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Following their stunning ocean-view destination wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico, Brooke (née Christy) and David Corcos stayed in Mexico to experience a romantic and adventurous 10-day honeymoon in Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, and Isla Holbox.
Learn more about their honeymoon itinerary for four nights in Tulum, three nights in Playa Del Carmen, and two nights in Isla Holbox:
When selecting a honeymoon destination, Brooke and David knew they wanted to celebrate their new marriage in paradise. Just before booking an over-water bungalow at a resort in Bora Bora, the couple discovered it was not possible to travel there directly after their wedding due to Covid restrictions. Thus, they decided to stay within Mexico to ensure there wouldn’t be any issues – giving them the opportunity to visit areas of the country they had never been before, with Tulum first on their list. “We love that the east coast of Mexico features warm ocean water and a more tropical environment than what we’re used to when visiting Cabo,” affirms Brooke. “We loved the experience!”
Having learned of Encantada Tulum from Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior, a blogger who travels often and shares unbiased reviews, they booked four nights at the boutique hotel right on the sand. “With only eight rooms, we felt like VIPs the whole time,” confirms David. “We never had to ask for anything, and if we did need something, the concierge was only a step or WhatsApp message away.” They also appreciated the air conditioning – as many Tulum hotels have poor AC or none at all. Each day, the newlyweds enjoyed the hotel’s tasty breakfast and spent as much time as possible on the private beach – “order the pepino y chile serrano margarita and the trio of quesadillas!” suggests Brooke.
With Tulum being the longest leg of their honeymoon, the newlyweds made sure to explore the town and visit popular attractions. “To the surprise of the hotel staff, we planned to use the complimentary bikes for our excursion to Gran Cenote and the Tulum Archaeological Zone,” explains Brooke; however, after trekking five miles through rain-filled potholes, they decided to rent a Vespa to continue their adventure, which they recommend to other travelers. After paying a minimal entrance fee, they explored Gran Cenote, a natural limestone sinkhole popular for snorkeling. “We loved seeing the crystal-clear water, watching the turtles swim, and floating with each other like no one else was there,” smiles Brooke. They also highly recommend visiting the Mayan ruins.
Besides the beaches and must-see sites, Brooke and David were most excited to tour Tulum through the cuisine. First on their list was a reservation at ARCA, which boasts an ever-changing menu of unique open-fire cooked dishes and incredible cocktails – “try the Har Mar Superstar with mezcal, ginger, honey, lemon, and thyme, and if you’re feeling a bit daring, David loved the El Solar, a spicy mezcal cocktail served with a dried grasshopper you’re supposed to eat after taking a sip!” says Brooke.
Another favorite was Nômade’s La Popular, which “had the best vegan al pastor tacos and top-notch shrimp tacos,” says Brooke. “We were seated on a swing bench with an ocean view. So romantic and fun! It really felt like Tulum vibes here.” For those also visiting the cenote and ruins, they recommend stopping for lunch between the two at Taqueria Honorio. “They’re known for the cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork) tacos, and they did not disappoint,” adds David. “There was a 20-minute line when we arrived, but it’s well worth the wait!”
Photo by Affyrm Studio
Enjoying a seaside massage. “We had the best deep-tissue massage of our lives right on the beach, so we could hear the waves crashing along with the relaxing music. It was absolute heaven!”
Trying new restaurants. “We heard great things about ARCA, and it did not disappoint! This was our favorite dinner of the honeymoon; everything was so wonderful, unique, and delicious.”
Dining by the ocean. “We had a romantic, private oceanfront dinner our last night there. We were served chilled Champagne, mezcal, and a five-course meal. It was amazing!”
“We wanted one of the destinations on our honeymoon to be at a hotel we never left, and this was the one!” exclaims Brooke of their three “wonderful” nights at Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen. The expansive, villa-only property allowed the couple to truly revel in newlywed bliss with a 3,000-square-foot villa featuring a private yard and swimming pool.
