X

Seniors

Maternity

Branding

Boudoir

February 5, 2024

Top 10 Places to Elope in Mexico

Where to Elope in Mexico

When it comes to choosing where in the world to elope, Mexico offers an endless array of stunning backdrops that can turn your intimate wedding day into a magical affair. From pristine beaches to rooftop gardens to ancient cenotes, each location has a unique charm. If you’re in search of the perfect spot to run away together that offers a perfect blend of stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, delicious food and romantic adventure, then look no further. Here are my top ten suggestions on where to elope in Mexico.

I’ve divided this list into different regions of Mexico to make it even easier to narrow down the best location for your Mexico elopement.

  • The Yucatán Peninsula
    • Cancún
    • Tulum
    • Playa del Carmen
    • Isla Holbox
    • Bacalar
  • The Pacific Coast
    • Sayulita
    • Puerto Vallarta
  • Interior Mexico
    • Mexico City
    • Oaxaca
    • San Miguel de Allende

The Yucatán Peninsula

Along the Caribbean coastline, the Yucatán Peninsula is a large peninsula in southeast Mexico that also includes portions of Belize and Guatemala. Within the country of Mexico, the Riviera Maya is a resort district along the Caribbean coast of the peninsula within the state of Quintana Roo stretching from Cancún in the north to Tulum in the south, and beyond. The Riviera Maya is famous for its soft white sand beaches, dreamy sunrises, turquoise waters and tourist-safe destinations, though it does have a growing seaweed problem. It’s very popular with tourists and also includes the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is the second longest in the world and great for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Click image for full Google Map

Cancún

Cancún is the starting point for almost any Riviera Maya vacation as it is home to the Cancún International Airport. Cancún is known as the party town of the Riviera Maya. famous for it’s resorts, nightlife, and beach clubs, it’s a major tourist hub. With a population of almost 900,000, there is no shortage of places to stay, places to eat, and things to do. If you are looking at a destination wedding on the beach at an all-inclusive resort and with lots of comfortable amenities, Cancun may be the right place for you. However, if you are looking for a low-key or adventurous elopement, you may want to consider another location on this list. While Cancún may be the perfect spot for party animals, it also has a higher crime rate and higher prices than many other places nearby, so be prepared to spend more and take extra safety precautions.

Where to Elope in Cancún

Tulum

Tulum is not just a destination, it’s a vibe. If you’re looking for a place that is equal parts luxury and laid-back, Tulum may be for you. White-sand beaches (the best in the area), turquoise waters, and all the boho and artsy vibes make Tulum an idyllic elopement destination. Picture this: swinging in a macrame swing on a quiet beach while sipping on a Mezcalita, living that beach bum life.

Tulum is divided into three different zones: the Hotel Zone, the Town and the Archaeological Zone. Tulum has a population of around 46,000 is also considered a Pueblo Mágico (Magic town) and one of the safest locations for tourists in Mexico. While much of the Riviera Maya is characterized by beachside resorts, Tulum focuses on smaller boutique hotels. The town itself is not very walkable and is a 90-minute drive from the nearest airport (Cancún International Airport), so I suggest renting a car when you arrive in Cancún.

Where to elope in Tulum:

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is yet another gorgeous coastal city located along the Riviera Maya. Located centrally in the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is more energetic than Tulum but not as urban and busy as Cancún. If you want a beach destination that is easy to navigate with lots of amenities and lots to do at all hours of the day, Playa del Carmen may be the spot for you.

Playa del Carmen has a population of around 305,000. It offers a mixture of resorts, AirBNBs, and boutique hotels all varying in cost. The town overall is very pedestrian-friendly and very family-friendly. It is a 45-minute drive from the nearest airport (Cancún International Airport), so I suggest renting a car when you arrive in Cancún. You can also take the ADO bus or a taxi and walk or bike around Playa del Carmen if you don’t plan on leaving Playa del Carmen.

Where to elope in Playa del Carmen

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is a hidden gem in the Yucatán Peninsula. It is a tranquil fishing town on an island off the north shore of the Yucatan. It’s 26 miles long (46 km) and less than a mile wide (1.5 km). In Yucatec Maya, Holbox means “black hole”, a name given because it is separated from the mainland by about 6 miles (10 km) of a shallow and dark lagoon. Despite the ominous name, Holbox is a quaint and artistic town and its beaches are calm and shallow with soft white sand.

