The eastern shoreline of Mexico is a wonderful destination for a Cancun Honeymoon, including its neighbors to the south, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya. It’s ideal for a couple desiring a tropical honeymoon not far from the United States, with plenty of access to beaches, tropical weather, palm trees, all inclusive resorts and their wonderful amenities, luxury spas and a plethora of options for excursions. And it’s a relatively Covid-friendly honeymoon destination.
This region of Mexico is one of our picks for the top 10 honeymoon destinations in the world and our Mexico sample registry makes it easy to turn this dream a reality. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation immediately upon arrival.
Mexico is the southern neighbor to the United States so flight times shouldn’t be too long depending on exactly where you’re traveling from. And they’re welcoming US travelers during Covid-19.
Mexico has states, somewhat like the US. Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya are in the Mexican state named, “Quintana Roo.” It’s likely you’ll see this come up as you research.
All three cities have easy access to the beach from hotels or resorts, the main difference being Cancun is the closest to the airport and most populated; Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya honeymooners will enjoy slightly fewer tourists. (Only a factor if you plan on leaving your resort to visit high-trafficked areas, or for tour company-organized excursions.)
Geography and Weather for Your Cancun-Area Honeymoon
Where are Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya Located?
These three cities are all located within close driving distance to one another. A honeymoon in Cancun is likened to a honeymoon in Riviera Maya. Or vice versa with Playa del Carmen.
They’re on the east side of Mexico, along the eastern shoreline of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, part of North America. You experience a mix of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in this geographic region.
Cancun is easily accessible with flights from the United States and you drive to the other two from the airport.
Typical Weather in the Eastern Yucatan Peninsula
Weather in this area doesn’t fluctuate too much, with little rainfall during most of the year and temperatures usually above 80 degrees on a daily basis.
It’s worth noting, however, that hurricane season may affect the coastline from June through November. This is why we recommend purchasing travel insurance. The sun is always strong in this area of Mexico so don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!
Time Zone for Your Cancun Honeymoon
Though Cancun is in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone, the Yucatan Peninsula doesn’t observe Daylight Savings. This means it’s one hour behind EDT in the summertime, matching our Central time zone.
For example, in August, if it’s 3 pm in New York, it will be 2 pm in Cancun. But in December, if it is 3 pm in New York it will also be 3 pm in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen.
What You Need to Know When Traveling to Your Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya Honeymoon
Routine vaccines, including Typhoid and Hepatitis A, are recommended for travel to Mexico. Most people have these already as part of their standard vaccination schedule. If you don’t have these vaccines, you could contract either disease from drinking contaminated water in Mexico, even if accidental.
COVID-19 Regulations in Mexico
You must be a responsible traveler and be aware of honeymooning in the time of COVID-19.
Non-essential travel to Mexico is not recommended by the CDC until September 21, 2020. However, a cancun honeymoon plan is still viable as US citizens are permitted to travel there and it’s expected to come back online even quicker as COVID-19 cases decrease.
Different states in Mexico are handling COVID-19 protocols differently, but in general you will feel quite safe traveling into the country by plane. Health screenings like background forms, temperature checks, walk-through sanitation stations and hand sanitizer are prevalent in the airports, while boarding and exiting the plane, and most places you travel to in Mexico.
Be aware: If you get COVID-19 while you’re there, you will not be able to travel home until you’ve recovered, and you may be subject to quarantines in the US. Follow your state COVID-19 guidance and regulations when you return to the United States regarding quarantining and minimizing the potential spread of the virus.
Further, many travel insurance plans do not cover travel delays and medical care due to contracting COVID-19.
Mexico’s laws allow same-sex marriage and for citizens to openly serve in the military without legal consequences for being true to their identity.
In this forward-thinking, heavily touristed area of Mexico, we don’t expect there to be any social discrimination for honeymooners in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Riviera Maya.
Passport and Visa Requirements for a Honeymoon in Cancun
US Citizens need a passport to travel to Mexico, though a visa to visit the country for less than 180 days isn’t required. (We suspect you would only be there for a week or two if you’re there for your honeymoon.)
You will need to fill out a simple required immigration form to provide to Passport Control at the airport upon entry and arrival to the country. These forms are usually given out on the airplane. Do not lose this piece of paper because you’ll need it to exit the country as well.
Spanish is the official language but most people you’ll encounter during your Cancun honeymoon, or Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya honeymoon, speak enough English to communicate with American tourists. This is especially true if you’re interacting with people at a popular resort or tourist company. It never hurts to know basic words in the local language, especially please (“por favor”) and thank you (“gracias”).
If you have any allergies be sure to know how to communicate those in the native language before leaving home.
The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Mexico but US credit cards are accepted almost anywhere. The exception may be a small business that doesn’t accept a credit card, though even in those cases it’s usual they’ll accept US Dollars as a form of payment. (But if you are owed change, you will likely get back Mexican pesos at a variable conversion rate.)
Conversion rates fluctuate with the markets. However, a good rule of thumb is that $1 USD is equivalent to $20 Mexican pesos.
Honeymoon Travel and Planning Information in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya
Common Activities to Enjoy During a Cancun Honeymoon, Playa del Carmen Honeymoon, or Riviera Maya Honeymoon
This is a great destination if you want a mix of activities offered at honeymoon resorts. Perhaps you’ll want to lounge on the beach and swim in the ocean at your resort in the morning, followed by an activity like parasailing at your Cancun hotel beach in the afternoon, then enjoy a relaxing dinner with a pool-front view. Snorkeling is a popular activity in all three cities as well. A honeymoon in Cancun never has a shortage of things to do.
