Top 10 Adventurous Honeymoon Destinations

There’s more to a honeymoon than cocktails on the beach and here at Responsible Travel we recommend newlyweds watch the sunset with a Piña Colada only after they have zip-lined through the Costa Rican rainforest or spotted orangutans in Borneo. In fact, who says you need a beach anyway? Instead, why not drive your own team of huskies through the pristine Arctic wilderness. Introducing our top 10 adventurous honeymoon destinations, where romance is topped only by sheer memory-making excitement.

1. Costa Rica

Start your new life together on the right foot – with a healthy dose of pura vida. Embrace this Costa Rican respect for nature and enjoy hiking up volcanoes, ziplining through the rainforest and cycling along coastal trails, keeping your eyes peeled for macaws and monkeys along the way. Beaches here are wonderful too, and you’ll be sharing your cocktail views with turtles, coming ashore to nest.
When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Costa Rica wildlife vacation
See all our trips: Costa Rica vacations
Read more: Costa Rica travel guide

2. Scottish Highlands

Swap exotic beaches for the wild, untamed romance of the Scottish Highlands. Honeymoons here are all about cosy fireside evenings after days walking in some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery – think dramatic moorland, mountains and mist. You’ll enjoy some of the world’s finest seafood and for a truly magical trip, travel by steam on the Jacobite train along the West Highland Line, aka the ‘Hogwarts Express’.

When to go: April to October
Our top trip: Scotland by railway vacation
See all our trips: Scottish Highlands vacations
Read more: Scotland travel guide

3. Thailand

While it might be more synonymous with lazy island life, don’t overlook Thailand if you’re after adventure on your honeymoon. Hikes to meet hill tribes in the country’s north offer an indelible insight into local culture – and delicious home cooked food – while jungle filled national parks offer kayaking on hidden lakes and a wealth of wildlife. It’s all topped off with a few days kicking back on a beautiful beach backed by limestone karsts, of course.

When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Thailand beach and rainforest vacation
See all our trips: Thailand vacations
Read more: Thailand travel guide

4. Sri Lanka

Wildlife, surf and fascinating colonial history; all packaged together and tied up with warm, laid-back culture and brilliant food. You choose how you want your Sri Lanka. Will it be full of elephants and leopards in Yala National Park and Indian Ocean whale watching, homestays, hikes and history in green-carpeted tea plantations, or perhaps beachside yoga classes after a long day surfing?
When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Sri Lanka vacations, tailor made
See all our trips: Sri Lanka vacations
Read more: Sri Lanka honeymoons travel guide

5. Finnish Lapland

There’s nowhere more magical than Lapland in winter: dense forests of snow laden pine trees, frozen lakes and of course, the mystical Northern Lights. Honeymoon here and you can cement your partnership by driving your own team of huskies to a remote wilderness cabin, exploring on snowshoes and sharing your first glimpse of the Northern Lights dancing across the Arctic sky.

When to go: December to April
Our top trip: Winter adventure in Finland
See all our trips: Lapland vacations
Read more: Finnish Lapland travel guide

6. Ethiopia

Leave preconceived notions behind – Ethiopia isn’t drought ridden and famine ravaged, it is flooded with ancient culture, dramatic mountains and endemic wildlife. Rewrite the classic honeymoon and share in a cultural journey, exploring rock hewn churches, vibrant festivals and hikes through the commanding peaks and plateaus of the Simien Mountains.

When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Ethiopia vacations, tailor made
See all our trips: Ethiopia vacations
Read more: Ethiopia travel guide

7. Cuba

Swap the Caribbean honeymoon all inclusives for a heady hit of Cuban culture. Share a steamy salsa in Havana, hike, bike or horse ride your way into the dramatic Vinales Valley and satisfy an appetite for history, chasing shadows of Che Guevara. Casa particulares, Cuba’s warmly hospitable network of homestays, offer a fascinating insight into local life coupled with cosy, and private, rooms. And beachside mojitos are as Cuban as they come.
When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Cuba tours
See all our trips: Cuba vacations
Read more: Cuba travel guide

8. Borneo

Discover Borneo’s tangled jungle, where orangutans hide in the tree tops and pygmy elephants crash along the forest floor, cruise along the Kinabatangan River looking out for proboscis monkeys and take a canopy walk high above the jungle. A trip with luxurious hotels and idyllic islands brings the honeymoon vibe, and there’s the chance to unwind on Borneo’s picture perfect coast.

When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Borneo vacation, highlights of Borneo
See all our trips: Borneo vacations
Read more: Borneo travel guide

9. Morocco

What better way to start a marriage than sitting together, sipping a never ending supply of mint tea on a kasbah terrace after an exhilarating hike in the High Atlas. Or take your newly formed two person team for a test drive navigating Marrakech old town’s unfathomable maze of souks and alleyways, past spice stalls and steamy hammams. Either way, Morocco offers an excitingly exotic, yet short haul honeymoon adventure.

When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Luxury trekking vacation in the Atlas Mountains
See all our trips: Morocco vacations
Read more: Morocco travel guide

10. Tanzania

A big game safari plus a dash of Indian Ocean beach is the tried and tested recipe for honeymoon perfection. Up the adventure in Tanzania by heading off the beaten-safari-truck-track into Selous, a vast reserve larger than Switzerland where you might be lucky enough to see African wild dogs, and will be unlucky if you see other tourists. Mafia Island, and its fringe of coral reefs, offers a quieter, wilder beach alternative to Zanzibar.
When to go: Anytime, except from March to early June
Our top trip: Selous safari and Mafia Islands diving vacation
See all our trips: Safari and beach vacations
Read more: Safari and beach travel guide
Written by Sarah Faith
Photo credits: [Page banner: Elias Kordelakos] [Costa Rica: Vlad Podvorny] [Sri Lanka: Eranda Fernando] [Cuba: Ban Yido] [Tanzania: Matthew Cramblett]
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