Curacao vs Aruba for Honeymoon Bliss: Which Destination Wins

If you’re planning a tropical honeymoon (or your destination wedding), you may be familiar with the southern Caribbean’s ABC Islands!

That might sound like a fun nickname for the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Still, we’re also talking about two distinct countries and a special municipality (Bonaire) that form part of the historic Kingdom of the Netherlands!

Curacao vs. Aruba—Which Caribbean Island Is Best for Your Honeymoon?

Because my hubby knows I’m the travel enthusiast in the family, I was free to choose Aruba as the “tropical leg” of our two-part honeymoon.  

For decades, Aruba has carefully crafted its reputation with North Americans as a safe and modern destination for tropical vacations, including honeymoons.

Aruba Caribbean Island
Photo Credit: Canva

The stunning, soft sand of Aruba’s Palm Beach zone goes on for miles, and the touristy area is a mecca of higher-rise casino hotels and quality restaurants.

On the other hand, exotic Curacao is an “under the radar” destination that’s equally safe and modern.

Curacao has been quietly growing in popularity, especially with scuba divers and couples in love who are seeking a luxurious but affordable all-inclusive resort experience for their destination wedding or romantic honeymoon. 

Sandals Royal Curacao Aerial

What Makes One Caribbean Island the Best for Your Honeymoon

Experienced travelers know that you can never expect one destination to be completely perfect. Still, with unique and gorgeous scenery and great weather throughout the year, Aruba and Curacao have many great things to offer for your honeymoon.

We reviewed Aruba vs. Curacao for your honeymoon based on the following:

  • Best Hotels, including traditional resorts, all-inclusive resorts, and self-catering hotels
  • Best Beaches for long, romantic walks or coves offering lovers seclusion
  • Best Food 
  • Best Activities on the Island
  • Best Watersports including Aruba Windsurfing and Curacao Scuba Diving

Under each “best of” topic, we carefully selected the cream of the crop in Aruba and Curacao. Bookmark this section because it will come in handy.

Aruba beach
Photo Credit: Canva

But there are other considerations to think about when planning any vacation, especially your Caribbean honeymoon. Here are our top five considerations to help you plan your Aruba or Curacao honeymoon!

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: We reviewed Sandals Royal Curacao this year, so take a moment to check out Your Dream Honeymoon at Sandals Royal Curacao!

5 Important Honeymoon Planning Tips

Don’t just choose your destination wedding or honeymoon location based on what’s popular on social media or through an advertisement on TV or online. 

Put these five honeymoon planning tips to use:

Costs and Budgeting

Budgeting for a honeymoon can include many hidden costs that go beyond airfare, accommodations, and food and drink, but let’s start with the major expenses so you can build your honeymoon budget from there.

Room Rates

Carisia Club Level Oceanview Walkout Room

We searched for prices on a quality hotel room in Aruba or Curacao (beach view or beachfront and preferably a suite), and we found the average room-only rate to be $450 per night.

Food and Drink

Small farm operations in the ABC Islands offer limited fresh limited produce, such as lettuces and micro-greens, but most produce, dairy, and meats are flown in, and that naturally drives costs up.

If you’re budgeting to eat out during your honeymoon, expect to pay higher prices than you’d see in North America. 


Breakfasts can run up to $20 per person, lunches around $25 to $30, and dinners over $30 a person at good restaurants. Expect to pay significantly more at gourmet restaurants and hotel bistros.

Domestic US beers and wines are also higher-priced in Aruba, although Dutch beers are popular on the islands and cost, on average, $3-5 per drink.

All-Inclusive Options

Subi Swim-up Club Level Junior Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub

Many resorts in the Caribbean now offer an all-inclusive option. It’s a great idea, but make sure to find out exactly what you’re getting for the add-on price.

We found, on average, that an all-inclusive option costs $175 per person per night. Travel stats show that choosing an all-inclusive option can save couples up to 25% on the cost of their honeymoon, which is a pretty significant percentage!


While airfare prices seem to be climbing steadily these days, these tips can help you get tickets for less:

  1. Expedia recently published a travel study that found savings of up to 15% for international flights booked on a Sunday, but lower-cost flights remain unpredictable, and no booking tip is ever guaranteed. 
  2. It’s a good idea to search for a flight on various days of the week because prices do fluctuate.
  3. Always check multiple booking engines, including Google Flights, and websites for discount airlines that may not appear on every search engine.
  4. Try to book your flight at least six months in advance, and choose a changeable fare, because if the price drops, you should be able to obtain a refund voucher from the airline to apply to future travel.
  5. Join “fare clubs” or free loyalty programs offered by the airline. You’ll be first to receive price alerts for flight sales, and the savings can be significant.

