For 16 years, "The Bachelor" and its woman-fronted spin-off, "The Bachelorette," have captivated the nation with their mix of catty drama, Chris Harrison catchphrases, teary declarations of love and, of course, stunning exotic locations designed to stoke the flames of romance. While the first few seasons kept things entirely domestic, later series swept contestants away to the furthest reaches of the world, from sunny Caribbean islands to snowy Nordic retreats and everything in between.
Granted, very few of these destinations cultivated actual lasting love. But who cares? For viewers, they led to their own kind of love story.
Here are our favorite romantic locales ever featured on the show.
Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay broke the heart of fan-favorite Peter — who famously ripped off his shirt during a teary, post-breakup breakdown — in this idyllic Spanish wine country region.
Best sights: Rachel took Peter to Eguren Ugarte, one of the region’s 500-plus wineries — and it featured not only rustic beauty, but the world’s most charming winemaker. Bryan popped the question to her at the magnificent Castillo de San Vicente de la Sonsierra, a hilltop fortress fronting the Ebro River.
Recipe for love? Peter who? Rachel and Bryan are, per Instagram, still going strong.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ben Higgins famously told two women he loved them in this fishing village turned scenic port town. And you can hardly blame him: With its elegant resorts, world-class spas, perfect climes and swaying palm trees set to the sound of lapping waves, the destination is as romantic as they come.
Best sights: Ben and Caila used a homemade bamboo raft to journey down the placid Martha Brae River, surrounded by jungle landscapes. Ben and JoJo swam under a waterfall deep in the jungle just outside Negril, a beach town known for its peaceful waters. He and Lauren released baby turtles into the sunlit Caribbean Sea.
Recipe for love? A couple months after starring in their own spin-off reality show, ominously subtitled Happily Ever After? Ben and Lauren called off their engagement. Runner-up JoJo became the Bachelorette.
JoJo Fletcher took her final five to this city set against the dramatic Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Also on tap, so to speak: more than 1,000 vineyards. (Argentina is one of the largest wine regions in Latin America.)
Best sights: JoJo and Jordan, her eventual final pick, got romantic at Entre Cielos vineyard, featuring a dozen acres of Malbec grapes grown alongside the snow-capped Andes Mountains. The local countryside, meanwhile, set the scene for JoJo’s date with Alex, featuring a visit from “gauchos” — South American horsemen.
Recipe for love? Continuing the tradition of Bachelorettes making better choices, JoJo is still with her fiance, Jordan (brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers).
Perennial Bachelor contestant Nick Viall wooed his final four love interests in this Arctic wilderness wonderland. Freezing? Yes. Stunning? You bet.
Best sights: Runner-up Raven enjoyed a helicopter ride over Urho Kekkonen National Park, home to animals including wolves, wolverines and lynxes. Also showcased: a sleigh ride through the snow and an unforgettable Aurora Borealis show alighting the night sky.
Recipe for love? Nick would go on to propose to Vanessa in a quaint Lapland cabin, but their relationship got the chill; they broke up several months later.
Arie’s proposal in Cusco was doomed; he ended up ditching his first choice, Becca, to pursue his second choice, Lauren. But the location itself, rife with Spanish colonial architecture and rimmed by the Andrean countryside, was a winner.
Best sights: Located about a four-hour train ride outside Cusco, Machu Picchu — where Arie had his final date with Lauren — is an ancient Incan estate fringed by dramatic mountains. Little wonder it was recently named one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Recipe for love? It hasn’t been long, but so far so good on Lauren and Arie’s rekindled relationship. Becca will be pursuing her own love story in exotic locations on the next season of The Bachelorette.
When Ben Flajnik proposed to season villain Courtney Robertson, it was in this Swiss Alps beauty. Zermatt also features charming mom-and-pops and upscale restaurants along its bustling main street, Bahnhofstrasse.
Best sights: Ben and his ladies spent most of their time exploring Matterhorn mountain, the backdrop for the proposal and a peak so majestic, it inspired the classic Disneyland ride. Ben and Courtney circled the peak via helicopter ride (you can do the same via Air Zermatt). Home base was Grand Hotel Zermatterhoff, a sight in itself featuring striking historic architecture — it dates back to 1879 — and sweeping views of the Alps.
Recipe for love? Ben and Courtney defied the haters by staying together for nearly a year, longer than expected, before going kaput. Courtney went on to write a tell-all book, “I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends.”
Queenstown, New Zealand
Jason Mesnick took his final three ladies to this lakeside, mountain-flanked resort town. The destination is popular among thrill-seekers, with jet-boating and whitewater-rafting among the favored activities, and features an assortment of top-notch wineries.
Best sights: Jason and Molly conquered their fears, and strengthened their connection, by bungee-jumping off the formidable Kawarau Bridge, suspended 141 feet above the Kawarau River. Lake Wakatipu also played a prominent role in filming, and understandably so; featuring crystal-clear waters inside a trench carved by glacier, it’s a natural wonder.
Recipe for love? In a twist that shocked the nation, Jason ditched first-choice Melissa for runner-up Molly a few months after filming. But it worked: They’ve now been married eight years and have one child together.
When Andy Baldwin took his final three picks to this Hawaiian paradise, it marked something of a homecoming; he’d been stationed in the state as a U.S. Naval Officer. While filming also took place on Oahu, it was Kauai — and its lush, luxurious town of Princeville on the north shore — that stole the show.
