Teds Travels – Yucatan’s Honeymoon Haciendas
Are you looking for unique honeymoon ideas? Look no further: Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is the place to go.
My last columns have focused on Latin America’s great outdoors and its breathtaking (sometimes literally) adventures, but what I truly love about Latin America is the diversity it has to offer. Take Mexico, for instance. Its colourful colonial cities, mouth-watering cuisine, and artsy neighbourhoods will conquer any traveller’s heart. But if you travel to the south of the country, an exclusive collection of five luxurious haciendas await in the Yucatan peninsula.
Picture this: you are enjoying a refreshing drink with your special other while swimming in a pool, surrounded by the sounds of the jungle. You look at your watch to check the time. You have an imperative appointment with a soothing massage. You get out of the pool, walk to your room, and find a rustic palace framed with candlelight to welcome you.
All the Haciendas that you’ll visit deliver the splurges of a luxury resort tucked away in the middle of the mystical Mayan jungle. They are ostentatious, rustic, and exotic, so make sure you spend at least four or five nights at one of these cultural gems. The Yucatan Haciendas were built between the XVI and XVII centuries as ‘henequen’ plantations; processing the fibrous plant into rope. The Spanish mechanized henequen production and exported its products; transforming Yucatan into one of Mexico’s wealthiest states.
After a few days of romantic interlude, venture into the white city of Merida: a quite paradise with tree-lined streets and elegant colonial buildings. The city is Yucatan’s cultural capital, so you won’t have to walk far through its hidden plazas to find song, dance, and top-notch cuisine. In fact, Yucatan’s gastronomy is considered an intangible cultural heritage in Mexico, so make sure you visit some traditional restaurants while you’re there.
If you’re wanderlust is not yet quenched, rent a car and visit some of the Mayan ruins that lay a short drive away from Merida. One option is to follow Ruta Puuc, a 41km path that crosses some of Mexico’s major Mayan cultural heritage sites. Uxmal is my favourite, but Kabah and Chichen Itza, named one of the new seven wonders of the world, are also close by. If you really want to venture, you can go as far as you want: Explore more Mayan ruins in Chiapas, delight at Oaxaca’s cuisine, explore Belize’s Blue Hole, or explore the colonial cities of Guatemala. The path is yours to choose. But whatever you do, please take my advice and finish your holiday in Holbox, Isla Mujeres, or Tulum -Mexico’s pristine beaches (no, not Cancun; never Cancun!). After all, is there a better way to begin a marriage and end an unforgettable journey than with a margarita in hand?
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au