There’s nothing like a romantic getaway, especially when it comes with a healthy dose of active thrills.
Nothing says “romance” like a getaway with the one you love. But not every couple is content to sunbathe and laze around at an all-inclusive beach resort, no matter how gorgeous it is. For the pair that craves thrills and excitement, only an adventurous journey will do. Sound like you? Well then, pack your bags, because these trips will get your heart racing in more ways than one.
Rafting the Colorado River
White-water rafting is a purely American adventure, one that’s sure to thrill and exhilarate (Plus, the churning water gives you a good excuse to hang on tightly to your other half). The Colorado River winds its way through Utah, Arizona, and the Grand Canyon, providing stunning and romantic backdrops for your wet and wild adventure. Book an organized trip (search “Colorado River rafting trips” and you’ll be sure to find one) and let a skilled guide teach you and your significant other how to navigate the rapids. Once you’ve braved the water, settle in for a cozy dinner at a riverside ranch or a picnic under the stars. The best time to raft is March through October, when the weather is warm (or at least mild).
Enjoying a South African Safari
South Africa offers a pretty perfect romantic setting for travelers, from its picturesque colonial streets to its gorgeous wineries. Those who love adventure, however, will go crazy for an authentic South African safari, which you can book through any number of reputable tour operators in the country. In most cases, you’ll set out on foot through private game reserves and maybe even ride a cable car up the gorgeous, flat-topped Table Mountain as you search for the so-called “big five” game: African elephant, Cape buffalo, African lion, African leopard, and rhinoceros. Whether you get a chance to see all or just a few of the majestic animals, this is one vacation you’ll be grateful to have experienced with the one you love—and one you’ll both remember forever. Book your trip during the dry season, which typically lasts from May through September, for the best conditions.
Exploring the Jungles of Belize
Belize’s lush, beautifully green jungles will have you and your better half marveling at the glory of nature from day one. And though you certainly can spend days relaxing with your love while taking in the stunning surroundings, this trip offers plenty of adventure to get your hearts racing. Learn the secrets of the Mayans as you explore ancient ruins! Zip-line through the canopies for an amazing adrenaline rush! Hop on a tube and float through the mysterious cave systems! And, if all of that isn’t enough, you can head to the beach and spend a day snorkeling together beneath the warm, Central American sun. Just don’t forget to snap a few underwater selfies of the two of you for posterity. November through April is Belize’s dry season, so plan ahead and book your vacation during that time.
Biking Through the Holy Land
Romance abounds in Israel, where sweeping deserts are kissed by balmy, mild weather. It’s the perfect setting for adventurous pairs looking to explore. There are marked trails throughout the Negev Desert, but if you’d rather not navigate on your own, you can rent bikes and hire a guide to take you where you want to go—letting you focus on more important things, like spotting romantic sunsets together. Prefer to get around on foot? There are nearly 600 square miles (or 966 kilometers) of hiking trails throughout the country, so regardless of where you want to explore, you’re bound to find an ideal route! After a day (or a few) of active exploring, head to the greatest natural spa in the world—the Dead Sea—for the ultimate couple’s spa experience. The lowest spot on the face of the Earth has the highest concentration of salt in the world—meaning you can float in the water sans any inflatable tools—and its mineral content is thought to have many positive health effects. Coat yourself in the mineral-rich mud, then rinse off in the water, to get silky smooth skin before a romantic dinner on the water. May is considered the perfect month to visit Israel, as the weather comfortably warm and the summertime crowds haven’t yet arrived.
Your turn, readers. Do you and your significant other have a travel bucket list? What destinations are on it? Let us know in the comments below.
While Eagle Creek is here to provide tips and insights on travel, we cannot accept any responsibility for any potential consequences arising from the use of this information. Always conduct your own research and use your best judgment.
Shannon O’Donnell is a long-term traveler on the road since 2008; she travels slowly and supports grassroots tourism along the way. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. Follow her on Instagram at @ShannonRTW.