Planning Your Honeymoon or Destination Wedding in Aruba
Aruba is a major honeymoon spot for several reasons; surprisingly, a couple of them might be attractions you never considered. Part of the “ABC” Island chain (the other two being Bonaire and Curacao), Aruba has a distinct Caribbean advantage in that it’s outside the Hurricane belt. (It’s also farther than, say, the Bahamas, as it lies near Venezuela.)
A Dutch island, you might learn a language thing or two: Residents and tourists speak Dutch, English, and the wonderful mix called Papiamento. Listen in, and try to catch the multiple dialects seeping through. As for the heat factor, you get arid weather most of the year, and an average temperature of 82 degrees—no endless rainy days in this oasis. Aruba is ideal for windsurfing and sun-tanning. Instead of tropical foliage, you get oodles of desert space and the famously bent divi-divi tree. Here’s a tip: The trees lean south, and you can use them as a compass if you get lost.
Like its “B” and “C” neighbors, Aruba’s got tremendous scuba-diving; one of the best Caribbean locations for the sport. Many honeymooners hit the island for that very reason. If you’ve always wanted to try it, get certified ahead of time. Scuba-diving is seriously fun and seriously challenging. Also, when the fish are this bounteous, you can get some fin fun by simply snorkeling, an option most resorts offer for free. Scuba-diving requires that you drink very little at night, and get up very early in the morning, so keep that in mind before your open-bar sunset cruise.
If you’re more the hang out by the pool couple, Aruba’s got that in spades, and gambling galore! (Figure out how much you can spend ahead of time, and stick to it.) It’s also a definitively partying spot; some couples like mellow days after the wedding, some want to howl it up like Vegas on the Beach. While you can do both on Aruba, there are smaller islands where nightlife means a game of cards on the hotel’s veranda. Aruba’s the place to go if you want to meet other couples like yourselves and party till dawn.
But don’t sleep the day away: It’s a huge shopping destination, with its own downtown strip of stores. Like much of the Caribbean, it’s also relatively inexpensive, and wonderfully duty-free. Practice those haggling skills now. Price-wise, it’s all over the island map. You can find something simple for as little as $100 a night, or easily up the ante to $600 plus. Honeymoon packages are almost as bounteous as the fish, so compare and contrast, and talk to a reliable travel agent. As for a souvenir, your memories are the best buried treasure.