If you want to lounge by the beach or pool your entire Riviera Maya honeymoon it’s easy to do that. Or you can indulge in a Playa del Carmen honeymoon spa treatment (it may even be included in a luxury honeymoon package). Conversely, if you want to pack your schedule with a lot of activities you can.
Here’s two especially unique things to do in this area of Mexico if you venture outside your resort:
- Book an excursion to see the famous Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. This is likely a full day trip because the ruins are in a central part of the Yucatan Peninsula, a few hours drive from the east coast. If you’re into history and ancient civilizations it’s worth the trip. Chichén Itzá is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site and was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World shortly after the turn of the 21st century.
- Swim in a cenote. These beautiful natural springs are well known in Mexico. Imagine a big pool of water that was naturally formed with the collapsing of limestone in the Earth. They’re usually aesthetically tropical and photo-worthy, and almost “cavernous” in character. It’s best to go with a guide because they can be dangerous to trek to and get in and out of if you’re unfamiliar with the territory.
How to Get to Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya for Your Honeymoon
Airport and Flights to Cancun International Airport
The Cancun International Airport code is CUN and it’s the second busiest airport in Mexico. Expect lots of travelers to be arriving when you do, anxious to get to their honeymoon resort or hotel.
Flight times vary depending on where you’re coming from but you can fly direct from most major cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, the Washington, DC area, Orlando, Miami, and Chicago. It’s likely you’ll have to make at least one flight connection from places like St. Louis, Raleigh, and New Orleans.
Expect to pay between $200 to $750 for a roundtrip flight per person no matter the time of year. Peak travel times to Cancun’s airport usually surround winter when people want to escape the cold in the US for warmer climates and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Spring Break. Off-peak time may result in better hotel and all-inclusive resort deals even if flight prices don’t fluctuate too much.
Ground Transportation from the International Airport to Your Destination in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya
We recommend pre-arranging your transportation at the airport for the smoothest experience and to not be taken advantage of by cabs or taxi companies on the spot upon arrival. Your hotel may have a luxury transportation company they recommend or even provide complimentary airport transfers. Or, you may find a shuttle company that stops at multiple honeymoon resorts and you can enjoy some savings for the carpool-type drop offs they offer.
There are three terminals at the Cancun International Airport. Be sure to provide your flight information to your transportation company so they know exactly where you’ll be ready for pick up to transfer you to your destination.
You may want to consider renting a car if you plan on venturing out on your own or sign up for excursions where transportation isn’t provided between your hotel and those activities.
A US Driver’s License is valid in Mexico. There are several car rental companies at the airport and, again, we recommend pre-arranging one before your trip.
If you are on a tight budget, consider taking the ADO public bus from the airport. It goes from all terminals of the airport to downtown Cancun and to Playa del Carmen.
There are two potential disadvantages to take into account if you take the bus:
- You’ll have to find a way to get from either final bus station to your accommodations. The bus does not travel to Riviera Maya.
- The bus comes about every 30 to 45 minutes and seats 35 people. If you’re waiting in a line of 50 people and you’re near the end, for example, you won’t make the next bus because of the finite number of seats. So you’ll have to wait another 30 to 45 minutes for the next bus to come which means you’ll simply be delaying arrival to your hotel.
- Cancun resorts are the closest to Cancun airport though driving time varies depending upon exact location.
- Cancun to Playa del Carmen is about an hour.
- Cancun to Riviera Maya is about a twenty to thirty minute drive.
- Cancun airport to Riviera Maya, direct, is just under an hour.
Expect traffic leaving or arriving back at CUN during peak times.
Cost of a Cancun Honeymoon and Surrounding Areas and Where to Stay
A Cancun honeymoon in the eastern Yucatan is adaptable to your budget. You’ll find a variety of hotel and resort options to fit your needs, with a mix of amenities whether you’re a budget or luxury traveler desiring a honeymoon package. If you want to travel for $3,500 for a week for two people or $10,000 for the week both are possible.
It’s also worth noting there are plenty of all-inclusive hotel options in the area. Consider this if you want a honeymoon whose daily cost variables are low.
Be sure to look into honeymoon packages no matter where you stay. These bundles are readily available and sometimes include flights to Cancun. Multiple package options is an advantage of traveling to this popular honeymoon vacation destination.
Be educated about precisely what amenities are available at the hotel you choose that are important to you. That could be free Wifi, a hotel gym, superior room-service for your stay, or what the best excursions they offer are.
Some popular all-inclusive resorts include Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, Hilton Playa del Carmen (which is adults-only), and Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Riviera Maya.
You can’t go wrong with any of these honeymoon resorts that have multiple pool options where you can swim and lounge until your heart’s content, and offer great amenities to really treat yourself to the best honeymoon stay.
Cuisine for Cancun Honeymoons in the Eastern Yucatan Peninsula
There’s usually a mix of continental American food at honeymoon resorts in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya with an addition of some Mexican specialties.
You’ll find various cuisines at a more luxury resort with specialty restaurants. Such a honeymoon Cancun hotel may offer multiple dining options, like an Italian restaurant, Japanese restaurant, or steak house.
For authentic Mexican cuisine, whether you’re staying at a vacation rental or want a break from hotel meals, try dishes such as Chilaquiles (baked tortilla chips with cheese, meat and sauces on top), Lime Soup (Sopa de Lima), and Cochinita pibil (slow roasted pork usually served on corn taco shells).
Drink factory-bottled water and beverages wherever you go in the Cancun area, unless you explicitly know with certainty the water has been filtered after asking, like at a reputable hotel. It’s very easy to get sick from contaminated water in Mexico. Even brushing your teeth in a public restroom or vacation rental can result in you ingesting enough bacteria to make you sick.
Ready to go? Find frequent offers to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya on our Travel Deals page. Or check out a real Cancun Honeyfund page. And don’t forget to comment below with your questions and thoughts.
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