Hugged by the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains, an emerging locale that harmoniously fuses lush landscapes with laid-back luxury exists that couldn’t be more perfectly designed for honeymooners. It’s here that Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit unfolds over nearly 200 miles of stunning coastline, setting the stage for the country’s most exclusive escape for lovers seeking paradise not too far from home. Decorated with palm-fringed shores and set to a backdrop of emerald peaks, one would never guess this exotic oasis can be reached with just a two-and-a-half-hour flight from the U.S.
You won’t find Cancun’s spring breakers or Tulum’s Instagram influencers here. This is grown and sexy Mexico—a region regarded as one of the country’s best-kept secrets, inviting newlyweds to get lost together in its magic while weaving through sleepy beach towns and verdant landscapes.
Guillermo Guerrero, Mexico native and tourism coordinator with Riviera Nayarit, recommends renting a car to explore the diversity of the region at your leisure, winding through the rainforest mountain range by road and stopping at various seaside villages along the way. The region includes popular destinations like the surf-centric town of Sayulita, the luxury development of Punta Mita, and the resort-rich area of Nuevo Vallarta on Banderas Bay, with tourists dwindling as you travel further north to towns like San Francisco and Lo de Marcos.
Meet the Expert
Guillermo Guerrero, a coordinator for Riviera Nayarit Visitors & Convention Bureau, has been assisting with the development of tourism in the state of Nayarit for nearly 15 years.
Read on for the details on how and when to plan the perfect Riviera Nayarit honeymoon—paradise awaits!
Riviera Nayarit Honeymoon Cost
While budget-friendly bungalows and affordable all-inclusive resorts are abundant, the exclusivity of this region has lured some of the world’s most acclaimed hospitality brands, from classic leaders in luxury such as Four Seasons to ultra-immersive luminaries such as One&Only Resorts. Chances are you’ll be looking to splurge on remarkable oceanfront views and spacious suites for your honeymoon, so be sure to account for those indulgences and consider that a higher-end experience will range upwards of $10,000. On average, a week-long getaway for two in Mexico may start at $5,000.
Best Time to Visit Riviera Nayarit
While Riviera Nayarit’s high season runs from November to May, the destination's privileged year-round weather allows for an unforgettable retreat any time of the year. Summer in Riviera Nayarit can get quite warm, with average highs in the 90s. The rainy season, however, comes in late June and lasts until early November; afternoon showers bring relief from the heat, and though you may not welcome the rain during your beach day, trust us that nothing is more romantic than the soothing soundtrack of a thunderstorm while curled up in your rainforest retreat for the evening.
If you’re opting for a cooler time of the year, aim for December through April, when one of the most sought-after experiences on Mexico’s west coast is in full swing. In these months, whale watching season is at its peak, and depending on what you hope to see, you may want to plan accordingly. "During December and January, the males are showing off looking to attract females for the mating season," Guerrero shares. "In April, the mothers are teaching the babies to breach, so you’ll see them practicing over and over again." He does warn that the last two weeks of December are often busiest as school-aged children are on breaks and many locals flock to the beaches and resorts during that time.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you of-the-moment advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and latest on travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.
Ahead, nine of the best honeymoon resorts and villas in Riviera Nayarit.
This rainforest retreat between the municipalities of Compostela and Lo de Marcos is what honeymoon dreams are made of. One&Only Mandarina is the manifestation of ultra-luxury perched on one of the most breathtaking coastal cliffsides in Mexico. Enmeshed with the indigenous flora, this collection of 105 free-standing villas is the ideal escape for couples seeking a deeper connection with each other through nature. Imagine awakening side-by-side in an Ocean Treehouse oasis hovering 40 feet above the jungle—step out onto your private terrace for a morning dip in your plunge pool and take in the panoramic views of the shimmering waters—this is the definition of marital bliss.
If you can pry yourselves away from the villa, head to the One&Only Spa where treatments are inspired by pre-Hispanic culture, and a menu of transformative options invites newlyweds to embark on a spiritual journey as one. Book a personalized Astrological Code Reading for a celestial outlook on your lives together or select a pampering option like the Couples Only Earth Connection, a two-hour indulgence featuring a 75-minute massage bookended by a volcanic mud bath and a native unity ritual in the spa’s private garden cabana. If that’s not enough of a treat, top off the evening with dinner at Carao, a fine dining experience from celebrity chef Enrique Olvera where the authentic flavors of Mexico meld with contemporary techniques and twists.
Mar al Cielo
This private oceanfront eco-retreat for two in Lo de Marcos is ideal for couples who want intimate isolation where they can focus only on being together. Mar al Cielo promises to immerse duos in a private surrounding of surreal natural beauty where your spirit and senses awaken and you find you've become part of the incredible nature that surrounds you.
Should you decide to take your eyes off of each other, you may revel in enchanting views and extraordinary experiences that intertwine with nature like embarking on a whale-watching excursion or discovering hidden beaches. In addition, your personal chef at Mar al Cielo offers specially prepared menus in traditional Mexican and Mexican fusion cuisine made from fresh ingredients grown in Mar al Cielo's own organic garden.
