Honeymoons, anniversaries, engagements, make-ups — there are plenty of reasons to be amorous. Find love in all the right places with this list of romantic destinations throughout Central America.
What's to Love: Francis Ford Coppola converted a gorgeous family vacation home in the Mayan mountains into a serene and romantic hideaway with waterfalls, magical walking trails, and a great spa.
Good to Know: You'll be tempted not to leave, but do. The hotel can arrange horseback riding, canoeing in caves, and trips to the Tikal ruins.
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What's to Love: A small and isolated seafront resort on the far tip of a peninsula. White-sand beaches, handcrafted oversized villas with Balinese touches, outdoor showers, locally crafted soaps, and the chocolate chip cookies.
Good to Know: Hop a ride on Miss Ellie, the resort's boat, to Silk Cayes, two deserted islands where you can spend the day sipping rose, snacking on a picnic lunch, snorkeling, and swimming in coral reef solitude.
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Luz de Vida
What;s to Love: Besides having a prime surf spot in its backyard, its private bungalows feel as though you're staying in a secluded tree house constructed from native materials.
Good to Know: Howler monkeys act as an alarm clock. Pack something more substantial than Havaianas to wear during the walk from the bungalow to the beach; it's a jungle out there.
Camino Real Tikal
What's to Love: The lodge is perched on a hillside overlooking a magnificent lake. Truly off the beaten path, near the Belize border close to famous ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal.
Good to Know: Check out the Mayan saunas down by the dock, then kayak across the lake for a truly calming experience. (Bonus tip: One contributor claims the bartender can score you some weed real cheap!)
La Bahia Beach Hotel
What's to Love: The open-air lodge sits peacefully, among neat rows of teak trees. There's a pool, path to the beach, open-air lounge, shaded hammocks, and four airy cabanas (high thread-count sheets, new mosquito netting) with al fresco showers.
Good to Know: If you see surf boards and rash guards that look like they've been left out for you, they have been. Suit up and paddle out. Reward yourself later with fresh red snapper ceviche and a spell in a hammock.
Also Seen on FATHOM: Postcards about a Nicaraguan honeymoon and hiking volcanoes.
Jicaro Island Lodge
Granada, Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua
What's to Love: The eco resort, ranked as one of National Geographic's Unique Lodges of the World, sits quietly on a lush tiny island in pristine Lake Nicaragua, a short boat ride from Granada, a charming Colonial town. If you want to do nothing more than walk from your treehouse to a pool lounger to the restaurant and the bar, you'll have a great time reconnecting with nature, yourself, and each other. If you want to get more active, the excellent and knowledgeable activities team can take you hiking up the Mombacho volcano that looms in the distance, zip-lining and horseback riding, or sea kayaking to see what all those birds and bees are getting up to.
Bocas del Toro
What's to Love: A delightfully simple collection of eco lodge huts built directly over a clear blue archipelago accessed only by boat.
Good to Know: Spot dolphins while you eat in the outdoor dining room. Jump right off your back porch for snorkeling. Hide with starfish and red frogs on secluded beaches nearby.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Contributors: Brit Eaton, Dana Hazels Seith, Deborah Schoeneman, Jeremy Abrams.