What’s Your Island?
A perfect honeymoon begins with a bit of matchmaking—your personality to the island’s.
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Florida and the Caribbean are a calculated weather risk during hurricane season (June through November). August through October are the peak hurricane months, with maximum activity in early to mid-September. Couples marrying in late summer and early fall should consider the ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao—which lie outside the hurricane belt.
Aruba (www.aruba.com) caters to mainstream American tourists with plenty of activities, including a new water park, a range of rental condos and hotel offerings, and a broad selection of restaurants, from gourmet to familiar chains. Bonaire (www.tourismbonaire.com), a leader in Caribbean environmentalism, attracts mostly scuba divers, birders and other ecotourists. Curacao (www.curacao.com), the largest and most populated of these sister islands, has a more cosmopolitan feel. The island attracts many Europeans, and visitors will hear people speaking the official language, Dutch, as well as French, Spanish, English and the local language, Papiamento. Buildings in the capital of Willemstad resemble those in Amsterdam, but in Curacao, they are painted a rainbow of colors.
Travel writer Joe Yogerst, a contributing editor to Islands magazine and the 2006 Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year, figures he has visited 75 percent of the major islands in the Caribbean. His favorite is Jamaica (www.visitjamaica.com), which is also popular with honeymooners.
“It’s a big island with a lot to do away from the beach,” Yogerst says. “You have the Blue Mountains inland and the big, teeming city of Kingston. I like the fact that it always feels a little bit dangerous. It’s like going to the inner city rather than the suburbs.” Because most honeymooners are not looking for a dangerous locale, they tend to confine themselves to the resorts, which are beautiful and provide everything couples need for a romantic escape.
If Jamaica is the inner city, then St. Lucia (www.stlucia.org) is the suburbs. Yogerst describes St. Lucia as “the single-most beautiful island in the Caribbean. It’s like Jamaica without the edge, with really nice first-class hotels and great beaches.”
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