A honeymoon is often the one holiday in your life where you can throw caution to the winds, leave budget worries behind you, and plan the holiday you’ve always wanted. But what if the two of you want slightly different things? Let’s face it, it’s not exactly unusual for even the best-suited bride and groom to have rather different ideas about what makes for the perfect holiday. One of you might be the active type, never happier than when biking down a mountain or abseiling off a cliff; the other might prefer to lie back with a good book on a beach somewhere. Not all destinations let you easily combine the two, but a honeymoon in Brazil might be just the way to do it.
Most people find weddings at least a little bit tiring and even the most energetic bride and groom usually look forward to at least a little down time once the wedding is over. Fortunately, Brazil has some of the world’s best beaches. You’re likely to fly into Rio de Janeiro, which has some superb city beaches (Ipanema and Copacabana are both hard to beat) but assuming you’d like something less public, you’ll probably want to head out of town to somewhere a little more exclusive.
A couple of hours to the north of Rio, you’ll find the lovely Buzios peninsula, which was brought to the world’s attention by Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s. The peninsula is dotted with tiny coves – on one side facing towards the mainland with golden sands and calm, clear waters, and on the other facing out into the Atlantic with excellent waves for surfing and wind-surfing. And if you rent a dune-buggy you can just hop between the two!
Alternatively, and particularly if your honeymoon in Brazil is slated for the summer, you can hop on a flight up to the north-east of Brazil. Up towards the equator, you’re guaranteed beach weather all year-round, and this is also where you’ll find arguably Brazil’s very best beaches. Two stand-out favourites are Porto de Galinhas and Praia do Forte. The latter is just outside Brazil’s colonial capital of Salvador, so you’re within easy reach of its gorgeous Pelourinho district, with its cobbled streets and painted colonial mansions, but you might find it hard to drag yourself away from the white sands of Praia do Forte anyway. With a backdrop of coconut palms and a turtle sanctuary, it really is a beautiful spot, and here you’re also within easy reach of some of Brazil’s best trekking in the epic landscape of the Chapada Diamantina, and some great white-water rafting in Itacare. If you’re all about relaxing, then Praia do Forte can offer two of Brazil’s top beach hotels, the Tivoli Eco, and the Iberostar Bahia – both are superb choices for any honeymoon.
Porto de Galinhas is further south near the city of Recife, and is regularly voted the best beach in Brazil. The 5-mile long stretch of white sands is lined with some hotels as well, such as the Nannai resort which offers deluxe bungalows with private pools, set among stunning gardens, just metres from the beach. It’s not just about relaxation here either, though. Apart from the full range of watersports, you can enjoy horse-riding and mountain-biking along the dunes and hills just back from the coast, or some paragliding in the air above it.
And all this is without venturing away from the coast at all. If you’d like to ensure you get some adventure on your honeymoon in Brazil, then you can easily take a trip into the Amazon jungle or the huge Pantanal wetlands, to see the full range of Brazilian wildlife from piranhas to jaguars. Or spend a few days visiting the giant Iguazu Falls. These enormous waterfalls are one of the undoubted highlights of Brazil, so much so that on being taken to see them during a state visit to Brazil in the 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed “Poor Niagara!” Of course, Oscar Wilde famously described Niagara Falls themselves as “the second great disappointment to American brides” but that’s another matter entirely.