Aruba is located in the Caribbean Sea, north of the country of Venezuela. A small island, it is 19.6 miles long and 6 miles wide; approximately the same size as Washington DC. It is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has 70,000 full-time residents and happily welcomes guests from all over the world. Born of oil refineries and gold mines, Aruba's current major industry is tourism.
Honeymooners can visit Aruba by air or by sea. There is an airport in Aruba with flights arriving from Miami (2.5 hours) and New York (4 hours) daily. Major cruise lines offer Caribbean cruise packages that include stops in Aruba.
When traveling to Aruba from the US or Canada, no passports are needed, but proof of identity is required. This would include a photo ID and one of the following:
- Birth Certificate
- Naturalization Certificate
- Valid Nonquota Immigration Visa
- Green Card
- Valid Voter Registration Card
- Valid Passport
To get around the island you can rent a car, bicycle or a motorcycle, take a taxi, or ride the bus. If you would like a view from the water, boat cruises are available. If you want to tour the island, consider finding a guided tour. The highways are not always clearly marked and while you cannot really get lost, you might waste time that could otherwise be spent sunning on a beach or exploring.
Besides hanging out on the beautiful beaches and enjoying the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, honeymooners will find a lot to do in Aruba. The entire island has dedicated itself to tourism.
San Nicholas is Aruba's oldest village and port. If you are looking for interesting shops and laid back local bars, this is the place. Alternatively, for a bit more excitement, head to the capital of Oranjestad. Enjoy pastel painted buildings, malls and boutiques as you wander the streets in search of your next bargain. However, if you find a piece of Dutch porcelain that you just have to buy, but it does not have a price tag on it, don't try to haggle with the shopkeeper. This is considered rude in Aruba.
The US dollar is accepted in Aruba, as well as all major credit cards. Everyone speaks English, so it should be very easy to navigate the social waters in this party-oriented country.
Outdoor activities in Aruba include:
- Deep-sea Fishing: barracuda, tuna, kingfish, and bonito are all favorites here.
- Hiking: Arikok National Wildlife Park; lizards, snakes, wild donkeys, goats, rabbits, and parakeets run around Mt. Arikok, the 577 foot peak.
- Horseback Riding
- Parasailing: individual or tandem rides available.
- Scuba Diving: visibility is 90 feet, and the Antilla; a shipwreck, can be explored.
- Land Sailing
With an average year round temperature of 82 degrees and very little rain, the island's terrain is desert-like. On the northern part of the island are Indian caves. Free to explore, these caves offer a peek into the island's history. Lighthouses, old churches and arid landscapes are also all part of Aruba's charm.
The white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, resort hotels and casinos make an Aruba honeymoon a magnificent choice for couples seeking tropical beauty, water sports and sparkling nightlife. While accommodations on the island are expensive, deals can be found through your travel agent or online. Consider traveling during the off-season for rates that are up to 40% off.
Do not worry about missing McDonald's while you're on your honeymoon. Most of the major fast-food restaurants have arrived on the island. The food offered in the hotels is based on American menus and not terribly expensive. Local specialties are also available in the resorts, and in town cafes.
If you are dreaming of a small, friendly Caribbean island getaway with all the comforts of home, consider honeymooning in Aruba.