August 08, 2009

Honeymoon Series: Adventure Honeymoons compiled a great list of the ultimate adventure honeymoons. If laying around on a beach is not your style, check out this list by Forbes Traveler.

The World Beach

If you're determined to just lay on a beach somewhere but can't agree on which stretch of sugar white sand it should be, there's an adventure honeymoon to suit. TCS Expeditions "Around the World: Islands" private jet trip stops in the Seychelles, the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Tonga, New Zealand's South Island, Tasmania, Brunei, Madagascar, Seychelles and Malta. And the $64,950 per person price tag will make the cash you blew on the wedding seem like small change. (TCS Expeditions)

Safari: Kenya

Abercrombie & Kent's safari in the Masai Mara is ideal for cat lovers. The stealthy guides driving open-sided jeeps know exactly how to approach to within a dozen feet of slumbering lions, leopards, cheetahs and more. (Apparently, humans don't resemble lunch until they step from the vehicle.) At Olonana tented camp—overlooking the Mara River and resident hippopotamus pods—the outdoor showers, double vanity, free laundry service and morning delivery of fresh coffee make it hard to believe you're in one of the wildest places on earth. Rise early for a tree-skimming dawn balloon ride to spot leopards, crocodile and all manner of predators before chowing down on a sumptuous champagne breakfast. (Abercrombie & Kent)

Archaeology Cruise: Egypt

Abercrombie & Kent's 13-day Romance Along the Nile itinerary will suit honeymooners who want more honeymoon and a little less adventure. Visit the Pyramids with your very own Egyptologist guiding you through secret passages and chambers. From the vantage point of a table set for two, watch the sunrise over the pyramids while your gloved waiter pours yet another glass of the bubbly. (Abercrombie & Kent)

Camel Camping: India

India's kaleidoscopic culture and royal connections make it an ideal destination for honeymooners with an adventurous spirit. Greaves Tours suggest an itinerary taking in Reggie Singh's Camel Camp, located in the dramatic Rajasthan desert. (Reggie's informal name belies the fact that he is actually the grandson of the Maharaja of Jodhpur.) On camel, visit local villages by day and, by night, return to camp to relax in the heated swimming pool among sand dunes. Before leaving India, spend a night at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, where Greaves can arrange for the Maharaja himself to join you for tea. (Greaves India)

Elephant Safari: Thailand

It's the "regal arrival" option at Anantara Golden Triangle that really lets your fellow travelers know that this is no ordinary vacation. Guests who choose this option arrive via long-tailed boat and elephant ride to be toasted on arrival with champagne. The three-day elephant safari brings you closer to nature and teaches you how to be a mahout (elephant driver). Ride to the top of a nearby mountain for sunset cocktails and dinner overlooking the Mekong River as it meets at the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Staff can also arrange a private breakfast in one of the nearby 600-year-old temples. (Anantara Golden Triangle)

Gorilla Trekking: Uganda

Travcoa's gorilla trekking itinerary includes three nights in a gorilla forest camp, nestled deep in the misty mountains and giant bamboo of Bwindi National Park. This verdant valley—not surprisingly a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is home to half the world's gorilla population and is lush with orchids and, rather conveniently for new couples, mistletoe. When honeymoon guests arrive back at camp after a day communing with their distant evolutionary cousins, they'll find a bath drawn, candles lit and flower petals spread across the floor. (Travcoa)

Hiking: Bhutan

Every visitor to Bhutan feels giddy and lightheaded. It might be love, but it's probably the altitude—20,000-foot peaks are spread across this tiny Himalayan kingdom. Embark on Uma Paro's ten-night Druk Path hike, taking in the region's precipitously positioned architectural and natural wonders. The highlight (which should be attempted only after fully acclimating to the altitude) is making the pilgrimage to Taktsang Monastery, known locally as the Tiger's Nest. After each day's rigorous hike, return to Uma Paro hotel where clawfoot tubs, open fireplaces, couples massages and hot stone baths await. The resort can also arrange traditional Bhutanese wedding ceremonies. (Uma Paro Hotel)

Rock Climbing: Italy

In the Tyrolean village high in the Dolomites, Rosa Alpina Hotel and Spa may have just invented Michelin-star climbing. The property's two-Michelin-star restaurant, St. Hubertus, is the perfect culinary base camp from which to explore the region's crags and peaks. Enthusiastic guides like "Pippo" Cola (who is also a professional chef) provide fascinating history lessons by exploring the vie ferrata (a network of suspension bridges, cable ladders and boardwalks used during the world wars). Don't miss a night in the property's remote rustic cabin, high in a verdant alpine meadow. (Rosa Alpina)

Sailing: Tahiti

With a plethora of over-water bungalows from St. Regis, Four Seasons and Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa, Tahiti is enduringly popular with honeymooners but can be a little light on adventure. After the novelty of feeding sharks and stingrays wears off, charter Taravana, the world's first catamaran capable of big game fishing under sail. A sunset cruise complete with a glass of bubbly in one hand and a thrashing marlin in the other will ensure that ordinary sailing will never be the same again. (The Art of Travel)

Scuba Diving: Australia

The thing that makes Lizard Island—the northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef—so remarkable is both the abundance and variety of fish and the vibrant color of the coral. The outer reef location means bluer water than the slightly greener inner reef. Find colorful fish, including the "Nemo" clownfish, without having to endure a lengthy boat ride. Highlights are cobalt blue Mori wrass, cuttle fish (the chameleon of the sea) and giants like and 1,000-pound blue marlin and 300-pound curious potato cod at Cod Hole. (Voyages)

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