Beachside honeymoons for active couples

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of August 6-12, 1998
Biking (and eating) through France and Italy
Challenging adventure for father and son
Undiscovered rock climbing in South America
Beachside honeymoons for active couples

Beachside honeymoons for active couples
Question: Is there such a honeymoon resort where we can enjoy both the beach and the great outdoors like hiking, rock climbing, repelling, etc.?

Rick Ritchey
Lafayette, Indiana

Adventure Adviser: In fact, there is. Sort of. Though I’ve only been able to nail down one resort that mentions rock climbing as a bona fide activity, there are outfitters and guides in each area that you can call to get the definitive rundown of sports and activities in the area. So, without further ado, here’s where to find the ultimate in sporting and honeymooning pleasure.

Well-loved by Caribbeophile and divers alike is Anse Chastenet resort on the island of St. Lucia. With drop-dead views of the island’s twin peaks, the Pitons, you’ll likely spend most of your honeymoon gazing wistfully from your private bungalow deck with fruity drink in hand. If climbing the few hundred steps from your bungalow to the beach isn’t enough exercise, you can always take a guided climb up the half-mile-high Pitons ($100 per person) or hike the Fond St. Jacques trail that winds for several miles through the mountainous rainforest. There’s also a bevy of water activities including snorkeling, Sunfish sailing, and scuba diving, the focal point of the resort. For details on Anse Chastenet’s honeymoon packages, call 758-459-7000.

Yet another Caribbean gem is Martinique’s Habitation Lagrange. The ultimate in sultry luxury, the French hotel deep in the heart of a banana grove offers great access to hiking and mountain biking trails right out the door. Plus, the 17-room antique-filled hotel is miles off the beaten path on seven blissfully private acres. The one downfall — though there’s a gorgeous pool on the property, the closest beach, a secluded gray-sand cove, is approximately 30 minutes from the inn. Double room prices range from $275-$410 per night including breakfast. Call 800-633-7411 for more details. For information on hiking and rock climbing in the area, call VT Tilt outfitters at 011-596-66-01-01.

If you’re a rustic duo, you’ll gravitate toward Maho Bay Camps on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The ecologically stalwart camp is set on a hillside overlooking beaches the color of vanilla cake mix. The 114 canvas tent cottages are connected by wooden platforms, with communal toilets and cold showers in the middle. On the beach you can rent sailboards, sailboats, and sit-atop kayaks, and arrange snorkeling or scuba charters. Out back you can hike the endless miles in the national forest. And since lights are out at 10 p.m. you have the whole evening for honeymooning. Tent cottages cost $60 to $95 for two people, depending on the time of year. Call 800-392-9004 for more details. Stateside, check out Waianapanapa Beach on Hana, Maui. Rated one of the top 10 beaches in the world by Outside’s 1997-1998 Winter Travel Guide, the beach is a “perfect little stretch of fine black sand ... Get there before 10 a.m. and you’ll have the place to yourself.” Stay at the Hotel Hana-Maui and hike out the back door to trails that lead through forests of hala and naupaka trees or to ancient ruins. At $395-$795 per night (doubles), prices are a bit prohibitive, but at that price, it will be a honeymoon you’ll never forget! Call 800-321-4262 for details.

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