It’s no secret that Jamaica and Quintana Roo, Mexico, are two of the most popular areas for a Caribbean honeymoon.
You can find many excellent comparisons between Jamaica and Mexico online—our review focuses on the best tropical honeymoon destinations for you!
We looked at:
- The most stunning beaches in Jamaica or the best beaches in Mexico
- The best hotels in Jamaica or where to stay in Mexico and the best honeymoon suites
- Jamaica or Mexico—the best food
- Jamaica or Mexico—best nightlife
If you love sports like golf or scuba diving, you may also think about Jamaica vs. Mexico.
We would love to help you plan your tropical honeymoon!
Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations in Jamaica and Mexico
We reviewed the best honeymoon destinations for you based on our experience and reviews from other travelers.
Your top three honeymoon destinations in Jamaica are Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios, including the brand-new and exquisite Sandals Dunn’s River.
Your top two honeymoon destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast are Riviera Maya and Cancun.
There are also two very important things to consider when planning your honeymoon in Jamaica or Mexico. Here’s what to know.
Staying Safe in Mexico or Jamaica and the Best Time of the Year to Visit
Traveling safely is crucial, and choosing a resort that puts your security first is important.
Check out these resort safety guidelines, and consult the US State Department website for specific travel advisories for your honeymoon destination (most areas of concern are outside well-known tourist districts).
Generally, the high season in Mexico is between December to April. For Jamaica, check this article for the best times to visit. Hurricane season in the Caribbean and Mexico historically runs between late June to November every year.
1. Montego Bay, Jamaica
Wedding couples love Montego Bay hotels because you’re under ten minutes from the airport in Montego Bay called Sangster International Airport.
Best Beaches in Montego Bay
Doctor’s Cave Beach is an active stretch of lovely sand with changing rooms, food, and drinks available. There is a small fee to enter, but this ensures a level of safety and cleanliness, making your beach day more relaxing and enjoyable.
Sandals Montego Bay Beach is the longest on Jamaica’s North Coast and is ideal for romantic strolls. The waters are generally calm, with snorkeling available from shore and offshore reefs accessible on a catamaran snorkeling tour.
Best Food in Montego Bay
If you’re unsure exactly what Jamaican food tastes like, prepare to be amazed!
Jamaican cuisine blends many cultures, including African, Asian, English, Indian, Mediterranean, and Spanish.
Sugar Mill is a fine dining eatery located on the grounds of historic Rose Hall. You have many delicious items to choose from here, including authentic Jamaican meat and seafood dishes with excellent vegetarian options.
Reviews of Sugar Mill are excellent, but be aware that there is an unadvertised dress code, and mosquitos can be present in the evening, so a discreet misting of bug spray before your visit is a great idea.
Queen G’s Restaurant serves economical breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with various spicy meat dishes and vegetarian offerings. Travelers rave about everything here, from the morning pancakes to the suppertime curried chicken!
Take a peek at Bombay’s delicious dinner menu!
Best Activities in Montego Bay
Best Nightlife in Montego Bay
Check out Margaritaville After Dark on the touristy Hip Strip, or start the party earlier in the day with a Reggae Cruise that includes a sunset tour!
Best Honeymoon Suites in Montego Bay
The Junior Suite with Cabana at the S Hotel offers good value for a small boutique all-inclusive property with a genuine Jamaican flair.
Polkerris Bed and Breakfast is great for adventurous couples, and their Premier Suite is spacious and very affordable.
For an unforgettable honeymoon, the Beachfront Swim-up One Bedroom Suite at Sandals Montego Bay delivers outstanding value with direct access to the pool from your room, a tub for two, butler service, and a stocked bar.
The most luxurious honeymoon suite is yours in an Over the Water Villa with Infinity Pool at Sandals Royal Caribbean. Your private pool suite is located on a secluded island, and you’ll be pampered with in-room dining and premium beverages.
Click on Specials for potentially significant savings on your honeymoon in Montego Bay!
2. Riviera Maya, Mexico
Although Jamaican and Mexican cultures are unique and different from each other, Riviera Maya, Mexico, offers a similar blend of beaches, culture, history, and delicious local cuisine that go together to make a great honeymoon.
Wedding travelers generally prefer all-inclusive hotels in the area, and you can choose two airports to fly into.
The international airport in Cancun is Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, and your transfer time to the resorts in Riviera Maya is approximately one hour. Cozumel International Airport is closer, but you must take a ferry to the mainland.
Best Beaches in Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya isn’t just a tourist zone. It’s a super-long white sand beach stretching between Puerto Morelos to Tulum.
Playacar Beach is a well-known section of the Riviera Maya, and it’s a bit less hectic and overcrowded than the main beach at Playa del Carmen. You’ll love strolling on Playacar Beach and visiting bars and shops in the area.
Akumal offers the picture-perfect white sands of other Riviera Maya beaches, but it’s equally famous for your chance to swim with wild sea turtles during a moderately priced tour.
