18 Exotic Destinations for a Sexy Couple's Getaway

Time for a couple's retreat? Here, 18 exotic vacation spots where you can get away from it all

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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Located 45 miles off the eastern shore of Nicaragua, this is one of the last undeveloped and unspoiled parts of the Caribbean, says Gadling contributor Meg Nesterov.

Getting there: Fly to Managua then take an hour flight to Big Corn Island. Next head to the warf for a 30-minute water taxi to Little Corn Island ($6/person).

What to do: The island is surrounded by coral reef and offers great snorkeling or diving.  Or horseback ride along the island’s relatively empty beaches.

Where to stay: Stay at Casa Iguana, the island’s first eco-lodge: Private cabins on the water are complete with beach hammocks and spectacular views. Rates start at $65.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/rj lerich

Pisco Elqui, Chile

High in the Chilean Andes, Pisco Elqui feels thisclose to the stars, says Nesterov.

Getting there: Fly to La Florida airport in La Serena then take a bus or taxi from the airport. It’s about 2.5 hours to Elqui Valley.

What to do:Hike, horseback ride or tour vineyards and pisco distilleries. Take a day trip to the village of Horcon (known for its craftwork) or head to the Valle Elqui (a hot stop among surfers).

Where to stay: Book a bungalow at El Tesoro de Elqui and swim in a pool located directly under the Andes. Inquire for rates.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Alberto Loyo

Gozo, Malta

British tourists have visited the Maltese islands for years, but the smaller island of Gozo still feels undiscovered, Nesterov says.

Getting there: Fly into Malta then take a 20-minute ferry ride to Gozo.

What to do: Visit the Ggantija temples; They are among the world’s oldest religious structures.

Where to stay: Rent a villa with a private pool for less than a hotel. Or relax at the Ta’ Cenc hotel and spa; rates start at 84 Euros. 


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Olexiy Bayev

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The capital of Slovenia is one of Europe’s most charming small cities, says Nesterov. Prices remain much lower than in Western European cities and the country is very easy to explore.

Getting there: The city has its own airport—located less than 15 miles from the city center.

What to do: Hike around Lake Bled, visit historic castles and palaces, explore the city’s cobblestone streets and indulge in food and wine that rivals Italy’s.

Where to stay: Rent a room above the cozy and popular Macek Café, or stay at the elegant 4-star Antiq Palace & Spa located downtown. Inquire for rates.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Simon Krzic

Con Dao Island, Vietnam

This 16-island archipelago is a “pocket of paradise,” says Robert Reid, a travel editor at Lonely Planet.

Getting there: Take a 45-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City.

What to do: The diving is among the best in Vietnam. Take scuba lessons as a couple or discover the nearby secluded beaches of Bai Dat Doc and Dam Trau.

Where to stay: Six Senses resort offers luxury villas on the East Vietnam Sea. The resort has an in-house spa offering traditional Vietnamese healing practices; it also boasts outdoor treatment rooms and a yoga and meditation pavilion. Inquire for rates.


Image courtesy of Six Senses 

St. Martin, Caribbean

This island is split between two cultures: The French control the quieter Northern tip and the Dutch control the lively South end.

Getting there: Flights from New York run around $300 during peak season.

What to do: Rent a car so you can explore the island on your own terms, recommends Reid. Be sure to check out Le Galion beach, a stretch of calm turquoise water with few visitors and a fun, Euro-chic vibe. If you’re up for adventure, take an open-top ferry for five Euros to explore Illet Pinel island.

Where to stay: Stay at central Les Balcons: It overlooks Oyster Bay and is just minutes from both the Dutch and French capitals. High season rates start at 100 Euros a night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Fanny Reno

Montreal, Canada

Retreat to Montreal and you will imagine you’re in Europe. Be sure to freshen up on your French skills since French is the city’s official language.

Getting there: Drive across the border or take a cheap flight. Don’t forget your passport!

What to do: Explore the Old Quarter for fantastic French food or use the public Bixi bikes to ride along the canal and go antiquing, says Reid. In winter, cross- country ski on Mont Royal. During the summer, try surfing the rapids in the St. Lawrence River

Where to stay: Le Petit Hotel is housed in 19th-century buildings and is located in the historic, charming city center of Old Montreal.



Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Lissandra

Alphonse Island, Seychilles, Africa

Enjoy a remote escape on this private island off the coast of Africa. “It has a population of 82, so it is guaranteed not to be crowded!” says Terrance Zepke, author of The Encyclopedia of Cheap Travel.

Getting there: Take a 50-minute flight from the larger island of Mahé.

What to do: Experience some of the best diving and fishing in the world; explore the Alphonse lagoon by canoe; or go sailing on the Indian Ocean.

Where to stay: There is one hotel on the island, Alphonse Resort; it features 25 chalets and 5 executive villas. Rates start at $375 per night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Matsonashvili Mikhail

Kauai, Hawaii

This is one of the least touristy of the Hawaiian islands and one of the most relaxing places to get away from it all, says Zepke.

Getting there: Many airlines offer nonstop service to the island—or you can fly into Honolulu then take a 25-minute flight to Kauai.

What to do: The northern side of the island features the Limahuli botanical gardens and the beautiful Waialeale Volcano. Kayak the Wailua River, snorkel on Poipu Beach or go ziplining above Kauai’s valleys.

Where to stay: The Aston Aloha Beach Hotel sits on ten acres of land and offers the only protected swimming and snorkeling beach on the island. Rates begin at $104.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Christina Tisi-Kramer

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The best way to enjoy this island escape is at an all-inclusive resort, says Zepke.

