Aruba is like vitamin D + C mixed in a cigarette and packaged in an American box. Even the stamp you get at the passport control is drawn “One Happy Island”. Starting from this moment you must be happy during the whole trip. The island is very small: 20 to 30 km. Let’s check what to explore here?
The best of Aruba:
- Beaches. It’s a Caribbean dream: white sand, crystal clear warm water. Aruba has a cool law, according to which all the beaches of the island are public. You can come to the beach of any hotel, move sunbeds and stretch out under an umbrella for free! My favorite beaches are Eagle beach, which is quite long, Baby beach, where you can swim with turtles, and Manchebo beach, the most picturesque. Also, there is my favorite lux hotel Bucuti & Tara Boutique resort.
- American culture. Tourists of the island are mostly Americans. Therefore, everything is made in the American style: bars, restaurants, and shops.
- Island lifestyle with a European mentality. The rocky coast with a desert and a cactus valley is only 20 km from the bounty beaches. Locals are relaxed to the impossibility. But work, study, and being in shape are above all.
Must-visit in Aruba:
- “Zeerovers” restaurant in the south of the island. Here you can eat shrimps and other seafood for $ 10 per person. The service system looks like this: first, you stand in line at the window where you can order seafood just from a fresh catch. Shrimps and fish are measured by weight just in front of you. Then in another window, you take a drink and awesome coconut ice cream. Then you take your place at the table.
- Natural pool — natural pool in the sea surrounded by cliffs.
- Island Yoga — it’s a yoga studio, where the Instagram @yoga_girl organizes her retreats. One class costs 20$. They have Sub Yoga and After Beach Yoga.
- Moomba bar — all-inclusive breakfasts in with a perfect sea view.
Imagine if you’re a cruise passenger and have only 1 day to explore the island. Just follow my guide to make a perfect trip around one happy island.
- First, rent a 4×4 jeep and take direction to Arikok Natural Park through the cactus valleys. Get ready, there will be a little bit bumpy in the park.
- You need the San Fuego Entrance. There you go on the map and see the sights in this order (ascending order of impressions): Fontein Cave, Boca Prins, Dos Playa Bay. Take a quick photo. And leave the park.
- Then drive to another entrance to the park – Shete entrance. Go to Moro Beach, stand in the middle of the scythe and jump in the waves, climb a rope onto a rock in the middle of the waves. Move to Natural Pool. Dive for the stars, climb the cliff, find a “jacuzzi”. Drive out of the park.
- Have lunch at Zeerovers.
- Ride on Baby beach and take a swim with REAL TURTLES !!!
- Drive to Eagle Beach and enjoy the sea, sand, and sun.
- Return to Oranjestad and take a walk around the city.
How to spend a full holiday in Aruba?
If you chose Aruba as a full-holiday spot, then these advices may help you.
- Live in an apart-hotel away from the coast and cook in the kitchen. I really loved the Studio 11 & 11 Aruba with a pool and open-air kitchen. You can check it here:
- Rent a car. This is essential.
- Enter the secret beach — Hotel Renaissance’s private island, where pink flamingos walk. Those that are on the famous pictures of Aruba around the Internet. To get to the island, book a room at the Renaissance Hotel for $ 100 for one day and board a boat with a special pass.
- Compare Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, Manchebo Beach, and Divi Beach. I am in love with Manchebo with its silence and picturesqueness.
- Have breakfast at Moomba Bar and do yoga at Island Yoga.
- Go to the north of the island, drink coconut at the lighthouse, drive all the way to the coast, climb the rocks and watch the pelicans fall into the water.
- Take a drinking cruise on a catamaran starting from a bar on Palm Beach.
- Buy a souvenir with the phrase «What happens in Aruba — stays in Aruba».
- Learn a few phrases in Papiamento.
What you have to know before your trip
- Public beaches are not equipped (no showers, sunbeds, etc);
- Prices for hotels, food, and water activities are very high and do not reflect quality. For the money of a motel in Aruba, you can live a royal life somewhere in Thailand.
- It is very inconvenient to walk and ride a bike, there are almost no pedestrian and bicycle paths.
Hotels in Aruba.
As I have mentioned above I would recommend staying in an apart-hotel. But there are 2 hotels on the island I absolutely adore.