Post # 1
My fiance and I are looking for moderate relaxation, sunny weather, an option of beaches and adventure, etc.
We are currently planning to honeymoon in Hawaii, as 1. who doesn’t want to go to Hawaii? and 2. We thought it would be the perfect combination of beaches and rainforest/animal adventures. (We are both CRAZY about animals!)
Thats when I got to thinking that I would LOVE to visit central/South America, and I feel like we can get much more for our money there. For example, maybe we could take a 3 week+ honeymoon there for the same price as a shorter stay in Hawaii.
I’m not really sure where we would like to visit, but I’m thinking along the lines of Mexico, Costa Rica, (Jamaica!! — I know, I know, not technically Central America), Brazil, Argentina… at the same time I’m open to lesser traveled places like Peru, Honduras, Chile, etc. if anyone has any recommendations.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I have a coworker who (admittedly) spent 10,000 dollars on her trip to Hawaii, because she had the idea that if she was going to do it, she was going to do it right. For that kind of money I feel like I could live like a queen in Latin America. (I know, you don’t HAVE to spend that much, and I don’t plan to… but for something even less I know I can experience more.)
Post # 3
I LOVE Costa Rica. There are plenty of options from every price point, and who doesn’t enjoy seeing monkeys on the beach? The bird life is great (I was lucky enough to see a resplendent quetzal on my first trip). Iguanas fall out of the trees onto the road in front of you. The sloths are adorable. That said, if you are unfamiliar with the area, I would suggest a tour package. If you are more comfortable, I would still suggest a guide (they’ll not only help you navigate, but always know where the animals will be). If you’re looking for relaxation and luxury, try a couple’s massage over the steam from the hot springs. If you’re looking for adventure, go zip-lining over the top of the rainforst or horseback riding through it. The beaches are quite nice too. Oh, and don’t forget the volcanos. The three big places to hit are Arenal (volcano and waterfall), Monteverde (high rain forest), and Manuel Antonio (rainforest gives way to gorgeous beach). I’ve done a week long trek there for less than a thousand dollars total, but I’ve also done a luxury trip that was quite a bit more than that. I had a great time with both. I like Hawaii, but Costa Rica is amazing.
Post # 4
I was in Jamaica last year for vacation (Ochos Rios). The resorts there are stunning! Private beaches, all inclusive so the only thing you spend money on are gifts or if you leave the resort.
My fiance is from Panama and Brazil. I’ve yet to go there but he’s shown me pictures and it’s breathtaking. You have the beaches AND the shopping at high end stores. If you want more info message me and I’m sure my honey can give you some specific areas. 🙂
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp
I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I currently live in Chile. A lot of Chile is NOT like what you’re describing you want – animals and beaches. The major cities in Chile (Santiago, La Serena, Valparaiso, and Puerto Montt and Concepcion in the south) are more like american cities that all have a beach, plus historical spaniard culture. There aren’t really any jungles, but the one place I’m dying to go here is called the altiplano in bolivia:
Argentina is pretty similar to Chile, except more of the spanish culture. I haven’t been to Brazil, but obviously the amazon is up there, so that could be super interesting.
I think maybe where you would get the most out of your trip is COLOMBIA. It’s actually way safe to travel in colombia, now (you just can’t be stupid about things – don’t just walk into the jungle hoping to find crack farms). The tourism is just starting in colombia, so you’ll get the deal you’re looking for. After bolivia, we really want to travel to Cartagena:
Have you ever read any Gabriel Garcia Marquez? His book Love in the Time of Cholera takes place in Cartagena.
Good luck with your honeymoon plans!
Post # 6
Thanks guys for the input!
You all have been super helpful.
We will definitely look into Costa Rica, Ochos Rios, Bolivia and Colombia!
Post # 7
I spent 4 summers in Belize and Guetamala. I loved every minute of it down there and it is super inexpensive, a huge bonus!
I spent most of my time in a town known at Benque Viejo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benque_Viejo_del_Carmen). The town is stunning and is right on the border with Guetamala.
There is a lot to do in the surrounding areas, including experiencing ancient Mayan ruins, Xunantinich, Cahal Pec, and Tikal (in Guetamala). There is a ton of caves you can explore with a quick juant through the native rainforest, such as Chechem Ha (ask a local tour guide). There is many beautiful waterfalls to go visit as well, such as Tiger Creek Falls, Butterfly Fall, Hidden Vally Falls, and Orchid Falls. The belize national zoo is incredible.
Anyways, there is a ton to do in Belize and it a beautiful less traveled place than say Jamaica. Good Luck planning!
Post # 8
Seriously, I was so happy while staying here – La Mariposa. I felt like I was on an early honeymoon with my FI. I’m just not sure what the weather is like in July, but I"m sure you can get great deals!
Post # 9
I wouldn’t go to Mexico right now…icky flu!!
Costa Rica = beautiful
Honduras = cheap
Colombia = BEAUTIFUL!
Brazil = fun & beautiful!
But something to keep in mind is your wedding is right smack in the middle of the rainy season down here! It’s winter in South America. I would stay in the Central American region.
Post # 10
I just thought I would pass on an AMAZING sale I found for flights to South America. FI and I just bought our tickets last night from Toronto to Peru for next Christmas for less than what I paid for one ticket last year. I would check it out, the sale is on until may 8th for those interested!
Post # 11
We honeymooned in Belize and it’s awesome! A great place for relaxation and adventure. It is pretty rural so not a huge night life [but who needs that on their honeymoon??]. We really want to go back…
Post # 12
I feel that if you’re looking at a long-ish HM (3+ weeks), and want a bit of adventure, you might be better off travelling further to a place you’re less likely to go again. I agree with Miss Rye Bread that Chile isn’t all beaches and nature, but it’s absolutely gorgeous and so much variety. I spent about 1/4 of every year there during grad school, mostly in a resort town called La Serena. I think, though, that for beaches Valparaiso might be more of what you want. It depends on what you’re looking for. I still can’t beleive I never made it up to the Valle de La Luna which is the driest desert in the world and has *amazing* plateaus/rock formations. And I love, love, love Patagonia (of course that’s also where fizicsGuy revealed his 4 year crush on me that lead to us being together now)…but wow is Torres del Paine amazing and Puerto Natales is like the cutest little town in the world. I also did not make it to wine country (puerto Montt) but it’s gorgeous from the plane.
One thing, though, is that July is wintertime thre, so it might not be the best time to travel to the South (I think northern Chile would be fine).
If you’re into hiking, I think that the summer is the best time to hike the Inca trail in Peru (we went in Jan). I guess all I’m thinking is that if you’ve got the time to take 3 weeks, I would do something pretty unusual is all.
I have also heard that Belize is an amazing honeymoon destination…so that does sound like a good option to me.
Post # 13
Yes yes yes to Costa Rica!!! (mrsCPT described it perfectly).
We stayed at an awesome AI near Manual Antonio Park
They give you SO much in the package. they arrange the best of everything for you . 5 nights at a villa and private rainforest. Includes your own chef, eco-tours, massuse. Then they include 2 nghts at a beach hotel (la Mariposa, Si Como No, etc)
OMG, the whole thing was awesome. Wonderful country, lots of great areas to explore.