Getting there: Fly into Punta Cana airport, all of the major hotels are 25 minutes away by car.

What to do: Punta Espana Golf Course is among the world’s best. Also check out Bavaro Beach or Macao Beach – if you’re feeling adventurous, attend surf school.

Where to stay: The Paradisus Punta Cana is an all-inclusive resort with 12 restaurants, 7 swimming pools, 4 tennis courts, a casino, spa and health club. (Why leave?) Rates start at $272 per night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Binu Mathew

Campania, Italy

For a quiet romantic Italian retreat without the crowds, Zepke suggests Campania in the Cilento region, just south of Sorrento.

Getting there: Fly into Rome’s Fiumicino-Leonardo da  Vinci airport then hop on an intercity train. It will take just over an hour and costs 44 Euros for a roundtrip ticket.

What to do: Explore fishing villages, ancient Greek temples (yes, The Greeks were in this area) and tour the Certosa di San Lorenzo, the second largest monastery in Italy.

Where to stay: Lodging ranges from rustic to upscale. For a quaint, isolated experience stay at the La Fattoria in the heart of Cilento National Park; rates start at 50 Euros per night. Or opt for more elegant surrounding at the Palasso Belmonte B&B, starting at 214 Euros per night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/luigi nifosi'

Taha’a, French Polynesia

Taha’a is one of the lesser traveled islands in the South Pacific; its neighbors are Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea.

Getting there: Fly into the island of Raiatea. There, you’ll be met by a private shuttle boat from your resort.

What to do: Take a helicopter ride for spectacular views of the Tahitian lagoons. Snorkel or scuba in the Pacific.

Where to stay: Chief travel expert at The Explorateur, Gabriella Ribeiro, recommends Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa; its overwater suites are huts suspended above the lagoon with clear views of Vanilla Island and complete privacy. Rates start at 742 Euros a night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Guido Amrein, Switzerland

Ono Island, Fiji

Ono is one of the more than 800 volcanic and coral islands that make up the Pacific nation of Fiji.

Getting there: Fly to Kadavu Island, then take a 1.5 hour long boat ride to Ono.

What to do: Spend days lounging in thatched villas. Or enjoy some of the world's best sport fishing and diving off the Great Astrolabe Reef, says travel writer Celeste Brash.

Where to stay: Oneta Resort has a chic naturalistic style and is located right on the water.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Martin Horsky

Togian Islands, Sulawesi Indonesia

These islands are inside a huge bay of the larger island of Sulawesi.

Getting there: It takes dedication to get here, says Brash. Fly into Manado then take a 1.5 hour flight to Luwuk. From there, take a car to Ampana then a boat to the island retreat. (You’ll have earned your vacation!)

What to do: Snorkel in the centre of Tomini Bay, known to be the calmest bay on earth. The Togian Islands are also amongst the best spots for diving in Indonesia.

Where to stay: Stay at Togian Island Retreat in an ocean-front cottage with only the necessities—a bed, mosquito net and private bathroom. Rates start at $22 per person per day.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Hruska Jiri

Koh Phra Thong, Thailand

One of Thailand’s largest stretches of uninhabited beach

Getting there: Fly to Bangkok then take a flight to either Phuket or Krabi. There, you can hire a car service or take a bus to Khuraburi. Next, take a 1-hour boat ride to Koh Phra Thong.

What to do: Take a scenic long-tail boat ride (unique to Southast Asia) to nearby Koh Ra which is full of hilly rainforest perfect for wildlife treks, says travel writer Brash. Stop on your way to explore traditional fishing villages.

Where to stay: Golden Buddha Beach is the only resort on the island. Private Thai-style villas are rented out by the owners and include access to the resort’s yoga classes, dive shop and spa. Rates start at $113 per night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/cherrus

Ile Royale, French Guiana, South America

The island, also known as Devil’s Island, originally served as a French prison.

Getting there: Fly directly into the capital of French Guiana, Cayenne. Take a car to Kourou, then board a boat to Ile Royale.

What to do: Wander tropical jungles filled with wildlife by day and dine on three-course French meals at night.

Where to stay: An ex-prison camp doesn't sound like it offers a recipe for romance, but the colonial style of the Auberge des Iles du Salut will change your mind, says travel writer Brash.  Rates start at 56 Euros.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Arthur R.

Flores Island, Portugal

Flores is the western-most island in the Azores archipelago off the coast of Portugal. The island gets its name from the wild flowers (flores) that dot its landscape.

Getting there: Fly into Lisbon then take a 2-hour flight to Flores.

What to do: Sail the Atlantic, tour the quaint villages, or hike to the island’s seven natural inland lakes and numerous waterfalls.

Where to stay: Gadling contributor Alex Robertson Textor recommends the rustic Argonauta, a small guest house run by an Italian travel writer. Room rates start at 50 Euros.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/CaptureLight

Lifou, New Caledonia

Lifou is the largest of the French Loyalty Islands in the South Pacific. It remains relatively undeveloped.

Getting there: Fly into Wanaham Airport in northern Lifou. From there, take a taxi or car service to your hotel.

What to do: The beaches are some of the nicest in the world, says Textor. Check out Peng Beach and explore its caves and creeks or take a full tour of the island. Don’t miss the cliffs at Joking, the Maceweng Vanilla Plantation and the Catholic Chapel at Easo, which dates to 1898.

Where to stay: Stay in an Oceanside bungalow at the Drehu Village Hotel. Rates start at 110 Euros per night.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Scott Kapich


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First Published Tue, 2012-03-20 14:35

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