy city of Puerto Vallarta, the Riviera Nayarit is a gorgeous run of daffodil-tinged beaches and wild jungles. Now and then, the region is broken up by a charming Mexicana fishing town filled with taco stands and surf shops. The vibes are uber easy going; the whole place is downright beautiful.
There are a few places that elevate this one onto our list of the best Mexico destinations for couples. Firstly, there’s Punta Mita. It’s hailed as the most luxurious of all the resorts on the Riviera Nayarit, offering golf courses and spa facilities just outside of Corral del Risco. We also love San Pancho, a time-stood-still town of cobbled lanes and quirky art galleries that promises something more authentic.
Activities for loved-up duos here run the gamut from surf classes on breaks of La Lancha (good for total beginners) to hiking to the heights of Monkey Mountain (it’s hot, so take lots of water). There are also some wonderful coast paths weaving through the jungles between San Pancho and Sayulita, which drop out onto totally deserted stretches of tropical sand every now and then.
Oaxaca is a colossal cut out of Mexico. In fact, it’s such a massive state that it could easily be a country on its own. What’s more, it’s considered one of the strongholds of indigenous Mesoamerican heritage, which means there’s a very unique identity here and a palpable connection to tradition. For us, it’s one of the best Mexico destinations for couples who like true cultural immersion and raw experiences.
Oaxaca City is the obvious place to begin. Its downtown core is a crisscrossing grid of boldly colored buildings and stoop saloons, where cantinas serve up local quesillo cheeses, chocolate mole sauces, and corn-husk tamales. Nearby, the untrodden UNESCO ruins of Monte Alban promise to put you in touch with the age-old Zapotec people who lived centuries ago. You’ll also want to be sure you head for a swim at the Hierve el Agua, a travertine rock cascade that has soaring mineral baths on top of a Mexican mountain.
The other big draw of Oaxaca the region is the coastline. It’s nowhere near as built up as the Yucatan or Nayarit. Beaches like Playa Tangolunda and Bahia San Agustin are stunning places. If you do want some action, consider hitting Puerto Escondido, one of the most accomplished surf towns in North America.
Prepare to be enchanted by Morelia. The capital of Michoacan state is one seriously gorgeous town. Its heart is a chocolate box of stone-built cottages and cobbled alleys that’s hardly changed since the coming of the Spanish conquistadores. Talking of the conquistadores…They were the ones that raised that majestic cathedral on the main plaza. It now towers overhead with its sculpted cupolas and Baroque spires, clad in shimmering pink stone.
The whole town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That means simply wandering around is a joy. Here, you’ll spy out the little Jardín de las Rosas, hemmed in by small Mexicana cantinas and babbling with little fountains. There, you’ll step onto Capuchinas Park, where purple-hued jacaranda trees shade the sidewalks.
Morelia is also a prime gateway to the incredible Mariposa reserve. Every winter that becomes home to millions (literally millions) of migrating butterflies, who fill the pine-scented mountains in a flurry of flapping wings. That’s just about the only place we’d recommend venturing to in Michoacan, though, as the rest of the territory is considered pretty dangerous.
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende has long been a magnet for US tourists. It was first made famous by an influx of American GIs in the post-war period. That was when the town was established as an art colony by the likes of Stirling Dickinson and Mexico’s own José Chávez Morado. It’s reputation as a center for culture and creativity is now very much secure, and visitors come to explore all that, plus a deep history that goes back to the coming of the Spanish.
We’ll just go right out and say it: The core of San Miguel is unquestionably one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the country. It makes this one of the best Mexico destinations for couples with its grid of quaint cobbled alleys, bougainvillea-strewn cafés, paint-peeling saloons, and lovely squares, the best of which is surely the main plaza of Jardin Allende, where a unique, pink-tinted church spire keeps watch.
Because it’s so popular with visitors, San Miguel de Allende has an abundance of top-quality hotels. It’s also set in a beautiful location atop the Mexican highlands, with canyons and cacti-spotted hills swirling all around.
Welcome to the Lagoon of the Seven Colors. In the far south of Quintana Roo, just a whisker off the Mexico-Belize border, this incredible laguna glimmers and gleams in a spectrum of limestone whites, perfect turquoise, Greek cobalt, and crystalline teal. Some say that the swimming is the best in the country, which is saying something because Cancun and the Riviera Maya aren’t so far away!
There are tons of reasons why we don’t hesitate to put Bacalar up there with the best Mexico destinations for couples. Mornings can be spent kayaking over the surface of the lagoon as the sun rises. Evenings can be about sipping cocktails from a hammock that hangs over the water itself. There’s also a side of history courtesy of the old Fort San Felipe, which was raised by the Spanish to fend off marauding pirates.
On top of all that, Bacalar has some seriously enticing honeymoon hotels. There are the deluxe villa suites of Blue Palm Bacalar, where massage beds lie next to a snaking pool. There’s MBH Maya Bacalar Hotel Boutique, which has water-top sunning terraces built over the lake.
The Riviera Maya is now hallowed ground for holidaymakers on the hunt for Mexican sun, sand, and sea. It runs right next to the coral gardens of the Mesoamerican Reef, going from Cancun in the north to the mangroves and lagoons past Tulum in the south. Between its limits are some of the most sumptuous hotel resorts in the country, along with a whole run of white-sand beaches that channel that Caribbean vibe. You basically can’t go wrong here if you’re planning a honeymoon.
Our favorite spots aren’t actually the most popular ones. You’ve got Puerto Morales, a chilled beach town with bobbing fishing boats and an unbusy playa. Then there’s pint-sized Akumal, which has a postcard-worthy bay that faces south with oodles of sea-view casas.
The mainstay draws of the region are Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The first is best known for its eye-watering ancient dig site, which includes a shoreline temple that stands above a powdery tropical bay. The latter is a lively and happening hub for digital nomads, with excellent nightlife and condominiums for rent.
Queretaro pulls at the heart strings with its largely untouched colonial downtown. Explore it at night and you’ll wander little alleys where beer bars spill out of the alcoves. You’ll happen upon candlelit plazas where mezcal is clinked in the speakeasies. You’ll hear mariachi bands striking up on the leafy Zenea Garden plaza.
For us, Queretaro remains one of the most enchanting of Mexico’s old cities. There are stone-faced streets and Art Deco buildings painted in pastel hues of ochre and pink. They combine with taco joints and craft breweries, along with sights like the statue-topped Plaza de Armas and the impressive Acueducto de Queretaro.
We’d say that the city is very much one of the best Mexico destinations for couples for those who like to stray off the beaten path. That said, it’s far less than a day’s journey from Mexico City and about the same distance from aforementioned San Miguel de Allende, so hardly a chore to get to.