Beaches, Butterflies, Beer, and Bliss

I recently returned from a fabulous belated honeymoon to Aruba. Yes, honeymoon! I met a wonderful man in May, 2021 and we got married in June, 2022. We chose Aruba for our belated honeymoon as we’re both avid travellers and wanted to choose a destination that is new to both of us, so a great place to begin making travel memories together. Aruba is definitely not known as a chocolate destination, so the lure of the chocolate trail was not a distraction. ❤️ In this post, I’d like to share a few of the favourite things we’ve enjoyed while in Aruba … the Sweetheart of the ABC Islands. 

Aruba-sunsets

 

5 Things to Love About Aruba

 1. Aruba is the perfect place for lovers.

Tourism is the number one industry in Aruba, and with a theme of happiness throughout the island (it is in fact known as “One Happy Island!”) you can’t help being captivated by good vibes and loving thoughts. It’s therefore no surprise that weddings, honeymoons, and even vow renewals are life changing events that are well served by Aruba. Check out this site for much more information about all the great things happening in Aruba and how you can experience #theArubaEffect. 

2. Aruba has an abundance of beautiful beaches.

For its very small size of 181 square kilometres (70 square miles) Aruba boasts 11 kilometres (seven miles) of uninterrupted beach that runs along the more commercialized west coast of the island. For a family beach that is great for swimmers and beach lovers from babies to the elderly, try Baby Beach (you’ll find incredible burgers and great cocktails at Big Mama Grill right on Baby Beach.) And for the the most incredibly romantic evening ever, dine at Passions on the Beach at the Amsterdam Manor (which I review in more detail in the next post) right on Eagle Beach, pictured in the Pin-worthy photo above.

3. Aruba does a tremendous job in fusing the relaxed Caribbean vibe of the islands with the enduring charm of its Dutch heritage.

Aruba, Bonaire, and, Curacao are collectively known as the ABC Islands and are official territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (more commonly known as Holland.) Longtime readers of this blog may recall posts I’ve written about my Chocolatour of Holland back in 2010. Delicious Dutch-style chocolate, Dutch pancakes, and Dutch beer are easy to find throughout Aruba. But we loved the locally made Chill and Balashi beers, too.

dutch-pancakes

We really enjoyed the authentic Dutch pancakes at Willem’s Dutch Pancakes, located near the Palm Beach Mall.

chill-beer

Locally made Chill Beer will help keep you cool during Aruba’s hot and sometimes humid days. But Holland’s Amstel Beer (of the Heineken Company) is also very popular with the many European travellers who visit the ABC Islands annually.

4. Aruba is the perfect place to get out and explore and experience nature. 

We really enjoyed our visit to The Butterfly Farm. Normally called butterfly gardens in other places I’ve visited (see this post, which highlights my visit to the Butterfly Garden in Hershey Pennsylvania) Aruba’s Butterfly Farm is home to more than 35 species of butterflies from around the world. These beautiful gardens were run collaboratively with the butterfly farm in St. Martin which closed after it was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Fortunately for tourists and butterflies alike, the ABC Islands are located outside of the hurricane zone and therefore a safer place to be than other Caribbean islands plagued with hurricanes. Take note that your entry ticket is good for the duration of your stay in Aruba, making this a good value attraction. There is a nice gift shop on site where you can purchase a variety of butterfly themed keepsakes and gifts. For current updates, visit the Butterfly Farm’s Facebook page

Aruba-butterfly-farm

The Aruba Butterfly Farm is a great place to visit and learn about butterflies of the world.

5. Aruba is a safe place to visit and live. 

We were thrilled to learn that the ABC Islands are located outside the hurricane zone–an unfortunate risk you may encounter on most of the other Caribbean islands. That, its low crime rate, and common use of the English language make Aruba a great choice for North American travellers. The local people are very friendly, helpful, and considerate, and I can honestly say that we weren’t asked for money once! That is a strong contradiction to many other tropical destinations where beach vendors and timeshare companies are continually trying to empty your wallet by interrupting your natural state of bliss.

kim-and-doreen

Kim and I loved the hassle-free bliss we experienced on Aruba and have planned a return trip to the ABC Islands for Winter 2023-24.

I share more about accommodation options here and explore the fabulous art of Aruba in this post. Please check it out if you adore folk art and street art as much as I do!

Have you been to Aruba or either of the other ABC Islands? If so, please share what you most enjoyed in the comment thread following this post. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and colleagues. Everyone deserves to know about this blissful Caribbean land of love and experience #TheArubaEffect for themselves. ❤️ 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

26 Responses

  1. Cheryl Bigelow says:

    Baby beach sounds like a fantastic place lol. I have a love for hamburgers. What you wrote about that definitely caught my eye. Love the pictures of the both of you. Glad you had such a wonderful honeymoon.

