Latin America

Among the Reefs, Ruins, and Rainforests, "I Thee Wed"

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2010

matachica beach resort For a lovely bit of bohemian chic-on-the-beach, Matachica Beach Resort, located on Ambergris Caye in Belize, is a good choice—sophisticated yet laid-back, contemporary and luxurious, intimate and private. Nestled on a long stretch of white sand beach, the resort serves well for those planning a romantic tropical wedding. All guests are welcomed in a lobby filled with contemporary paintings, candelabras, exotic hand-crafted art and mahogany furniture. Elegance continues in the stylish Mambo Restaurant, recognized as one of the best in Belize, and other resort amenities include rejuvenating massages and treatments at the Jade Spa or cocktails and movies served up in the Cinema Lounge. Casita accommodations come in a rainbow of colors outside, while interiors are appointed with earthy colors and regional art and fabrics. The beachfront Casitas are tops—just 50 ft. from the sea and furnished with a king-size bed and private patio with hammock. Matachica’s wedding consultant can arrange a ceremony with candles and flowers on the beach or under a domed thatch roof or out over the Caribbean Sea on the resort pier. A wedding package for two, when combined with a stay at the resort, is priced at $1,390 and includes all the goodies one would expect, plus a 3-course candlelight dinner for two. For couples who stay on, the resort’s 7-night honeymoon package features casita accommodations, daily breakfasts, nightly a la carte dinner with wine, special sunset honeymoon dinner, spa massages, snorkel/fishing trip and more. Package is priced from $3,925 per couple.

morgan’s rock hacienda & ecolodge Perfect for the “our-private-corner-of-the-world” style wedding, Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, in Ocotal Beach in Nicaragua, occupies a pristine, 4,500-acre private property with a gorgeous crescent of beach dotted with palapas that provide a place to map out future life plans against a background of crashing surf and forest wildlife. Uphill from the sea, La Bastide restaurant overlooks a tremendous infinity pool and the Pacific beyond, while newlyweds enjoy the very private hand-detailed bungalows made of exotic tropical hardwoods with huge decks open to spectacular views of the ocean and forest. Each has a king-size bed, full bathroom, exterior double hammock and open-air showers. However, in keeping with its environmentally friendly ethos, Morgan’s Rock accommodations have no phones and no in-room Internet. A couple’s wedding package includes an officiated ceremony at the beach, a lawyer and legal expenses, bottle of champagne, flowers for the ceremony, and a 4-course private dinner with wine on a private deck at the hotel. Priced at $899 for two, the package also includes 1-night accommodations with breakfast, a 45-minute massage for two and complimentary manicure/pedicure for the bride. Change the wedding venue to a sunset cruise aboard the 48-ft. yacht Argonauta, and the package is $1,699. The lodge customizes weddings for two to 20 guests, and invites the newlyweds to honeymoon at Morgan’s Rock, with a 15 percent discount on room rates (including meals and non-alcoholic beverages) for the next one to five nights; a 4-night honeymoon, for instance, would start at around $2,100 per couple.

pacuare jungle lodge Calling all lovers who love nature and want to access their inner Indiana Jones to the deluxe, award-winning Pacuare Jungle Lodge, located in Turrialba, Costa Rica, and where couples are invited to, “let Mother Nature bless their union.” Nestled in a private reserve overlooking the Pacuare River, the lodge offers a romantic and winning combination of a pristine setting, elegant architecture, gourmet restaurant, spa treatments, and outdoor adventures that include hiking, birdwatching, canopy tours, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, or even just swinging in a hammock. Gorgeous bungalows come with a wall of glass, teak floors, king-size canopy bed and canyon views, and the honeymoon suite has a private infinity pool fed by a natural waterfall. Many couples choose to start the great adventure of marriage with the adventure of whitewater rafting to the lodge (a 1.5-hour run), however, the lodge is accessible by land and a hanging gondola ride across the river. Pacuare Lodge wedding services can include a bilingual lawyer to officiate at the ceremony and take care of paperwork; tropical flower arrangements for ceremony and reception; live acoustic music; photographer for the wedding and rafting trip; special lunch and dinner menus; full bar and well-stocked wine cellar. Consider building a wedding ceremony around the 2-night Honeymoon Getaway, priced from $853 pp. Features include staying in the honeymoon suite with champagne bottle on arrival, romantic dinner, breakfasts served en-suite, massage for two, private jungle hike, river rafting with CD of trip, transfers, and more.