18 Best Tropical Destinations For Celebrating Your Honeymoon In Paradise

There are a few times in our lives when we want everything to be perfect because those moments are one-offs. We aren't talking about birthdays — a bad one can be rectified a year later — watching a movie or going on a date, but chapters in our existence that happen only once. Think a bucket-list trip or a wedding, and thereafter the honeymoon. Derived from the old English phrase "hony moone," a reference to historical European traditions that wish that the marriage's sweet period last at least a month, this special time in our lives comes around, in theory, at least only once. So it's important that it is extra-special. And what better way to make it extraordinary than spending it in a tropical paradise, where life seems sunnier, a little slower, and much more enjoyable? 

While destinations all over the globe welcome honeymooners, the list below is not only adept at ensuring that the happy couple remains so, but also promises experiences and settings that will make the post-wedding celebration a vacation to never forget. These places are, in fact, so alluring that they are almost worth getting married for.


This Southern Hemisphere beauty has fabulous beach resorts, some close to the Great Barrier Reef, tropical paradises that promise clear waters, sultry seascapes, and some fabulous swimming and snorkeling around one of the world's natural wonders. Though there is a decent choice of alternatives for any couple looking for a resort close to the reef, some private-island properties really stand out for honeymooners wanting to go all out on a trip they will never forget. 

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort offers destination weddings onsite at a number of venues. Still, even for pairs that don't get married here, the resort is a fabulous choice, with tastefully designed rooms, gorgeous pools, and the chance to take a helicopter ride over Heart Reef, a protected coral formation that resembles the shape of a heart (that's so appropriate for honeymooners). At Lizard Island, snorkeling can be done from a kayak, with guides, or through half or full-day trips out to the reef, and after it, couples can retire to bright, open rooms that look onto tropical gardens and clear turquoise seas.


What doesn't the Golden State have in terms of geographic range? Visitors to this slice of West Coast utopia will find beaches, mountains, deserts, forests, valleys filled with vineyards, stunning areas like Yosemite National Park, and plenty of exquisite hideaways. For honeymooners, the choices are almost limitless, with any environment to fit their particular tastes, be that a chic resort in Palm Springs or a sprawling beachfront luxury property in SoCal. At the Post Ranch Inn, set on the cliffs above a rugged stretch of coastline, couples can spend plenty of time enjoying the sublime outdoors on a property where no children are allowed. 

There are opportunities to take long walks in the forests, among towering trees, meditate on the joys of a new union in the middle of the woods, learn about the riches of the onsite edible garden, and simply hang shoulder-to-shoulder on the lip of the infinity pool to gaze over the never-ending surf and waves of the pounding Pacific below. Or honeymooners can simply snuggle up in the gorgeous rooms that include treehouses. 

An intimate property with 50 accommodations, Auberge du Soleil presents couples with a different vantage. It sits on a hillside above the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley, and the setting is shockingly romantic — the valley floor unfurls below, visible from rooms. The Mayacamas Mountains are also on view, and open, warmly furnished rooms are soothing perches to enjoy the visual delights. The food here is also exquisite.

Costa Rica

For newlyweds that love nature, a honeymoon in Costa Rica will likely check all the boxes. This Central American gem is filled with tropical rainforests, sublime beaches, abundant, colorful wildlife, and a tourism industry that makes the most of experiencing this natural spread. Different parts of the country appeal to varying tastes. In Guanacaste, travelers can encounter sugar-soft white sand beaches like Playa Conchal and the jagged Papagayo Peninsula, expanses of coastline that are primed for surfing, mountainous terrain that is great for hiking, and the vibrant resort town of Tamarindo. 

The stretch of the Central Pacific brings visitors close to areas with rich wildlife. It lets them explore inland waterways like waterfalls and rivers in a region where the ecosystems are both wet and dry, with a variety of flora and fauna to match the changes in environments. Then there is the Caribbean part of the country, with its ribbons of heart-melting beaches and unique coastal culture. 

For a special stay, consider checking in to the luxury eco-lodge Lapa Rios, comprising 17 bungalows set in 1,000 acres of rainforest in the Osa Peninsula, where guests can take guided hikes and tours to learn about the local environment and excursions where they truly commune with nature.


This state in the country's southeast is blessed with tons of spots for the perfect honeymoon, as well as the ideal wedding to precede it. A generous coastline stock and a temperate winter climate mean that beachfront ceremonies are trendy in this part of the United States. They are also a big draw at Walt Disney World, where weddings are officiated all year round. 

