If you’ve ever been on a cruise then you know the time in port goes by too quickly to truly experience the beautiful islands. The way to really enjoy all that an island has to offer is with a land vacation.
With the love of sand, sun and the sea, travel planner Kim couldn’t wait to spend four days exploring the island of Aruba.
A small island about the size of Washington, DC, Aruba can be traversed and explored in a day by car or tour.
Aruba is Outside of the hurricane belt, far south and to the west of the storm belt. The wind is your friend – you don’t want to be there when the wind is not blowing because it would get super-hot and humid.
Don’t stress with the wind, just pull your hair back. The wind keeps the mosquitoes away and you don’t have to worry about the bugs. It does blow sand on you at the beach, so we aware.
What can you do in ONE day?
In one day, you can visit Palm Beach and swim with a barracuda, a puffer fish, and a sea snake.
Known for the best beaches in the Caribbean – Palm beach is the active location with 90% of nightlife, shopping, family fun center with rock wall, bowling alley, 9 casinos, water sports, and adrenaline junkies. Good for the family because there is a lot to do for teens and tweens.
Great for wreck diving – best location for scuba diving along the palm beach area, most divers are on the palm beach area and one area in baby beach. (no dive groups larger than 8 ppl).
Visit Eagle Beach, with the high rise hotels and a wedding setting is beautiful along the calm shore.
Eagle beach is the elbow of the island- no hotel taller than a palm tree. There are 30 diff restaurants, little bit of shopping, restaurants, and 9 hole golf. It’s $9 by cab to get to palm beach or $3.30 public bus. This is not “in your face” stimulation. Eagle Beach is more relaxing and less hectic – for those who want to de-stress.
Explore Malmok Beach where the waves crashed against a rocky shore; Arashi Beach where the California Lighthouse looks over a desert-like landscape.
Boca Pos Di Noord where Stations of the Cross line the roadway to the Alto Vista Chapel which overlooks the dark sand backroads along the shore perfect for 4-wheeling.
Baby Beach where the highlight was swimming with a sea turtle and a variety of colorful saltwater fish. It can make you one happy person and very at peace! TIP: Stay within the rock enclosed area. This beach has shallow waters so it’s great for families.
An Unexpected Highlight…
Did you know there is a The Butterfly Farm located within walking distance of the Riu Palace Antillas resort?
Hundreds of gorgeous butterflies from around the world flew around me in a protective enclosure cared for by talented and training lepidopterists. Blue Morpho, Monarch, Swallowtail, and many more butterflies as well as the Giant Atlas Moth as big as a man’s hand were flying around, laying eggs on host plants and sipping nectar from beautiful flowers.
It is said that love and peace will come your way if a butterfly lands on you. Three of these beautiful creatures found rest on me for a moment.
One day off a cruise what should I do?
Oranjanstead is where the cruise ships come in and is the downtown area. This is the home of the Renaissance Resort and hotel, which is located right on the main street with a private island. Here you will find the Bonbini Festival, Jazz, fishing marina, 2 casinos, and 100+ restaurants.
For your stop in Aruba consider visiting Conchi Island. This is the #1 thing to not miss. It’s a bit of a journey to get there but it’s worth it. Do it with a tour unless you REALLY know the island as it’s hard to find on your own – easy to get lost. It’s a hidden gem on the island.
Take a ride in the Atlantis Submarine to see the ocean life and ship wrecks up close. The Atlantis Submarine is in Oranjanstead across from the Renaissance Resort. The submarine is air conditioned – thank goodness!
Pricing for the ride: Adults $105 | Children $79 (4-12 yrs)under 4 yrs are not allowed on the submarines.
Departure times are: 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Aruba is great for families and a romantic getaway. The constant Trade winds keep you cool and it’s outside the hurricane belt. When you need a relaxing and peaceful vacation, consider Aruba … One Happy Island.
Until next time…
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