Best sights: The group spent time exploring Princeville’s waterfalls, a must for any visitor (Kalihiwai and Queens Bath are particular standouts). Andy also took one of his love interests on a catamaran cruise, an ideal way to explore the area’s wide-open Pacific and verdant shoreline.
Recipe for love? Andy and his final choice, Tessa, broke it off just eight months after getting engaged.
Like Ben Flajnik, Jake Pavelka popped the question to his season's villain — Vienna. But at least the controversial choice took place against the blissful backdrop of St. Lucia, an East Caribbean isle that's home to volcanic beaches, quaint fishing villages and abundant wildlife.
Best sights: Jake and Tenley took a helicopter ride (a “Bachelor” staple) to the St. Lucian rainforest, where they took in towering trees, rushing waterfalls and colorful tropical birds. He and Vienna navigated the glittering Caribbean sea on the Brig Unicorn, a pirate ship used in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Recipe for love? That ship would go on to sink a few years later, and so did Jake and Vienna’s romance (just months later). The two ended things in a particularly ugly fashion, sitting down with Chris Harrison for a filmed breakup discussion that descended into vicious verbal brawl.
Cape Town, South Africa
Brad Womack infamously refused to pick anyone on his first season as The Bachelor; when he returned for round two, the show pulled out all the stops, including a trip to this natural oasis along the South African coast.
Best sights: Brad and Emily traveled via — you guessed it — helicopter to Cape Point Nature Reserve. The park, which is located where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, is home to wildlife including baboons, mountain zebras and ostriches. Brad and his third choice, Ashley, picnkicked at the aptly named God’s Window, perched 6,000 feet above a canyon, national park and the border to Mozambique.
Recipe for love? This time, Brad proposed, to Emily — but it was not meant to be. (Emily would go on to become one of the franchise’s most popular Bachelorettes.)
Prague, Czech Republic
Emily Maynard, Brad’s former fiance, journeyed to a host of exciting locales, including Bermuda, London, Croatia and Curacao (where she proposed to Jef) — but it’s Prague that left the most lasting impression. The Czech capital boasts a bounty of historic architecture and attractions, a lively pub scene and the delightful Old Town Square.
Best sights: Emily and fifth-place finisher John visited Lennon Wall, which has showcased graffiti honoring Lennon’s life, music and pacifism since his death in 1980. She also took a group of three men to Krivoklat Castle, a staggering Czech royal residence dating back to the 12 century. Its features include one of Europe’s best-preserved gothic chapels and an impressive collection of medieval art.
Recipe for love? “Jemily,” as they were known by the press, ended things almost a year after getting engaged.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
The final rose ceremony for Sean Lowe’s season took place in this small provincial mountain town in northern Thailand. The proposal happened at the city’s Pa Sak Tong, a collection of luxury villas tucked among rice fields and ponds.
Best sights: Sean and his final two enjoyed the famous Golden Triangle, a jungle retreat filled with dozens of temples and shrines, secret grottoes, and wandering elephants and monkeys. While Chiang Rai was showcased to great effect, it wasn’t the only Thailand destination featured on the show: In the southern part of the country, tranquil Emerald Cave and Trang Province, a coastal region lined with sharp cliffs, also made memorable appearances.
Recipe for love? Success! Sean remains the only Bachelor to ever marry his first choice. The two have one child together, and another on the way.
After getting dumped by Chris, Kaitlyn Bristowe helmed her own season of the show. Near the end, she spent a few weeks in Ireland with her final batch of suitors, exploring destinations including Dublin and Blarney. Choosing the most romantic locale of the bunch is tough, but Killarney — with its shimmering lakes, sandstone mountains, historic structures and charming local culture — is a sound choice.
Best sights: Kaitlyn and Chris journeyed by, yes, helicopter to Killarney National Park. Ireland’s first national park spreads out over 26,000 green acres, and encompasses Ireland’s tallest mountain (Carrauntoohil) and the country’s only wild herd of native red deer.
Recipe for love? Kaitlyn and her pick, Shawn, are still engaged and going strong after three years.
Chris Soules had a famously lackluster season for travel — pit stops included South Dakota and his hometown of Iowa — but all was forgiven once the Bachelor and his final three ended up in Bali. The Indonesian island offers an embarrassment of natural riches, from rice paddies to white-sand beaches to volcanic mountains.
Best sights: Chris took Kaitlyn to Denpasar, the island's capital, featuring traditional Balinese architecture, temples, museums, palaces and roving monkeys. He and Whitney sailed the cobalt-blue Indian Ocean via yacht — always a good way to go.
Recipe for love? Chris and final-pick Whitney, who he proposed to back in Iowa, went bust after just a few months. Third-place Kaitlyn went on to become The Bachelorette.
Roberto proposed to Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky on an ocean bluff in this South Pacific island encircled by turquoise lagoon. She and her final two suitors stayed in villas perched directly above the crystal-clear sea at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa (now the Conrad Bora Bora).
Best sights: Ali and Roberto frolicked and made out on Moorea, a French Polynesian island about 150 miles outside Bora Bora that’s literally shaped like a heart (no surprise: It’s a top honeymoon locale). The island encompasses eight mountain peaks, pineapple plantations and the kinds of sunny beaches that travel fantasies are made of.
Recipe for love? Ali and Roberto’s engagement lasted 18 months before ending in failure, partly on the grounds of “explosive” fights.