You Actually Dine Inside a Cave at This Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen

Descending the limestone stairs into an ancient cavern is the first indication that you're in for a truly unique dining experience. The Alux Restaurant and Lounge in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, about 45 miles south of Cancún, is possibly the most romantic restaurant south of the border. Guests dine by candlelight in private, hidden alcoves of the twisting labyrinth cave surrounded by natural stalactites, stalagmites, bubbling cenotes (underground springs), and replicas of Mayan artifacts.

The Maya of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula once believed these caves were the entrance to the underworld and utilized these underground lairs more than 5,000 years ago. The name Alux — pronounced "Aloosh" — is the Mayan word for elf or goblin. Two of these prankster fairies (one good and one bad) are said to dwell in the cavern even today, playing tricks on unsuspecting patrons. The real trick, though, is deciding from a menu that includes regional specialties like Langosta Xtabentún (lobster basted in Mayan liqueur) and Chile México Lindo (stuffed poblano pepper with habanero marmalade). Check out the photos ahead!