You Aruba me the Right Way!

Where can you go to see cacti, flamingos and turtles at the same time? If you guessed the beautiful island of Aruba in the sparkling turquoise Caribbean Sea, you’d be exactly correct! Once a member of the Dutch Antilles, this gorgeous island has a unique climate and culture that makes it feel different than anywhere else in the world.

Aruba is one of the four countries that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island has been Dutch since 1636 when it was a base for protecting Dutch shipping from the ubiquitous Pirates of the Caribbean.

visit aruba in the caribbean

Aruba is the original “desert island”

Located just 29km north from Venezuela and 80km northeast of Curaçao, it is the perfect location to enjoy the warm Caribbean sunshine. The official languages of the island are Dutch and Papiamento. Papiamento is a Portuguese creole language the reflects the plantation history of the region. English is widely spoken due to tourism and proximity to North America. The mix of influences creates a rich, diverse and vibrant culture that makes Aruba unique.

Reaching Aruba is easy because their main hub, Queen Beatrix International Airport, services many international flights. The airport is just 8km from the capital’s centre, so a taxi is an easy option. Most resort hotels offer a free shuttle from the airport so you won’t suffer from a lack of transport options. You can easily walk to see the sites around town and you can rent a 4×4 vehicle for a day of visiting the national park.

Aruba is perfect for relaxing on the beach but it also offers many sites. Here are my favourites:

  • Arikok National Park – this is a beautiful and unexpected treasure. The park is about 20% of the land on the island and it offers the best place to walk, hike or to take in the natural surroundings of this stunning landscape. This rugged desert terrain is full of cacti, with the stunning coastline as its backdrop. You should set off early spend time at all of these sites:

– The natural pool – found on the park’s coastline, this interesting formation is surrounded by volcanic rock. You need a vehicle to reach the site or join a tour. Follow the trail for the 4.8km (3 mile) hike to see this natural beauty. The water is over five metres deep so you can try cliff-diving if you dare!

aruba natural pool

Take the plunge!

– Quadirikiri Caves – this is a complex of three caves at the base of a limestone cliff in the park. The caves have natural holes in their ceilings making it easy to explore and even take photos

Dos Playas – this is an important turtle nesting area. If you’re lucky you may even see them hatching but be sure not to interfere with this wonderous sight.

– Fort Zoutman – in the capital city of Oranjestad was once an fortress to protect against pirates. It is now a museum and gives an interesting glimpse into the colonial past of the island’s Dutch heritage. There are also exhibits on the island’s indigenous past and even its geology.

– Flamingo Beach– Aruba has become famous on social media because of its friendly and beautiful flamingos. The Renaissance Hotel owns a private island where you can visit if you spend a night in the hotel or pay $100 for a day-pass if there is availability.

flamingo views at the caribbean

Aruban lawn ornament?!

  • Aruba’s Beaches – this island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Here are my favourites:

– Palm Beach is the most famous and busiest on the island. It’s the ultimate entertainment venue with water sports, bars and restaurants and, of course, crystal blue waters.

– Sink your feet into the soft, powdery, white sand of Eagle Beach. This stunning beach is home to the most photographed tree on the island, the “Fofoti Tree”. The beach is also a nesting ground for turtles.

– Dos Playas offers two coves within the Arikok National Park and is only accessible by foot. These two coves are popular among surfers, but it won’t be busy. This unspoilt beach is the best place to take some beautiful photos.

  • Skydiving – this activity is not for the faint-hearted but with a backdrop like that of Aruba you might consider taking the plunge! Skydiving is a popular activity in Aruba and it’s not hard to see why as you dive into beauty.
  • Snorkelling and Diving – Aruba has some of the most picturesque shipwrecks in the Caribbean. With abundant sea life and cool wrecks, it is one of my favourite diving spots.

With such a mix of cultures, the food of Aruba provides an exciting mix of flavours, spices and ingredients. Here are my favourite places to eat in Aruba:

  • Pincho’s Grill & Bar – you should try the catch of the day, every day. Fresh fish is a no-brainer on a Caribbean island. You can expect the likes of mahi-mahi, grouper, red snapper and the freshest lobsters around. Pincho’s offers great seafood and a brilliant atmosphere.

restaurants in aruba

Don’t be shellfish with the ‘Catch of the Day”!

  • Gostoso – this venue serves up Brazilian, Portuguese, Aruban and international cuisine. Try their Aruban style sushi that’s wrapped in plantains – it’s my favourite.
  • The Dutch Pancakehouse – this colonial holdover serves Dutch pancakes, that are similar to crepes and simply delicious. A firm favourite are their poffertjes served with powdered sugar. The restaurant also has a selection of ‘dinner’ pancakes with savoury fillings if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

Here’s a Pro-tip: Make sure to try the cheesy and delicious Keshi Yena. This pie-like Aruban dish is filled with shredded pork, beef or chicken cooked with spices and cashews. It is wrapped in Dutch gouda cheese and oven-baked in a lovely tomato-basil sauce. It is richly yummy!

The Caribbean is known for its vibrant nightlife and amazing rum punch. These are my favourite party spots on the island:

Aruba - Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus

Party between parties in Aruba!

  • The Kukoo Kunuku party bus is iconic. Grab your maracas and hop into the colourful, whacky and lively open-air party bus. The perfect evening awaits you as you are driven from club to club whilst enjoying good music.
  • Charlies Bar is the perfect place to chill out, with its eccentric décor and wide variety of drinks. Among the knick-knacks, novelty décor and vintage plates you can meet locals and tourists enjoying this iconic local hangout.

