Life in the Amazon follows the sun, and our first morning at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion began with a dawn wake-up call, scrambled eggs in the lodge, and a canoe ride up-river to Lake Sandoval.
MAXI-MOON IN PERU PART 1
Caimans wallowed in the water around us, and bright flashes of red, blue and yellow flew across the skies above.
"Macaws fly in pairs," said Percy, our guide. "They're monogamous and mate for life… just like the Peruvian people!"
Before lunch we transferred upstream to Inkaterra's sister hotel, Reserva Amazonica, where we were welcomed with cold flannels and fresh juice before being shown to our riverfront cabin.
BRIDE-TO-BE BLOG: MINI-MOON IN TURKEY
Often said to be the smartest lodge in the Peruvian Amazon, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica has 35 thatched cabins on stilts with supersize beds covered with net canopies. Each night lanterns illuminate the walkways to the main lodge, and hot water bottles warm up the sheets.
The food is imaginative, locally-sourced and beautifully presented - think river fish, plantain and lots of tropical fruit. Sustainability doesn't stop with the food; Inkaterra is a carbon neutral hotel group which proves that eco-tourism can be luxurious, environmentally-sound and beneficial to local communities.
In fact, the next day we visit a local farm where Inkaterra is teaching local communities how to earn more from their produce - for example sun dried bananas sell for eight-times the price of fresh bananas.
BRIDE-TO-BE BLOG: THE BIG DAY
That afternoon a tropical storm descended upon us, and we decided the best place to enjoy the rain was at the Ena Spa. The Amazon Purification Treatment sounded like just the ticket, and we lay back in the flickering candlelight being massaged with Cat's Claw cream (a local Amazonian plant) and wrapped tight in blankets.
From the Amazon we flew to the Andes, landing in Cusco and traveling by train to Aguas Calientes, a small town in the Cloud Forest below Machu Picchu.
Our next hotel was Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, a bit of a twister for the tongue but truly charming for the eyes. Like a little colonial town (pueblo means town in Spanish) this Relais & Châteaux hotel is made up from individual cottages nestled among trees and orchids.
After a beautiful sunny morning exploring the Lost City of the Incas, we restocked our rumbling tummies at Café Inkaterra and headed for a well-deserved massage at the Unu Spa.
With time flying past far too quickly, we soon re-boarded the train back to Cusco. Once the Inca Capital, Cusco is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its cobbled streets and colonial architecture are perfect for meandering at a leisurely pace.
Our last lodging was Peru's first Relais & Chateaux hotel, Inkaterra La Casona, a picture-perfect 16th century colonial house (somewhat rudely, but typical of the conquistadors) built over an Inca Palace. Decked out with carved colonial furniture, the hotel has an intimate, homely feel with just eleven suites leading off from a stone-pillared internal courtyard.
Our bed was so wide we wondered whether to sleep horizontal or vertical - after cocktails at neighbouring restaurant, the Fallen Angel, quite frankly it was a wonder we made it home at all. This very funky eatery has tables made from bathtubs filled with fish, flying pigs hanging from the ceiling and very strong passion fruit and ginger sours. I highly recommend it!
12 MONTH PLANNER: WHAT TO DO WHEN
Our last morning was a Sunday, and it seemed that every single Cusceno had descended on the Plaza de Armas. Music played, children ran around in fancy dress, people paraded from here to there and tourists watched it all unfold from balconies overlooking the square.
Reluctantly packing our bags, we had one more trip to the spa before boarding the plane. This time it was an Andean Hot Stone massage at La Casona's micro spa. Despite willing it to last forever, Cusco soon disappeared out of the car window and we found ourselves in the airport heading home.
There's nothing quite like honeymooning. Spending time together when wedding memories still run fresh through your minds; waking up somewhere new and different, free from the norms of everyday life… and so much more luxurious! It is such a special time, a trip well worth planning with care - the annual Brides Honeymoon Guide is brimming with ideas if you need inspiration.
So, sadly the end of this blog signals the time for me to say farewell. If there's one thing I would say as a parting note is to enjoyeveryminute of it - the post proposal high, the planning, the big day and finally the honeymoon. Because all too soon you'll be looking back through photos thinking how lucky you were to have been at the centre of such a huge heap of very-spoiling fun.
Rainbow Tours (www.rainbowtours.co.uk, 020 7666 1260) offer an Inkaterra (www.inkaterra.com) 'Walking to Wellness' package as part of a 16-day itinerary in Peru priced from £6,135 per person, including international and domestic flights, transfers and rail travel. Accommodation includes Hotel B, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo and Inkaterra La Casona, plus many excursions and activities.