#7 New Zealand
Known as Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand is one of the top locations on Google’s trending honeymoon destinations and with great reason. If you and your sweetheart enjoy active adventures in a natural setting, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more diverse place. There are fantastic beaches for relaxing and sunbathing, freshwater lakes for fishing, raging rivers for kayaking, amazing fjords to explore, and mountains to climb. It even boasts a region of active volcanoes! New Zealand is also the only place on earth where you can see flightless birds like the kiwi, or the kakapo. Made up of North and South islands and a few smaller outer islands, it’s well developed and easy to get around by car. It’s a long trip to get there from home: Air New Zealand flies direct from Los Angeles to Auckland. A 13-hour trip.
#6 Cancun, Mexico
For decades, honeymooners have been going to Cancun on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to enjoy the soft, white-sand beaches, short proximity to Mayan ruins and jungle rainforests, excellent fresh food, and good value all-inclusive resorts. Tourists descend on Cancun from December through April, but the number of resorts and 14 miles of beaches help give you some space. Cancun was originally developed for tourism, so you won’t have an authentic Mexican experience unless you trek away from your resort. However, if you’re looking for pools with swim-up bars, exciting nightclubs, wonderful shopping, relaxing spas, and activities like golf, jeep tours, and parasailing, Cancun fits the bill.
The islands that make up the Maldives are a truly exotic honeymoon destination, with deserted beaches that many travel professionals regard as “most romantic spot in the world.” This archipelago of atolls and more than 1,100 coral islands cross 35,000 square feet of the Indian Ocean and is located about 500 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. The Maldives are one of the last unspoiled island getaways in the world, mainly because it’s hard to get there. 1st you take a long-haul flight from the US, plus either a seaplane or boat transfer from the airport. Once you get there, the effort is rewarded with perfect sunsets, unbelievable beaches, and some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. This is the place to interact with whale sharks, manta rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, and an array of colorful fish and sea creatures. Resorts are confined to their own islands so you won’t have to worry about jotting from place to place after you arrive, just relax. This is the place to book an overwater bungalow for sure!
The best-known island of the 17,500 that make up Indonesia’s archipelago is definitely Bali. While most of the country is Muslim, Bali has a hint of Hindu art and culture. Spirituality is ingrained in the people and you’ll see offerings of incense, flowers, and rice in front of every temple, home, restaurant, or shop. A little south of the equator, Bali is always warm, ranging from the high 60s to the low 90s. Peak season is June through September and that’s when the humidity is at its lowest. There are several areas to check out. In South Bali you’ll find Kuta and Bukit (both known for surfing), Jimbaran, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sansur, and Seminyak along with the airport in Denpasar and popular attractions in Tanah Lot. When honeymooning in Central Bali, look to the artist community of Ubud that is also home to beautiful rice terraces and Monkey Forest.
One of the most diverse countries in Asia, Thailand is bordered by Myanmar to the west, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast, and Malaysia to the south. In addition to the mainland, Thailand is home to popular island getaways like Phuket and Phi Phi Island in the Andaman Sea. (Remember the movie “The Beach”?) A perfect two week honeymoon to Thailand should include time in Bangkok, the nation’s capital, Chiang Mai in the north, and one of the island getaways. That way, you’ll get a major city with fantastic food and culture plus scenic mountains, lush jungles, and idyllic beaches.
#2 St. Lucia
Known as The jewel of the Southern Caribbean, St. Lucia, has long been a popular honeymoon destination. There are breathtaking palm lined beaches, rainforest, the majestic Piton Mountains, and locals who love tourists. St. Lucia is very safe, so you won’t be confined in your resort. You can get out and explore, maybe ATVing along trails or zip-lining above the rainforest. Spend an afternoon hiking in the mountains, sea kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach. You can go horseback riding or take a dive tour, St. Lucia has something for everyone.
The number one trending honeymoon destination is Tahiti, which is home to the capital of French Polynesia: Papeete. Travelers often Google “Tahiti” when they are really looking for information about the entire chain of Society Islands that includes Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, and Raiatea. Bora Bora being the most famous and unbelievably breathtaking of the islands—a place postcards dream about. One thing I found fascinating is the history of how the indigenous tribes later populated Hawaii, reaching it by canoe. France claimed the islands of Tahiti its colony in 1880 and French is still the official language. The Polynesian and French cultures blended to create a unique, laid back attitude that nearly every visitor becomes intoxicated with. The islands themselves are better than the best photo, with perfect white sand beaches, amazing snorkeling and diving, and lush inland that are punctuated by fragrant, flowering plants. The international airport is located on Tahiti and it’s worth staying there a day or so to get your bearings, shop the outdoor market, and maybe even buy some famed Tahitian pearls.