Photo: Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort
Nestled on the Riviera Maya, just south of Cancún, Playa del Carmen is equal parts laid-back beach town, buzz-worthy hot spot, and natural oasis. Whether you and your new spouse are into tasting tequila, exploring underground caves, or fist-pumping to the awesome DJs, there's a perfect Playa del Carmen honeymoon getaway for you. Start fantasizing about those white-sand beaches, then check out these 10 things to do in the area.
Take the plunge in your private pool.
You can if you stay at Mahekal Beach Resort, a luxury property that started as six thatch-roofed palapas on the southern Mexican beach. Today, the newly renovated resort includes 122 grass-roofed bungalows, two pools, two restaurants, and three bars, plus one stunning Caribbean beach. Rooms are outfitted with hammocks and chaise lounges and stripped of TVs and phones for max relaxation. Honeymooners in the know book an oceanfront palapa, a private hut that comes with— yep— its very own plunge pool.
Stroll the Quinta Avenita.
Also known as Fifth Avenue, Playa del Carmen's most bustling street is just five minutes from Mahekal and full of vibrant shops and restaurants. Browse for handcrafted Mexican clothes, decor, and accessories, and don't forget to pick up a calavera (a Mexican decorative skull, used to commemorate the Day of the Dead) to show off at home.
Head into town for real-deal Mexican cuisine.
At Axiote, off Fifth Avenue, adventurous types order their guacamole with chapulines (fried grasshoppers), followed by the pulpo zarandeado, or octopus. Not your thing? The pulled-pork tacos are epic. Wash it all down with Mexican sangria, made with mezcal and rum, and finish with Oaxacan chocolate cake.
See more: The Top 10 Honeymoon Resorts in Mexico
Try a tequila tasting.
At Mahekal, you and your groom can sample different types and learn a little about where that last shot really came from.
Find the beat at the BPM Festival.
EDM lovers, rejoice: Every January, Playa del Carmen plays host to a 10-day electronic-music dancefest. In multiple locations around the beach town, you'll be able to hop to day and night concerts by DJs from around the world. (Last year's lineup included 151 acts!)
Take a day trip to Tulum.
The ultratrendy town is located around Mayan ruins, which are 100 percent worth a tour. But the real action is in the surrounding town and resorts, where yoga and meditation and ridiculously fresh food reign supreme. Stop at the Ana y Hose Hotel and Spa [for lunch], where you'll sample seafood and guac under a palapa on the beach.
Zip-line high above the Mexican jungle.
At XPlor Park in Playa del Carmen, you can fly over forests, through suspended bridges, and eight meters underground on a zip line. You'll end up with a major adrenaline rush and can't-be-beat views.
Learn to dive.
One of the world's largest reefs lies just off the Riviera Maya's coastline, so head to Mahekal's dive shop and sign up to get certified. Before you know it, you'll be swiming with the fishes. (And sea turtles and lobsters and...)
Explore the cenotes.
Feeling brave? How about a scuba-diving session in a freshwater sinkhole? The cenotes off the Yucatán — areas where limestone has collapsed and created an underground swimming hole — are a window into an amazing freshwater ecosystem. Don't worry, nondivers: You can also snorkel the caves.
Renew your vows.
Jason Aldean and Britanny Kerr tied the knot at Mahekal back in March 2015. Relive the best day of your life by following in their footsteps with a ceremony on the sugar-white sand. Then celebrate with a candlelit feast for two. (Breakfast and lunch are included in the room rate.)