For honeymooners in search of something a little special, a stay in Key West puts them at the southernmost point of the United States. They can forego the drive by taking a seaplane, which flies relatively low over the water, allowing passengers to gaze into the clear turquoise seas below and spot dolphins, sharks, stingrays, and shipwrecks. 

They can also get a seaplane to Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, a private-island getaway that feels like a true escape from everyday life. Here, guests can wander along sandy beaches where crushed shells make a pleasant crunch underfoot. Couples can retire to thatch-roof bungalows without televisions or telephones to ruin the cloistered ambiance and have treatments at a plush spa with a soaring inner atrium.

French Polynesia

When honeymooners think of the archetypal tropical paradise, the islands of this South Pacific nation invariably pop up. French Polynesia's Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea are all places that are high up on the list of destinations where couples want to take a honeymoon, and for good reason. Sure, they require some effort to reach from the U.S., but once travelers arrive, they will realize that the geography and feeling of these Pacific Shangri-las are hard to beat. For starters, this is where the concept of the overwater bungalow first took off, a light-bulb moment from a trio of Californians that visited in the late 1960s. 

While each island has its own unique charm, some visitors like the idea of spending time on a number of them, and Tahiti Tourisme offers packages where couples can spend a handful of nights on an island before hopping off to another one. Whatever the choice, honeymooners will likely encounter stunning clear turquoise seas and lagoons cupped by sensuous beaches, densely forested towering peaks, and an easy-going manner of life that makes the moments with your loved one seem to last even longer.


One of the country's most remote states, Hawaii, is where visitors can experience arts, culture, and truly dramatic scenery. It is, in America, possibly the perfect example of a tropical paradise, where craggy, verdant, steeply inclined mountains tumble down to turquoise waters. Hawaii is also the place seas teem with aquatic life like dolphins and turtles; the weather is always welcoming and warming, the perfect combination of attributes for a successful honeymoon. These isles are also blessed with rich local culture, one that has forged customs and identities for centuries and whose traditions can be seen in everyday life, from small ceremonies to the folklore that traces the places and spaces all around. Couples will also find a deep culinary heritage here, with a history of fishing, crops on the island, and of course, the famous coffee of Kona. 

Adventurers will not lack options, with surfing a wildly popular pastime here, great snorkeling and scuba, fishing, whale watching, and some sublime hiking among beautifully maintained national parks. And, for honeymooners set on getting some bragging rights, they can scout some lesser-known spots that are great to discover with their newly betrothed.


A widely spread archipelago that straddles the Equator in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a country of impressive diversity. Here, among the nation's 18,000 islands, visitors will find active volcanoes, shrines of deep spiritual and historical significance, a vast range of religious beliefs, large tracts of rainforest, some of the most visually electric seascapes on the planet, and buzzing cities teeming with commerce and cuisine. In short, this Southeast Asian country is rife with possibilities. Many honeymooners will gravitate toward Bali, and this island, where Hinduism is the dominant religion, has a carefully developed tourist infrastructure and some of the country's finest resorts. 

Set more than 450 feet on cliffs above the sea, Bulgari Resort Bali is a polished jewel with dramatic public spaces, villas that take in the full majesty of the water, and a concierge service that can arrange excursions like a helicopter trip above volcanic cones, a visit a local temple, or a day snorkeling around nearby islands. 

In another part of the country, and for a real escape, the resort of Bawah Reserve feels like it's moored at the edge of the world, offering visitors a rare remoteness. And yet, its location in the Anambas Archipelago places it not far from Singapore, though getting here requires a flight on a seaplane — an exciting part of the adventure. Once there, honeymooners will find overwater bungalows over clear turquoise lagoons, a commendably environmentally conscious setup, marine conservation initiatives, reefs teeming with fish, and great snorkeling from the shore.


An island nation that relies heavily on tourism, the Maldives are tropical paradises scattered like strings of jewels across the Indian Ocean. What sets the Maldives apart from many other getaways in sunny climes is the recurring resort model, where properties fill out a complete island. This is possible thanks to the sheer abundance of appropriately shaped islands and a government keen to promote tourism in the nation. Maldives is one of the ultimate island escapes on the planet, and the choices should suit any honeymoon budget — though nothing here is super-duper cheap. 

What can a couple expect? Trips usually require a seaplane transfer from the main international airport to the specific resort, though some properties closer to the airport can be reached by speedboat. Once on an island, the couple might find tropically designed bungalows set among gardens, on a beachfront, or stilts over turquoise waters. There are also islands without cars but with golf carts that wind around sandy paths and improbably clean blue waters that are almost nourishing in their softness. Let's not forget beaches where the sand is fine and crumbly, perfect for digging your toes into, and clear, sunny skies that bring all of the above into brilliant focus.