Bundled vacations that include airfare, hotel, and rental car are also the best way to save on any vacation. The best and most frequently used travel booking engines will offer the bundled option, so check it out!

Hidden Costs

These percentages might sound small, but they can definitely add up. So it’s always a good idea to budget for hidden costs on your honeymoon.

These charges include:

  • Hotel taxes, service fees, and resort fees. In the ABC islands, the hotel tax is generally 3% of the total room charge, and this tax is often combined with a service fee that can bump up the charge to 23% of the hotel room cost (a quality all-inclusive resort should always cover this cost for you).
  • Arrival and departure taxes. The current charge per traveler to arrive at and depart Aruba is approximately $37 each way, and this arrival and departure tax is generally the same cost in Curacao.
  • Excursions and gifts. The amount you’d like to spend will depend on you, but off-resort tours and gift shopping in the Caribbean can be one of the costliest parts of your honeymoon trip. It’s a great idea to shop around in advance to get a good idea of what you’d like to budget here.

A car rental is another cost you might incur on an Aruba or Curacao honeymoon. Although we took an airport transfer and cabs during our Aruban trip, the taxi and shuttle fares are also expensive, so another great idea is to research shuttle prices versus rental cars and budget according to what you’d prefer to do.

We’ll explain it more in the next section!

Getting to the Resort and Getting Around

Aruba and Curacao have similar dry and desert-like climates, but Curacao is more than two times bigger than its sister island.

Aruba’s airport is Queen Beatrix International, and most tourist hotels on Palm or Eagle Beach are approximately a 10-15 minute drive away.

Curacao Willemstad
Photo Credit: Canva

Curacao International Airport is approximately 20 minutes from its capital city, Willemstad. The best all-inclusive resort in the ABC Islands is Sandals Royal Curacao, and a complimentary shuttle takes you on a scenic drive from the airport to the resort in approximately 40 minutes.

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Check out our detailed review of the 11 Best Sandals Resorts for Scuba Diving.

Getting Around Aruba vs Curacao—What’s Best?

Most travelers will rent an offroad SUV vehicle to explore Aruba and Curacao. It’s easy to drive around the island on day trips, but with many unpaved roads and some rocky terrain, a 4×4 is necessary for your safety and comfort.

MINI Cooper at Sandals Royal Curacao

Interestingly, Curacao’s roads outside of Willemstad are easier and fun to navigate. However, take your time to enjoy the capital in any rental car because many one-way streets can confuse travelers.

We can recommend an open-air city bus and beach tour, an e-bike tour, or a nightlife-in-the-city tour to explore Willemstad’s Caribbean vibes and colorful buildings with zero headaches!

Dutch Bikes Lifestyle

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip:  Booking a Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalow or Awa Seaside Butler Bungalow at Sandals Royal Curacao includes a deluxe convertible MINI Cooper to explore Curacao on your honeymoon!

Health and Safety

Travel restrictions are thankfully lifting following the global COVID pandemic, but it’s still vital to consider your health and safety as a couple on a honeymoon in Aruba or Curacao.

The Aruban Tourist Board offers a helpful page of safety and security tips for review before and during your trip to Aruba. 

While the Curacao Tourist Board offers interesting travel stats, we couldn’t find specific information on their safety and security protocols. So, we looked to the Safety and Security link to see how you are fully protected during your stay at Sandals Royal Curacao.

Weather and When to Go

Aruba, Mangel Halto beach
Photo Credit: Canva

While the ABC islands lie outside the traditional Caribbean hurricane belt, tropical storms and even the rare hurricane can move through the Eastern Caribbean and affect Aruba and Curacao during the late June to late November season.

The rest of the year in Aruba and Curacao is typically hot and dry with refreshing trade winds, and even during the hurricane season, you can be blessed with the same sunny weather.

When we honeymooned in Aruba in September, our stay was consistently warm and dry, although it was exceptionally breezy, and Aruba is renowned for being a lot windier than Curacao.

The Caribbean Weather Center is a fantastic website that is local to the ABC Islands, with real-time weather updates throughout the year. 

Making Beautiful Memories

How do you want to spend your honeymoon trip?

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or excitement, sightseeing, beachgoing, or watersports, you may prefer Aruba over Curacao or vice versa.

