If the idea of sitting around on a beach for a week sounds like a snoozefest, then you may be looking for something a little more adventurous on your honeymoon. Whether you enjoy camping, backpacking, hiking, or surfing, there’s no reason why you can’t combine your love of the outdoors with your honeymoon experience. Looking for a honeymoon destination that gets you into the great outdoors? Here are four of our favorite spots.
1. Big Bend National Park
In Big Bend National Park, you’ll not only get big Texas skies and the beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert landscape, but you’ll also have ample opportunity for day hikes through the West Texas mountains and floating the Rio Grande river. You can choose to rough it and stay in a tent at one of the three main campgrounds or stay in the nearby Chisos Mountain Lodge, which is located at 5,400 feet of elevation within the Chisos Basin and is the only lodging on state park grounds.
If you’d rather have adventures during the day and retreat back into town at night, nearby Marathon, Texas is about 30 miles from the north entrance of the park, which has several lodging options—from charming casitas to the historic Gage Hotel and Spa, a luxury hotel with spa services and a top-notch hotel bar. You could also head to the artsy and eclectic city of Marfa, Texas, which is less than two hours away from the park and has plenty of funky, southwestern-style Airbnbs and hotels for you to choose from after a day of perusing art galleries and eating delicious Mexican food.
2. Reykjavik, Iceland
It seems like just about everyone is talking about coming back from a trip to Iceland, and for good reason. The flights are relatively inexpensive for an international trip, and the natural beauty of Iceland is beyond imaginable.
Although Reykjavik is the most populated city and the capital of Iceland, it’s a great jumping off point for unforgettable outdoor adventures within the tiny country. Located about 45 kilometers from Reykjavik is Thingvellir National Park, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area for its waterfalls, visible shifting tectonic plates, natural hot springs, and scuba diving. Scuba and snorkling enthusiasts love to visit Iceland to dive down into the fresh spring water of Silfra—a fissure that was formed by the shifting Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
There are also plenty of great day hikes that you can go on near city limits, including Mt. Esja—a volcanic mountain range and the most popular trail that gives you great views of the city—and Mt. Vífilsfell, which offers some of the best views of the Reykjavik area and is only a 20-minute drive from the city.
3. Machu Picchu
Are you and your new spouse in for the ultimate hiking experience? You might want to fly south to Peru to climb to the wondrous and mysterious lost city of Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains. The hike up to Machu Picchu takes about two to four days, so be sure to bring really good shoes and a healthy sense of stamina to reach your destination (also sunscreen, because the rays are some of the most powerful in the world).
If you go on a guided tour, it’s likely you’ll start out in the ancient and perfectly charming city of Cusco, which was the former capital of the Inca Empire. Take a day or two to explore this city—full of treasures like Inca stonework, cobblestone streets, museums, and cafes.
4. Phuket, Thailand
Nestled in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is a southern island in Thailand that has some of the country’s most dazzling beaches—and some of its best outdoor opportunities thanks to its white sands, crystal clear blue water, and tons of surrounding smaller islands.
Check out the nearby Pi Phi Islands by speed boat, go sea kayaking in Phang Nga Bay through a series of limestone caves, or try your hand at surfing on the western coast of the island. Another can’t-miss destination in Phuket is the Big Buddha (standing at about 148 feet tall), which is located on the top of the Nakkerd Hills. Besides the Big Buddha, you’ll also get sweeping views of the island—it’s definitely worth the trek up the hill.
When you’re not busy kayaking, surfing, or admiring the scenery of the island, you can head to the city of Pa Tong for nightlife (specifically on the debaucherous Bangla Road) and for entertainment like cabaret, shopping, and even catching a boxing match.