The island of Aruba is small (20 miles long and 6 miles wide) but it comes with a huge, well-deserved, reputation.
Naturally, the main attraction is the sprawling white beaches and turquoise waters, but to ensure your honeymoon isn’t limited to salt and sand, seek out some of the other romantic activities on the island.
Go ahead. Raise an eyebrow. Off-roading may sound… off-putting, especially in a romantic context. But ATVs are the best way to explore the lesser-known east side of the island, which is full of rocky terrain and unique rock formations. An ATV is also a pretty badass means of getting around to see major highlights that would be boring inside a vehicle (like the Gold Mine Ruins or Guadirikiri Caves). You can opt to go with a tour group or drive one out on your own adventure. Fancy couples book them all the time, so don’t think you’re too sophisticated to go off road.
WindsurfingFisherman Huts (kite and windsufing), Aruba
Aruba is one of the sunniest islands in the Caribbean (it’s all the way down south and below the hurricane belt, so you never need worry about safety procedures). But it’s also famous for the trade winds that blow east to west, so windsurfing (and kitesurfing) has been a national pastime for decades. Fisherman’s Hut on the north side has the optimal windsurfing conditions, thanks to shallow, flat water and strong winds. You can get straightforward directions from pros if you’re a first timer, and you’ll be surprised at how fast you catch on. All it takes is one lesson, and considering the leg and abdominal muscles used, well…there’s your work out for the week. Two birds, one stone.
Get underwaterArashi Beach, Noord, Aruba
Due to the miles of amazing coral reefs, rich marine life, and crystal-clear, Caribbean Sea, you’d be crazy not to get in the water and explore. Diving is a big draw, thanks to several sunken wreck sites (the most in the Caribbean) and drop-off reefs. If you’re not certified, you can take an introductory course. If wetsuits aren’t your thing, you can grab a snorkel and check out several amazing snorkeling spots like Arashi Beach. Or you can go with Sea Trek, which allows non-divers to experience the sea floor by putting on retro-looking breathing helmets that don’t require snorkels or oxygen tanks. It’s pretty awesome, and the best reason to buy that underwater camera you thought you’d never use.
Explore on footOranjestad, Aruba
The beauty of Aruba isn’t just its pristine beaches and beautiful sunsets. There’s a lot of interesting culture to explore, if that’s your thing. The island was colonized by the Dutch in 1636, and a lot of the colonial Dutch architecture is still around, merged with Caribbean colors and sensibility. This is apparent in the main town, Oranjestad. Strolling through this charming town is strolling through the island’s history. Oranjestad has that romantic European charm, and their are plenty of museums, forts and factories to visit), as well as some high-end shopping. This history isn’t limited to Oranjestad: the caves of the island are home to nearly 300 pre-historic petroglyphs and cave drawings by indigenous people. Be prepared to get on all fours and crawl into the dark for a great experience. (That didn’t come out sounding the way we thought it would).
Considering its position position close to the equator, outside of the hurricane belt, and considering the fact that essentially all hotels, beaches, restaurants, bars, lounges and shops have unobstructed western views, Aruba takes the title of best sunsets in the Caribbean (no matter what the other islands say). Perch yourself literally anywhere along the coastor, better yet, hop aboard a yacht. There are many you can charter, and the type of experience you have changes with the amount of money you spend. You can go with an organized group sunset sail, or ball out with a private vessel that has hot tub and caviar.