Paradise. That’s where you want to spend your honeymoon. You want a white sand beach that stretches for as far as the eye can see. You want palm trees swaying in the breeze. You want blue skies with not a cloud in sight. Every morning you’d wake up to the sounds of exotic birds calling to each other as they fly through the air, streaks of brilliant color amidst the emerald green of the rain forest. Every night you’d fall asleep to a symphony of night creatures outside your perfectly constructed Zen villa. Oh, yes, this would truly be paradise. And where is one to find this paradise on Earth? Bali has been a favorite tropical destination for decades and Costa Rica is filled with exotic beauty.
A Bali Honeymoon: The Pros and Cons
Bali. Even the name sounds like an exotic paradise. This is a place where travelers once stayed in rustic bamboo huts and gathered with the locals to watch some of the world’s best sunsets. More recently, this is where Elizabeth Gilbert came to find peace and happiness in her best-seller, Eat, Pray, Love. Bali is a wondrous place of white sand beaches, picturesque rice terraces, and jungles dotted with ancient temples. Bali is beautiful, exotic, and luxurious.
Of course, Bali has also been on the tourist map for quite a long time now. There are no more bamboo huts on the beach and those that go to Kuta Beach to watch the sunset will be joined by hundreds of other tourists, most of them Australian university students on their spring break. The number of tourists in Bali is overwhelming, not just for someone in search of a little peace, but for the roads as well. Traffic has become a huge problem on the little island. The only way to escape the constant crush of people, cars, buses, and tuk tuks is to head inland. After all, it was not in one of Bali’s coastal towns where Elizabeth Gilbert found her peace; it was in the little artsy mountain town of Ubud. The only way to find a little bit of private beach is to stay at one of the island’s massive luxury resorts, but at that price you might as well have stayed closer to home. Bali was once a true paradise, but today it is a congested mess where only the very wealthy can enjoy what’s left of its magic.
A Costa Rica Honeymoon: The Pros and Cons
Costa Rica experiences its fair share of traffic, but it is mostly found in the capital city of San Jose. The only other places where traffic jams occur are in the most popular tourist destinations like Tamarindo, Jaco, and Manuel Antonio. There are still hundreds of small towns like Santa Teresa, Mal Pais, Montezuma, Nosara, and Samara that are blissfully absent of honking cars and gridlock. These oases of calm are not exactly in the middle of nowhere either. They are easily accessible, beautiful little towns with all the amenities that you could possibly need on your honeymoon.
In Costa Rica, it is easy to experience the country’s beauty, luxury, and excitement without emptying your bank account. The prices at even the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts are reasonable, but beyond that, there is not a place in Costa Rica that isn’t beautiful. Because the country depends so much on its eco-tourism, there have been great measures taken to preserve its rainforests and beaches. Unlike Bali where the most beautiful beaches have been polluted by the high-end strip malls built right on them, towns like Santa Teresa pride themselves in keeping their beaches pristine.
Bali’s inland towns like Ubud offer some beauty and peace, but it is sad how tarnished the country’s once stunning beaches have become in the last 30 years. Costa Rica, on the other hand, is a well-preserved tropical beach paradise.