Planning your honeymoon does not mean that you have to spend your time at a luxury resort soaking up the sun – you could head off the beaten track a little and do some exploring. Did you ever consider a honeymoon in South America? Countries like Ecuador have so much to offer, particularly if you are concerned at all about your carbon footprint.
A number of travel companies run tours so that you can have a fixed itinerary for your stay or you can just book your own flights and hotels and do your own thing.
The quaint capital
The capital city is Quito, located at the foot of Pichincha, the volcano. It is surrounded by mountains and hills and is packed with old monasteries, Colonial churches and architecture that blends various influences from the history of the city including Spanish and Flemish. Just 22km from the Equator, why not take a trip there? You get to stand across the line and you can then say you were in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time!
As part of your trip you can spend a little time in the Amazonian jungle. This part of the world is very sparsely populated but if you are staying in one of the eco-lodges in the area it is easily accessible. Often these are only accessible by flying from Quito, so you will feel truly remote. The Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve was constructed with the local architecture style in mind – the buildings were put together without using any nails!
During your stay at the lodge you can choose from different excursion types, depending upon how fit you are. The easy program includes short hikes and the opportunity to spend time with some of the indigenous people. The moderate program will take you a little further into the rainforest, out on canoes and give you the chance to visit the local communities. Occasionally you may stay overnight with one of the Achuar communities or in a tent. The last option is not for the faint-hearted! The difficult routes will often see you spending several days at a time out in the jungle. You may get the chance to visit parts of the jungle that have seen very few visitors so expect to be carrying your own food and other supplies.
The ecolodges have bathrooms that have a solar-heated water supply and solar power is used to supply much of the energy that the lodges need. Toiletries and other products in use at the lodges are biodegradable and there is a policy of recycling everything possible from glass to plastic. Your time here is almost carbon neutral, so spending your honeymoon here carries much less guilt than most destinations you could consider!