The downturn in the US economy has not affected the destination wedding & honeymoon market. In fact it appears to be immune to the swings. Getting married in Mexico, Jamaica & the Dominican Republic are the most popular wedding destinations. This is not surprising as these are the most affordable locations with the best all-inclusive resorts for a destination wedding.
Lately I have also noticed that although honey couples are concerned about price they are equally determined to find the perfect honeymoon resort with the most value. The honeymoon vacation is shorter but couples are spending more on room upgrades & amenities for their honeymoon getaway. For example they will splurge on a club level ocean front suite with concierge service rather than a mere ocean view room. Ahh that’s what love will do.
Andre` Time Travels Inc
Couples who call seeking information on a destination wedding are sometime intimidated by the barrage of necessary questions. Once the who, what, when where & how much questions are answered I can determine the best destination wedding location for the couple. Clients sometimes have a hard time revealing their budget. What they need to realize that their budget determines their destination wedding location.
I recently talked to a couple who really have their heart set on Cabo San Lucas. I love Los Cabos especially during the winter months when the whales reside in & around the Sea of Cortes.
While a Mexico wedding is still the best bang for your buck a wedding in Cabo San Lucas will run higher than a wedding in Cancun or the Riviera Maya. One reason is that Cabo San Lucas has fewer flights & they’re more expensive. This alone can add $200 dollars to their guest’s trip. When price becomes an issue Cancun wins.
Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Puno
The City of Kings, the Archaeological Capital of America and
9 Days / 8 Nights
Day 1 - Lima
Arrival in Lima, reception at the airport and transfer to selected hotel. Overnight.
Day 2 Lima – Cuzco (breakfast)
Buffet breakfast. Transfer to the airport
Departure by plane to Cuzco; arrival in Cuzco after a one hour flight.
Reception at the airport and transfer to selected hotel. Rest of the morning at leisure.
Early afternoon visit to the nearby ruins including the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, overlooking the city of Cuzco, a pre-Inca architectural masterpiece; Qenqo, a rock sanctuary whose main attraction is a monolithic altar representing a puma; the red fortress of Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins. Continue the tour to the city of Cuzco: the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Santo Domingo Church or Temple of the Sun or Koricancha - 4 hour excursion. Late afternoon return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 3 - Cuzco – Urubamba Valley – Cuzco (breakfast and lunch)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Full day excursion to Pisac, a typical Andean village where a market takes place (only on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for shared services), where peasants from around the area bring down their products, as well as handicrafts . On Sundays, Mayors from all the neighboring villages dressed in their traditional costumes, attend the Catholic Mass said in their native language (quechua). Buffet lunch at a country restaurant in the valley. After lunch visit to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town which is still inhabited and explore the ruins which tower above it. Return to Cuzco. Overnight.
Day 4 - Cuzco - Machu-Picchu (breakfast and lunch)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Early transfer to the train station and departure for a tour to Machu-Picchu. Arrival in Aguas Calientes Station and bus ride up to the ruins (approx. 3 ½ hrs). Guided visit of Machu Picchu which is totally built of stone blocks, fitted with masterful precision. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Lunch included. Accommodation at selected hotel.
Day 5 - Machu Picchu – Cuzco (Breakfast)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Morning at leisure. (Second bus and second entrance to the ruins not included).
In the afternoon return to Cuzco and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 6 - Cuzco – Puno (breakfast and lunch)
Trains only on Mon, Wed & Sat
Buffet breakfast. Transfer to the train station.
Depart from Cuzco to Puno by the new Andean Explorer Train under Orient Express Management, which features a deluxe train decorated in the 1920’s style. The train has a wagon with a bar and an observation deck from where one can enjoy the scenery as well as a restaurant. All wagons have Pullman style seats, wide aisles, catering service as well as oxygen available. The wagons are connected to each other by gangway bellows so passengers and crew can go from one another safely. The journey takes 10 hours. Upon arrival to Puno, transfer to selected hotel and accommodation. Overnight.
