Veni, Vidi, Amavi: We Came, We Saw, We Loved
Where will you be this Valentine’s Day? Where have you travelled to and then fallen in love, with the place or a person? In collaboration with travel bloggers, PackThePJs has compiled this A – Z of the most romantic destinations around the world. Today we are focusing on A – C: The Canals of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Azucar Hotel at Reserva Sian Ka’an in the Yucatan, Baths of Aphrodite in Cyprus, and Calauit Safari, Coron, in the Philippines. We hope you enjoy our journey of love!
A: The Canals of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The concentric belts around the city of Amsterdam are not only a result of successful city planning, providing easy transport of goods as well as serving defence purposes. These canals in the Netherlands, constructed in the seventeenth century, are also included as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, to us, these waterways forge the most enchanting ambience that one can encounter in the middle of a city.
You just can’t escape the romance with the arching brick bridges adorned with brightly coloured flowers, vibrant and unique architecture that hugs the canals at every turn. And the twinkling street lights at dusk. It’s as if the harmony of it all is meant to encourage the unity of those who are within its magical interior.
Whether you walk hand in hand with your partner, pedal around on a bicycle, or hold each other as you cruise on a mini boat voyage on the canals, you can expect to feel love. Don’t be surprised if those feelings elevate to a sense of passion and sensuality!
We experienced all of the above and wouldn’t be able to pick just one way to admire these canals. The picturesque atmosphere here provides a dreamy backdrop to any type of romantic outing you may be into.
Thanks to TogetherToWherever
A: Azucar Hotel at Reserva Sian Ka’an in the Yucatan, Mexico
The Riviera Maya has to be one of the most romantic places in the world. If places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen are home to large resorts, Tulum, further south, is where the nicest boutique hotels are located, right on the beach but beautifully hidden in the forest.
Among them, Azucar Hotel, is a really special place. It is located in the Reserva Sian Ka’an, which is at about 15 minutes drive from Tulum Pueblo, and nicely isolated. The best way to get there is actually by car (renting a car is recommended).
What is special about the hotel isn’t so much the amenities, but the gorgeous location. There isn’t any such thing as a swimming pool, or a plunge pool, or Jacuzzi in all rooms. There’s no restaurant and no spa. It is just a series of beautiful wooden cabanas, all with direct access to the beach and stunning views of the ocean.
The cabanas are simple, but nicely furnished. They all have direct access to a beach that is so empty, it seems a million miles away from the crowds of Playa del Carmen.
There’s no air conditioning in the cabanas, and this is in line with the effort to keep the hotel as environmentally sustainable as possible. Cabanas just have plenty of doors and windows with mosquito nets and screens. Sleep enjoying the silence, only interrupted by the sound of waves, is pure bliss.
Not far from the hotel, there’s a handful of other hotels, with small local restaurants and all equally hidden.
This is simply the perfect place to go and just spend time with a loved one.
Thanks to My Adventures Across the World
B: Baths of Aphrodite in Cyprus
Love and romance are as synonymous with Cyprus as turquoise water and beaches.
It’s believed that Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love, was born from the sea foam near to Cyprus, and that she fell in love with Adonis while bathing in what is now known as the ‘Baths of Aphrodite’.
When visiting today, you will find a very popular attraction, and one that looks a lot prettier in person than in any of the photos you’ll see. Despite many coach tours coming here, most people only stick around for a few minutes at a time. If you wait patiently, you’ll be able to see the baths up close and without anyone jostling your camera!
Some say that the water from the baths will keep you young and beautiful forever, while others claim drinking it keeps you fertile. Sadly, you’re not allowed to actually swim in these baths as electric eels now live in the water.
But here’s a sneaky tip. Turn around and look for the stone fountain on the right. This fountain is said to have the same water as what’s in the baths. Just don’t drink it – it’s for splashing on your body only!
Once you’ve hopefully reversed the signs of ageing, I’d recommend ending your visit at nearby Aphrodite’s Beach. This little beach is perfect for couples wanting to chill out in crystal clear water and get some privacy as not many people come here (even during peak season).
Thanks to Wanderer of the World
C: Calauit Safari, Coron, in the Philippines
Coron has been named a few times as one of the best islands in the world. Not only it is blessed with paradise islands, marvellous rock formations, and pristine white beaches, Coron is also a home to a few wildlife sanctuaries located on Calauit Island, where you can spend a day with your partner while embracing the beautiful sunset.
Calauit Safari Park is also known as a piece of Africa in the Philippines. It’s located on an island two hours drive away from the main town of Coron. On this island, you will find giraffes, wild boars, various deer breeds, turtles/tortoise, zebras, and a few other wild animal species.
You also have access to a nearby beach where you can spend the entire night and sleep under the stars. If you and your partner are both animal lovers, you will definitely find this place worthwhile. Most people who go here as casually dating lovers often end up as engaged partners!
Thanks to The Jerny
We hope you have enjoyed reading this post of our A – Z Series. Please come back tomorrow for the next three letters of the alphabet!