Do you and your loved one spend the weekend hiking, admiring the foliage, breathing deeply the fresh air and looking for picturesque viewpoints? Are you camping under the stars or are you sailing across the blue? Can you find any excuse to be outdoors? Do you swim in seas and lakes, walk in the sand and play in the snow? Do you live from unique experiences? If that’s a yes, you are likely to be happiest in a natural wonderland – a destination that’s all about epic vastness and breathtaking beauty. Let Mother Nature be your best wedding gift in a remote part of the world, where it’s all about you and the great outdoors.
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. With the situation still volatile, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to provide you with updated advice and help you with today’s wedding planning. For the most up-to-date guidelines and travel restrictions and requirements, see the CDC and State Department websites.
If you are an Aquarian, you can hardly think of an adventure more exciting than one that goes through the Raja Ampat Islands, a protected part of Indonesia that is one of the richest marine biosphere in the world. The livaboard yacht is the dreamy way to get around – you will feel like explorers on the opulent charter Phinisi Prana of Atzaró, discover secluded little bays and powder-white beaches lined with perfect palm trees where it seems as if there is still not been a man or woman before. (Micro-wedding idea: take up to 16 of your loved ones for the ride, but be sure to take the largest suite with a private deck and bathtub to yourself.) When the electric blues of the lagoons stun you, you’re under the water there There is even more to see in the crystal clear aquarium of this coral-strewn expanse, which is home to parrot fish, blacktip reef sharks, manta rays and explosions of pulsating life. The allure of a charter yacht is that your desire is the command of the great staff – there’s not just snorkeling and diving, but also motorized water sports, kayaks, SUP boards and hiking, as well as massages on request, a floating open-air cinema and Beach picnics. Dolphins can be your companions at sunset as you sip cocktails with the wind in your hair. Mother Nature really offers in every way, which is evident in the world-class cuisine, which is served morning, noon and evening, featuring the freshest catch from the sea and tropical products full of flavor.
You’d rather love trekking, though Patagonia The choice is yours – it is perhaps one of the most spectacular places in the world and is best explored on foot. Soaring mountains, snow-capped peaks, milky turquoise lakes and ice-blue glaciers are just a few of the sights when you explore this vast region in Chile and Argentina that is divided by the Andes. Puerto Bories, southern Chile, has The Singular Patagonia, a post-Victorian cold store that is now a 57-room luxury resort and provides access to pristine reserves for fresh air hiking, sailing the fjords and nature communicate – not to mention a sustainable spa and gastronomic restaurant. Tierra Hotels’ trio of luxury lodges offer a kind of architecturally pleasing walking tour, from the Atacama Desert to the rugged mountain trails of Torres del Paine National Park.
Alaska may not be the honeymoon destination of every couple’s dreams, but it certainly has a serious draw for newlyweds who prefer to spend their time watching bears and walruses rather than hanging out by the pool. The vast state is full of places so beautiful they are surreal, including Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. Hike, explore ice caves, climb Mount McKinley, look for humpback whales, ski, camp and kayak. Serious explorers should check out Within the Wild, an adventure travel company with two remote, sustainable lodges that combine unparalleled outdoor experiences (think heli-skiing, deep-sea fishing, and glacier trekking) with advanced wellness and innovative cuisine. You can also cover a lot on a cruise, like Ponant’s eight-day trip from Alaska to British Columbia on the Le Soléal, which passes the impressive Tracy Arm Fjord.
It’s not quite as deserted as Raja Ampat, or almost as tropical, but it is Galapagos Islands are a rich destination if you are in search of rare, endemic wildlife – think giant turtles and equally giant sea turtles, flamingos, sea lions, land and water iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and more. The chic and intimate 10-cabin Ecoventura ships are perfect for honeymooners who don’t mind taking part in activities and excursions led by experienced naturalists, with other couples or families, twice or three times a day. As a Relais & Chateaux member, you know that the kitchen has good grades. Another option with a little more privacy is the high-quality, environmentally conscious Pikaia Lodge, where you can marvel at Santa Cruz Island and the Pacific Ocean from the bathtub of your pool suite and go on a voyage of discovery both on land and at sea.
There are cities in New Zealand which literally has 16 residents – this is how off the beaten track you can get to the South Pacific island nation that claims some of the most unreal landscapes in the world. (Just take a look at The Lord of the Rings for proof.) There are sapphire-colored lakes, brilliant blue glaciers, monumental waterfalls, perfectly undulating waves, fields of flowers, rolling green hills, meandering rivers, pristine beaches and mountains – boy, there are Mountains. Get in the mood with trampling (what they call hiking) and consider a road trip or scenic flight to get the most of the destination. To the south of Queenstown, an adventure and ski center, is the luxurious Matakauri Lodge overlooking Lake Wakatipu, while The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs occupies an idyllic corner of the North Island surrounded by ancient forests and private beaches.