5 Best Romantic Places In The World To Propose

Imagine standing on a dramatic bluff, completely surrounded by beauty. The sun sets in the distance with deep, pinkish colors reflecting off the calm surface of the ocean. Birds swoop in the sky, the gentle, salt-stung breeze kisses your skin and the crashing waves below lulls you further into bliss. Now imagine getting on one knee, asking your partner to spend the rest of their life with you. With a powerful backdrop like this, a proposal is simply unforgettable, and there are best, romantic places in the world to propose to your sweetheart.

Engagements can happen anywhere in the world (in the privacy of your own home, romantic restaurants, even flash mobs on busy streets), but natural landscapes have proven to inspire for centuries, providing a commanding setting for the intimate moment. Surprising with one night breaks can be simple and a great way to plan an engagement idea!

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From romantic cities to breathtaking beaches, these five destinations are perfectly enchanting, famously romantic and visited time and time again for that other big day you’ll never forget. As a bonus, we offered our favorite engagement rings you can get on Amazon below.

Here are the 5 best romantic places in the world to propose. 

1. Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii surfing
Big Island, Hawaii

Among the beautiful islands in Hawaii, Big Island (or Hawaii Island) is arguably the most ravishing. The biggest island (you can theoretically fit all the other islands here) seduces with eight different climate zones; visitors can frolic in snowy peaks, tropical rainforests and exotic beaches.

Many couples steer from the crowds to various, intimate environments where proposals are more private. With a short hike, couples discover Akaka Falls, a breathtaking, 500-foot waterfall deep in the jungle brimming with wild orchids and bamboo. At a certain time of day, the mist of the falls and sun create a rainbow, making the scene truly unforgettable. Another exciting option is proposing in a private helicopter, where the aerial views of Wai’ilikahi Falls are dramatic and spectacular.

For unbelievably immense views, head to Waipi’o Valley. The massive, verdant valleys with waterfalls streaming down the sides are larger than life. You will rarely see another soul at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a sprawling nature reserve where black lava rock and flowing, red lava pools set a unique, yet oh-so-Big Island, landscape. Here, stunning backdrops from spots like Kilauea Caledera and Kilauea Iki Crater are so romantic, they’re already famous for weddings.

2. Riviera Maya, Mexico

With sprawling white beaches, turquoise waters, ancient ruins and traditionally distinguished hospitality, Riviera Maya is a magnet to romance-seeking couples. In fact, Riviera Maya is so breathtaking, alluring and rapturous—with chilled-out vibes to boot—it’s a demanding honeymoon and wedding destination (it’s also easy to get to from the United States, making it a convenient, stress-free getaway).

Spanning almost 80 miles along the Yucatan Peninsula, there’s no shortage of excellent proposal spots, though some places feel effortlessly built for romance. Couples flock to Tulum, a bohemian-minded beach town that attracts yogis, luxury travelers and soulseekers alike. There’s something particularly magical here (as soon as you enter Tulum, dozens of fluttering butterflies seem to greet you). The beaches are considered the best on the coast, and they’re not overrun with tourists, which amps the appeal. Right around sunset, the beach setting is extraordinary.

Affluent travelers love Mayakoba, a high-end resort area deep in the mangroves. Couples can board a small boat in this tropical rainforest, traversing the canals that are walled by exotic flora. If you’re drawn to crowds and appreciate an audience for your proposal, head to Fifth Avenue in Playa Del Carmen. This lively street is chockfull of street vendors, authentic restaurants and boutiques, flooding with visitors, and you can hire a mariachi band on the spot for a true engagement fiesta.

3. Los Angeles, California

LA rooftop
LA rooftop

Los Angeles offers diverse settings—from thriving, prominent streets to a world-famous pier— that have stood the test of time for romantic interludes. The City of Angels is a mecca for food culture, Hollywood history, creative industries and celebrity sightings, but no one can argue the museums, beaches and urban attractions make the perfect setting to get on one knee.

An iconic activity, and a rite of passage, is a hike on Hollyridge Trail to the world-famous Hollywood sign. Here, the views of the sprawling city are immense, and getting engaged from the summit is truly epic (and exceptionally Instagrammable).

The Hollywood Roosevelt
The Hollywood Roosevelt

In Downtown LA, you can propose with the stunning landscape without working up a sweat. SkySpace at the US Bank Tower (the tallest building in the US west of the Mississippi River) has an open-air observation deck with 360-degree panoramas of the city. Getting here is easy but finding the perfect spot among many gorgeous vistas might prove challenging. While stargazers are known to congregate at Griffith Observatory, romance-seekers also flock to this famous, outdoor observatory to admire the night sky and pop the question.

LA is unmistakeably one of the most underrated places to propose, but it is one of the best romantic places to get on one knee and propose.

4. Costa Rica

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

The rumors are true: Costa Rica is one of the most romantic places on the planet. This riveting, natural destination is unspoiled with sublime beaches, lush rain forests and friendly villages with tons of outdoor adventures. The breathtaking destination is celebrated for its low carbon footprint (it’s touted as the “greenest” country in the world), which shows the country’s pride in eco-responsibility. It’s also ranked number one on the Happy Index, proving there’s lots to love here.

Best of all? Monkeys. The adorable monkeys swinging from branches create an exciting backdrop, not to mention other animals (horses, turtles, parrots) that seem as happy as the humans. One of the most popular regions is Guanacaste, and most visitors take to the sea here. The calm, pristine waters are perfect for a sail, and a proposal in the middle of the ocean is a pastime for couples.

Yelapa beach

Inland, Arenal is famous for its 7,000-year old volcano rising 5,300 feet high, anchoring the setting majestically. Here, the area is bubbling with natural hot springs, which sets the scene for romantic memories.

There’s no shortage of wonderful beaches, but you’ll want to head to Santa Theresa at the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula. It’s not only the best beach town in Costa Rica, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Framed by vibrant forestry, the wide, white-sand beach is low-key, unspoiled and a hot spot for laid-back surfers. It’s completely authentic (no corporations, no tourist-seeking hawkers), and the sunsets here are as glorious as they come. This makes it one of the best romantic places to propose.

5. Paris, France

Haut Marais
#9 Haut-Marais, Paris, France. Photo: @aron_farkas_photo

Paris is called The Romance Capital of the World and The City of Love for good reason. It’s known for colorful history, centuries-old architecture, beautiful plazas and parks, romantic cafes and iconic, breathtaking attractions (like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower). Naturally, it’s one of the most romantic places to propose, and we recommend a trip to Paris if you’re looking for propose.

There’s chocolate and oysters and wine, and even a baguette here has the power to seduce. Unlike other European cities, Paris famously embraces public affection, where passionate couples can show their love with kisses—and no one will bat an eye.

Paris is romance, and proposals are aplenty. While it may sound cliche, proposing in front of the Eiffel Tower is popular for a reason. The historic landmark is so stunning, it actually inspires one to get on their knee and vow their love, even if a proposal was never planned. The Eiffel Tower makes the perfect backdrop almost anywhere in the city, but get up close for the money shot. To amp the scenery, head to Palais Royal, the most romantic park in Paris, or pick a quiet spot along the gorgeous Seine River.

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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