As an anthropologist I like to seek out unique cultural experiences both for my clients and for myself when I travel. I also have a strong desire to make sure that local communities benefit from tourism. So on a recent trip to Mexico, I decided to try a tour with Community Tours Sian Ka’an. They are an indigenous-run community tourism enterprise run by and for the local Mayan communities. Tour guides are all trilingual (Mayan, Spanish, and English) and professionally-trained. Their tours are centered around the Sian Ka’an Biospehere Reserve just south of Tulum and the Riveria Maya. Because all of the guides are local to the area they can teach their guests not just about the culture and history of the locations they visit, but they also have extensive knowledge about the natural world. We did a great tour visiting a small Mayan village where we were able to visit a Mayan school and let our child play with the local kids. We visited local soapmakers and beekeepers to see these small sustainable village enterprises. I also spent a lot of time discussing with them the impacts of tourism on the region and how they are working to make sure the local indigenous population gets to reap the benefits as well.
One of the most popular tours that they run visits the Biosphere Reserve and begins with a visit to the archaeological site of Muyil, where the guide explains about ancient and present-day Mayan culture. From their the tour makes their way to the boat where guests regularly see all types of wildlife, including manatees, as they crisscross pristine lakes and rivers. Once they reach an ancient Mayan canal everyone jumps out of the boat and floats with the gentle current through crystal clear waters. An awesome experience. Back at Community Tours Sian Ka’an’s headquarters they have a small museum dedicated to the Mayan people, a gift shop of local handmade crafts, a restaurant serving Mayan specialties, and a butterfly garden where they are trying to protect endangered butterfly species. Overall, they are a model for successful, sustainable eco-tourism. I am happy I was able to support their initiatives, and I look forward to sending my clients there to have their own amazing experiences.
Wanderlust Travel Adventures plans honeymoons all over the world. From relaxing to adventurous, the one thing all of our honeymoons have in common are that they should be as stress-free as possible and that includes the planning too. Couples are already busy enough planning their weddings, let us take care of the honeymoon details for you. All of our honeymoons are custom-tailored according to the couple. Here are some of the destinations that we receive the most request for from our honeymoon clients and our favorite places to plan travel:
- Australia – There are so many really fascinating places to visit in Australia. Because of the way international flights are scheduled most travelers start out in Sydney. We have so many cool opportunities in Sydney from seeing an opera at the famous operahouse, harbor cruises, surf lessons at Bondi Beach, and exclusive perks at Sydney’s best hotels. Just outside of Sydney there are some great day excursions into the Blue Mountains and places to visit iconic Australian wildlife. And then from New South Wales, honeymoon clients often travel to Melbourne and Australia’s wine region; the Outback to visit Uluru and many of the geologic features as well as aboriginal cultural experiences; or to Queensland for excursions out to the Great Barrier Reef or the ancient rainforests. There is something for everyone in Australia.
- Belize – If you would like to stay a little closer to home, Belize is a quick hop, skip, and a jump from most major US hubs. Belize’s barrier islands have both beautiful beaches and the best diving in the Western hemisphere. And then a quick flight or ferry ride gets you to the mainland where there are so many really exciting adventure opportunities in the jungle. Strap on a miner’s helmet with light and float along an underground river through caves or canoe through massive stalactites. Take a strenuous hike to see Mayan ceremonial sites with crystalized skeletons and ancient artifacts. And visit well-preserved Mayan temple ruins. Or sit back in your hammock of a luxury jungle retreat and listen to the birds and monkeys.
- Costa Rica – Costa Rica is a great honeymoon destination for an active couple. Learn to surf, hike through cloud forests, and watch erupting volcanoes. Ziplining has become ubiquitous in Costa Rica, for good reason, because it has some of the highest and fastest zipline courses anywhere. There are pristine hot springs, world class spas, biodiverse jungles, and white water rafting. We work with the best hotels across the country to get exclusive amenities for our clients.
- French Polynesia – We are getting more and more requests for Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and the islands of French Polynesia. Whether you explore by cruise or island hop over crystal clear waters, some of the world’s best resorts are in this part of the world. I always recommend my clients stay at least some part of their honeymoon in one of the iconic overwater bungalows. I work with the best resorts and cruises to give my clients a really exclusive top of the line experience.
- Greece – Other areas of Europe are generally more popular for honeymooners, but Greece is just as romantic a destination with lots of history and stunning seaside vistas. Most travels begin in Athens with historic tours, amazing food, and the best hotels in the city. The Greek Isles are a must: Mykonos, Santorini, and some of the lesser known islands. Sail between islands, take a cooking lessons, or just sit back and watch amazing sunsets.
