We just got back from our Aruba honeymoon yesterday and it as amazing! We loved it. The island is great and the locals were all very friendly. Everyone speaks a little English but some have a harder time understanding you. We stayed at the Divi Village.
The hotels will try to steer you towards taxis but Aruba has a pretty good bus system. We never waited more than 20 minutes for a bus. Some are the big blue arubus busses, and some are small white vans that seat 12 people. The smaller ones can take longer because they’ll drop people off a their homes.
Some things we recommend:
De Palm Natural Pool Tour. We did the Natural Pool 4 hour tour on our second day. You ride in a land rover up to the Arikok National Park and visit the Natural Pool first, then the Natural Bridge, Old Gold Mine, the Alto Vista Chapel, and the Lighthouse. The park is very rough, bumpy terraine and you’ll be happy you’re in a landrover. You will get super dirty (like nomad trekking in the desert for a month dirty) and your hair will be a snarled mess but it was so much fun! You need to be fairly mobile to do this tour because you have to walk down uneven, steep rock stairs to get to the pool, then you have to climb over slippery rocks and boulders to get in. But it was seriously so worth it. Bring water shoes or old sneakers you don’t mind getting wet.
The De Palm Baby Beach tour – We did this on our third day. It’s a calmer, fun tour that lasted about 6 hours. You go to the Ostrich Farm, the Donkey Sanctuary, the Volcanic Beach, the Caves with natice paintings, and then Baby Beach for snorkeling/swimming. Baby beach was amazingly calm and great for snorkeling.
De Palm Sunset Sail – We did this on our last day and it was a great way to end our trip. You take a pontoon sail boat out for about 2 hours and it’s an open bar with tasty appetizers. The Aruba Ariba drink tastes amazing and is very strong! The marina is right by a big shopping center so we went shopping afterwards and then ate at Texas de Brazil which was amazing.
We also took the buses and taxis to Philip’s Animal Garden which was a fun adventure, and the Butterfly Farm which was lovely. Both of those were quick and only took about an hour-90 minutes each.
We went to the Corrubian festival on Thursday but we got there late because of the bus and missed most of it. We were able to see their carnivale show which was amazing, and we got to eat some good local food while listening to the band. I recommend taking a taxi and getting there at 6 PM if you want to shop the vendors. The Carnivale show was at 9 or 9:30 and the festival goes until 11 pm but we left at 10.
Hands down the most amazing, romantic dinner you will have on the island is at the Old Man and the Sea down in San Nicolas. It’s hard to get to because it’s so far south that you have to take two busses or a $30 taxi ride from the Low-Rise hotels, but it’s so worth it. Seriously. This restaurant is amazing, but because they don’t advertise much it was very empty and we practically had it to ourselves. The restaurant is set out on the beach a foot from the water. There are cabanas and tents, beds, and lounge chairs set out right on the sand! It’s so romatic and whimsical.
The ocean is very calm but in the background you can see the waves break over a rock wall. There are two piers that go over the water, one with lounge chairs and one for dining. He even has a hammock set up on the beach if you want to chill out and relax. We had dinner during sunset and it was breathtakingly beautiful. His wine selection was delicious, and the food was out of this world amazing.
My DH got the Macadamia crusted Mahi-Mahi and I got the Surf & Turf Trio (Filet Mignon, Lobster, and Shrimp) and it was delicious. We also got the escargot stuffed mushrooms which were insanely good, and they brought us a complimentary dessert of caramel flan and cheesecake because they figured out that we were honeymooning. It is pricey (we spent $160 with wine, an app, and 2 entrees) but it’s so worth it. I wish we had gone there twice.