By Project Wedding Staff for our sponsor, Aruba.com
So you're craving a tropical honeymoon, but Hawaii and Mexico? Too crowded. Bora Bora? Too far. How about Aruba? This sun-drenched island just north of Venezuela is only a four-hour flight from New York and has clean beaches and balmy island temperatures all yearlong. Here's why you should go:
1) Seven Miles of Beautiful Beaches: The West Coast of Aruba boasts some of the softest, most pristine beaches in the Caribbean. Take a stroll along the glamorous sands of Palm Beach, which is lined with five star hotels, or wade out into the crystal clear lagoon waters of the popular Baby Beach. Spot schools of snapper and sergeant fish at Mangel Halto, a popular snorkeling spot with tiki huts and picnic areas.
2) Snorkeling and Wreck-Diving: Marvel at once-in-a-lifetime underwater sights such as parrot fish, blue tangs and colorful coral at one of Aruba's many snorkeling sites. Or get your SCUBA-diving certification and explore one of the many sunken wrecks, like the German freighter Antilla, which at close to 400 feet long is also the Caribbean's largest wreck and home to all manner of sea creatures.
3) Romantic Beachside Dining: Imagine nibbling on gourmet hors d'oeuvres with your honey while the sun sets and a tuxedo-clad waiter brings you champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, or even a Monte Cristo #2 Cigar to your beach chairs! That's the Hyatt Regency Resort's "Sunset Service," one of many romantic beachside packages offered by the local hotels. You can also enjoy a four course meal and wait service under a romantic white canopy or take a romantic snorkeling trip for two with a pre-packed gourmet picnic!
4) Tunnel of Love: That's right! Aruba has a real-life "tunnel of love," part of a labyrinth of explorable shallow caves located on the "windward" side of the island. The island's Huliba Cave has been named the "Tunnel of Love" because of its heart-shaped entrance. Bring along flashlights (and bat repellent) to explore the 300-foot-long passageway, which has stalagmites and stalactites, unusual rock formations and, yes, the occasional furry bat!
5) English and Spanish Spoken Here: Aruba was occupied by the Dutch in 1636, and Dutch and English are the primary languages spoken here, in addition to the local dialect, Papiamento. Many residents speak at least four languages, usually including Spanish. Drivers also use the right side of the road, and you won't have to worry about "foreign" cuisine because the island has plenty of familiar U.S restaurant chains like T.G.l.Friday's, Tony Roma's and even Hooters.