Departure by bus from Cuzco to Puno (7 to 8 hours), with a stop made at La Raya Pass, at 4,321 meters to visit the steaming pools of hot water nearby and visit to the ruins of Raqchi. The remains of the central high wall of the Viracocha Temple, probably the largest roofed building built by the Incas, are impressive. On either side of the high wall, great sloping roofs were supported by rows of unusual round pillars, also of masonry topped by adobe. Nearby are the remains of large living quarters and many round store-houses. The whole complex is surrounded by a large stone wall several miles long (entrances are not included). Lunch en route. Arrival in Puno in the early afternoon and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 7 - Puno (breakfast and lunch)
In the morning. departure from the hotel’s pier. A short distance by boat from Puno on Lake Titicaca, are the floating islands made of reeds, inhabited by the Uros. They live in huts built on platforms of reeds, not more than 30-40 cms/1foot thick. Short walk on the islands, then the boat trip continues as far as the island of Taquile. Members of their self supporting Aymara community receive visitors in their colorful national costume and show them around the island. Taquile is renowned for its fine, decorative weavings. Lunch included. In the afternoon return by boat to Puno and to selected hotel.
Day 8 - Puno – Juliaca – Lima (breakfast)
Transfer to the airport and on the way, guided visit to the Chullpas of Sillustani, these funerary towers date from the 13th century. The highest measures about 12 metres, superb landscapes and the view of the neighboring Umayo lake make this tour a very special experience.
Departure by plane for Lima,
Upon arrival after a 2h 30 min flight, with an intermediate stop in Arequipa, reception at the airport in Lima and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 9 - Lima – …… (breakfast)
Morning or afternoon guided visit to the Cathedral, Main Square, San Francisco Convent and its Catacombs and the residential areas of San Isidro, Miraflores, the new commercial area South of Lima, the ocean front to enjoy a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
Transfer to the airport on time for your international departure flight.
The Riviera Maya, the area between Cancun &Tulum is one of the top honeymoon destinations.
White sand beaches, blue water & spectacular resorts, Mayan ruins makes it the ultimate romantic honeymoon getaway.
One of my favorite honeymoon resorts is Secrets Maroma Beach. The beach itself has been called one of the world’s best.
You will experience romance & indulgence at the adult’s only Secret Maroma beach. This 5 star luxury all-inclusive, all suite(412 ) resort rest on 500 acres of lush terrain Honeymoon couples can enjoy its 7 ala carte specialty restaurants , 24 hour room service & premium liquor. The resort has 12 small pools plus an infinity pool & a world class spa. The atmosphere is romantic & the service is friendly & attentive. Secrets Maroma Beach is also a wonderful choice for a destination wedding in Mexico.
When you arrive at this honeymoon destination you are greeted with a glass of champagne, a warm towel & a welcoming smile and it only gets better.
April 2011-package with RT airfare from MSP from $3600 per couple.
All-inclusive resorts are not created equal. When choosing an all-inclusive resort to host your Caribbean or Mexico wedding make sure to choose one with a high rating. The difference between a 3 & 4 star rating can really affect the quality of the food & liquor served at the resort. I always recommend at least a 4 star resort when booking a wedding location. Remember you guests will be dining here.
Five star or luxury all-inclusive properties offer great variety in dining selections. The Royal Cancun, an adult’s only 5 star luxury resort, hosted a mock wedding feast for agents on a wedding trip I took last year. We attended a gourmet five course diner complete with wine pairing. It was an elegant affair. The food presentation was fabulous and & every course delicious. I was very impressed.
Since that visit I feel confident in recommending The Royal Cancun. I have booked it for destination wedding groups & honeymooners.
For help planning your all-inclusive destination wedding in the Caribbean or Mexico call Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
I think Scott from easytravelpad.com is accurate with his review of Sandals White House Jamaica.
