After the ring, prewedding events, and the big day itself, you might feel like there’s not much left over in your budget for a romantic honeymoon. Don’t worry – the trick is finding the right destinations and knowing the right times to go. To help you plan your much-deserved trip after your wedding, we turned to travel experts who gave the scoop on the best honeymoon destinations that won’t break the bank for couples on a budget.
“History and architecture buffs will fall in love with the city of Antigua with its cobblestoned streets, Spanish Baroque influences, and colonial churches,” says Travelocity’s Courtney Scott. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Local Sights in Antigua
“Enjoy roaming the open-air markets for artisan products and local delicacies, and hop on a shuttle to head to Guatemala City or Monterrico Beach,” says Scott.
“If you want to do European beaches, consider Croatia,” says Danielle Contray of Budget Travel. “The island of Hvar sits in the Adriatic and has miles of beaches plus medieval architecture and great nightlife.” Not to mention, she says, that you’ll be able to find hotels under $100.
With its cobbled streets and baroque-influenced colonial architecture, Antigua Guatemala is a vibrant UNESCO world heritage site with a diverse population of locals and expats from around the world. Your biggest worry when visiting Antigua is that you may not want to leave. I went for 2 weeks and stayed for 8 months! Once the capital of Central America Antigua may be geographically small but it is full of things to do in Antigua from volcano hiking to partying with locals in an empty pool!
1. HIKE A VOLCANO (OR 3?)
The first thing you will notice about Antigua is that it is quite literally surrounded by Volcanoes. It would be rude not to hike at least 1. The most dominant volcano in the skyline is Volcan Agua, this is also the only one you should not attempt to hike. To the west of the town, you will see 2 connected Volcanos. Volcan Acatenango and Volcan Fuego. If you have a good level of fitness and are up for a challenge I urge you to do an overnight hike to Acatenango, book online here for $90.
Planning your out-of-town nuptials? Consider these romantic destination wedding locations all around the world
The time has come to say the vows and you and your soon-to-be-forever mate want to have your bash in an unforgettable place: a destination wedding awaits you. You’ve got the romance down already: You’ve stayed in the most romantic hotels in Americatogether, dined at the most romantic restaurants in NYC and around the country, and escaped on the most romantic getaways in America. It’s time to make your official union just as unforgettable as the rest of your relationship. So fly to one of these amazing spots on our list of best destination wedding locations in the world and get ready to say “I do!” in style.
Destination weddings around the world
Among domestic (sorta) wedding destinations, few places can rival Hawaii, where pristine sands, turquoise waters and fruity cocktails beckon the bride, the groom and all of their guests. Known as the Garden Island, Kauai is our pick for a nuptials celebration: smaller than its sister islands and populated by fewer people, Kauai boasts a more authentic “old Hawaii” feel.
Guatemala is crazily beautiful in all the ways you’d imagine a Central American country to be.
You’ll see brightly painted chicken buses overloaded with passengers, blaring reggaeton tunes and firing their horn like it’s going out of fashion. But this country is as tranquil as it is colorful. The people, so warm and welcoming, bring a sense of calm that is contagious, and the scenery is spiritual in its beauty. And no place is better to experience all that Guatemala has to offer than the traveler haven, Antigua.
Antigua is like finding an old jumper that you haven’t worn for a while – it fits perfectly and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. The town is small enough to navigate easily, which means that it quickly becomes familiar, and you can’t help but feel at ease as you stroll among its cobbled streets. Centuries-old Spanish architecture and crumbling churches sit amid vibrant markets, inviting restaurants, bohemian cafés and countless bars. The towering peaks of the surrounding volcanoes provide a perfect backdrop, and are easily accessible for day trips or longer hikes.
Fancy sunrise from the top of a volcano? How about toasting marshmallows on lava?
On 2/17/18, after a weeklong visit to the American School of Guatemala, I day-tripped from Guatemala City to what some call the historical highlight of Guatemala: the ruins of a Mayan city now called Tikal, part of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. (How long it remains the highlight remains to be seen. Mere weeks earlier, it was announced that archeologists using LiDAR discovered an immense stretch of ruins—a megalopolis—not far from Tikal.)
My hotel was about 10 minutes from the airport. My (domestic) flight was at 6:30 am. Oddly, the tour company set my pickup for 3:30 am. I asked for leniency but the latest they would agree to was 4 am. Sure enough, there was a slow-moving, 15-person line at check-in, but even so, I was done by 5 a.m. That left 90 minutes to fill…assuming the flight departed on time.
Which, surprise, it didn’t. My flight number was 110 but turns out three flights were scheduled to leave GC for Flores (the airport closest to Tikal) at 6:30, out of the same gate but with different (unannounced) flight numbers.
Globetrotters fall in love with history-steeped cobblestone streets, lined with colorful houses set against a backdrop of vibrant Maya culture and dramatic volcanic scenery.
This is La Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, colonial city, and former capital cradled in the Panchoy Valley between three majestic volcanoes in the central Guatemalan highlands.
The city has a prolific volunteer and traveler scene as well as a thriving expat community as many visitors find life so enticing here they decide to make Antigua their part-time base or permanent home. This happened to me.
Like many before me, I came to Antigua to study Spanish as I’d heard the locals here spoke with a clear accent.
If there’s that one thing that travellers learn the most about while visiting different parts of the world, it is history. After all, it is the many tales, the great deeds of men and the mysteries attached to a destination that often attract travellers to places that are ancient. Apart from the knowledge associated to them, another thing that attracts travellers to these amazing heritage sites around the world are the architectural finesse with which they were built. Right from the structures to the building materials, some of these sites stand out to be no less than marvels. While we usually relate to places like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or even the Colosseum in Rome, when the discussion is about the best heritage sites around the world, there are some really amazing ancient sites around the world that are lesser-known.
Visit the incredible ancient city of Tikal on this day trip from San Ignacio. Once a powerful city center during the Classic Mayan period, today Tikal is a UNESCO World Heritage site that draws scores of visitors each year. Your professional guide will take you across the border into Tikal National Park in Guatemala and lead you on a fascinating tour of the sprawling archaeological complex. Round-trip transport from your San Ignacio hotel and all park fees are included. Highlights Day trip to Tikal from San Ignacio Visit Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour the ruins of Tikal with a professional and informative guide Learn about the Mayans who built one of the largest archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian world Round-trip hotel transport by comfortable coach included
The morning sun has barely peeked up, but Antigua’s Mayan farmers’ market is already swarming with action, a chaotic kaleidoscope of vendors in vivid traditional clothing selling their produce. Guiding me through the Technicolor maze, chef Kenny Aldana points out neon-orange cashew fruit; avocados, mangoes and melons of all sizes and shapes; edible flowers; fresh fish; and meats including bizarre displays of dried iguanas.
Bags filled, we return to the El Convento boutique hotel where Aldana holds court in the kitchen. At noon he delivers a market-sourced gourmet feast — chicken bathed in a luscious sauce of pepitoria (traditional roasted and ground squash seeds) with local izote flowers, baby zucchinis and a slice of jicama-like ichuntal lightly battered and fried, perched in a puddle of tomato puree with mild chile. Each flavor is astonishingly rich and strong.