- Italy – There are so many places for honeymooners in Italy. Stay in a historic Tuscan villa, learn from Michelin-starred chefs, explore little seaside villages, ride bikes through wine country stopping for tastings, or explore the canals of Venice and the ancient sites of Rome. Depending whether a couple has been before, we can recommend new and upcoming destinations in Italy to really get off the beaten path
- Mexico – Of course Mexico has to make the list. Visit the beautiful resorts of up and coming Cabo or take a more historic trip into Mexico’s interior. But the most popular destination that we get requests for is to the Mayan Riviera (from Cancun to Tulum). Relax on beautiful beaches all day, dive world-class sites, and visit exciting ancient ruins. Since everything I plan is custom we can make sure our clients are able to avoid the tourist hoards and really have an exclusive and luxurious experience as adventurous or relaxing as they want.
- Peru – Peru may not come to mind as a particularly romantic destination, however as a Peru specialist I end up getting a lot of requests for honeymoons to Peru. It is a great destination for adventurous couples with an interest in history and the outdoors. Start out in the gastronomic capital of Lima, then travel to the Andes mountains to visit the Incan capital of Cusco and the onto the iconic mountain citadel of Machu Picchu. Super adventurous couples can even hike the Inca Trail. For those interested in culture there are exciting opportunities to visit indigenous villages in the Sacred Valley, the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, or in the Amazon region. Honeymooners could choose a luxurious Amazon River cruise or a jungle retreat walking along rainforest canopies. Head north on the coast for great beaches and surfing or south for wildlife watching and ancient sites.
- Spain – I have planned some fabulous honeymoons in Spain. Honeymoons often begin in the fascinating cities of Barcelona or Madrid. Visit world class museums, eat amazing food, and do some fabulous shopping. Andalusia tends to be a particularly romantic area of Spain with beautiful architecture and authentic flamenco performances. We work with the best hotels and guides in the country.
- St Lucia – St Lucia really reminds me of a mix between Hawaii and Jamaica. It has the beautiful volcanic landscape like Hawaii with the rich Caribbean culture like its neighboring islands. Not to mention some of the most beautiful resorts for honeymooners. Watch the sunset from your private plunge pool, eat incredible local foods, and do as little or as many adventure activities as you would like. Take sailing lessons or hike a volcano. It is definitely one of the most romantic islands in the Caribbean.
- Thailand – I love sending my clients to Thailand because they always have such a wonderful experience. From exploring Bangkok’s floating markets to Chiang Mai’s temples, there are so many cultural and historical sights to see. Be an elephant caretaker for a day or explore the jungles of northern Thailand. And then of course there are the beaches and islands. Take a Thai long boat to visit hidden beaches or go for a snorkel. We work with the best hotels and resorts to give our clients the most authentic experiences.
If you are interested in a custom honeymoon, give Kristina a call at 954-683-5548 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for your free consultation.
Hidden jungle temples, diving through sacred caves, rich cultures…when most people think of a Mexican vacation they think of all-inclusives and lounging on a beach, not an adventure travel destination. I just recently traveled to the Yucatán Peninsula and stayed at the absolutely gorgeous Viceroy Riviera Maya. Although anyone could stay at the Viceroy and have absolutely no reason to leave for days on end, I filled my days exploring the surrounding country. We visited ancient Mayan sites including the very impressive ruins at Tulum perched on seaside cliffs. We visited indigenous villages and bought exquisite handicrafts by local artisans. We dove in cenotes, natural sinkholes exposing freshwater underneath the earth, some of the most exhilarating diving you can do anywhere. The seagrass beds of Akumal make for exciting snorkel opportunities with endangered green sea turtles. And we ate AMAZING food everywhere from the Viceroy’s two beautiful open air restaurants to beachside taco shacks to Mayan specialties in jungle enclaves. The moral of the story is don’t skip over Mexico as an adventure travel destination.
The Viceroy Riviera Maya made a perfect base for our explorations. As much as I love to fill my days with rugged adventure, I love coming back to an absolutely luxurious place to relax. Unlike the mega resorts in this area of Mexico, the Viceroy is a small property made up entirely of private villas each with their own private outdoor lounge area with plunge pool. The villas are thatched and blend in with the jungle surroundings, but totally air-conditioned and comfortable. We were greeted with a shot of mezcal and then got to choose our own handmade soaps, which was a unique hotel welcome experience for me. The property, of course, has a lovely beach, infinity pool, and ocean front yoga sessions on the pier. The spa and treatments were ethereal. I would recommend this property to honeymooners, for anniversaries, or any romantic getaway. It would also be a great spot for a destination wedding (although only children 14 years and older are permitted). Despite the fact that this area of Mexico is heavily touristed, one can still find these enclaves of tranquil luxury and there are still unique corners of the country to explore. Let me help you plan your next Mexican adventure.