12 Places That Lead To Romance In The Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya boasts approximately 120 kilometers of silky white sand coastline. There a few things that measure up to a couple’s walk along the beach on the romance scale. Since February is the month for celebrating love, a trip to Playa del Carmen might be your perfect plan for Valentine’s Day.
Besides meandering the powdery shores hand in hand, we’ve created a list of other top romantic things to do in Playa del Carmen. From sunset cruises to highly entertaining dinner shows, here are our best ideas for lovebirds traveling to the Riviera Maya.
1 – A Day At La Buena Vida Restaurant And Bar In Akumal
Friendly staff, a giant thatched-roof, and a 180-degree view of picturesque Half Moon Bay, make La Buena Vida an ideal spot to spend a romantic Caribbean afternoon. Although the beach is a bit rocky, the scenery is spectacular. Bring your snorkel gear and check out the underwater world teeming with marine life. Observe sea turtles, the odd squid, abundant coral colonies as well as schools of colorful, tropical fish.
After navigating the bay, cuddle together for an afternoon siesta in one of the hammocks. Sip on a cool cocktail and nibble on casual menu items like quinoa salads, seafood pastas, or shrimp tacos. As the sun goes down, head up to the second-tier terrace of the restaurant for a romantic dinner. Share a bottle of wine as you watch the sunset transforms the sky from blue to vibrant hues of pink and orange. A day spent at this little piece of heaven is one you will surely treasure forever.
How to get there:
Akumal is 25 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. If you have a car, head south on Highway 307 and watch for the retorno (a point on the highway where you can u-turn.) Follow the clear signage to Akumal, which is just a few minutes after Puerto Aventuras. Off the highway, follow the road east until it automatically turns left. La Buena Vida is within a minute on the right hand side. Visitors can also take a combi (a van taxi that runs along the entire Riviera Maya.) You’ll get off at the highway; walk east until you come upon a taxi stand. A 2-minute ride by taxi will land you at the beach club.
2 – Dinner Show
There are three fantastic shows that we would recommend in the Riviera Maya.
Xcaret: This eco-park is a nature-lover’s paradise. By day explore the exotic animals, an aquarium, a replica Mayan village, a lazy river, a Mexican cemetary, and much more. In the evening, switch from your flip flops to heels and reserve your seats for the best view of the fascinating Xcaret show.
The spectacle takes the audience on a riveting journey through time, when the Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico. Witness traditional dances and music from each state all-the-while partaking in a superb dining experience. Plus the explosive grand finale captures perfectly Mexico’s enchanting nature.
Important Info: You have the option of a full meal or wine and snacks. The show begins at 7pm and ends around 9pm. If you book online 21 days in advance, you can save up to 15% off the regular ticket price.
Joya: This live acrobatic, musical theater takes place at the stunning Cirque du Soleil venue, 20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen. The location sits amidst lush jungle and tranquil waterways. You can opt to have dinner and drinks at one of the romantic on-site eateries or purchase an all-inclusive ticket. Your VIP ticket includes dinner, champagne and reserved seating near the stage.
Tip: There are usually two evening shows from Tuesday to Friday and one performance on Saturdays. The theater is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Rauxa: You can see this wildly entertaining show in the Catalonia Royal Tulum Hotel just 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. This professionally choreographed performance is a mix of cabaret, pop and Moulin Rouge with a sensual twist. Tickets includes a four-course dinner, wine and bottled water. The doors open at 7pm and the captivating show runs from 8-10pm. But the fun does not end there. A DJ takes the stage from 10pm-12am giving the audience a chance to hit the dance floor.
3 – Couple’s Massage
Side-by-side massages are an excellent way to ignite a spark of romance and stimulate connection. While at Bric Spa, you have the opportunity to engage in an ultimate session of peace and relaxation, without buzzing cellphones or other distractions.
Bric Spa features couples’ specials every February. You’ll not only share some uninterrupted quality time together, but you can customize your own romance package. One popular couple’s service is the Rekindle Ritual, which includes wine and vegan chocolate truffles in the relaxation room. This charming rustic spa, located in the heart of the city, has rave reviews and has earned #1 spot for day spas in Playa del Carmen. Their therapists are professionally trained with experience at such notable spas as Rosewood at Mayakoba and Hotel Esencia in the Riviera Maya.
What you should know: The spa is closed on Sundays. For more information or to book your rejuvenating spa encounter, please call (984) 113-7861.
4 – Dinner With A Private Chef
Services like a private chef are often too pricey to bother considering in most places around the world. However, you might be surprised at how reasonable these types of lavish services can be in the Riviera Maya.
If you are staying in the Playa del Carmen area, this is an idea that will without a doubt be the beginning of a magical night. Depending on the menu type you have in mind, your designated Bric ambassador will suggest the best chef for the occasion. Picture an al fresco dinner, under a starry sky, sipping wine as the waves pound the nearby shore. You receive first-rate service and dine in the privacy of your own vacation home without the hassle of cleaning afterward.
A custom curated menu and good wine with your favorite travel companion will undoubtably make for an evening that will be etched in your minds forever.
5 – Sunset Cruise
Romance blooms in the Caribbean, especially when you’re sailing the turquoise sea at sunset! No matter if you were born with sea legs or not, the clear waters and fiery sky spawn the perfect setting for passion. In the Riviera Maya, you have several options to choose from. There are catamaran or private yacht rentals that offer drinks and snacks, dinners and even overnight stays aboard the vessels.
Tip: Many of the reputable companies operate out of the harbors in Puerto Aventuras and Cancun. However, included in the reservation is transportation to and from Playa del Carmen.