The only way to get to Isla Holbox is by ferry from Chiquilá or to charter a small plane from Cancún or Playa del Carmen. There are virtually no cars in Isla Holbox, so the only way to get around is by renting a golf cart, moped, or bicycle. At the western tip of the island, there is a lagoon called Punta Cocos, where bioluminescence can be seen on dark summer nights. This quaint little artsy village is truly magical.

Where to Elope in Isla Holbox

Bacalar

Bacalar is another hidden gem and Pueblo Mágico (Magic town) in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula along the border of Belize. It’s located on Lake Bacalar, which is known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors, due to it’s various shades of blue and turquoise. Bacalar is home to Cenote Azul (not to be confused with the cenote of the same name in Playa del Carmen), which is one of the deepest cenotes in Mexico at 300 feet deep. In this cenote you can swim, snorkle, scuba dive, or rent kayaks. It is also home to Los Rapidos, a naturally occuring lazy river. To truly see the best sights in Bacalar, you will want to rent a car as Cenote Azul is 3.5 miles (5.5 km) and over 8 miles (14 km) to Los Rapidos.

Where to Elope in Bacalar

Elopement Activities in the Yucatán Peninsula

  • Swim and play at any of the local beaches
  • Rent jetskis, kayaks, or paddleboards
  • Swim in a Cenote
  • Snorkel around the coral reefs (where allowed)
  • Visit an archaeological site like El Meco or El Rey
  • Vixit Xcaret or any of its sister parks
  • Visit MUSA, an underwater sculpture museum
  • Ride the Cancún Ferris Wheel
  • Take a pottery class
  • Visit “The Yellow City” of Izamal
  • Take a mud bath at Laguna Kaan Luum
  • Have a picnic on the beach
  • Visit a Mayan Ruin like Chichen Itza, Tulum Ruins or Coba.
  • Sample authentic cuisine from street vendors
  • Go horseback riding on the beach
  • Visit an art museum like Sfer Ik
  • Tour the Sian Ka’an biosphere
  • Tour the pink lakes of Las Coloradas
  • Take an authentic Mayan cooking class
  • Lay around in a hammock
  • Charter a catamaran at sunset
  • Swim with Whale Sharks in Isla Holbox
  • Float down Los Rapidos, a naturally ocuring lazy river in Bacalar

The Pacific Coast

Along the Pacific coast of Mexico, the sand is golden and so are the sunsets. The beaches are rockier and more scenic, and the water is a deep emerald green. Currents are stronger than they are on the east coast of Mexico, which makes it a surfer’s paradise. Pacific Mexico is also perfect for those who want to be surrounded by Mexico’s rich art and history as well as the ocean. During the day you’ll find plenty of art galleries, museums, and beautiful architecture, while at night you can dance to salsa music while drinking a locally made cerveza. Pacific Mexico does have more of a reputation for crime, so be sure you check current travel advisories before travelling.

Click image for full Google Map

Sayulita

Nestled on the Pacific coast amidst the Mexican jungle, Sayulita is a Pueblo Mágico (Magic town) exuding boho-chic charm with splashes of vibrant color. Sayulita has grown from a quaint fishing village to a popular surfing and wedding destination. Here you’ll find vibrant street art, colorful mexican banners, sandy beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere that perfectly complements the spirit of a carefree elopement. Sayulita also has a diverse culinary scene that’s perfect for foodies. The beaches are a little more rugged than they are in the Riviera Maya, which adds a little more mood and character. It is a 21 mile drive to Sayulita from the closest airport, the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, and you can either rent a car, take a taxi or uber, or you can take a bus from the airport to Sayulita.

Where to elope in Sayulita

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a major city on the west coast of Mexico, settled in the middle of the horseshoe shaped Bay of Banderas. It boasts 50 miles of coastline, a busy nightlife, a thriving art scene, while also being family friendly. Downtown Puerto Vallarta is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Mexico as well as being dubbed “the gayest city in Mexico”, so if you are an LGBTQ couple looking for a safe and welcoming elopement destination, you should consider Puerto Vallarta. If you are not in the LGBTQ scene, Puerto Vallarta still has lots to offer. Puerto Vallarta is situated under the Sierra Madre mountain range, so there is plenty of trails to hike and jungle to explore. The cuisine is considered some of the best in Mexico, so it’s perfect for foodies interested in cooking classes or food tours. Transportation is easy in Puerto Vallarta, with taxis, ubers, and public buses readily available.