“It was hard to make our way to some of the other amenities at the hotel, including Sands Beach Club, because being in our own backyard was so amazing,” notes Brooke. However, the pair did visit the new beach club complete with comfortable loungers, great service, and “excellent margaritas,” she smiles. They also sampled the extensive breakfast buffet, savored Thai food at Saffron located right on the water, and loved the Mexican cuisine at Copa – “be sure to ask for their salsa trio!” adds David.
One of their favorite moments of the entire honeymoon was a private dinner on a traditional Mexican trajinera boat through the lagoon of the Mayakoba properties. “We saw wildlife including two crocodiles, which is supposedly quite rare!” David remembers of the tour, which offers an array of delicious courses. “The meals were all cooked on the boat while we were enjoying the prior course. It was perfectly romantic and unforgettable!”
If they could do anything differently, they would have booked a massage at the spa. “Since it’s a Thai-owned hotel, all of the massage therapists are trained in Thailand,” Brooke describes of the treatments.
Dining on the water. “The incredibly romantic private Ixchel boat dinner was so special and memorable for us. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”
Being pampered. “The service was excellent, and everyone we came into contact with was extremely kind and accommodating.”
Drawing a bath. “We returned to our villa after dinner one night to find rose petals and candles leading to an outdoor bubble bath with a chilled bottle of wine – so romantic!”
Since the majority of their trip took place at well-known destinations, Brooke and David were drawn to Isla Holbox for its adventurous, unique vibe. “We really wanted part of our honeymoon to feel like an off-the-grid escape with crystal-clear Caribbean water,” explains David. They took the ferry from Chiquilá to Holbox, arriving just as it began pouring rain. “There aren’t any cars on the island, so the 10-minute golf-cart taxi to our hotel was a wet and bumpy adventure, but we couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear,” says Brooke.
At last, they arrived at Hotel Punta Caliza, a family-run property with traditional thatched roofs and rooms boasting private plunge pools connecting to an Instagram-worthy shared pool in the heart of the hotel. “We would definitely recommend it, especially to younger couples!” confirms David. “It’s not the best choice for those looking to be waited on, but it has a laid-back, romantic feel.”
Even staying two nights, the pair felt as though they were friends with the staff. In addition to being invited to the hotel’s anniversary party complete with tacos, margaritas, and live music, the honeymooners attended a private mezcal tasting with the owners’ son at his namesake restaurant, Temoc Tacos & Mezcal. Before heading home, they made sure to experience the hotel’s nearby beach club. “We really enjoyed laying out and drinking margaritas and cervezas as newlyweds,” Brooke adds.
Going off the grid. “It was really cool to not have WiFi until we were at our hotel. It helped us be in the moment and soak up the last two days of our honeymoon.”
Sampling mezcal. “We were able to discover our favorite varietals and had such a great tasting that we stayed for dinner and chatted with Temoc while listening to live music.”
Wading in the water. “The water was super clear and shallow, so we could walk far out. We really felt like it was just us in the beautiful ocean and even held a small starfish!”
Brooke and David wouldn’t change a thing about their honeymoon –except maybe extending their trip to stay an extra night on Isla Holbox and taking part in additional activities in each locale, such as kite surfing and jet skiing.
“All of the destinations were so different, but together they gave us the perfect balance we needed for our honeymoon of beach lounging, being pampered, and experiencing some adventure,” shares Brooke.
“Rent a Vespa in Tulum! Bikes are great for shorter distances, but many roads aren’t paved, so a Vespa for distances longer than two miles or so would be preferred!”
“Try to do a mix of lounging at the beach and venturing off into town. We loved experiencing everything else there was around us.”
“If possible, choose a time to visit that’s not the rainy season!”
“Utilize the resources you have at your disposal, even before the trip starts! All of our transportation was arranged by the various hotels to get us to and from each destination.”
“Ask locals for advice! We were happy to learn that a faraway beach written up in many travel blogs wasn’t much different from the closer beach. This saved us so much time, so we could relax for the entire day!”