6. – Overnight in Holbox
This sleepy, little island just 1 hour and 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen is a peaceful gem, ideal for a couple’s getaway. One night is all you need to be seduced by its charm. There are quaint hotels and adult-only accommodation options such as Hotel Palapa. Wake up to ocean views from your bed that will entice you to stay put for the remainder of the day. But should you want to do some exploring, bike rentals and kayaks are great modes of transportation for seeing the indescribable beauty of Holbox.
Islanders get around via golf carts. You won’t see a traffic light, nor bustling malls or massive night clubs. What you will find are colorful buildings painted by amazing graffiti artists and a few restaurants at which to indulge in delicious local cuisine. The slow pace will sweep you off to a tropical dreamland that you’ll never want to wake from.
Important Info: There are a few ways to get there that vary in price. You can rent a car, hire a van shuttle or take an ADO bus from the Cancun Airport or Playa del Carmen. For more info on getting to Holbox, visit Travel Yucatan.
7 – Late Lunch At C-Grill
The Thompson Beach House on Calle 8 at the beach offers the ultimate beach setting and relaxed Caribbean vibe. Lounge on in the sun and sand with a premium beverage as you savor the mesmerizing blue-green vista.
When the sun begins its decent, tables are lit with soft candles. You’ll love the intimate and elegant atmosphere accompanied by warm sea breezes and attentive service staff. For Valentine’s Day, C-Grill presents a special menu to further delight your senses.
8 – Dance To Live Music On The Powdery Soft Sand
Zenzi beach bar is a lively hangout for locals and visitors alike. The towering palm trees are adorned with lights at nightfall and minty mojitos are on high demand. Salsa bands take the stage every week and will lure to the sandy dance floor whether you’re a beginner or experienced dancer.
Dine seaside or just go for the nightly entertainment. There is ample seating and almost as many staff to make sure you are well taken care of. Find a quieter spot in a dimly lit corner or take a spin on the dance floor with your sweetheart. Either way, a night spent at Zenzi is unforgettable.
9 – Cooking Classes At Co.Co’s Culinary School
Coty’s exceptional talent as a culinary instructor is almost as incredible as her magnetic personality. She adds a bit of flare and a touch of her spicy character into every dish she prepares. Her classes are a unique and fun way to maintain a connection with your partner as you delve into an original experience.
Co.Co’s is a highly recommended date night option with small and engaging classes. This is a wonderful chance to sample local ingredients and traditional spices, as well as test top-notch tequilas. Not only will you bring home good memories, but also a taste of Mexico for future romantic dinners!
10 – Private Day Tour To The Colonial City Of Valladolid
This is a special place to visit with a loved one. Private van services will guide you on a historical trek to discover the vivid tales of the region that date back hundreds of years. The city of Valladolid itself is safe and fairly easy to navigate by foot. There is a former convent, impressive cathedrals, monuments, and a Mexican folk art collection to explore. The town square bustles as vendors sell customary Mexican treats. Shaded benches surrounding the main fountain offer a comfortable place to people watch.
Just a few minutes outside of Valladolid is Cenote Dzitnup. The crystal clear waters are refreshingly cool, and are encircled by remarkable cave formations. The entrance fees to cenotes are minimal (usually not more than $120 Mexican Pesos or about $6USD.) But to have a chance to view these limestone phenomena is priceless.
At the center of town sits the San Gervasio Cathedral. In the evening, when it is illuminated, the colonial church offers an impeccable photo op. A divine end to a magical day of roaming and exploring is dinner at Meson del Marques. It is a centuries-old, restored mansion that has been converted into a hotel and restaurant. A woman sits at the entrance warming handmade tortillas over an open fire. Adding to the charming atmosphere is a gorgeous fountain, which flows in the middle of a courtyard, and an aroma of Yucatecan cuisine in the air.
What you need to know: Valladolid can be explored in one day as it is only two hours from Playa del Carmen. You can use a private van service or you have the option of the ADO bus from Playa for around $150 pesos ($8USD.)
11 – Playa del Carmen Food Tour
Trying something new together and exploring a fun city like Playa del Carmen is a great way to strengthen a loving bond. Furthermore, you can fondly reminisce about the people you’ve meet and the memories you’ve made for years to come.
Chef Emily, a.k.a. The Cozumel Chef, trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Now residing on the island of Cozumel, she offers cooking classes and authentic street food tours in Cozumel and in Playa del Carmen.
On this walking tour, you’ll have the opportunity to really dine like a local. Sample popular regional dishes such as cochinita pibil, hearty bowls of Mexican pozole, and of course tacos! The flavors will not disappoint and are as vibrant and interesting as the people of Playa.
You’ll experience delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine, while seeing neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen that most visitors unfortunately never take the chance to see.
Tip: You can choose to customize the 2-2.5 hour tour based on your preferences. For example, ask to sample seafood or seasonal fare.
12 – A Beach Or Cenote Photo Shoot
The Caribbean Sea provides a stunning backdrop for a session booked with a local photographer. However, there are literally thousands of hidden gems called cenotes (limestone sink holes) throughout the Rivera Maya that are beautiful beyond your imagination.
Wedding photographers like Del Sol Photography in Playa del Carmen, host photo shoots at these masterpieces of Mother Nature The finished products are nothing short of extraordinary. A professional can capture candid moments of your love in these surreal settings that you can cherish forever.
If you’re going to be in Playa del Carmen around February 14th and one of these suggestions appeals to you, call us at (984)803-3191 for more info. You can also stop by the Bric Vacation Rentals office on Calle 38 near the beach. If we can assist in making your romantic beach vacation even better, we’re happy to help!