PAL.MAR Hotel Tropical
This small boutique hotel is located in the heart of San Pancho, a picturesque village only three blocks from the beach and often considered the boho-chic sister village to Sayulita (San Pancho is the chic to Sayulita’s boho). At PAL.MAR Hotel Tropical, personalized guest service is a top priority and ecological impact is a close second. Eco-friendly couples will appreciate the property’s attention to sustainability. Solar heaters, water-saving technology, biodegradable cleaning products, and water filters are installed in all suites in order to avoid single-use plastic bottles.
Described as the place "where Robinson Crusoe meets Architectural Digest," Haramara Retreat is an idyllic place created and designed to provide a natural and supportive environment for individuals to relax, renew, and restore well-being. Though the location is better known for its group retreats, they offer individual experiences tailored to couples including a Honeymoon Package who want to start their journey in life together with an inner sense of peace and calm serenity.
This property’s unique location in the Sierra de Vallejo national biosphere reserve makes it an ideal resort for couples who want to canoodle in an unspoiled atmosphere. Here, couples have the opportunity to experience a range of locally-inspired activities including active jungle hikes, a refined dinner at a rooftop bar with 360-degree views, or a spiritual Temazcal Ritual unique to the region’s local Huichol community.
Conrad Punta de Mita
Couples who choose to stay at Conrad Punta de Mita will find themselves enveloped in architectural awe and a pristine landscape nestled away in Litibu, a gated community in the luxurious town of Punta de Mita. Spring for the resort’s King Oceanfront Suite and you’ll be hypnotized by the sounds of lapping waves every time you slide open the floor-to-ceiling doors to your private balcony. Begin each day with breakfast on the terrace and end (or start) your evening with a sensual cleanse in the walk-in shower and soaking tub.
At this refined Riviera Nayarit hideaway, you can look forward to personalized service and a variety of distinct experiences on property. You’ll find no shortage of tequila at any resort in this region, but The Agave Studio at Conrad Punta de Mita takes couples on a spirited excursion with a private tasting guided by one of the expert mixologists. Dip your toes into the world of this beloved local liquid with the Agave Experience and sample five different agave-based spirits each paired with gourmet hors d’oeuvres inspired by Mexico’s street food scene. Take your exploration of local flavors deeper with a traditional zarandeado-style dinner beachside at Mezquite, which is the region's 500-year-old method for grilling fish. With your toes in the sand, watch the sun disappear against cotton-candy skies while you savor the Catch of the Day.
W Punta de Mita
For a livelier Punta de Mita experience, Marriot International brings its fashion-forward lifestyle brand to one of Riviera Nayarit’s most beautiful Pacific Coast beaches with W Punta de Mita. Featuring an eclectic blend of Huichol-inspired design, contemporary cuisine, and breathtaking views, W Punta Mita opens the door to exclusive insider experiences, creating memories that linger long after your stay.
Nothing but good vibes await you at this chic sanctuary. Stepping into the courtyard of your Spectacular Escape, you’ll be greeted by swinging lounge chairs, surf-inspired décor, and delightful design details that Mexico’s colorful vibrancy set against vistas of the beach or lake.
Your days will be best spent with a cocktail in hand, lazing at the adults-only WET TOO pool, and listening to smooth beats harmonizing with the sounds of the beach. When you’ve worked up an appetite, lean into the bohemian beach culture and stop by Chevychería for a selection of fresh ceviches in the thatch-roofed venue that transforms a 1950s Chevrolet 3800 truck into a beachfront bar.
Marival Distinct Luxury Residences
You’ll immediately feel at home at this upscale all-inclusive resort that boasts an all-suites roster of accommodations. Each room at this adults-oriented haven is modeled after a residence, meaning you’ll have access to a full kitchen, washer and dryer, living area, and spacious balcony to call your own during the honeymoon. Upgrade to any of the Penthouse options for inspiring views of Banderas Bay while you lounge on your sundeck and splash around in your personal plunge pool.
For your requisite dose of R&R, you could spend each day at the spa and have a distinctly different experience each time. Marival’s Melange Spa offers a truly unique medley of menu options with nine treatment rooms inspired by different world cultures—the Shiatsu Experience from Japan, the Vendemmia Wine Experience from Italy, and of course, the Agave Experience from Mexico, to name a few. Keep the global theme going and have dinner at Insú Sky Lounge, the resort’s rooftop restaurant, where, if you time it just right, a menu of modern international tapas is served with a delicious sunset on the side.
Punta Mita Rentals
The gated enclave of Punta Mita recently introduced Punta Mita Rentals, an exceptional option for honeymooners to experience resort-level hospitality services coupled with unparalleled privacy. Couples can choose from 40 luxury rentals, all designed to be their oceanfront home away from home.
The 24/7 Concierge Services will assist in curating an ideal honeymoon itinerary filled with exciting activities and amenities, from tennis lessons to boat excursions to dining reservations. A standout highlight is the new surf center, El Surf Club, where villa renters can enjoy surf rentals and instruction from a local surfer, drinks from expert mixologists, a barefoot-chic vibe (fueled by in-house DJs), and Chef Pato Persico’s Mexican coastal cuisine.