Known for its talcum-white sand, laid-back beach bars and tasty dining scene, this friendly island is ideal for couples aiming to kick back and relax. Cap Juluca is a favorite with honeymooners, who love its sexy Moorish architecture and pristine crescent beach.
Anguilla’s shores are scalloped with some of the most glorious beaches in the entire Caribbean, including Meads Bay, a stretch of silky sand along the island’s West End. And every afternoon, the sunset that blazes across Anguilla’s horizon infuses this special beach with a rosy glow, creating a magical carpet of pink, offset by the turquoise waters of the sea.
Home to 365 beaches and a lovely maritime tradition, Antigua offers historic settings, amazing offshore reefs and upscale pampering. Its serene, secluded beaches are ideal for canoodling and skinny-dipping. Another plus: The atmosphere at most of the resorts is decidedly romantic and sophisticated—not too "kiddie" or commercial.
Bon bini, or welcome, to the island of Aruba. Here, miles of pristine white sand stretch before you, the sky and Caribbean Sea converge in spectacular fashion—a kaleidoscope of turquoise and the faintest blue—and the weather is a constant 83 degrees year round. The surroundings are so heavenly, it’s as if you’re reliving a perfect day over and over again: A Groundhog Day for honeymooners, if you will.
Located on the fringe of the Hurricane Belt, Aruba is sheltered from most tropical storms, making it an ideal beach getaway regardless of what month couples are getting married. It’s a short flight away for East-Coasters—just over two hours away by plane from Miami and four hours from New York—but it’s also close to Venezuela and Colombia.
The island is home to over 22 major hotels, from sprawling high-rises in Palm Beach to boutique low-rise properties along the Eagle Beach coast. (Aside from being gorgeous, Eagle Beach is also a nesting site for leatherback sea turtles.)
A collection of more than 100 islands, the Bahamas, with its proximity to the States (many of its islands are less than 200 miles from Miami) and endless untrammeled beaches, has become a magnet for honeymooners. While some of the islands bustle with excitement, there are plenty of remote outposts to be found throughout the archipelago.
Beach lovers should head straight to the Exumas, a group of 365 cays and islands surrounded by aquamarine water in shades as varied as a peacock’s feathers. On main Great Exuma Island, Sandals Emerald Bay is the only real resort option with 245 tropical colonial rooms that have exclusive concierge or butler service.
The sand at Harbour Island’s Pink Sand Beach (also known as Three Mile Beach) in the Bahamas really is pink. Composed of a fine-milled mix of coral, calcium carbonate, shells and rocks, the soft sand gets its rosy color from the remains of a microscopic invertebrate called foraminifera.
The wide cliff-lined beach stretches over the entire eastern length of the island, making it the postcard-perfect spot to spend the afternoon strolling hand in hand. You’ll want to take swimming breaks — the sparkling turquoise water is serene and sandy-bottomed.
It may be small in size, but Bali’s got character in spades. Part of the Indonesian archipelago, this accessible, frangipani-scented island manages to offer something for everyone. It’s all at your fingertips: sugar-sand beaches and party spots, great food, fascinating historic and cultural sites and a thriving arts and crafts scene. You can also find stylish accommodations and luxury perks (hello, two-hour massages!) for very reasonable rates.
Take a day trip to unspoiled, car-free Lembongan Island, located 30 minutes by speedboat from Bali, in the middle of the Badung Strait. Snorkel among the coral at Crystal Bay, join the surfers near Jungut Batu or just relax with a Bintang beer on Dream Beach.
Barbados is widely known for many things, among them, pink beaches, green monkeys, and loads of centuries-old architectural riches. But only in certain circles is this windy island also known for its swells. Turns out that between its position (as far east as you can get in the Caribbean)— and shallow reef system — Barbados is a veritable wave machine.
In fact, reigning surf champ Kelly Slater—who’s ridden pretty much every notable wave in existence—considers Barbados to have one of the top three: Soup Bowl, a giant barrel that rolls toward the town of Bathsheba. Not that you need mad skills to enjoy Barbados’s stoke factor. The island has a reported 35 surf breaks, many of them beginner- and intermediate-level.
Though you’ve no doubt heard of Antigua, Barbuda, 27 miles off its northern coast (reached via a short flight from Antigua’s airport) keeps a decidedly lower profile. A trip here is like stepping back to a bygone Caribbean era—there are few paved roads and goats and donkeys roam freely. But you won’t be roughing it, as there are several upscale lodgings such as Lighthouse Bay Resort, a nine-suite hotel set between the sea and a lagoon, with its own helipad.
