Picking the perfect honeymoon is no easy feat—countless romantic destinations, endless hotel options, limited vacation time and the struggle-is-real challenge of finding the perfect place to please both you and your new spouse. Where to begin? Well, right here. Brides teamed up with the A-list agents at Virtuoso—a global network of more than 15,000 luxury-travel specialists—to find the most romantic, luxe hot spots in the world. Whether you're looking for bucket-list hotels and resorts, far-flung beaches, the top cruise lines for couples, inexpensive honeymoon ideas or unexpected honeymoon-worthy locales, you’ve come to the right spot. Presenting our 2017 Honeymoon Awards—dive in to see the best resorts in Central and South America!
1. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
“Pura vida” is a way of life in Costa Rica—an ethos of simplicity that you’ll find infused into every aspect of this 181-room gem set on a tiny spit of northern Pacific coastline. Look no further than the two perfectly unkempt beaches, earthen-hued suites that blend into the greenery, and howler monkeys calling out from the treetops as you walk to breakfast. But if you’re worried about missing your thousand-thread-count sheets, fear not; there’s still a wellness concierge, a made-to-order-ceviche bar, an infinity pool overlooking the Pacific (below, top left), and spa treatments ranging from a volcanic-mud body wrap to a healing bamboo massage. (Doubles from $650; fourseasons.com)
2. Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu, Peru
Few places in the world can you wake up and see one of the New World Wonders outside your bedroom window. At Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, set inside sanctuary of Machu Picchu, that's par for the course. Another perk: you can explore the sacred site before the other tourists arrive and long after they've gone for the day. Take full advantage of the relaxing environment and book a massage on a grassy patch fronting the magnanimous peak of Huayna Picchu, take a yoga class on your outdoor deck, soak in your private plunge pool, Pisco sour in hand, and at night, take in the southern constellations. (Rooms from $1,200, including all meals; belmond.com)
3. Mukul Resort, Golf & Spa, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua
Arguably the first high-end property in Nicaragua, Mukul Resort, Golf & Spa brings a new kind of chic to the Emerald Coast. Each of the 37 villas and bohios (cabanas) is outfitted with local hand-crafted furniture, fronts the white sands of Playa Manzanillo, and has a wooden deck for alfresco breakfasts with mind-blowing Pacific views. As if that wasn't game-changing enough, make time for ash boarding excursion—in which you literally ride a board down the slopes of an active volcano. (Rooms from $500; mukulresort.com)
4. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
You'll pinch yourselves once you've landed in this Costa Rican honeymoon paradise—with the jungle on one side, the sea on the other. Then you'll pinch yourselves again when you hear the lineup of world-class amenities: a golf course, tennis courts, two beaches, three restaurants, and access to zip-lining and Arenal Volcano National Park. It's okay to spoil yourselves, though; you've earned it. (Rooms from $400; papagayo.andaz.hyatt.com)
5. Turtle Inn, Placencia, Belize
Picture 25 thatched-roof villas just steps from the Caribbean Sea, all with Asian touches like hand- carved Balinese doors and Japanese baths. Add access to the Belize Barrier Reef (the second largest in the world), a restaurant that blends hearty Italian and freshly caught seafood restaurant, and a famous owner, Francis Ford Coppola, who’s packed the place with personal details (there’s even a beach house named after his filmmaker daughter, Sofia), and you’ve got the perfect beach holiday. (Rooms from $319; turtleinn.com)
6. Nayara Springs, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
The adults-only sister resort to our number seven winner (below) is all about lush jungle views—with a side of volcano. Set in Arenal Volcano National Park, home to one of the world’s highest concentrations of tropical plants and wildlife, Nayara Springs is an outdoorsy couple's paradise. All around you is the lush vegetation of Costa Rica’s pristine rainforest, a running creek, and underground mineral thermal springs. Each of the property's 16 villas has a private hot-springs-fed plunge pool and terrace—perfect for alfresco meals with the volcano in the background. (Rooms from $750; nayarasprings.com)
7. Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Set at the base of Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens is another Costa Rican honeymoon hot spot to have on your radar. The main reason: each of the 50 eco-luxury casitas is circled by an exotic rainforest. The second reason: there are three exceptional restaurants, perfect if you and your husband have different palates. Want Japanese one night? Sushi Amor puts a Latin spin on the Asian classic. Want authentic Costa Rican? Try Altamira Restaurant. More thirsty than hungry? Make a bee-line for Nostalgia Wine Bar, serving Latin American and Spanish vintages. (Rooms from $320; arenalnayara.com)
8. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
Inkaterra may not have the same name-recognition as a Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, but when it comes to honeymooning in Peru, it's the only brand you need to know. With properties in Cusco (Inkaterra La Casona), the Sacred Valley (Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba), and the Amazon (Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción), you could essentially plan an Inkaterra lodge-to-lodge trek and see all of Peru on your honeymoon. But if you only have to choose one, make it Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Shrouded on 12 acres of cloud forest, this boutique lodge—with 83 whitewashed adobe casitas at the base of the sacred Incan site—will feel like a remote oasis. All the better to get back to nature and experience the real Peru. (Rooms from $249 per person, including breakfast, dinner, and guided excursions; inkaterra.com)
9. Blancaneaux Lodge, Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize
This countryside lodge is the perfect contrast to Coppola Resorts' beachfront sister hotel, Turtle Inn. Set on a hillside above the Privassion River, each of Blancaneaux's 10 cabanas and seven villas has high thatched ceilings, Japanese-style tile baths, plunge pools, and screened porches (you can even stay in Francis Ford Coppola's private estate—when he isn't staying there himself).
Take a trip down to the river to jump off boulders (Insta-worthy moments, for sure) or just stay put and swim in the infinity pool. Meals are spent at the main restaurant, Montagna, specializing in Italian dishes, or a second Guatemalan-focused restaurant, both of which use produce sourced from the lodge's organic farms. (Rooms from $289; thefamilycoppolahideaways.com)
10. Tierra Atacama, Chile
If you dream of spending your honeymoon in the middle of a vast, deserted landscape—with only stars and each other for company—book a stay at this remote 32-room lodge. And just because you're in the middle of the Atacama Desert doesn't mean you'll wait for anything—especially when it comes to the activities that fill your days.
Among your choices: visits to the remote lagoons of Aguas Calientes and the otherworldly salt flats of Tuyajto; tours of the hot springs at Puritama or the Tatio Geysers, walking excursions to the Machuca and Rio Grande, hiking in Moon Valley—the list goes on. Or, stay put at the hotel and relax by the pool or visit the top-notch Uma Spa. We recommend booking the adventure menu, which includes treatments focused on healing sore muscles—you'll need it after all those adventures. (Rooms from $600, all-inclusive; tierrahotels.com)