That’s what the locals say and I must agree, whenever I think of Aruba a smile runs across my face. Aruba the “A” in the ABC Island chain that includes Bonaire and Curacao, is located just 18 miles north of Venezuela and just far enough outside the hurricane belt to put you mind at ease. Cooled by trade winds that blow 24/7 Aruba weather is near perfect all year around so there is never really a wrong time to go.
Resorts on Eagles Beach
Recently the island has welcomed new resorts and major remodels that will continue into 2016. Aruba all inclusive resort Riu Palace opened last year, the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba and Marriott Aruba hotel just received face lifts. The Renaissance Aruba resort and casino modernized their rooms in the adult’s only marina as well as their family friendly suites, and by the end of the year three of the Divi resorts will finish major remodels. Aruba all inclusive resorts include the Riu Palace, Occidental and Manchebo resorts.
Foodies Delight. Taste Local Food
Aruba all inclusive restaurants may get a bit boring so why not step out on the town for a taste of local food? In September the island will be celebrating the farm to table fad with the Eat Local Aruba Restaurant week. Debuting last year 55 restaurants will compete for the taste buds of hungry tourists with well priced menus, drink specials and entertainment. Don’t feel you have to wait until September to enjoy good food in Aruba the island was just awarded the 2015 Tripadvisor Travelers Choice award for best fine dining in the Caribbean.
For me the beaches are the highlight of the island. If you like calm warm water, impossibly white sand and a cool trade wind you have arrived. Most beaches on Aruba are located on the southern leeward side as well as most of the resorts and time share properties.
Palm Beach is Located in the heart of the resort zone and is often photographed with its Divi Divi trees. Although crowded with sunburned tourists this beach is so perfect you just don’t seem to mind. Enjoy the walking path in front of the resorts with its many bars and ask for a Balashi or Chill two of Aruba’s finest beers. If you are feeling active you can rent a jet ski or kayak from the many venders.
Divi Trees Palm Beach
Want to get away from the crowds and high rise resorts go just a few minutes north to Eagles Beach, it’s basically the same as Palm Beach without the crowds. Check out the BBQ shacks and small restaurants located on the sand.
Baby beach once part of a private community is a tranquil half moon lagoon that opens to the Caribbean Sea. Children can wade out a long distance due to the shallow bottom and calm water. Snorkelers can enjoy the deeper far end where there is abundant sea life. All though isolated there is a small restaurant, beach beds and snorkel gear rental. Driving to Baby Beach takes around an hour from the resort zone and is well worth the drive.
Cura di Tortuga / The Natural Pool
Cura di Tortuga translated “To have or to grow turtles”, is a natural rock enclosed sea water pool located on the rural windward coast, it is also known as the natural pool. Only accessible by 4×4, horseback, mountain bike or foot, it’s a bit challenging to get there but worth the effort . Once you arrive you climb over slippery rocks surrounding the edge and jump into the 8 foot deep pool. Over the century’s this natural phenomena has been used as a Turtle cage, natural fishery and relaxation spot by Indians, colonialist and tourists. The highlight was waiting for a massive wave to break over the rocks sending a cascading surge of water threw out the pool turning it into a human washing machine. Put the natural pool on the top of your to do list.
ABC Jeep Tour
ABC Tours offer a great 4×4 daytrip for sightseers and outdoor enthusiast. I suggest The Island ultimate tour at 9.5 hours you get to see most of the highlights of the island. The tour begins in the early morning after a consultation the caravan of jeeps leaves for the iconic Aruba light house and make sure you try a fresh coconut drink when you arrive. Threw out the day you will visit gold ruins, the natural bridge, National park , natural pool and Baby beach, snorkel equipment, a tasty lunch and drinks are included. The terrain is rough and bumpy so may check ABC tours web site for details.
Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus
Are you a party animal but dont like to drive then hop aboard a Aruba party bus and indulge without worry. We took the Kukoo Kunuku package with dinner and three bar stops. The brightly colored party bus picked us up at our hotel in the early evening then stopped for a chicken dinner and a complimentary glass of champagne. Our tour guide gave us shakers and drums and encouraged the group to sing, joke a get rowdy which we did. After three bars we where pleasantly pickled and our group seemed like family. Overall a great time for party people.
De Palm Island
De Palm island is a all inclusive private island with so many activities you would be hard pressed to do them all in one day. I went with m wife and two boys 4 and 7, i spent most of the day at the water park with my boys sliding and enjoying the giant buckets of water that fall on your head. My wife spent the day in a hammock enjoying the beach, bar (great cocktails) and Salsa lessons. Other activities include zip lining, Banana boat, soccer, basketball, air jumper and snorkeling. Upgrades include Snuba, Sea trek , power snorkel and hair braiding. The food was very fresh and delicious served buffet style in a comfortable restaurant, i had fish and a mixed salad , with pastries for desert. Palm island is a great day trip and a very good value that i would recommend for families, couples and singles.
I find the best view of any island is from the sea that’s why i always take a snorkel cruise when visiting the Caribbean. My favorite to date is the Jolly Pirates 9am-1pm tour $60 PP, that includes three snorkel spots, a swing session , lunch and my favorite OPEN BAR! As far as snorkeling goes the highlight is the German ship wreck Antilla, sunk on purpose during world war two. The wreck lies in just 60 ft of water and you can snorkel the entire length of the ship. After snorkeling lunch is served BBQ chicken or ribs both are very good and the portions are large. The rope swing believe it or not is the highlight of the afternoon, it’s great to watch people of all ages do their best to impress with acrobatic stunts as the plunge into the refreshing Caribbean sea. Jolly Pirates is a great deal for a all inclusive, very fun day trip.
Aruba vacations are really hard to beat for an all-around awesome Caribbean experience. From the cooling trade winds, calm beautiful beaches and people that are truly glad to serve as host to tourists. I have never felt unsafe or taken advantage of in Aruba in fact quite the opposite. When friends ask me what island should i go to first in the Caribbean i say try the happy island Aruba.