Photo Credit: Natural Expressions NY for Lighthouse Bay Resort
Described as “one of the four must-dive locations on this blue planet” by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, more than 200 small islands and lots of crystal-clear waters.
Experience this aquatic wonderland with a scuba adventure or a kayaking trip. Sink your toes into the white sand of seaside towns like Hopkins Village, San Pedro and Placencia, or reserve a private island for the day.
There are few places on earth where you can visit ancient Mayan temples, wander through a rainforest, chill on a white sand beach and swim along one of the largest reefs in the world. And this rustic paradise beckons honeymooners to recharge under the stars.
A hundred miles up the coast from Rio is the chic beach retreat of Buzios, a fishing village that was "discovered" by actress Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s. Since then, jetsetters have been flocking to the rugged peninsula and its turquoise bays for the see-and-be-seen scene.
Copious sea, sun and sand are complemented by luxury shopping and gourmet restaurants. Of course, watersports abound. There’s snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, board surfing and even slipping into the tropical water au naturel at clothing-optional Praia Olho de Boi.
The northernmost point of the BVI chain is this little-known 11-mile-long island with a population of just 200. Unlike Tortola or Virgin Gorda, which are volcanic in origin, Anegada is a flat coral-and-limestone atoll. Its name means "drowned" island, and due to its remoteness, it attracts those travelers looking to truly escape.
In addition to the main beach, Loblolly Bay, Anegada has plenty of serene stretches, including Flash of Beauty and Cow Wreck, where you can spread out a towel and be blissfully alone all day. Of course, nautical activities are endless—fishing for blue marlin, snorkeling at Horseshoe reef, diving amid sunken ships and sailing around the clear waters.
What’s a perfect beach day? In the British Virgins, cruise over to the islet of Jost Van Dyke, anchor in the translucent bay, dive overboard and swim ashore. Then hang up your wet cash to dry at the Soggy Dollar Bar, grab a hammock and sip a signature Painkiller—a potent rum drink. Before long you’ll be blissed out on the beauty of this classic Caribbean setting.
Set among the already sleepy British Virgin Islands is Scrub Island, a private island resort. Such a secluded spot is a natural fit for honeymooners — an idyllic setting, maximum privacy, high romance factor, luxe accommodations and, in many cases, the resort is close enough to the main island if you should crave a bit of shopping or nightlife.
Located a 10-minute ferry ride from the B.V.I.’s main island of Tortola, the retreat offers 50 plantation-style rooms featuring teak furniture, stone floors and sea-facing verandas. There’s the secluded North Beach, a lagoon-style pool with a waterfall and swim-up bar and the Ixora Spa for hot-stone massages, coconut-milk baths and aloe-and-sugar scrubs. You’ll also find activities ranging from hiking to kayaking. At the resort’s full-service marina, book snorkeling trips to famous beach bars like Foxy’s and Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke.
Mountainous Tortola is the largest and most populated island in the BVI chain. It’s where you’ll find a wide variety of hotels and restaurants, as well as lots of nightlife and shopping options, especially around the small but busy capital of Road Town. On the shores, you’ll find myriad deserted beaches, sheltered bays and stellar sunsets.
Secluded Brewer’s Bay, reached via hairpin turns, is known for its snorkeling and swimming, while nearby Cane Garden Bay has watersports concessions and plenty of open-air cafés. Just as the sun sets, you’ll want to find yourselves in one of the many barefoot beachside bars offering lively happy hours that turn even livelier when night falls.
A relaxed, laid-back mood seems to linger forever on each of the 15 Cook Islands. Opt for the island of Aitutaki, where a variety of go-with-the-flow lagoon cruises take off daily, and you’ll experience a completely sequestered stay.
For a bit more action between your naps and massages, we recommend Rarotonga, the capital island, where you’ll find shopping enclaves, cultural happenings and indulgent spa facilities. Then hit your private section of the beach and soak up a feeling of utter isolation.
Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, tropical Costa Rica offers pristine beaches and eco-friendly spas for relaxing, as well as zip lining and volcano hikes for adventure seekers. Plus, the superlush land is a veritable paradise on earth.
Still relatively undeveloped, the province of Guanacaste in the northwest features endless miles of sandy beaches, top-notch surfing and snorkeling, plus a volcano area with noted hot springs.