Latin America

Latin America for Lovers

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2010

sofitel santa clara & san pedro de majagua Cartagena in Colombia is a captivating destination for honeymooners: think balmy Caribbean nights and romantic carriage rides through a fairy tale-like city, seemingly lifted out of the 17the century. The city’s historical richness is complemented by a seaside setting and a handful of offshore islands. Add to this superlative seafood dining and the rhythms of Colombia’s cumbia, and you’ve got a perfectly sultry destination, combining a stay in the Old City with beachtime on the Rosario archipelago. Set right in Cartagena’s centro historico, Sofitel Santa Clara is a five-star boutique hotel occupying the beautifully restored Convent of Santa Clara. The property has 115 rooms and 19 suites, and the guest facilities include its Club Spa, a pool and restaurant set up in what had been the original convent’s dining room. Its sister resort, San Pedro de Majagua, occupies a private island 24 miles offshore; it has 17 rooms including beachside suites fitted with king beds and top amenities. Laid-back is the lifestyle here, where guests go diving, snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing when not enjoying a massage or swinging in a hammock. Tara Tours has joined the two hotels in a 6-night Cartagena Romantica, priced from $1,897 pp, including air from Miami. Additional honeymoon features are 3-night suite accommodations at Sofitel Santa Clara and three nights at San Pedro de Majagua, welcome bottle of wine, massage for two at Santa Clara’s LeSpa, a candlelit dinner for two at the Refectorio restaurant, private guided tour of Cartagena, daily breakfast, airport transfers and island boat transfers.

hotel punta islita & el silencio Two unforgettable destinations in Costa Rica—one featuring both a gorgeous hilltop pool and sunny beaches and the other a splendid tropical cloud forest setting—invite couples to celebrate their love in stylish comfort and romance-inspiring seclusion. Set on a high bluff, Hotel Punta Islita overlooks a rugged ocean cove in Guanacaste. The hospitality accent is on comfort, authentic charm, eco-adventures, picturesque villages and a commitment to responsible tourism that makes it a feel-good beach destination. Its sister hotel, El Silencio Lodge & Spa is an eco-sanctuary for soft adventure and inspired wellness. Located in Costa Rica’s Central Valley, it features a delicious organic menu, spa and yoga, as well as adventurous outings in the highlands cloud forest. The offer is a Magical Costa Rica Honeymoon, priced at $2,996 for six nights, taxes included. At El Silencio, set on 500 private acres of carbon-offsetting tropical cloud forest (13 miles from the town of Sarchi), honeymooners spend three nights in a spacious luxury suite with king-size bed, marble bath and private terrace with jacuzzi; enjoy three daily a-la-carte wellness meals, a candlelit dinner, in-room healthy snacks daily, personal eco-concierge services, guided hiking tour, Los Bajos cultural tour, or choice of two eco-adventures—rafting, rappelling, ziplining or horseback riding. At Hotel Punta Islita, the couple spends three nights in a Santa Fe-style suite with king-size bed, private patio with hammock and outdoor whirlpool, enjoy a welcome cocktail, one couple’s tandem massage, choice of one eco-adventure—ziplining, horseback riding or hiking), private dinner with guitar serenade, flower bouquet, tropical fruit basket, Islita Discovery Tour, and airstrip to hotel roundtrip ground transfers.

galapagos islands Calling all nature-loving honeymooners to the Galapagos Islands, where newlyweds can indeed make memories when following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. Certainly the islands stage one of the greatest natural shows on earth, a place to be enchanted by sea lions playing like kittens between water and land, bewitched by the sinister tangles of marine iguanas, entertained by the ritual mating dances of the blue-footed booby and the Galapagos albatross. Adventure Associates suggests that a 5-night In Darwin’s Footsteps expedition will be just the celebration ticket, a plan that follows a 4-day cruise aboard the deluxe 90-guest Santa Cruz, followed by two nights on Santa Cruz Island at Finch Bay Eco Hotel. Santa Cruz cabins are located on upper and main decks, while sun deck houses a bar and jacuzzi, along with the observation platform for whale watching. The dining room and lounge are stylishly appointed and enjoy large picture windows. Additionally, there is a well-stocked library/reading room. Naturalist guides lead out daily outings to explore the islands on nature hikes, small craft and glass-bottom boat trips, as well as swimming and snorkeling activities. More excursions are offered when staying on Santa Cruz Island, including a highland hike to see tortoises in the wild. The In Darwin’s Footsteps for Honeymooners offers queen bed accommodations, all meals and excursions at sea and on land, plus some extras such as a bottle of sparkling wine in the cabin and a welcome drink at Finch Bay. The cost is $2,305 pp.