There is something for everyone at our southern neighbor — beaches, jungles, cities, and ancient sites — and honeymooners can enjoy some or all of these with ease since the destination is easy to get to from the Lower 48. For beach lovers, there are plenty of fantastic all-inclusive on both coasts, with so many choices at Los Cabos and Cancún. These destinations offer not only an excellent range of beaches but also the opportunity to try out great water sports and other activities. 

Down the coast from Cancún, in the Riviera Maya, visitors can explore cenotes and underwater caves that are like portals to another dimension or stay in quieter, more relaxed resorts along the coast. An easy trip from Cancún brings visitors to the past, to the Mayan ruins at Chichén-Itzá, Tulum, Cobá, and many more, a fascinating part of history so close by. Beyond these gems, the country offers so much more, like the tropical rainforests in Veracruz state and the mouthwatering cuisine of Oaxaca, all joys that will keep honeymooners engaged and excited.


Something about Morocco is truly addictive and wonderfully exotic. Maybe it's the architecture, with influences ranging from Islamic vernaculars to Moorish touches, with hints of Art Deco and European style. Perhaps it's the sights and sounds of the souks, the way the light filters through the medinas onto stalls, an image that has appeared the same for hundreds of years. It could also be the food — hearty, full-bodied with a variety of spices and tantalizing to the palate. Or possibly the wild open spaces, like the high mountains or swathes of desert, that are such a refreshing sight. It's all of the above, and Morocco is a destination filled with wonder, history, and fabulous cuisine. 

Honeymooners can choose from a number of cities for a stay, but a few stand out. Essaouira has the undeniable charm of a low-key, almost faded seaside resort, while Fes has a stunning old city. Perhaps the most complete destination is Marrakesh, where the Medina has beautiful gates and ramparts and vendors tightly packed into alleys of its souks. There is also a huge choice of gorgeous riads, or former homes, that are now sublime hotels, extremely private places that are great to hide away on a honeymoon.


Another dream destination in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles has long lured honeymooners for its dramatic scenery (it has plenty of forested peaks), world-beating beaches, and glorious seas. This is, of course, home to one of the most photographed beaches in the world, Anse Source d'Argent, on the island of La Digue. Here, the combination of the clear turquoise water, the soft, powdery sand, and giant weathered granite boulders in various shades of gray produce a magnetic scene in its allure and cinematic composition. It's an easy place to spend a whole day, watching the shadows change and lengthen on the rocks as the sun moves, and it's also a sensational beach for swimming. 

Another popular island is Praslin, with a Unesco World Heritage site Vallée du Mai, home to the rare Coco de Mer tree. Tourism is big business in Seychelles, and while it's more popular with Europeans (especially the French) than Americans due to its location, it is a first-class choice for honeymooners, with a number of top-shelf five-star resorts available on the islands.

South Africa

This country at the bottom of the African continent is one of the top places in the world to take a safari. Here, visitors can see the Big Five — the term given to the animals that were the hardest to hunt back when it was acceptable to do so, and a phrase that has since stuck to refer to this grouping — of buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros. Seeing these animals up close, in open space, not caged behind bars or confined to an enclosure, is a thrilling sight, best enjoyed with your better half. 

Many safari camps across the country are positioned in areas where the Big Five roam, and among the most classy is Singita, whose outfit in Sabi Sand includes lodging that mimics the shape of old boulders found in the area and that has plenty of glass to let natural light in. The views are also incredible — of a riverfront where the local fauna comes and goes. 

South Africa isn't just about safaris, though. Cape Town has possibly one of the most beautiful locations in the world; by the ocean and beneath an iconic, flat-topped mountain, and a short distance away, fine vineyards produce the lion's share of the country's wine. It's here that honeymooners will find the gorgeous Babylonstoren Hotel, part of a grand estate with a vineyard, bakery, farm, landscaped gardens, and exceptional restaurants, the kind of place a couple could come to and never want to leave.

St. Barts

One of the most chi-chi Caribbean islands, St. Barts, or Saint Barthélemy to give it its full name, is a French collectivity with, no surprise, strong Gallic influences. It's a tiny place, a speck on a map, located southeast of the French-Dutch island of St. Martin or Sint Maarten, but what it lacks in stature, it makes up in prestige. It has fabulous beaches and seas and frequently welcomes well-heeled European and American travelers to its shores, often to the island's five-star properties. 

Among the most storied is the Eden Rock-St Barths, first opened in the 1950s and soon thereafter renting out rooms to the likes of Howard Hughes and Greta Garbo. The property started as a lodging on a rock out at sea, a promontory connected to the mainland. The pick of accommodations still exists there, light rooms with furnishings that add pops of bright color and four-poster beds setting the tone. St. Barts doesn't have an endless stream of things to do, but as a romantic, intimate getaway with some fabulous French food available, it certainly fits the bill.