Aruba is Your Ideal Honeymoon Destination for:

  • Long stretches of white sand and electric blue seas for wonderful hand-in-hand beach walks
  • Twelve Vegas and European-style casinos ensure plenty of excitement around the clock
  • A near-constant breeze makes Aruba a heavenly place for sailing, and windsurfing enthusiasts flock to The Huts (official name: Hadicurari Beach), where there is a windsurfing school and also parasailing
  • Aruba caters to American tourists, and the quality of American-style diners and steakhouses is outstanding.
Aruba Eagle Beach
Photo Credit: Canva

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Aruba is the best for its wide and picturesque beaches, including touristy Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, with its native Fofoti trees. Baby Beach lines a gentle bay that offers great protected swimming, but you’ll need an off-road vehicle to get there.

Curacao is Your Ideal Honeymoon Destination for:

  • An authentic Caribbean vibe and a less touristy feel
  • A blend of Dutch history in colorful Willemstad mixed with excellent local shopping and a vibrant culture all day and night in the Punda District
  • Excellent underwater and near-shore snorkeling and diving—be on the lookout for sea turtles at Playa Grandi
  • A culinary adventure featuring European and Caribbean influences in seafood and Mediterranean dishes.
Curacao beach
Photo Credit: Canva

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Curacao’s beaches are not long and wide like Aruba, but renting an off-road vehicle to explore all the smaller, white sand beaches and secluded scenic coves is a romantic adventure!

Best Hotels in Aruba and Curacao for Your Honeymoon

The Aruba tourism website delivers 37 results for hotels and resorts, and there are filters for adults-only couples resorts and honeymoon resorts

Curacao is a larger island geographically, and the Curacao tourism website delivers more results than Aruba. Still, many accommodations on Curacao are boutique-style hotels or more intimate apartments, and the island is generally less touristy.

Since we’re talking about honeymoon planning today, we reviewed and compared the best hotels for couples in Aruba and Curacao. 

We’ll also indicate whether the hotel is all-inclusive or traditionally a la carte. You might want a more independent vacation at a traditional resort or an all-inclusive honeymoon location delivering maximum value and zero hassles.

Best Beach Hotel in Aruba for Honeymoons 

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba

The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba is a tranquil and eco-friendly haven for travelers seeking a luxurious and romantic escape. Nestled on the stunning Eagle Beach, known for its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is not an all-inclusive resort in Aruba. Still, it offers a complimentary American breakfast and also an optional “dine around plan” for lunches and dinners at local establishments on the island.

Interestingly, Bucuti does not cater to destination wedding groups of over four people. They do offer a ‘micro-wedding package‘ with details available on that link.

The resort prefers to cater to adults over 18, specializing in a low-key romantic atmosphere for honeymoons.

Best All-Inclusive Hotel in Aruba for Honeymoons

Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa

Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa in Aruba offers a serene beachfront experience on Eagle Beach, combining wellness amenities and sustainability for a peaceful Caribbean getaway.

Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa offers 72 rooms and suites in a relaxing and romantic setting on powdery Eagle Beach. Manchebo Beach Resort has also designed a premium all-inclusive program as an add-on to room costs.

Sustainability and wellness are the primary focus at Manchedo, and the resort’s premium all-inclusive optional program includes yoga and pilates classes. 

Meals are served at the resort’s bistro, chophouse, Japanese sushi bar, and beach bar grill. Premium beverages are also included in the optional all-inclusive program.

Best Casino Hotel in Aruba for Honeymoons

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is a luxurious beachfront destination in Palm Beach, Aruba, offering guests a blend of relaxation and excitement. 

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is not all-inclusive, but you can book a package with room and flight, room and car, or a daily breakfast deal to save more on your honeymoon.

The most stunning hotel rooms in Aruba are the Marriott’s Premium Ocean View suites with a wraparound balcony, and your room cost also includes a private sun palapa on the beach.

The Aruba Marriott charges a daily resort fee, including fitness classes and non-motorized watersports. Couples may also upgrade to the Tradewinds Club, which offers a pool and beach access for adults only.

Finally, your stay at the Aruba Marriott offers on-site access to Aruba’s largest casino, Stellaris Casino.

Best Rustic Chic Hotel in Aruba for Honeymoons

Wonders Boutique Hotel

With its unique blend of cozy accommodations, personalized service, and a central location, this Wonders Boutique Hotel offers guests an authentic and memorable Aruban experience, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a cozy and culturally rich stay on the island.

Wonders Boutique Hotel is a wonderfully quirky hotel with an excellent location in a safe residential area, and you’re also within walking distance of Aruba’s capital city, Oranjestad.

All rooms in this adults-only boutique hotel offer king-sized beds, flat-screen TVs, a fridge, a coffee maker, and a water cooler. Wonders also offers free WiFi, free private parking, and a “Wine and Dine” discount card to save 15% off selected bars and restaurants in Aruba.

You will enjoy breakfast each morning in the gated courtyard filled with palm trees and flowers. The birds sing here all day, and lucky guests love to see the island’s butterflies fluttering through the air.

You can also walk to a premium stretch of Palm Beach, where beach chairs are available to hotel guests, or take advantage of Wonders’ daily beach drop-off service. When you return to the hotel, take advantage of the private guest pool. 

Best Hotel in Curacao for Boutique Luxury Honeymoons

Baoase Luxury Resort

The Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao is a paradise for those seeking the pinnacle of luxury and tranquility. Nestled on a private beach, this exquisite resort offers lavish villas, impeccable service, and an ambiance of serenity.

Baoase Luxury Resort is a unique Caribbean resort for your honeymoon in Curacao. Baoase features special offers, including an all-inclusive option, an American dining plan, and honeymoon packages to enhance your romantic experience.

The best honeymoon accommodations at Baoase include private pool villas with full kitchens and multiple bathrooms or one-bed, one-bath suites with views of the private beach and infinity pool.

For added luxury, destination wedding couples can experience Baoase’s private island, Isla Kiniw. This exclusive retreat is perfect for a small destination wedding, with accommodations for up to eight guests, four bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen and living areas with gorgeous ocean views.

Best Hotel in Curacao for City Chic Honeymoons

Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort

The Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort is a captivating oasis of relaxation and entertainment on the shores of Curaçao. With its contemporary design, on-site casino, and private beach, this resort offers guests a vibrant and luxurious escape.

Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort takes its colorful design inspiration from Willemstad’s historic pastel houses, and your stunning views include the city and the ocean at this luxury resort in a tropical city.

While not all-inclusive, the Renaissance offers several fun bars, a beach club, and fine dining on-site at the Nautilus Restaurant. The resort also boasts a waterside infinity pool, complimentary fitness center, and spa offering couples massages and other esthetic services for a fee.

You’re steps from the casino action, shopping, dining, and equally close to natural attractions like Christoffel National Park and Mambo Beach.

Best Hotel in Curacao for Self-Catering Honeymoons

LionsDive Beach Resort

LionsDive Beach Resort in Curaçao is a beachfront haven, perfectly situated on Mambo Beach Boulevard, offering a balanced blend of water sports, relaxation, and vibrant nightlife for a memorable island experience.

LionsDive Beach Resort offers deluxe accommodations, including a penthouse with 180-degree views of the Caribbean Sea from its private balcony.

Curacao food prices aren’t cheap, but you’ll find better deals here than in Aruba, so couples looking for a self-catering honeymoon can budget for a more affordable experience.

The penthouse suite has a Super King Bed and a spa-like bathroom with a separate tub and rain shower. You’ll love the private gym in this accommodation and a full kitchen with a cooktop, microwave, dishwasher, and full-sized fridge.

Best Honeymoon Hotel in Aruba or Curacao

SANDALS Royal Curacao: All-Inclusive near Willemstad

Sandals newest all-inclusive resort in Curaçao is where the natural romance of this intimate island comes alive.

Sandals Royal Curacao is an all-inclusive jewel of a resort in the Eastern Caribbean, set on 44 private acres with unparalleled views and luxury-included features such as eight gourmet restaurants and three funky food trucks!

Food Truck Toteki at Sandals Royal Curacao

Premium wines and liquors are also standard, and you’ll be entertained day and night

Royal Curacao offers breathtaking amenities, including a stunning double-level infinity pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and complimentary PADI-certified scuba diving for certified divers.

double-level infinity pool at Sandals Royal Curacao

Royal Curacao was designed as an adults-only haven for loved couples, like all Sandals properties in the Caribbean.

Accommodations are one-of-a-kind and spectacular here—including private beachfront bungalows with a huge infinity pool just for the two of you or romantic island bungalows with direct access to the semi-private, heart-shaped pool

Luxurious Bungalows at Sandals Royal Curaçao

Check out the unforgettable honeymoon experience available to you at Sandals Royal Curacao, and click on the Rooms and Suites tab for full details and special pricing at this super-special all-inclusive resort in the ABC Islands!

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