Destination Spotlight: Aruba

If gentle blue waves lapping on blond colored beaches bathed in warm sunshine appeals to you, come to Aruba. Trade winds keep temperatures comfortable on this Caribbean island just north of Venezuela. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, a honeymoon, or a special celebration, this is your island. The recent passage of same sex marriage laws makes Aruba a welcoming venue for all.

A perfect melting pot! The Dutch influence adds a European twist to the architecture. Pitched gable roofs sit atop buildings painted in bold tropical colors. Stroll down the streets of Oranjestad and listen to conversations in Dutch, English, Spanish, and the local language, Papiamento. The warmth of the people is just as welcoming as the sunny days and starry night skies.

It’s time to knock something off that bucket list! Warm, clear, marine rich waters make Aruba the perfect spot to learn SCUBA diving. Whether you take a resort course and try a shallow dive or decide to get certified, you’ll be amazed at how active and colorful life is beneath the waves. The island has several designated dive sights, some including sunken ships to explore.

Feeling like stretching your legs? Arikok National Park takes up about 20 per cent of Aruba. Take a tour of the largely desert-like landscape or set off on your own. Sites to look out for include the Arikok Hilltop, archeological remains of a Dutch settlement, and the Cero Arikok, a high point offering views of the island and the sea beyond. The Conchi, a natural pool reachable by 4 x 4 vehicles, is a local and tourist hotspot. Bring your snorkel and swim with the colorful fish brought in at high tide.

If your idea of fun includes plenty of pampering, many of Aruba’s resorts offer full-service spas. Imagine a couple’s massage in a private beachfront setting, or inhaling the fragrance of your coconut body wrap. Now that you’re relaxed, it’s time for a delectable meal at an ocean side restaurant! Mathew’s Beachside Restaurant offers romantic dining on the beach within steps of the waves. If you’re feeling something more rustic, the Barefoot Restaurant has you dine under the stars and wiggle your toes in white sand at the same time. What a dream!


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