South America’s stunning landscapes, temperate climate, and passionate people naturally lend themselves to romantic getaways while on your honeymoon.
The coast of Colombia has secluded beaches to explore, Ecuador’s Rainforest and Galapagos Islands are natural wonders of the world, Peru’s Machu Picchu of course needs no introduction, and Argentina’s Iguazú National Park literally takes the breath away when visiting.
Even better why not combine the best of various countries into one truly magical trip, with memories sure to last a lifetime. Happy Gringo specialize in custom-made itineraries, and are here to help design your unique honeymoon experience.
Keep reading for our top picks of South America honeymoon destinations.
The different regions of Colombia offer a respite from typical travel, away from the masses. The rolling hills of the coffee region, the romantic city of Cartagena on the coast, and the out of this world landscapes of the Tatacoa Desert are well worth the time, where a new adventure awaits everyday.
Founded in 1533, by Spanish Commander Pedro de Heredia, Cartagena was an important port for Spanish ships heading home laden with riches. Pirates plundered the seaside city, but the Spanish prevailed by building up defenses along the coast. Today, Cartagena’s charms lie in its walled historic center with quaint cobblestone streets, picture perfect plazas, and fine dining. To top it all off, Cartagena also has an 11km stretch of beaches for perfect honeymoon relaxation, or venture further along the coast for more seclusion at famed Tayrona National Park or the Rosario Islands.
For outdoor lovers, the Tatacoa Desert in the central region of Colombia is a stand out destination. Striking rock formations with vivid colors, and hills and valleys give way to fun-filled days of exploring. The dessert is home to one of the country’s most important observatories, which opens its doors to travelers during the evening. One of the other star attractions is Los Hoyos, a natural pool in the middle of the desert, perfect to help you unwind at the end of an active day.
The Coffee Triangle of Colombia in the central Andes is an adventure that immerses you in a traditional lifestyle where rolling hills and scenic overlooks are home to working haciendas that grow and process the nation’s rich beans. Tours here stop at haciendas and explore fertile valleys where accommodations include stays at converted ancient monasteries.
No honeymoon would be complete without sand between your toes, and tempting crystalline waters washing gentle waves to shore. San Andres is a coral island paradise in the Caribbean Sea, with a diverse ecosystem combining white sand beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs. Enjoy diving or snorkelling in the clear sea, soaking up some sun, or pampering yourselves at one of the modern, all-inclusive resorts.
Peru’s different regions offer different options for a diverse trip where mountains, colonial cities, and ancient ruins find you exploring the culture and history of the country at your own pace. Here are a few of the places to check out.
Arequipa’s colonial-era churches, plazas, and regal architecture put it on the map as one of Peru’s best cities for couples to visit. It is also part of the fabric of the ever-evolving culinary scene of the country. Combined with day trips to the Colca Canyon and the Capua Waterfall, spending time here is a great way to explore the culture and natural sites of the country.
Cusco used to be the seat of Inca power and was where rulers extended the reach of their empire before being conquered by the Spanish. Today its allure draws people from all over the world to discover its historic streets, eat at some of the country’s best restaurants, and travel to nearby sites including Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu Ruins.
For an active, out of the way honeymoon in Peru, Huaraz ticks the right boxes for those who want to hike trails to glaciers and mountain lakes, explore nearby ruins, and stay in remote getaways where comfort and mountain hospitality are the first priorities.
The ancient citadel of the Incas needs to introduction, and is a must-see on any Peru honeymoon itinerary! For good reason Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the world, and what better place for a magical photo of the happy couple? For adventurous souls a great option is to trek the Inca Trail or one of the alternative trekking routes, sleeping under the stars at campsites along the way.
Compared to its neighbors to the north and south, Ecuador’s small size and diverse regions let you explore more territory in less time. Historic cities welcome those upon arrival with interesting neighborhoods to explore, before heading off to see some of South America’s very best nature destinations.
The Galapagos Islands have enchanted honeymooners for many years now, the volcanic landscapes and ever-present wildlife bringing newly-weds from all over the world. Small yacht cruises offer an intimate way to explore the archipelago in luxury, or hotel retreats on land have plenty to offer for those looking for a unique honeymoon in an incredible setting.
The Ecuadorian Andes tempt with romantic, colonial-era haciendas that have welcomed guests for centuries, as well as breathtaking mountain scenery, and charming locals. Unwind at the hot spring resorts of Papallacta or Baños, appreciate fine colonial culture in Cuenca or Quito, or enjoy the countryside of Cotopaxi or Imbabura provinces, the options are endless.
The rainforest of Ecuador is a region where indigenous communities have created peaceful and secluded lodges immersed in mother nature. Check out Napo Wildlife Center or Sacha Lodge for first class accommodations, fine dining, and fun day trips to spot the flora and fauna of the Amazon. For an alternative experience try an Amazon cruise aboard a luxury ship, drifting slowly down the Napo River, taking in the scenery as you go.