  2. Giselle & Vince Merke says:

    Yes, We definitely agree with Doreen and Kim on this one for sure. Aruba is everything and more! One Happy Island❤️
    Vince and I have been lucky enough to find ourselves on the Beach there many, many times.
    We are cruisers and this cruise port is definitely a favourite spot. We just hop on a local bus and head to the beach. Palm Beach or Eagle Beach are amazing with the turquoise water and sugar sand.
    Any of the hotels on the beach are happy to accommodate with chairs and umbrellas, food and refreshments for a reasonable price.
    We love to stay close to Pelican Pier so that we know how to get back to the ship easily.
    Doreen and Kim we enjoyed seeing your honeymoon photos and adventures. You were both glowing and it wasn’t hard to see that you were enjoying every moment!!
    We will always think of you when we return to Aruba and we definitely have a toast to many happy and healthy years for the two of you!

    • Thanks so much for your fabulous comment, Giselle. Cruising definitely does give you tremendous opportunities to check out places you’d like to return to later for a more comprehensive visit. We highly recommend Aruba for a two-week stay or longer to have enough time to see all the sights.

  3. Margaret Anne Fehr says:

    So lovely to hear about Aruba, Doreen! Didn’t realize that it was so close to South America. Just curious, when you two lovebirds were gazing up at the night sky, was the Southern Cross visible? My friend Judy went there decades ago and said she got the deepest tan of all her island experiences. She also mentioned some trees that had their leaves going horizontally? Did you encounter any local flora like that?

    • Hi Margaret and thx so much for your comment. Yes, Aruba is very close to the coast of Venezuela. Would love to visit there if the safety factor ever goes back up. I can’t say whether the Southern Cross was available in Aruba as I don’t recall seeing it. Yes, I think I was browner after just 2 weeks in the sun of Aruba as opposed to after a whole summer here in MB. It truly is a sun-lover’s paradise. ❤️ Don’t recall any plants with horizontal leaves. But if you go to my homepage and click on the YouTube icon on the top right (alongside all the other social media icons) you will see the video I uploaded on Aruba. Lots of different plants and foliage to appreciate there.

  4. Jan Tooth says:

    Really enjoyed you commentary on Aruba. Your pictures were excellent. I looked forward to reading everything you wrote. Really made me want to include that Island in my travels. You look so happy. I look forward to some day meeting Kim.

    • Hello, Jan, and thx so much for your comment. Glad you’re enjoying the Aruba posts. I’ll have another next week on various types of accommodations that can help make the perfect holiday for everyone. And, yes! Please do come out and meet Kim as soon as you are able.

  5. Irene Gordon says:

    Hi Doreen,
    Yes, we did visit the ABC Islands and enjoyed them, but it was so long ago that I can’t remember many details Having a Dutch grandmother made Aruba more special and we loved the weather and beaches there. We just returned from a month visiting South Padre and Galveston Islands in Texas and New Orleans. Irene

    • Hi Irene and thanks for your comment. Glad you had a great trip to Texas. South Padre is one of my fav US destinations. Regarding the ABC Islands, which one did you like the best? We are planning a visit to Curacao next winter.

  6. Pat says:

    Each chapter of your love life is my favourite to watch unfold. Can’t wait for the next one.

  7. Mary-Anne says:

    I remember visiting the aloe Vera farm and factory there and of course purchasing numerous products.

  8. Frances Petrowski says:

    Wow Doreen! Thanks for this post on Aruba. I learned so much: A B C islands, part of Netherlands, butterflies, no interruptions on our bliss …. I can’t wait to read the blog on accommodations. I will add Aruba to my bucket list. Thanks

    • Hi Frances and thx so much for your comment. Yes, I truly think that you and Joe would enjoy the relaxed beauty of Aruba. I don’t think we ever stopped smiling during the 16 days that we were there. ❤️

  9. Esther says:

    Nice to know that some places on the planet are still all about nature’s bounty — especially the uninterrupted bliss part! Congratulations to you and Kim on your marriage.
    Esther recently posted…Jane EyreMy Profile

  10. Our only visit to the Caribbean was a trip to Grand Cayman in 1986! Your posts always intrigue me to learn more about the places you visit, and if we ever do plan another Caribbean vacation, we just may try Aruba!

  11. Betty Jackson says:

    If and when I am able to travel to travel again this would likely be my first choice after visiting my daughter and son-in-law in the Baja. Aruba sounds like paradise.

  12. Good vibes, Doreen. Thanks for posting about Aruba. I have a friend who was a member of the Canadian synchronized swim team, and she used to do all her training there, but that’s all I knew about Aruba until now.

  13. Kim Lawrence says:

    Aruba is everything and more that Doreen wrote about. We had a wonderful time exploring the island from top to bottom. The 2 different places we stayed at were great. Can’t wait to go back.

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