Best Food in Riviera Maya
Many all-inclusive resorts line the Riviera Maya, making the area exceptionally popular with honeymooners. That means you’ll be enjoying your meals at large hotels, with buffet and sit-down options available.
For an authentic Mexican experience at an all-inclusive, consider the fresh and fabulous seafood combined with nature and adventure at Trajinera At Xcaret.
Another standout at Hotel Xcaret is Ha Restaurante. Travelers rave about their seven-course tasting menu with excellent wine pairings!
Best Activities in Riviera Maya
Historial sites abound up and down the Riviera Maya, and the best places include Mayan ruins in a wildlife refuge. Remember to pack insect repellant!
Best Nightlife in Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen offers the most touristy nightlife in a secure zone (always remember to guard your valuables as you would in any large American city).
Tequila Barrel Casino and Nightclub, The Freaky Tiki Bar and Grill, and Deck 5 Pool and Skybar offer a wild party, more laidback fun, or a sophisticated night out, meaning there’s something here for everyone.
Best Honeymoon Suites in Riviera Maya
We extensively reviewed the best honeymoon suites in Riviera Maya and throughout Mexico in our Secrets vs. Sandals Destination Wedding Guide. Feel free to check it out!
3. Negril, Jamaica
Negril is renowned for its gorgeous sunsets over the world-famous 7 Mile Beach.
Decades ago, Negril was just a sleepy Jamaican fishing village. It’s been transformed into a laidback beach town, with chill nightlife and notable attractions like the cliff-diving at Rick’s Cafe.
It’s important to note that Negril is about 75 minutes to just under two hours away from the airport, depending on traffic conditions.
That’s why we recommend a private airport transfer to kick off your honeymoon in romantic style!
Best Beaches in Negril
7 Mile Beach is so famous it can get very crowded during peak times in high season.
But there are still pockets of the beach where seclusion can be found, including a quiet and romantic stretch of Long Bay in front of Sandals Negril.
Best Food in Negril
Negril isn’t a hotbed of fine dining; the “best” experience is finding a decent location to view that glorious sunset.
The Blue Mahoe Restaurant & Bar is a perfect example of good food and an even better view, although some travelers feel the prices are too high.
Westair Quizine is a cute, family-owned spot in an open-air setting. You’ll enjoy traditional Jamaican fare at relatively good prices and friendly service. However, this is island time, so it usually takes longer than we’re used to in ‘”fast food” America!
Kimonos offers delectable Teppanyaki-style Japanese cuisine served by entertaining chefs. Kimonos is the favorite restaurant of guests at Sandals Negril, and while their dinner menu isn’t extensive, all items are delicious, and you can order whatever you want!
Best Activities in Negril
Wedding couples dreaming about sheer relaxation can rest assured that Negril is the perfect paradise to do nothing at all!
When you are looking for activities and all-day entertainment, then Sandals Negril is perfect for you. Sandals Negril offers exceptional value and is one of the Caribbean’s favorite all-inclusive resorts.
Check out our Sandals Negril review for more!
Best Nightlife in Negril
Negril offers fun, open-air pubs, including the Boat Bar or the Bar Negril & Jerk Spot, and you can’t leave without enjoying cocktails at Rick’s Cafe.
The Jungle is a popular dance club for locals and tourists, done in a treehouse setting. It’s a good idea to watch your valuables here as you would in any unfamiliar place and remember, the drinks can be strong!
Best Honeymoon Suites in Negril
The Cliff Hotel offers a blend of luxury and laidback Jamaican charm, with romantic Villas set in private gardens with ocean views. Meal plans are available, and airport transportation can be arranged.
If you enjoy an entirely “clothing-free” lifestyle, Grand Lido Negril is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort for au natural enthusiasts. Suites include Ocean View, Swim Out, or Luxury Penthouse with a jacuzzi.
Our favorite honeymoon suites in Negril are at Sandals. Check out the Millionaire Suite with Private Pool that is romantic, secluded, and affordable (there’s a tab on the suite’s description page to see current special pricing, too!).
4. Cancun, Mexico
Of any honeymoon destination in the Caribbean and Mexico, Cancun is filled with American-style bars, restaurants, huge luxury resorts, and spas.
Cancun could be your ideal destination if you two love to party into the night and lounge on jam-packed white sandy beaches all day!
Cancun International Airport is very convenient to the hotel zone, and there are so many large resorts to choose from you can often find exceptional deals on your honeymoon.
Best Beaches in Cancun
Cancun’s hotel zone stretches from Playa Tortugas Beach, which offers generally calm waters, down to Punta Nizuc, with its nearshore reef for snorkeling.
Some sections of Cancun’s hotel zone beaches are great for people-watching and sports, but travelers warn that Playa Gaviota Azul can get a lot of seaweed washing up on the shore. Other sections have a heavy undertow, and swimming is not advised.
Best Food in Cancun
If you get homesick for burgers and fries on your honeymoon, Cancun has a ton of American-style eateries to deliver what you’re craving.