St. Lucia

Most images of St. Lucia invariably feature the forested peaks of the Pitons and for obvious reasons. These two dramatic peaks make this Caribbean island stand out — literally — formed from volcanoes and rising to about 2,500 feet above sea level (one is just over, the other a little under that mark). They define the island and are great to see up close, on a hike, or from a distance, either from a hotel room or on a boat trip around the island. For honeymooners that can't get enough of the view of these mountains, the smartest choice is to book a room at Jade Mountain resort, set high up on a hill above sister property, the beachfront Anse Chastenet Resort

Jade Mountain features a number of spots onsite that have clear, uninterrupted views of Gros Piton and Petit Piton, as they are named, and the sight is breathtaking. Rooms are all known as sanctuaries and have one wall open to the elements. They also feature infinity pools that look onto the Pitons, and couples in them, hanging onto the lip of the pool, might find themselves entranced by the whole experience.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Anchored by the main, large island of St. Vincent, this Caribbean nation also features a scattering of smaller islands to the south, appearing like they are dropping down toward Grenada. What makes them special is the waters around them, some of the most stunning in the world, and it is best appreciated on a boat trip. We aren't talking about day tours that leave from a small harbor, wobble around the sea for a couple of hours to see some sights and then return so guests are back in time for lunch or afternoon tea. 

No, the Grenadines are worth exploring by boat charter, the type where honeymooners rent the entire vessel, captain and all, and then set sail wherever they want. This way, couples can spy a small cove with nobody around, ask the captain to tie up to a buoy or drop anchor, and then slide into the sea for some solitary swimming — how romantic is that?


One of the greatest animal spectacles in the world, the annual Great Migration of wildebeest in East Africa is a sight visitors never forget, not just for the visual enormity of it but the sounds of thousands of creatures moving through plains. It happens all year round, with the animals shuffling between Kenya and Tanzania, though for the majority of the time, it occurs in the latter nation. It's certainly a persuasive reason to plan a honeymoon here, as are the chances to see the Big Five from a safari lodge. 

The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge sits on the cusp of a giant volcanic caldera, and below, over the crater floor, black rhinos and powerful elephants roam. Tanzania also has miles and miles of coastline, and the fascinating island of Zanzibar, with an interesting history as a trading stop, and a background influenced by Arabs, Europeans, and Africans, is evident in the architecture and ambiance today.


Few cities in the world are more thrilling than Bangkok, a heaving, churning metropolis of millions with shiny malls, spider-like networks of above-ground metros, ancient temples with gold accents, sprawling night markets filled with anything and everything, and some of the tastiest street food on the planet. The Thai capital is a smart choice for honeymooners who want their special time to be filled with action and excitement. But beyond Bangkok, this Southeast Asian nation has some excellent alternatives. 

In the north are lodges in the jungles and retreats secluded from plain sight representing amazing adventures. The Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, in a part of the country next to Myanmar and Laos, is where couples can sidle up to elephants that have been rescued, wander around forests, and go on hikes through the mountains before returning to rooms that include some made from bamboo. 

The country is also where to source languid beach resorts on its islands, and a good choice is Koh Samui, an isle that tends to avoid getting the backpacking-and-party crowd that populates some other islands. At the Six Senses Samui, couples can hop into the infinity pool, look out to the open Gulf of Thailand and endless horizon, and imagine they are the only people on earth.


The northern neighbor of South Africa, Zimbabwe, also promises visitors unforgettable safaris, and one of the country's best areas to see wildlife is Hwange National Park. At Somalisa Camp, which sits beside a vast floodplain that seems to unfurl forever, the plush canvas tents come with outdoor showers and give guests that classic old safari camp vibe. Visitors can go for walks in the bush led by the expert staff, while game drives allow travelers to see the Big Five, as well as the giraffe and an endangered species, the roan antelope.

Zimbabwe is also home to the mind-boggling Victoria Falls, a riot of water from the Zambezi River that drops off a precipice to form the largest waterfall in the world and represents a border between the country and neighboring Zambia. It drops 350 feet, making it more than twice as high as Niagara Falls, and such is the colossal power that it became known as Mosi-Oa-Tunya (or "smoke that thunders" in the local dialect of Tonga, referring to the cascade's mist that looks like smoke, accompanied by the falls roaring sound). While the falls can be seen by foot or boat, a couple should cement the honeymoon's specialness with a helicopter ride, a joyful way to start the rest of their life together.