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Days of romance in the Riviera Maya and beyond

On your next trip to Royal Resorts spend the day exploring the Riviera Maya and Yucatan with the one you love. A day on the beach, out on the water or discovering a city full of history can be a magical and unforgettable experience. Here are some ideas for travel adventures.

Riviera Maya Beach Hopping

Start the day with a stroll along the beach at dawn. See the glory of a Caribbean sunrise, listen to the waves and watch the pelicans on their morning fly past. It’s a beautiful beginning to another day in paradise.

Pack a picnic basket with goodies like roast chicken from the Royal Express menu, grab a bottle of wine from The Royal Market and head off for a day of Riviera Maya beach hopping. There are so many lovely beaches to choose from along this stretch of shoreline with idyllic spots to be found in Puerto Morelos, Maroma, Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Xcacel, Bahias de Punta Soliman and Tulum, among others. Choose your favorite sheltered bay or  crescent beach or visit several during the day.

On your way back, plan to call in at Riviera Maya capital Playa del Carmen for a spot of shopping, a cocktail and a candlelit dinner at one of the many eclectic restaurants along Quinta Avenida and neighboring streets.

Island Sunsets

Catch the ferry across the bay to Isla Mujeres and spend the morning on the palm-lined beach of Playa Norte. Picture-perfect for its turquoise waters, Playa Norte often finds its way into lists of the world’s best beaches in online travel magazines.

After a lunch of fresh seafood at one of the tropical thatched restaurants along the shoreline, it’s time to explore the island. Hire a golf cart and drive to Punta Sur for incredible views of the Caribbean with Cancun Hotel Zone in the distance.

As an alternative, board a yacht for a cruise around the island and a spot of snorkeling along coral reefs in the crystal-clear waters of the bay. Keep a look out for sea turtles and even dolphins.

Back on the Isla waterfront, make your way to one of the palapa beach bars to order a drink, watch local fishermen unloading their catch and wait for the sunset. Playa Norte is one of the best places in the area to watch the sun go down.

Once you have visited one of the Mexican Caribbean’s islands, you’ll want to discover the others. Travel further afield to the island of Holbox just off the Gulf coast in northern Quintana Roo, another romantic spot with truly spectacular sunsets, long beaches and tropical ambiance.

Set sail on a romantic sunset dinner cruise

All aboard for a romantic sunset cruise this February. Board the famous Spanish galleon Columbus for a voyage across the Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun. Dine on charcoal-grilled lobster and sip a Caribbean cocktail as you listen to soft jazz performed by a saxophone player.

Another option is to cast off on a yacht for a champagne dinner cruise in the bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres or a catamaran cruise along the Riviera Maya coast.

Whatever your choice, you’ll enjoy a romantic Caribbean evening under a star-filled sky, a perfect way to celebrate love.

Yucatan serenade

Plan a getaway to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan, a historic city that is still steeped in romance. Spend the day exploring its 16th-century churches and convents, quiet squares and magnificent 19th-century mansions built at the height of the henequen boom. Visit museums and galleries and shop for Mexican arts and crafts in its boutiques and markets.

Merida was founded by the Spaniards in 1542 amidst the ruins of an ancient Maya city of T’ho. In the late 19th century, the city became rich from the cultivation of a native agave plant called henequen or sisal. Prized by the Maya since pre-Hispanic times for its tough fiber used to make rope and bags, henequen became so lucrative that it was called “green gold,” as demand for the fiber in international markets skyrocketed. Merida was one of the richest cities in the world and its wealthiest inhabitants commissioned elegant homes and civic buildings inspired by the belle époque architectural style of Paris.

A Merida evening

As the sun goes down it is time to look for a spot for dinner and there are restaurants and cuisines to suit every taste in Merida. However, to catch the true romance of yesteryear you should dine in a romantic candlelit colonial courtyard filled with plants and listen to the ballads of guitar-strumming trova musicians as they serenade guests.

After your meal, walk to the main square or Plaza Grande where you’ll find more musicians ready to serenade passers by and flower sellers eager to sell you bunches of roses, fragrant lilies, gardenias and nosegays and boutonnieres of local orchid-like white flowers called mariposas.

Stroll around the square and watch the video mapping show that flickers across the façade of the towering San Ildelfonso Cathedral, Mexico’s oldest cathedral, Casa de Montejo, the 16th-century home of the family that conquered the Yucatan and is now a museum, and Government House.

There’s a cultural event somewhere in Merida every night and on Monday it is the turn of the square with a traditional folk dance performance in front of City Hall.

In the 19th century, Merida’s leading families would drive along the Merida streets in their carriages and calesas or horse-drawn traps still ply their trade in the evening. However, it is just as romantic to wander north along Calle 60 past more colonial churches and leafy squares with open-air cafes and bars. En route, you’ll pass the Universidad de Yucatan, one of the oldest in the Americas; the elegant Peon Contreras Theater built in neoclassical style, and Plaza Santa Lucia, site of a trova concert every Thursday.

Head further north along Calle 60 for several more blocks and turn right on to Paseo de Montejo. This wide tree-lined boulevard was inspired by the Champs Élyseés and is the setting for the opulent mansions built during the henequen boom of the late 19th century and the first years of the 20th century. Standing silent now, these imposing town houses and chateaus are testimony to a time when Merida had more millionaires than New York.

As you stroll along Paseo de Montejo, stop for dinner, a coffee or ice cream at an open-air café or sip a cocktail under the stars in a romantic rooftop terrace bar.

Book your trip today

You can book day trips, sunset cruises and yacht trips and longer excursions in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan with Thomas More Travel. And they also offer private trips in a van with your own driver if you like the idea of beach hopping and a picnic or exploring off the beaten track.

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