For a more off the beaten path honeymoon spare a thought for Bolivia. South America’s most rural country destination, Bolivia also gives you more bang for your honeymoon buck, with cheaper accomodations and travel choices available.
Parque Nacional Noel Kemff is the largest park in the Amazon, spread out over more than 6000 square miles of land. Tours here take you into a pristine wilderness where 130 species of mammal, 620 species of birds, and 70 species of reptiles roam free and fly overhead. Day trips find travelers along scenic lagoons full of wildlife and at the bases of far off waterfalls that take the breath away.
The town of Copacabana is nestled on the Bolivian shores of Lake Titicaca. Trips here give way to days exploring the lake’s islands, Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna, and hiking trails to indigenous villages where nearby Inca ruins are glimpses into another time. The town is a great base, as there is an interesting variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from, and a range of choices for lodging.
The Uyuni Salt Flats and desert beyond have become one of South America’s iconic destinations, where jaw-dropping vistas and experiences await intrepid travelers. The surreal reflections from the waterlogged salt desert make the perfect spot for truly unique honeymooner snaps, while the desert seclusion and exclusive lodging options like the hotel made out of salt make Uyuni a destination like no other.
The long finger that is Chile, stretching down the Pacific coast of South America, perhaps offers more variety of destinations than any other country in our list, from the mysterious northern desert, to stunning Patagonian wilderness, and everything from wineries to beaches in between.
Stretching over an area of 49,000-square-miles and filled with natural red rock formations and lunar landscapes, the Atacama Desert is a different world that needs to be experienced. San Pedro de Atacama makes a fine base, with resorts and elegant spas, fine dining, adventure tours and excursions to the see natural wonders of the desert. Atacama is also one of the very best sites in the world to observe and appreciate the night sky, and pick out southern hemosphere constellations.
One of the most visually striking and pristine areas of the world, the Torres del Paine National Park is one of the top highlights of Patagonia, and an unparalleled playground for outdoor lovers. There are so many options to take in, from high mountain lakes, to untouched glaciers, and amazing hiking trails that skirt the giant towers of stone that dominate the landscape, and explore peaks and valleys that are seen in the distance. Luxury lodges easily arrange tours and have a long list of amenities including spas, fine food, and almost always incredible views.
Located on the coast close to capital city Santiago, Vina del Mar is full of activity, and wears many hats. Its beaches are great for enjoying the sunshine and surf, celebrations last well into the night, and there is a charm about the town that puts one at ease. The resort town boasts a group of international restaurants that make trying different places each night a must. Did we forget to mention that Viña del Mar also hosts one of Latin America’s most famous music festivals?
Located 1900km from the coast of Chile in the Polynesian Pacific, Easter Island should be on any South American honeymoon bucket list! The climate is pleasant throughout the year, and daily flights depart from Santiago. Of course the main attraction are the mysterious Moai statues scattered right across the island, while visitors can also enjoy volcanic landscapes, white sand beaches, and Polynesian dance shows and barbeques at night.
Last but not least we chose to include Argentina in our South America honeymoon destination list. Famous the world over for fine wines, excellent cuisine, and sensual tango dancing, Argentina also boasts it’s fair share of wonderful travel destinations.
The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is a launching point into the natural wonders of Patagonia. Tierra del Fuego National Park tempts the adventurous with hiking, sailing, skiing (in season), and kayaking, or follow Darwin’s route cruising the Beagle Channel. For wildlife lovers, head to Estancia Haberton and Isla Martillo to see the wonderful Magellanic penguins in their natural habitat.
Buenos Aires is perhaps the most unmissable city in South America, where both culture and history pull visitors in. The capital city of Argentina is also world capital for tango dancing, where you can check out the sensual moves of professionals at a show, or take a class to try your own steps. The Buenos Aires nightlife is also famed, with ample bars and restaurants, and an ever-changing art and music scene in galleries and hip clubs. For foodies, Buenos Aires has you covered, with a crop of fine restaurants and trendsetting eateries, and perhaps the very finest beef cuts in the world.
Iguazu National Park is home to the magnificent Iguazu Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and for good reason. Hundreds of waterfalls cascade down at once, creating a stunning cauldron of water that is nothing short of amazing. Luxury lodges and hotels inside the park have daily and evening tours to the falls, as well as visits to nearby indigenous communities, and excursions like rafting and helicopter rides.
For wine connoisseurs don’t miss Mendoza, famous for Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and more. Mendoza is the heart of Argentina’s wine industry, accounting for almost two thirds of the country’s wine production. The region’s semi arid climate makes Mendoza a year round destination, and what better way to spend a day than exploring the picturesque surrounding countryside stopping off at wineries along the way.
South America honeymoons are romantic adventures that divide your time between relaxing , enjoying the surroundings, and actively exploring the landscapes, cultures, and wildlife that make the continent unique. Happy Gringo specialize in custom-made travel itineraries – for more information about planning a South America honeymoon that leaves you spellbound, contact a member of our team.