That’s great if you don’t want to explore other types of cuisine with your spouse. If you do, finding unforgettable places to eat is a bit harder—but we found a couple!
El Patio Restaurant is located in the Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites. Some reviewers mention there might be a line-up to get in, but the delicious Mexican foods (spicy and not so spicy) and flavorful drinks make it well worth the wait.
La Joya Restaurant is located in the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach, an all-inclusive resort. Foodie travelers report that La Joya delivers exceptional meals that blend Mexican fine dining with a fun food truck atmosphere, and the cocktails are out of this world, too!
Best Activities in Cancun
Cancun has that “see and be seen” flair that appeals to beachgoers and club hoppers, and many couples enjoy getting pampered at hotel spas for an additional fee.
A fun underwater activity for snorkelers and scuba divers in MUSA—the underwater museum.
For a more laidback day on your exciting Cancun honeymoon, take a day trip to Isla Mujeres or visit the El Meco archaeological site away from the hotel zone to see ancient Mayan ruins.
Best Nightlife in Cancun
Cancun nightlife is pretty much unrivaled in the Caribbean and Mexico. From chic rooftop lounges to rock and roll bars and Irish pubs, you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy after dark (or all day!).
For dancing, The City Nightclub is probably the most popular, and you can purchase an entry and drinks package that is pricey but convenient.
Best Honeymoon Suites in Cancun
It can get pretty confusing identifying your chosen resort in Cancun’s hotel zone because there appear to be countless huge resorts lining the beach.
These resorts generally compete for your honeymoon dollars, and there are a number of 4.5-star resorts or higher listed at pretty affordable prices.
We’ve heard good things about all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, including Grand Park Royal Cancun and Iberostar Selection Cancun. The TRS Coral Hotel (all-inclusive option available) is a good choice in Costa Mujeres, away from the crowded hotel zone.
5. Ocho Rios, Jamaica
We know a lot about Ocho Rios, and it’s quickly becoming as popular as Montego Bay and Negril in Jamaica with tourists, especially honeymooners.
The crescent-shaped beaches in this area are smaller, but you can find pockets of gorgeous seclusion that appeal to lovers.
Ocho Rios is quite far from Sangster International Airport, but more flights are being scheduled for nearby Ian Fleming International Airport.
Best Beaches in Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios Bay Beach is central to the town and resort area, and a small entrance fee is required. It’s generally clean with calm waters, and amenities and watersports are widely available.
Sandals Dunn’s River sits on a very peaceful, golden beach on Mammee Bay. It’s highly rated by travelers and is a secret jewel in Ocho Rios!
Best Food in Ocho Rios
You’ll find a multitude of fruit stands and local vendors selling savory (or spicy!) Jamaican jerk favorites in Ocho Rios. Make sure that food safety is practiced, and you should enjoy some delicious cuisine!
A notable restaurant in Ocho Rios that’s not on a resort is Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove. You’ll be treated to local specialties, including curry goat ravioli and red pea soup, and the bread pudding dessert with rum and raisin ice cream sounds outstanding!
One word of warning—local restaurants often have limited air conditioning, and outdoor dining areas can get plagued by mosquitos, so bring insect repellant and drink plenty of cold filtered water.
Best Activities in Ocho Rios
Best Nightlife in Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios nightlife is pretty much the exact opposite of Cancun or even Montego Bay.
That can be great for couples who like major activity during the day, including swim-up pool bars and toes-in-the-sand beers. While the town gets quieter at night, Ocho Rios’s best all-inclusive resorts do offer great nightlife and entertainment!
These sister resorts are located nearby, and our Sandals Royal Plantation vs. Ochi review will explain which resort is best for your honeymoon.
Best Honeymoon Suites in Ocho Rios
Since we specialize in Sandals resorts, we’re happy to tell you that there’s a honeymoon suite in Ocho Rios that fits your budget and will make your newlywed dreams come true!
And you can always check the Specials at Sandals for even more honeymoon savings at the resort of your choice.
We love the romantic hillside villas at Sandals Ochi that offer a romantic escape within your walled courtyard. Your private pool and hot tub are amazing, and you’ll enjoy a sunken bathtub, a huge living area, and an ensuite kitchenette with a fully stocked bar.
We’re ending our review by celebrating the newest luxury all-inclusive in Ocho Rios—Sandals Dunn’s River.
It’s not an overstatement that Sandals Dunn’s River will amaze you, and its honeymoon suites are unrivaled in the Caribbean.
The Coyaba Sky Villa is honeymoon luxury at its finest, with a private plunge pool, an intimate rooftop lounge for the two of you, and a deep soaking tub for two in the spa-like bathroom.
For beachfront views in the sky, our choice is a One-Bedroom Skypool Suite with a private infinity view on your balcony and also a soaking tub for two!
If you want direct access to a resort pool from your suite, as well as a ground-floor walk-out to the white sand beach, the stunning Tufa Terrace One Bedroom Suite offers easy entry into the pool right from your huge living area, as well as a private patio with dining set, a deep soaking tub for two, and two state-of-the-art smart TVs.