Last week I received a wedding invitation from my favorite cousin, who proposed to his lovely woman in Seville, Spain. As I plan my trip to their gorgeous Puerto Rican wedding (and home!), I couldn’t help but dream of unique proposal destinations.
Not just the cookie-cutter ones you see on every other article, though.
So! I scoured my own travel bucket list to come up with a unique list of spots where I would love my beau to pop that beautiful ring — I mean question 😉 From a multicultural trading island in Africa to a beach-less Caribbean island, here are my top 15 dream proposal spots around the world!
Unique Proposal Destinations: My Top 12
Zanzibar Island, Tanzania, East Africa
Zanzibar is an African coastal trading island, which fused Indian, Arab, European and other Asian cultures for more than 1,000 years. I can’t think of a more romantic spot!
Stone Town, its capital city, has a fine array of unique Swahili architecture–clearly influenced by the aforementioned cultures that converged at the trading town over the centuries. Moreover, the island is lined by some of the most pristine beaches you’ll ever see in your life.
Dakhla Oasis, Egypt, Middle East
An oasis town built over the remains of a Roman-era settlement, surrounded by forests of date palm trees and the Libyan desert–that’s Dakhla. In my humble opinion, this little-known tourist destination in Egypt is one of the Middle East’s best kept secrets.
My favorite spot for a proposal? The terrace of Desert Lodge, where I stayed for one magical night. It has incredible views of the historic town of Mut, the rest of the oasis, and beyond the desert. Oh, and absolutely killer views of the Milky Way at night, which can also be taken in from the natural hot springs behind the hotel.
Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia
The moment I first laid eyes on North Sulawesi’s Kungkungan Bay Resort, I imagined an intimate proposal at the porch of one of the beachfront traditional villas — all while a golden sun rose in the horizon. Le sigh.
One of my favorite places in all of Indonesia, Lembeh Strait boasts unique black sand beaches and incredible muck diving–all in an isolated, idyllic tropical oasis. I can’t wait to go back with my beau!
Old Québec City, Canada, North America
When I first caught a glimpse of Old Québec City in 2012, I was a bit confused. Had I just been whisked away to a small, romantic village in rural France?!
Narrow, cobblestone streets; quaint cafés; French phrases dancing with the wind…But I was in North America! At one of its oldest cities!
Old Québec City oozes romance so effortlessly. Whether you pick one of its Tunisian restaurants–with their Moorish-style interiors–or outdoors at one of the corners of Quartier du Petit Champlain, a proposal at this French-Canadian spot will be more unique than anywhere in Paris (à mon opinion).
Island nation of Palau, Pacific Ocean
Imagine being proposed to while taking a romantic dip in a lagoon filled with non-stinging jellyfish?! Might seem scary to some, but the golden Mastigias is special species of jellyfish that thrives in Palau’s Jellyfish Lake due to the lack of natural predators.
The young island nation, which gained independence from the United States in 1994, is an exclusive nature lover’s paradise as well. Receiving less than 200,000 tourists a year, Palau is certainly one of the most unique proposal destinations in the world.
Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Central Asia
Bukhara was an important religious, cultural, trading, and even scholarship center on the Silk Road — in a region that has been continuously inhabited for at least 5,000 years.
Its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect place for a fairytale-like proposal. But really, any of Bukhara’s 140 architectural gems will do!
Savannah, Georgia, USA
The quaint, charming South of the United States is certainly a unique setting to pop the question. Particularly, Savannah boasts picturesque architecture and a variety of stunning walks that are straight out of a storybook.
The fact that this charming Georgian city also happens to be one of America’s oldest makes it even more dreamy to a history buff like me!
The aurora borealis and a cheap ticket from Morocco to Puerto Rico brought me here — and I fell deeply in love with it. Iceland is one of those rare places that make you feel like you traveled to outer space and landed on a different planet.
Glacier lakes, thousands of waterfalls, “diamond” beaches so extensive your eyes can’t meet their end — how could you possibly say no at any of these spots?
Colchagua Valley, Chile, South America
No, I’m not about to suggest what seems to be a Photoshopped version of Tuscany. What you see above are vineyards among mountains and volcanoes in rural South America.
Colchagua Valley is a Chilean agricultural region about 100 miles south of the country’s bustling capital, Santiago. It has all the ingredients for a perfect proposal: fine dining, charming châteaus, excellent wines, and stunning landscapes.
Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Saba, part of the Lesser Antilles chain and a special Dutch municipality, is an almost unheard-of Caribbean island. Why? Probably because it can’t can’t boast about its beaches, as there aren’t any. Yet, its unique topography is a draw in itself.
The “Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean” is home to several renowned dive sites, a towering dormant volcano, and underwater mountains. Hiking trails abound, so you can take in the fabulous mountain, ocean views.
I couldn’t help but also include multicultural Curaçao when speaking of the Dutch Caribbean! While the island has been independent since 2005, its people still cherish and retain much of their Dutch (mention the other groups here) roots.
Romantic spots can be found everywhere: from the charming streets of Willemstad to the lookout of Kenepa Grandi or Westpunt Beach.
Antelope Canyon, Utah, USA
Antelope Canyon my not be a top spot on a romantic destinations list, but it is one of my favorites. Just getting there is an adventure in itself; pumping my adrenaline before he even thinks about going on one knee.
Kissing, flirting, and photographing each other among the smooth, rose-red walls is one of the most romantic getaways I can think of. Couple that with a stay in a houseboat along Lake Powell next door? Pure, blissful romance.
Chefchaouen, Morocco, North Africa
Have I stepped into a dream, where everything is colored like a bright, blue sky?
The Moroccan town of Chefchaouen could be the set of a Smurfs movie — or the most unique proposal of all time. Blue-washed buildings, narrow alleys, and ancient souks complete its romantic charm.
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Towering peaks from the Rockies, blue-turquoise lakes, and other outworldly vistas surround the Canadian resort town of Banff.
While quite popular, my dreamy proposals list couldn’t do without it. Banff is sprinkled with château-style accommodation and a short distance from thousands of miles of scenic trails and roadways. Plenty of opportunities to find your own secret spot!
Tasmania, Australia, Oceania
Rugged, isolated Australian wilderness that is simply jaw-dropping, Tasmania has been nicknamed the Natural State. Nearly 45% of its land is protected, being part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, parks, and other reserves.
OMG is all I have to say.
Flamenco beach, Culebra!!!
that is definitely a gorgeous place Phil! I’m from Puerto Rico myself, but unfortunately, I feel Flamenco Beach has gotten too crowded in the past few years–not as romantic anymore. I personally prefer the many desolated beaches in neighboring Vieques myself