  • Enjoy gambling at the Stellaris Casino. Located in the Marriot Resort, this huge casino will certainly not bore you, with hundreds of slot machines and 26 gaming tables. Grab a cocktail try your luck.

You’ll need somewhere to rest your weary head after a warm Caribbean evening. Here are my top picks on the island:

  • Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino has a full-service spa, casino and choice of amazing restaurants. There is even a 40-acre private island, famous for its flamingos, beaches, pools and bars. This resort offers everything you need and more!
  • Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is set on the beautiful white sand of Eagle Beach. This boutique resort is for adults only and has some amazing stand out features. Once a week you can watch an outdoor movie on the beach. Plan a romantic beach dining experience or pamper yourself at their world class spa.
  • The Palm Leaf Apartments are affordable and offer more privacy. The apartments are beautifully decorated and equipped with all the amenities you will need, including a swimming pool.

 

caribe - aruba

Life’s a beach in Aruba!

 

If you look up the word “paradise” in the dictionary, it will probably show a picture of Aruba! Powdery white sand beaches, sunsets to make you swoon and excellent restaurants make me want to return whenever I can.

 

Love,

Isabella

+3
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Arikok National Park, Fort Zoutman, Beaches,

Flamingos

https://www.aruba.com/us

Where to eat: Pinchos Grill & Bar, Gostoso,

The Dutch Pancakehouse

http://www.pinchosaruba.com/,

https://www.thedutchpancakehouse.com/

Where to party: Charlies Bar, The Kukoo Kunuku party bus,

Stellaris Casino

https://www.kukookunuku.com/,

https://www.stellariscasino.com/

Where to stay: Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino,

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, The Palm Leaf Apartments

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel, https://www.bucuti.com/ https://www.thepalmleafaruba.com

What to buy: Aloe products, ceramics, Dutch cheeses

Paradise is waiting for you in Aruba!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Arikok National Park, Fort Zoutman, Beaches,

Flamingos

https://www.aruba.com/us

Where to eat: Pinchos Grill & Bar, Gostoso,

The Dutch Pancakehouse

http://www.pinchosaruba.com/,

https://www.thedutchpancakehouse.com/

Where to party: Charlies Bar, The Kukoo Kunuku party bus,

Stellaris Casino

https://www.kukookunuku.com/,

https://www.stellariscasino.com/

Where to stay: Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino,

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, The Palm Leaf Apartments

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel, https://www.bucuti.com/ https://www.thepalmleafaruba.com

What to buy: Aloe products, ceramics, Dutch cheeses

Paradise is waiting for you in Aruba!

16 Comments to “You Aruba me the Right Way!”

  1. I can’t believe its that close to the shore of Venezuela.

    And those flamingos are just stunning.

    0
    Chalk and cheese travels at 1:54 pm
    1. Aruba’s close proximity to Venezuela is quite surprising! Aren’t they beautiful, the pink against the turquoise blue always makes me so happy!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:12 am
  2. I would love to try the Keshi Yena! I didn’t realize there were so many natural attractions. Those flamingos are adorable and I would love to see the turtles hatch there someday.

    0
    Tiffany at 3:28 pm
    1. Thank you for your comment! For such a small island, Aruba truly has so much to do!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:13 am
  3. Aruba looks like the tropical escape we all need right now. ABC island hopping is firmly on our bucketlist! The beaches just look amazing and we need to get s shot with the flamingos. Thank you for bringing our attention away from the beaches and to the Quadirikiri Caves and the natural pools!

    0
    Carina | bucketlist2life at 3:41 pm
    1. Isn’t that the truth! It’s a small island, though, so we’ll have to make sure we all take turns visiting LOL! Thank you for your kind comment and you are very welcome! I am sure you will love your time there when you go.

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:15 am
  4. Wow, Aruba looks stunning. I’ve visited a few Caribbean islands and definitely need to add Aruba to that list. Beautiful photos too.

    0
    Dylan Jones at 6:16 pm
    1. Thank you for your comment 🙂 The photos hardly do it justice! You will love it there I am sure!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:15 am
  5. I came close to going to Aruba a few times, but never actually made it there. What a great place! I would love to explore everything!

    0
    kasia at 8:47 pm
    1. I am sure you will love it when you get the opportunity to go!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:23 am
  6. I’ve written so many ads for Aruba, yet have never gone. I want to see Dos Playas most.

    0
    Bernie and Jess Watt at 9:00 pm
    1. One of these days I am sure you will make it! Looking forward to when you do as you have probably seen so many images of the island!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:23 am
  7. I love flamingos (who doesn’t, they’re so pretty), so flamingo Beach would be my main activity on this trip. It looks beautiful

    0
    Emma at 9:23 pm
    1. Thank you for your comment, Emma! Flamingo Beach is a beautiful destination and will make a fabulous main activity!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:22 am
  8. The National Park with its caves looks amazing. I totally agree with you on eat the catch of the day, everyday. I think it would be super fun to stay at the Renaissance Hotel just for the flamingos.

    0
    Leeanne at 9:26 pm
    1. Thank you for your comment, Leeanne! I am sure you will love Aruba and the beautiful National Park. The catch of the day is definitely the star of the show 🙂 the flamingos are too!

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      0
      Katie L at 10:21 am

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