Honeymoon Wars: What to Do When Your Dream Destinations Clash

by  Donna Heiderstadt | Feb 10, 2010
Aerial photo of Bora Bora
Aerial photo of Bora Bora / Juan Carlos Hernández Hernández/iStock

Do you and your fiancé agree that you are truly, madly, deeply in love—but that you also truly, madly, deeply disagree on where you’ll enjoy post-wedded bliss? Take heart: Plenty of couples face a honeymoon split decision. She wants relaxation and he wants adventure; she wants a safari and he wants museums; she wants gourmet cuisine and he wants an all-inclusive party scene. To avoid an endless debate that can ruin your big day, compromise is key. So here are 21 options designed to satisfy you both:

Beach + Culture
Bali — This Indian Ocean gem is ringed by beaches while its lush, jade-hued interior bursts with temples (Balinese-Hindu), creativity (jewelry, carvings, music and dance) and a soul-stirring karma you’ll never forget.
Greece — Pair a few days ogling the Acropolis and other ancient wonders in sprawling Athens with isle-hopping to sunny outposts such as stunning Santorini, hedonistic Mykonos, mythical Crete or scenic Corfu.
Thailand — The southern beaches around Phuket and Krabi are some of the world’s most stunning, while Bangkok and Chiang Mai brim with remarkable temples, markets and traditional dance.

Beach + Adventure
Belize — Its Caribbean coast, dotted with idyllic cayes and a stunning coral reef, is ideal for diving and sunning while its cave- and Mayan ruin-filled jungles teem with everything from jaguars to tarantulas.
Brazil — World-famous Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio are just the beginning as Brazil’s 4,577-mile coast is a beach-lovers’ paradise, and its Amazon rainforest and Iguazu Falls make adventurous playgrounds.
Costa Rica — With both Caribbean and Pacific coasts—and nothing but wild, volcano-studded jungle in between—this Central American eco-paradise is as laid-back (snorkeling and surfing) or adrenaline-spiked (zip-lining and rafting) as you like.

Beach + Food
Barbados — The sand is mighty fine on this British-tinged Caribbean isle and so is the cuisine as Bajans and visitors alike can choose from over 100 Zagat-rated eateries.
Fiji — The private-island resorts in this blissful South Pacific paradise are ringed with idyllic beaches and their all-inclusive prices include gourmet cuisine heavy on local fish and meats and wines from nearby New Zealand.
ItalyMangia from dawn till dusk everywhere from Rome to Tuscany, and then head to the famed Amalfi Coast for some sun with sublime views (beaches are pebbly though) or Sicily or Sardinia for sand.

Relaxation + Nightlife
Aruba — The vibe on this Dutch isle in the Caribbean is sunny and laid-back—until night falls and casino- and bar-hopping takes center stage.
Puerto Rico — No passports are required, this U.S. outpost in the Caribbean has beautiful beaches and unspoiled rainforest plus plenty of casinos and salsa-fired nightclubs in Old San Juan.
Spain — This sultry country’s sunny coasts are lined with resort towns where it’s perfectly OK to snooze all day on the beach because dinner won’t be served until 11p.m. and you’ll probably dance till dawn.

Adventure + Culture
Argentina — Does a better mix exist than a sexy tango through sophisticated Buenos Aires paired with hand-in-hand hiking amid the soaring peaks and surreal blue glaciers of Argentine Patagonia?
Austria — The hills—the Alps to be exact—are alive with the sound of yodeling hikers, while the cities—namely Vienna and Salzburg—overflow with centuries of artistic and musical genius.
Egypt — The pyramids and sarcophagi are the cultural draw, but this ancient land’s Red Sea coast is a magnet for divers and its desert offers off-road excursions galore.

Adventure + Food
British Columbia — Canada’s westernmost province is a stunning panorama of rugged peaks and kayak-perfect coves, and night after night its chefs do amazing things with grass-fed beef and the Pacific’s freshest catch.
New Zealand — The other Down Under is both an adrenaline junkie’s and an epicurean’s delight—where crazy stunts like bungee jumping are chased by glass after glass of Pinot Noir some of the world’s best lamb.
South Africa — Get up close on safari with carnivorous lions and leopards and then indulge in a candlelit meal of gourmet prey (kudu or ostrich) or more conventional fare (fab fish or perfect pasta) back at your lodge.

Affordability + Food
Las Vegas — Room rates are down while celeb chefs are on the rise in this neon-lit city on steroids, which creates a tasty tradeoff for foodie couples on a budget.
Mexico — Our bargain-priced neighbor to the south has gotten a bum rap—Mexican cuisine is way more than tortillas and beans, with amazingly fresh fish, zesty ancient Mayan recipes and heavenly mole sauces.
Montreal — Romantic boutique hotels and a still-favorable exchange rate make this restaurant-laden slice of France just north of the border a magnifique spot to sample global cuisine on the cheap.

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