Ah the honeymoon, the perfect break to escape the drama of bringing two families together and to postpone the writing of very vague thank you notes (who did gift that nutri-2000 pasta machine?). Whilst minds automatically race to visions of white sand beaches and swaying palms, we like to think a little out of the box. We're talking South America outside of the box. Filled with beautiful people, delectable cuisine and pastoral wilderness, South America is one of Original Travel's favourite regions for honeymoons. Read our ideas below and worry not, the beaches and swaying palms haven't been entirely ditched (we're not completely insane).
First up is Chile and we've chosen Santiago for a hip and happening honeymoon. Stay in the heart of Santiago's cultural hub at the Singular and take in views of Parque Forestal from your Deluxe Balcony room. We love to pair Santiago with the Central Valley for a taste of rural Chile so flag down a designated driver and wind your way through the wine-filled valley sipping Carménère red as you go. Alternatively, the South of Chile is home to Torres del Paine National Park where the Awasi Patagonia hotel makes a fantastic base camp for exploring the remote National Park. Think lodge villas with roaring fires, picnics amidst towering mountains and 4x4 road trips exploring the park.
For Brazil it's a toss-up between Bahia and Minas Gerais, two bordering states both equally wonderful for honeymooners. In Bahia, the capital city of Salvador offers Afro-Brazilian cuisine on the streets, samba lessons late into the night and endless caipirinhas at the bar. For a beach getaway take an hour's flight south to Trancoso where the Uxua Casa Hotel (a rustic bolthole) sits in the town square. This artsy affair is only a 10 minute stroll away from the beach, what more could you want? Minas Gerais, on the other hand, is only 3.5 hours from Rio by plane and acts as a wonderful city break. Stay at the Reserva do Ibitipoca, sway the day away together in hammocks, dine under jabuticabeira trees and feel the wind in your hair as you canter across the green acres of reserve (romantic, right?).
Buenos Aires is the heart and soul of Argentina and two of our favourite hotels reside here. Faena boasts a red and white colour scheme that'll kick your honeymoon off to a visual start, combine that with the professional dancers performing the passionate Tango after dinner and you have the recipe for romance (which could all come crashing down if your own Tango isn't up to scratch). On the other hand Candelaria Del Monte is set amidst acres of Argentinian Pampas (wild grass) and, with only four rooms, its small size is positively intimate. Enjoy exploring the South American lowlands by horseback or simply relax around the pool and enjoy the first days of marital life absorbing the sweet life of the Pampas.
In Ecuador we're all about Quito and the Highlands. The capital city, set in the north, is bustling with history but venture further afield and you have quaint Indian villages, local markets and traditional haciendas to explore. Stay at Hacienda Zuleta, a working farm set amidst 4000 acres for an exclusive escape or Mashpi Lodge for a nature based retreat amidst the forest. Immerse yourselves in the beauty of the Andean forests, sip coffee on the terrace as the morning mist rises and venture out to nearby natural pools for an afternoon dip (coincidentally the pools provide the perfect backdrop to your first marital selfie).
Peru is bustling with history so if you're a couple of boffins (Mr & Mrs Boffin to be precise) this is the country for you. Cusco, known as the 'Archaeological Capital of the Americas' boasts an array of ancient Andean heritage and the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas only compliments this. Enjoy cocktails on the wooden colonial-era balconies and watch the sun set over the city. Tie Cusco in with the Sacred Valley of the north and you've got a honeymoon to write home about. The Sol y Luna lodge sits in the heart of the valley and each of its casitas sit amongst beautiful gardens. Enjoy a bottle of bubbly in the outdoor Jacuzzi bath and take in the spectacular views of the surrounding Andes.