Considered one of Mexico's premier honeymoon destinations, Tulum is best known for its white-sand beaches and laid-back vibes. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the myriad of activities, authentic restaurants, and local shops that also abound. Be sure to carve out time for a couples spa treatment, a few romantic dinners, and at least one evening of dancing under the stars. Here are a few recommendations for what to eat, see, and do in the Riviera Maya’s most romantic locale.
1. Rent Bikes
When you first turn onto Boca Paila (Tulum's beach road), you’ll notice many vacationers riding bikes. Available to rent for just $5 a day, bikes are the most efficient, cost-effective, and fun way to get around—provided you’re staying on the beach road or venturing into town. Depending on where you’re staying, your hotel may have bikes on-site for guests to use. The single-lane road gets pretty busy during the day, so if you want some quiet time together, opt for an early-morning ride.
2. Explore the Ruins
The Riviera Maya is home to so much history. While Chichen Itza may be the most well known of the ruins, that doesn’t mean it’s the only place worth exploring. In fact, the Tulum and Coba ruins are each pretty spectacular in their own right. The Tulum ruins and ecological park are a 20-minute bike ride from the beach hotel strip, and the Coba ruins are about an hour by car.
3. Book a Couples Spa Treatment
Ready for romance and relaxation? There’s no better place than Tulum’s premier healing spa, Yäan Wellness—and no better treatment than the Couple’s Divine. Performed in a private cabin, this harmonizing couple's ritual starts with a tropical macadamia-almond-and-honey scrub, followed by an organic Mayan cacao body mask. Next is a 60-minute Yäan Balancing Massage with healing quartz crystals to connect your heart chakras. Finally, hydrating body butter and a sensual bath—using ylang-ylang, rosemary, and salts, as well as fresh herbs and flowers from the rooftop garden—seal this romantic service.
4. Visit a Cenote
The Yucatan is famous for its natural splendor. One of its defining characteristics is an abundance of freshwater sinkholes, which are called cenotes—and you don’t have to travel far to explore this natural phenomenon. A short 15-minute drive from Tulum (toward Coba) is Gran Cenote. Home to fish, turtles, and crystal-clear waters, it’s sublime for snorkeling. If you have your heart set on scuba diving, Dos Ojos is a must. Spanish for “two eyes,” Dos Ojos is actually a flooded cave system, made up of two sinkholes that are connected by a large cavern area in the middle. "The Cenote Pit,” as it’s called, is nearly 400 feet deep, making it prime for deepwater exploration. Another interesting feature? Bats. You can even book nighttime bat tours if you’re so inclined.
5. Take a Yoga Class
Even if you aren’t a yogi, the studios in Tulum are too wonderful not to try; there are a number of highly-regarded places where you can practice. We recommend Yoga Shala Tulum, Amansala, and Maya Tulum, but if you’re planning to take only one class while you’re there, don’t miss the chance to do sun salutations in Sanará Tulum’s glass-sided shala while the sun beams in (during daytime classes, the doors are open to allow for the glorious fresh ocean breeze).
6. Dine by Candlelight
The perfect recipe for romance? Dinner for two—on the beach or in the jungle—at one of the area's many local restaurants. Newcomer Arca is quickly making a name for itself with its unique blend of authentic Mexican and classic California cuisine. Expect to find local seasonal produce, seafood, and meat selections.
While local sardines may not sound like the most romantic appetizer, we assure you that when they're married with an escabeche of marigold, grapefruit, and fermented rice, it’s a rather heavenly way to start your meal. The wood-roasted whole fish with a salad of raw chiles, herbs, and limes is a sublime main to share. And, of course, you’ll need something to wash it down, and you can't go wrong with the house-made spicy margarita.