The Caribbean islands is a group comprising many smaller islands, some more prominent than others, as vacation and most especially honeymoon spots. They bring to mind the popular song, ‘Kokomo’ sung by the Beach Boys from the movie 'Cocktail', with Tom Cruise mixing drinks on a tropical island retreat. The lyrics of the song almost transport you to the magical beauty typical of the Caribbean islands.
Aruba is located 15 miles north of Venezuela and is one of the ABC islands, the other two being Bonaire and Curacao. It takes about four hours to get there from New York. It has a warm climate all year round, with an average temperature of about 28 degrees Celsius. There are special packages catering to honeymooners, making it one of the top honeymoon destinations.
Aruba has beautiful beaches and a nightlife bustling with casinos and clubs that offer sufficient variety and excitement to last your entire holiday. The peak season lasts from December to mid-April with January being the busiest. The best time to visit is post-Easter when it gets warmer and the best hotel deals are available.
Aruba’s flora and fauna include divi-divi and kwihi trees, aloe and tropical flowers, birds and iguanas. Some of the spots worth visiting are the Spanish Lagoon, Yamanota, the island's peak and the rock formations of Ayo and Casibari. Those with a historical bent could check out the gold mill ruins of Bushiribana and Balashi or the historical museum.
Aruba has much to offer, whether on land by exploring its coves or the walking trails of the Arikok National Park (a natural preserve that makes up a significant part of the island) or enjoying its beaches like Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, Druif Beach, Baby Beach and Rodgers Beach, or its underwaters by taking a tour in a glass-bottomed boat or snorkeling at Arashi Beach, Boca Grandi or Baby Beach or scuba diving near its shipwrecks at Antilla. You could visit the Arashi reef via the Seaworld Explorer semi-submarine or have an exciting adventure in the twin-engine, turbocharged ‘Screamer’ or the Rhino Rider water safari, a two-seater inflatable motorboat.
Another unforgettable experience is the Butterfly Farm, a tropical garden with varieties of butterflies flitting around. The California Lighthouse (named after the famous shipwreck) is a great place to take in a scenic view of the coastline. Yet another getaway ideal for honeymooners is Cura Di Tortuga, a pool surrounded by rocks from which the more adventurous lot undertake dives.
Oranjestad is the place to shop till you drop with the wharf offering great discounts and deals. The Aruban florin is the currency, though the U.S. dollar is normally accepted. Dutch, Papiamento (the natives speak it), English and Spanish are the languages spoken here. A trip to Aruba isn’t complete without sampling the local flan called kesio, to make your honeymoon even sweeter.
Jamaica is located in the northern Caribbean, south of Cuba and west of Haiti. It brings to mind the strains of the song ‘Jamaican Farewell' sung by Harry Belafonte, that speaks of leaving behind a love on this Caribbean island, with dancing girls, rum and bustling marketplaces.
It has majestic mountains that provide a marvelous backdrop to the coast of golden gravel and sand such as the beaches of Montego Bay, and the opportunity to explore lush green jungles, like the tropical jungle of Fern Gully. The best months to visit are January, February and March and the annual average temperature is 80°F. The three cities that draw the tourist population are Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.
At Ocho Rios, take in the breathtaking Dunn's River Falls, a 600-foot waterfall where you can climb up the falls' limestone tiers, or have an amazing dolphin encounter at Dolphin Cove. The Hope Road Kingston Heritage reveals the heritage and rich culture of this island resonating with the lilting reggae music that has its origins here. In addition, there are museums like the Bob Marley Museum, galleries etc.
Montego Bay’s attractions are St. James Parish Church and the Cage, an 18th century prison. Bird-watching, polo, golf and cricket have become popular among the land activities while there are a variety of water sports like diving, snorkeling, etc. for the water babies. The languages spoken are English and Patois and the currency is the Jamaican dollar, though the U.S. dollar is commonly accepted.
The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands that is actually in the West Indies, in the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida and north of the Caribbean. December to mid-April is the best time to visit the Bahamas, with tourism at an all-time high in January. Rainfall is common in the months of May, June, September and October, with year-round temperatures averaging about 76°F.
Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and rich in culture and history with museums and historical landmarks as well as the Straw Market where you can find some unique local items. The islands that are popular for a romantic honeymoon are the Andros Island and Gold Rock Beach, where you can indulge in some water sports or take in the picturesque scenery, Harbor Island and New Providence Island, where you can sample some of the finest cuisines, enjoy some fun-filled water sports or party till the wee hours of the morning trying to get the hang of the calypso!
The other fun places to visit are Staniel Cay, the Thunderball Grotto (where the Bond movie was shot) and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the Lucayan National Park, Sanctuary Bay’s Dolphin Experience, Rand Memorial Nature Center, and the Port Lucaya marketplace. West End Move is an event held on Saturdays, with fun activities. English is commonly spoken though sometimes there is an underlying Bahamian dialect, and the Bahamian dollar and U.S. dollar are the common currencies.
Barbados is a southeastern Caribbean island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela. It is a 3.5 hour flight from Miami and a 4.5 hour flight from New York, and is favoured by tourists from America and Great Britain alike. It has a pleasant, tropical climate all year round but the best time to visit is from May to October. The white sand beaches are surrounded by coral and sandstone cliffs provide a beautiful backdrop.
The northeastern part of the island is a must-see, with the highest point, Mount Hillaby at 340 meters, popularly called the Scotland District. Bridgetown is the capital. Harrison’s Cave with its stalactites and stalagmites, lakes and waterfalls that can be viewed from a special tram and Morgan Lewis Mill, a restored sugar mill, are also popular draws. St. Nicholas Abbey in St. Peter and Drax Hall in St. George are beautiful architectural works in the Jacobean style, while Bridgetown has a restored Jewish synagogue. The island also draws crowds from around the globe when it hosts international events in hockey, sailing, cricket, windsurfing, etc. Crane Beach, the Fairmont Glitter Bay and Sandy Lane are other attractions. The currency is the Barbadian dollar though once again, the U.S. dollar is commonly accepted and English is spoken throughout.