I recently got engaged, and I'm absolutely over the moon. But it wasn't a white wedding I thought about first, it was where I might go on my honeymoon. For a travel addict, picking a honeymoon location is a bit like a kid choosing just one sweet from a jar full of all their top favourites.
It's such an important decision, which is what makes it even harder. I want an unforgettable honeymoon that blows all my previous travel experiences out the water. A tad too ambitious? Perhaps, as I haven't exactly got the budget to back all my big ideas up! But you only get to go on a honeymoon once right?
It's the one holiday where you really do have an excuse to go overboard. That could mean splashing out on a luxury hotel in a pure paradise for some, but my vision is a little more unique. It's likely that my honeymoon will be very active and adventurous.
Therefore, for those adrenaline junkies and explorers out there, I thought I would share some of my top favourite locations for an active honeymoon. These have made my current shortlist, which no doubt will change over the next year or so.
My top favourite locations for an active honeymoon
Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya
Instead of spending an entire week sunning myself on a deserted island, I picture myself wandering through the lands of the Maasai Mara. One of your first experiences as a married couple could be going on escorted bush walks and game-viewing drives in Maasai Mara National Park, which is one of Africa's most impressive game reserves.
Enjoy nature at its best and catch a glimpse of some of the parks amazing animals. It's home to 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species. I think the perfect honeymoon should include some sort of active trek where you get to admire how spectacular our planet really is.
Yosemite National Park, USA
What's more adventurous than trekking in pure wilderness? Aside from being quite literally stunning, a honeymoon at Yosemite National Park offers plenty of cool adventures. You can go camping and backpacking around the park, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, rafting, and if you are feeling romantic, stargazing.
Picture standing on the edge of a rock in the park, hearing the sounds of only nature and staring up at a starry sky. Now that's romantic. Just remember to keep an eye out for the black bears. Yellowstone National Park is also on my bucket list, so for me it would be a tough choice between these two.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
I recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic, and it was epic. I actually went there on a girls' holiday but it's also a fantastic destination for loved-up couples. It offers better value for money than many other Caribbean destinations.
You might not think it's a good place for active holidaymakers, but wait until you read about what I got up to. You can watch the video here. I went zip lining, caving, swam in a blue hole and went swimming with stingrays and sharks. If you are after jaw-dropping Caribbean beaches and a spot of adventure, then the Dominican Republic would be a good fit.
Machu Picchu, Peru
This is something my fiance actually mentioned when we first started discussing honeymoon ideas. Initially he was like:
"Let's climb a mountain on our honeymoon."
But I thought that was taking things a little too far! Perhaps on a separate trip!
Then he said about visiting the incredible the Inca city of Machu Picchu, which has got to be on most serious travelers to do lists. I'm dying to cast my eye upon this 550-year old citadel which is perched between two impressive peaks. It really would be a trip of a lifetime, which is what honeymoons should be about.
The two places where I really want to go on a road trip are America and the Amalfi Coast (or basically all around Italy). It's not active per se, but pick the right powerful sports car, and your heart will certainly be beating fast whilst zooming around the winding roads in Italy and taking in the amazing views, it's also quite romantic. If a sports cars not your thing then perhaps a vintage car instead and you can channel Bridget Jones?
How about going volcano boarding on your honeymoon? Zoom down a volcano at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour on the volcanic sands. That sounds pretty fun to me! You can also go on zip wires, hiking in the volcanic trails, kayaking over the crater lakes, and take in the epic views from Masaya Volcano's active crater.
San Juan del Sur is a hotspot for surfers for those couples who enjoy hitting the waves together. You've also got the nearby Corn Islands which are a bit of an effort to get to, but it's worth it as they offer the most beautiful unspoiled beaches and nature trails.
I have been to Dubai already, so I wouldn't choose it for my honeymoon (as I want to go somewhere I have never been). But it's got so much to offer adrenaline junkies, especially in the desert. Go sand boarding, dune bashing and on camel rides through the desert where you can enjoy a romantic sunset picnic at dusk. Plus Dubai offers lots of theme and water parks with heart-pounding rides.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Another place where you and your new hubby can get an adrenaline rush is at Xplor Park in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Have an unforgettable honeymoon amongst natural surroundings where you can go on zip lines, swim through caves and underground rivers, go rafting, and drive amphibian vehicles. I'd really love to go on the night time torch-lit tour through the jungle where you can catch the sunset from the treetops of the jungle.
Vang Vieng, Laos
If you want to take on more of an epic challenge on your honeymoon, try Green Discovery's Vang Vieng Challenge. It consists of a two-day mountain trek where do climbing, hiking, abseiling and zip-lining. It's a steep hike and a 5,000 metre long trek, but you are rewarded with the refreshing waters of the Nam Them Waterfall.
Plenty of honemoon ideas and exciting times ahead
So those are my top picks for adventure based honeymoons, but keep an eye out for some more tips. I intend on also covering my personal picks for super relaxing and romantic honeymoons too. Then, when I have to make the all important decision, I will share my final itinerary with you. Exciting times!