It’s no secret that Hollywood movie stars love to romance in Mexico. Why not? It’s close by, and it has a rich cultural heritage that provides for some stunning settings. Last week we were sending out tweets of Jennifer Aniston shopping in Cabo, Tara Banks beaching in Riviera de Maya, and Kate Hudson flashing her bump in Punta Mita (she’s pregnant for those of you maybe not up on the latest tinsel town gossip) we thought we’d take a run down through some sure bets for romance south of the border.
Mexico and Romance—Made For Each Other
With technicolor sunsets over gorgeous beaches, get-away-from-it-all ambience at a thousand different places, and a warm, sultry climate, Mexico has always had a well-deserved rep as a romantic destination. People come here to get married and/or have a honeymoon for a reason! People in love drop into Mexico and slow down, hold hands and stroll the beach, strip down to the essentials, literally and figuratively, swim together and play in the waves, drink margaritas at sunset bars with mariachis serenading—well, you get the picture! It’s a pretty one, meant for people in love, whether they be newlyweds or longtime lovers or older, married folks. Or illicit lovedogs sneaking off for an adulterous fling. Mexico is made for romance. You want romance south of the border? Check these spots out!
SAYULITA We here in Sayulita think this might just be the most romantic spot in Mexico, if you happen to be on our perfect beach at the perfect moment, when the sun, clouds, sea and sky, (with a few wheeling birds and crashing waves providing foreground detail) do their amazing sunset thing just for you two. Why else would Sayulita be not only a honeymoon but a wedding destination?
LOS CABOS The tackily overbuilt but still alluring Cabo San Lucas has always been counterpointed by the quieter and more Mexican San Jose del Cabo down the road apiece, and also by a handful of beautifully-designed, elegant resorts tucked into coves and beaches between the two Cabos. One of the finest is Las Ventanas Al Paraiso. Aside from the great design, food, service, and the rest of the upscale deal, what makes this posh spot romantic is, well, their romantic packages. These include, for example, breakfast in bed; a private aphrodisiac dinner created by the executive chef; a dawn, sunset, or moonlit carriage ride through the desert with a picnic basket; a private yacht cruise; a message in a bottle delivered while you dine on the sand; and so on. These things cost plenty of money, but it’s the thought that counts, and also the location: on an amazing stretch of Baja beach. Get out your checkbook and check it out at lasventanas.com
COSTA ALEGRE A stretch of mostly deserted beachfront between Puerto Vallarta to the north and Manzanillo to the south, the Happy Coast has been home to a couple of sweet small towns forever, and home to a couple of Mexico’s most elegant, exclusive, and posh resorts for the last decade-plus. You can find you and your true romance a fine, budget-priced hotel in a town like Manzanilla or Barra de Navidad, and easily trip away from whatever busyness these towns might impose on you—trip away and find a secluded, romantic, untracked beach, where you can fall in love all over again.
Or you can squander your life savings or a good chunk of it and spend a few days, a week, or a wedding plus honeymoon at Las Alamandas, one of the finest, most exclusive, and most expensive seaside resorts in Mexico and probably the world. 1500 acres of private jungle retreat are home to just 7 villas here, and a maximum of 42 guests.
The hotel is two hours south of Puerto Vallarta, and 90 minutes north of Manzanillo. Or, if you don’t want to drive, hire a jet and land at the resort’s private landing strip. Now that’s romantic!
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE Let’s get off the beach for a minute and head up into the hills, to what is arguably the most beautiful town in Mexico, San Miguel De Allende. San Miguel was long ago “discovered” by wandering gringos, and has been transformed into a picture-perfect replica of a real Mexican town, with lots of American money and energy invested in keeping it “authentic.” That sounds a trifle cynical, but the truth is, it has worked—San Miguel is simply gorgeous, exquisitely chromatic and as photogenic as a movie set. Spending a few days or weeks or even months there, in a rented home, with your spouse or significant other, definitely makes for true romance, whether new or rekindled.
Or get out of town–consider honeymooning at Hacienda Las Trancas, a 450-year old hacienda with a haunted, fascinating history—Father Hidalgo, Mexico’s revolutionary liberator of the slaves, stayed there, and the owner of the hacienda at one time owned a million acres of land. Located outside the wonderful crafts-making town of Dolores Hidalgo, halfway between Guanajuato and San Miguel, this ancient, history-steeped place was transformed into a luxury hotel with just 11 suites, and you can stay there. Take an online look at Haciendalastrancas.com Pretty cool. There’s a vineyard, horses and stables, miles of trails, and fabulous cuisine. Of course they do weddings, ranging from low-key, stress-free, small scale events up to spectacular productions with mariachi bands and fireworks shows.
YELAPA is a little town on the south side of Bahia Banderas, the deep horseshoe- shaped bay which is anchored at its base by Puerto Vallarta. Yelapa, long a hippie, runaway/getaway hideout kinda town, is reachable only by boat from Vallarta or Boca de Tomatlan, the last town on the road (there are dirt tracks to Yelapa but not advisable for travelers in rental cars). This boats-only access has kept Yelapa small, quiet, clean, and beautiful—a perfect spot for a romantic interlude. We recommend the Verana, with its 9 unique individual guestrooms and cottages, including Casa Amor, the house of love. Look at Verana.com, and you might find the romantic casita you’ve been dreaming of.
RIVIERA De MAYA On the other side of Mexico, the Caribbean side, outside the bustling resort towns like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, there are still miles of untracked beach, and behind these beaches you can find gorgeous resorts, designed, it seems, for romance. One such place is the Maroma Resort and Spa, located 20 miles south of tacky, tawdry Cancun—20 miles takes you out of the tack and into the tasteful environs of a contemporary resort with a Mayan theme, on its own bay, with 25 acres of beachfront jungle—and, naturally, some totally enticing “romance” packages. There are several, including Sacred Mayan Love, which offers a Temazcal purifying ritual followed by dinner under the stars; a picnic with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a Mayan mud treatment for two in the Kinan Spa. You get the picture—sexy, sensual, and true to the locale, with its Mayan-themed treatments and rituals. maromahotel.com
Of course one can experience such romantic interludes without booking fancy rooms at beach front resorts with sexy mud wraps; and of course there are hundreds if not thousands of equally or more romantic places and experiences to be had in Mexico. But why not let some experts in the art of romance, Mexican style, set you up? My experience has been that people here know how much service or assistance you want and need, whether it be mud, champagne, or massage–and then they’re really good at disappearing, leaving you in the hands of your partner.
- Top 5 vacation rental towns in Mexico (cuponismo.com)
- Polo in San Pancho, Mexico (cuponismo.com)
- Top Mexico Vacation deals (cuponismo.com)
- Mollie’s lair, wet feet and a drifting sandal – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (travelpod.com)