Most Dangerous Honeymoon Locations
1. Mexico: Drug Wars
For Better: A top affordable honeymoon choice for U.S. couples, Mexico's coastal beaches make the list of the top five most popular options for places to go once the bouquet has been tossed. Acapulco is where American royalty choose to honeymoon: This is where John and Jackie Kennedy headed as newlyweds.
For Worse: Although Mexico's most dangerous destinations are border towns Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo, and Reynosa, tourist-popular Acapulco and Mazatlán feature in a May 2010 U.S. State Department travel warning. Drug-related violence claimed the lives of three innocent bystanders in an April 2010 shootout in one of Acapulco's tourist areas, while Mazatlán's 2010 murder rate has seen a sharp rise.
2. Jamaica: Gun Battles
For Better: Jamaica is the most popular Caribbean destination for honeymoons with more than 100,000 Americans choosing to spend their post-nuptial vacation on the lush, 150-mile-long island. The island's all-inclusive, couples-only beach resorts are a big part of the draw.
For Worse: A May 2010 State Department Travel Alert warned U.S. citizens against traveling to Kingston and surrounding areas as a result of escalating violence and unrest. With disruptions to flights and gun battles on Kingston streets, visitors to the island were advised to check conditions before leaving their hotels. You're better off sticking to the resorts in Montego Bay on the northwest coast of the island.
3. Australia: Poisonous Spiders
For Better: Sydney and the nearby Blue Mountains are popular with honeymooners who want it all: great beaches, world-class hotels, incredible restaurants, and nearby wine country. The area also makes a memorable stopover en route to South Pacific escapes like Fiji.
For Worse: Sydney could be the place to test out that promise to love each other in sickness and in health. Australia is teeming with deadly jellyfish and snakes, but 2010 has seen an invasion of deadly funnel web spiders. Yes, spiders. The aggressive arachnids can leap up to 18 inches and can bite through soft shoes and toe- and fingernails. The bite can be fatal, but excellent anti-venom exists so quick action is the key.
4. Indonesia: Kidnappings and Bombings
For Better: Bali's villas, five-star retreats, and a slew of couples-only resorts make the Island of the Gods a deliciously romantic destination. The island's honeymoon potential was recognized as far back as 1939 when the movie Honeymoon in Bali lit up screens.
For Worse: The average honeymoon lasts a blissful eight days, but unlucky honeymooners in Indonesia might find themselves having that extended, courtesy of terrorist cells in the country. Kidnap zones like Papua are the places to particularly avoid. If traveling to an area of the world with a high kidnap and ransom risk, consider putting Kidnap and Ransom Insurance on your gift registry-and you'll have a crisis assistance team oversee negotiations for your release should it be necessary. Another risk is bombings that have rocked Indonesia (in Jakarta as recently as 2009 and in Bali in 2005). High-profile Western businesses are often targets for terrorists and the risk is heightened during holidays and celebrations.
5. Thailand: Riots and Terrorist Attacks
For Better: One of most popular honeymoon destinations according to the wedding gurus at TheKnot.com. Top places to spend your first vacation together as a married couples include northern Chiang Mai-with its hot springs and caves-and the famed islands of Phuket, and Ko Samet.
For Worse: Bloody political riots gripped Bangkok in the spring of 2010, cutting off honeymoon-worthy hotels like the Four Seasons and destroying shops and theaters in the capital city. Unfortunately, this is not a new problem in Thailand. The State Department noted that it was "concerned" about the continuing risk of terrorism in Thailand in 2009 in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It warned of separatist group attacks and urged U.S. citizens not to travel to the far south of the country or to the Cambodian, Lao, or Burmese borders. The Thai government also declared a state of emergency in 24 provinces. To be safe choose a romantic resort far from this action.
Photo Credits: Mexico - STR/AFP, Getty Images; Jamaica - Alessandro Abbonizio/AFP, Getty Images; Australia - Ian Waldie, Getty Images; Indonesia - Corbis; Thailand - Saeed Khan/AFP, Getty Images