Well now that I am officially back in snowy Denver, and seriously missing Island life, I want to give a brief overview of my time in Aruba. I’ll tell you those five days just flew by, but I have found that when you try to make sure you get everything in, time goes so quickly…or as the Bartender at our resort said “Time flies when you’re having Rum” 🙂 I will be saying that a lot in the future I am sure.
One thing that surprised me, that I guess I didn’t thoroughly research before is that Aruba is a tiny island. Only 21 miles long and 6 miles wide! For this reason I think I would without hesitation rent a car so you can explore all over the island. We stayed closer to the Upper Northeast part of the island, and to get to Baby Beach at the southern tip it was just under 30 minutes. And if you are like me and worried about driving in Aruba, you don’t need to. It was incredibly easy, and I actually liked the fact that they use roundabouts instead of traffic lights. I think we saw one traffic light the whole time we were driving. But seriously, I have been to some countries where people drive CRAZY and Aruba is not one of them. Take my advice and rent the car so you can see all the things Aruba has to offer.
In terms of things to do Aruba has a lot to offer depending on what you are looking for. Plenty of delicious restaurants to dine at, bustling towns to do some shopping, plenty of beautiful white sandy beaches to relax, and more.
As I am sure you all know of the Flamingos at Renaissance Island, we didn’t make it out as we just ran out of time, but if you are looking for some of the quintessential Aruba pictures this will probably be on your list. Be aware they only sell a few passes daily keeping the majority for their hotel guests, and the $125 pass does not include food or beverage just access to their private island with their 6 flamingos. From what I have heard I would recommend trying to get over there early (the first boat is at 7am) because you can get the best pictures with the flamingos before the crowds start to arrive.
If you are interested in any other activities that include wildlife I highly suggest the Butterfly Farm. For $16 per adult you get access to the Butterfly area for the whole duration of you stay; and this includes specialty events such as morning mediation and watching but butterflies emerge out of their cocoons. A tour is also included to learn all about the life stages of the butterfly. And if one lands on you while visiting consider yourself lucky and that means good luck is coming your way! Overall this was a really cool experience and I would have loved to make it back for the early morning mediation, and will definitely do this again on my next visit to the island.
If dining is your thing, you have plenty of options to choose from, inducing many places for island specialties and fresh fish as well as other international cuisines. That also was a bit surprising to me, as I wasn’t expecting to have Italian, Swiss, and Peruvian options as well! But literally there was a taste for every palate. I am going to go in depth on my recommendations for the must not miss restaurants in a subsequent blog post because a few of the meals we had absolutely blew our minds and deserve to be talked about more in depth. But one thing that made me happy was that Red Snapper was in abundance, and you should at least try to eat local cuisine once if not more as it is delicious!
If you are in to adventure there are plenty of options for you. Plenty of people rented buggies to drive around and explore the island, and I believe they also offer tours if that is more your style. There were also plenty of places to Jet Ski and they even offer SEABOB (underwater Jetski). You can do snorkeling and diving tours, so there is no shortage of adventurous activities for you to partake in!
And because you rented that car like I suggested just drive around and explore the island! Go down to Sint Nicolas and see the beautiful and colorful murals. Check out the cacti that are everywhere on the island. Check out some new beaches! There are tons of awesome and beautiful places for you to discover by just getting out and finding them!
All in all there is something for everyone when they visit The One Happy Island of Aruba. One thing that I think we take for granted is just unplugging and relaxing on the beach. I cannot stress enough how perfect the weather, the water, and the sand was. The softest white sand, beautiful blue water, and the right amount of heat. So regardless of what you decide to do when in Aruba make sure to give yourself at least one true beach day! And keep those Chill’s close by! Cheers
Travel Pro Tips: Don’t bother exchanging money as the United States Dollar is more popular than the Aruban Florin. All prices are in dollars so it actually is more of a hassle for businesses to take the Florin because they have to do the conversion and end up giving you change in dollars anyways.
Also when we went, December 2019, there was an occasional evening rain shower which was over very quickly but it did lead to the occasional mosquito so do not forget bug spray!
And again rent a car so you can travel around the island!