Where to elope in Puerto Vallarta

Elopement activities in Pacific Mexico

  • Horseback riding in the Sierra Madre mountains
  • Rent a scooter and explore
  • Sample traditional seafood dishes
  • ATV riding in the jungle
  • Food tours and cooking classes
  • Exploring art galleries
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Watch or hire a local mariachi band
  • Take surfing lessons
  • Visit the Botanical Gardens
  • Take a whale watching tour
  • Explore the colorful Sayulita Plaza
  • Ride bikes along the beach
  • Release a sea turtle at Campamento Tortuguero
  • Book a couples massage on the beach
  • Hike one of the trails in the Sierra Madre Mountains
  • Go ziplining
  • Visit the cemetary at Playa de los Muertos around Día de los Muertos
  • Walk the Malecon Boardwalk
  • Go rock climbing
  • Walk the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta, also known as Viejo Vallarta
  • Dance on the beach under the moon

Interior Mexico

Interior Mexico encompasses a vast area of land and many different landscapes that all have one thing in common: they are not near the east or west coast. While that may seem like a major downside, interior Mexico is bursting with history, culture, beautiful architecture, and some of the best food in the country. Many areas of Interior Mexico have travel advisories in place so be sure to check them before traveling.

Mexico City

Mexico City, a sprawling metropolis nestled in the heart of Mexico, is a cultural hub, boasting a rich tapestry woven from ancient traditions and contemporary influences. It was the cultural and political center of the Aztec Empire, and it’s now the largest spanish-speaking city in the world with a population of over 9 million people. Mexico City is a great elopement or intimate wedding location for couples who want a more urban adventure, exploring restaurants, art galleries, and architecture, rather than beaches or mountains.

Where to Elope in Mexico City

Oaxaca

The city of Oaxaca is renown for its historical significance and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The city makes you feel like you stepped back in time to ancient Meso-America with its cobblestone streets, artist markets, indigenous communities, lush green hills and valleys, and festivals showcasing traditional dances, costumes, and rituals. Downtown Oaxaca is a mixture of colonial architecture and vibrant colors, textures and beautiful bougainvillea flowers. It’s also a culinary treasure, especially known for it’s mozzarella-style Oaxaca cheese as well as traditional chocolate, mole, and mezcal. Life in Oaxaca tends to move at a relaxed pace. The siesta is still a common tradition, and the ambiance is perfect for leisurely strolls, sipping coffee in quaint cafes, and enjoying the laid-back lifestyle.

Where to Elope in Oaxaca

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

San Miguel de Allende is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an old silver mining town steeped in colonial history that feels just as much like Europe as it does Mexico. Bougainvillea flowered vines can be found along the walls of beautiful baroque architecture as you wander the cobblestone streets. San Miguel is a bit on the touristy side, and is a more expensive destination than much of Interior Mexico. That being said, it has charming-yet-posh boutique hotels, high-end restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops and a beautifully preserved historical center.

Where to Elope in San Miguel de Allende

Elopement Activities in Central Mexico

Summary

When it comes to choosing where in the world to elope, Mexico has so much to offer. Whether you want to elope on a white sand beach surrounded by hammocks or in a big city surrounded by art and history, Mexico could be the perfect destination wedding location. Are you ready to run away together? Let me help you plan and photograph your wildly unique wedding day!

Considering a surprise proposal in Alaska?

I’d love to be considered as your photographer! Simply fill out the contact form to get started!

Hey there, I’m Sierra! I’m your photographer, travel guide, and biggest fangirl. When you work with me, you can expect to dance, run, piggyback, motorboat, swear, laugh, and get messy. So what I’m saying is: wear comfortable shoes, throw the rulebook away, and don’t take life too seriously (none of us get out alive).

You might also like

share this post

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    TO BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHATS NEW!

    Sign up for the Newsletter

    Your message has been sent.
    We'll BE IN TOUCH SHORTLY!

    THANK YOU!

    Meanwhile: