03 Dec Caribbean Honeymoons – Our Advice
Your wedding day is probably the most exciting day of your life. Once the party is over, you can’t wait to spend some time alone with your new spouse. In every couple, there will be a certain differences in terms of preferred location type, he wants water-sports she wants beach, she wants shopping he wants entertainment etc so here is the first inevitable compromise situation in the newly married life. However there definitely needs to be a good chunk of romance thrown into the honeymoon destination mix.
So if you are struggling for some honeymoon ideas here are some suggestions that never disappoint.
Barbados is a particularly unique destination in terms of its cultures offering a heady mix of African, British colonial history and a strange mix of Scots/Irish who were actually the first slaves on the island. Even with the changes in time and the reputation of the Caribbean, it has managed to maintain a unique vibe that sets it apart from other Caribbean islands.
Barbados is divided into two main sections. The Gold Coast (west) comprised of high quality hotels has a very chilled atmosphere couples with superb restaurants, excellent golf and many high end boutiques. However, it is a perfect getaway place for newlyweds who are eager to have some quiet time together.
As a contrast to the west coast, if you head to the south of the island towards the St Lawrence Gap area prepare to stay up until the wee hours as this is where the fun happens. Late night clubs, happening bars, mid priced restaurants and everything else in between ensure a great time is had by all.
Of course, you cannot talk about a Barbados honeymoon without talking about the accommodation arrangements. With numerous hotels and resorts offering amazing packages, one hotel in particular stands out. The 5 star Sandy Lane, though modern in design and amenities still adheres to old world value of attention to detail and excellent service. While the west is predominantly 4 & 5 star properties, the south coast has a broader range of choice catering to all budgets.
In 2016, direct flights will depart from Dublin to Cancun for the first time in many years. Cancun has traditionally been characterised as being high rise hotels & too much loud music, but it is a lot more than that. Yes there are lots of big hotels many of which are architecturally stunning and yes there are many fantastic clubs. This makes a Cancun honeymoon the No 1 choice for couples looking to let their hair down. However Cancun is much more than just nightlife. It offers an amazing array of tours & activities for all tastes.
The second largest barrier reef in the world is not far off shore, allowing for amazing diving, sailing and other water-sports. The shopping in Cancun is legendary with a huge choice of products from locals crafts to all the international brands.
Less well known amongst many visitors before they arrive is the spectacular Mayan History. This people were the king pins of Central America for nearly a thousand years until practically wiped out by the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500’s. A remarkable tableau of buildings and cities were left by this remarkable people who were prolific builders. The most famous of these is Chichen Itza which is a UNESCO listed national monument and can be visited as part of a day tour from Cancun. This isn’t the only Mayan destination to visit on the Yucatan Peninsula. Other fascinating areas include Tulum & Xcaret which are just south of the resort town of Playa del Carmen. Overall, Cancun probably offers the widest choice of things to see and do in any Caribbean destination and is perfect for active and outgoing couples seeking excitement and entertainment during their getaway.
Cuba is the largest of all Caribbean islands. Located in the northern Caribbean Sea less than 100Kms from Florida the island offers a vibrant and colourful culture, dramatic landscapes stunning Spanish architecture and the biggest selection of awesome 1950’s cars in the world that are still in everyday use. For most visitors, Cuba is characterized by clear ocean waters, fine sand, rum & salsa. It is all these things but it is also much more than that.
On arrival in Cuba, you are greeted with a warm vibrant people who seem genuinely pleased that you have chosen their country to visit. Havana, the capital is definitely worth a visit for a few days. Take time to visit a Cigar factory, stroll the Malecon and spend time visiting Old Havana. If mountains and cigars are your thing then head west to Pinar del Rio however most visitors head east to the 20Km’s of beach that is Varadero. White sands, crystal clear seas, palm fringed beaches and a wide choice of all-inclusive resorts make this a destination to remember.
Away from the beaches, Cuba is truly an amazing country to tour. As a advisory caution, roads are not always what you might be used to, signage is patchy and you definitely need your English – Spanish dictionary. Once you get over these little hurdles a veritable treasure awaits your discovery. The breathtaking beauty of the Cayo’s, the history of Santa Clara or the Spanish colonial legacy in Cienfuegos & Trinidad. So don’t just sit on the beach, get out there and explore, a Cuba honeymoon with a difference awaits you.
Dominican Republic Honeymoons
Are you a beach person? If so, then don’t look beyond the Dominican Republic. Renowned for its long expanses of unspoilt and underdeveloped beaches, this is waterfront heaven. Powder soft white sands that reach the horizon bordered on one side by the azure hues of Caribbean seas and rich greens of jungle deep palm trees. A veritable Eden on earth.
Hotels on the island offer fantastic value for money with the most popular part of the island being Punta Cana on the islands eastern tip. While Puerto Plata is equally popular for some countries, Punta Cana has long been the staple for Irish visitors.
As an alternative twist to a Dominican Republic honeymoon a few days break in the islands capital Santo Domingo is highly recommended. The oldest city in the ‘New World’, you can visit the house where Christopher Columbus used to live, see where he is buried and much more. A truly fantastic place to visit.
But the Dominican Republic is more than just the beach it is also home to the highest mountain in the Caribbean – Pico Duarte which is over 10,000ft high and is a superb 2 – 3 day hike coupled with lots of adrenaline filled outdoor activities. The best golf in the Caribbean is also to be found in the Dominican Republic with legendary courses like Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore and if you are still not satisfied it also makes for a great twin centre with the likes of Miami.
Jamaica is well known as the ‘laid back island’. The lifestyle portrayed is that of a stress free environment that allows one to relax and get carried away. This is a great Caribbean honeymoon destination for couples wanting to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The smooth atmosphere is further emphasized by the chilled rhythms of reggae which seem to pervade every corner of the island.
While Kingston is the administrative capital, Montego Bay to the west of the island is very much the tourism capital and where 90% of visitors arrive. The area offers an excellent mix of hotels from simple 2 star properties to 5 star all-inclusives.
On the north coast of Jamaica you will find the Ocho Rios & Runaway Bay areas which offer big beaches, golf and some of the island’s top attractions including Dunn’s River Falls and Mystic Mountain – its famous Bobsled experience is a MUST DO!
On the south western tip of Jamaica you will find Negril and its famous 7 mile beach. The beach is backed by many luxurious hotels that are set subtlety amongst the trees. One of our favourite places to visit is Rick’s Cafe for sunsets, cocktails and cliff diving (we left the cliff diving to the locals!)
So if you are looking for an irie experience with the ultimate laid back vibe, then Jamaica absolutely rocks.
The Caribbean Islands are a perfect destination for any couple to visit for their honeymoon. It all comes down to what you as a couple like to do. Whether you are an active fun loving couple or you both just want to chill out in luxury, there is something for everyone. The key is knowing where to go. The above destinations are just a quick guide to help you along the decision process, but there is so much more out there to be discovered. If you want a taste of different locations you might consider a twin centre itinerary or even a cruise. Whatever you choose there is no better way to spend your time together than on a Caribbean honeymoon.