It is a great honeymoon resort but more specifically it’s meant for couples who want to get away from it all. Sandals White House is a luxury resort on Jamaica’s stunning south coast. The resort is elegant with gourmet food & drink & an atmosphere made for relaxing.
When I stayed at Sandals White House for a wedding familiarization trip last spring I had my own concierge walk out suite. I opened the sliding doors onto a quiet beach. It was heavenly. In the evening I had one swimming pool all to myself. For the honeymooners, however, who want access to nightlife & authentic markets this would not be a good fit.
For help choosing the best Sandals resort to fit your taste call Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
Yesterday I reviewed the El Dorado Royale Resort & spa. Today I turn my gaze to her equally romantic but more intimate( 280 jr suites) & secluded sister property the El Dorado Seaside Suites located on Kantenah Bay south of Puerto Aventuras on the Riviera Maya. This resort is about 1 hour south of the Cancun airport.
This 5 star luxury adult’s only all-inclusive honeymoon resort has a rustic ambiance. Surround by 280 unspoiled acres the El Dorado Seaside Suites appeals to the honeymoon couple who want the “get away from it all” feeling. It made Forbes.com Annual List of Most Romantic Hotels in 2006. With beach beds lying on white sand surrounded by coconut palms & a charming beach front wedding gazebo, the El Dorado Seaside Suites looks post card perfect.
The beach is a little rocky but that’s because of the coral reef located close to the resort. The coral though makes for incredible snorkeling. All five restaurants are ala carte with great service. Once again the landscaping is colorful and inviting. I didn’t want to leave.
For more info on excellent honeymoon resort options on the Riviera Maya call Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
A honeymoon resort that is a winner with couples every time is the El Dorado Royale Resort & Spa on the Riviera Maya. Located just 16 miles south of the Cancun airport & 5 miles from the town of Port Morales make for a convenient location. The El Dorado Resort is a luxury adult’s only gourmet all-inclusive beach front resort for couples, honeymooners & is the perfect back drop for a destination wedding.
The 605 jr suites are set in 500 acres of the finest tropical landscaping I have seen. Every corner of this resort has an intimate feel making it a superb honeymoon getaway. The resort is luxuriously romantic. It rests on 1.5 miles of secluded beach. The El Dorado Royale provides indulgences from gourmet cuisine & personalized friendly service to hot tubs & hammocks in every jr suite and a full service spa to pamper.
Couples love the honeymoon packages and for those planning a deluxe Mexico wedding without children, the El Dorado Resort & Spa is one of the best destination wedding locations you will find.
As a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings & honeymoons I follow the news & trends in this niche closely. Keeping current helps me generate new & improved destination wedding ideas.
Destination wedding are popular because they are fun & affordable. Getting married in Mexico will cost considerably less than your traditional wedding at home.
Planning a destination wedding is also less stressful for the bride & groom. Securing the talent of a good destination wedding planner can make all the difference in how smoothly the process goes.
I think the future is bright for the destination market & for couples that choose a destination wedding.
Resorts are advertisings to couples and are offering more amenities for choosing their resort. This keeps the market competitive & also reaching higher to please.
Need help planning your destination wedding? Call the Romance Vacation Specialist -Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
Getting married in Mexico is really quite easy. Deluxe all inclusive resorts take care of all the legal requirements without the bride & groom even leaving the resort.
Getting married in Mexico can be very glamorous. Seasoned wedding coordinators create lavish or very simple unique weddings celebrations. Beach weddings are very popular but some couple still prefer the beach side chapel.
Getting married in Mexico is a great deal. Many couples choose Mexico weddings because financially it is a good move. They can afford to marry & honeymoon for a faction of the cost of a traditional wedding in the states.
I always remind my bride & groom that people are traveling a great distance to be at your wedding so you best put on a bit of a show. And if you can afford it plan a group excursion, a round of golf, deep sea fishing, a boat cruise etc…;
~ Andre' Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666