Aruba – A Perfect Island Escape
This Dutch Caribbean Island lies just 14 miles off the coast of Venezuela, putting it south of the hurricane belt. Aruba and it’s sister islands of Bonaire and Curaçao ( the ABC islands) are known for their year round tropical climate, cooling trade winds and beautiful white sand beaches. If it sounds just about perfect, well it is! There is a good reason it’s known as One Happy Island !
. In this post I’ll share inspiration and tips you can use to plan your own Aruba escape !
There are two main beaches that cater to vacationers, Eagle Beach and Palm Beach and it really comes down to personal preference which to choose. Eagle Beach tends to have a more laid back feel with low rise resorts , while Palm Beach has more action, more shops & restaurants and several high rise hotels.
There is no lack of accommodations in Aruba. Whether you prefer a luxury high rise hotel, a sprawling All Inclusive resort, a time share apartment, a boutique hotel or an Airbnb, there is truly something for everyone! In previous visits we had stayed in a high rise hotel on Palm Beach, a low rise resort on Eagle Beach and a timeshare complex . We enjoyed each of our choices!
For this quick 5 day get away, I was excited to experience the lush and intimate Aruba Boardwalk Boutique Hotel, check it out here : Aruba Boardwalk Boutique Hotel
With 46 private casitas nestled among gardens on the grounds of a former coconut plantation , the Boardwalk Aruba is the perfect spot to relax, recharge and stay safe. As all casitas have their own private entrances, this means no crowded lobby to walk through, no elevators and their own outdoor space, we felt extremely comfortable staying there during the pandemic. We even had a lovely covered front patio with a table and chairs, where we enjoyed our morning coffee and breakfast. Each casita has a well equipped kitchenette with a microwave, coffee maker, mini fridge and even stove top burners, making it a great choice for those with children or on a budget. There’s even a charcoal grill! Click here for details: Aruba Boardwalk Boutique Hotel
This hotel is located across the street from a stunning stretch of Palm Beach …it’s about a 3-5 min walk, and the hotel has its own Beach area adjacent to the Ritz Carlton , with palapas and loungers for guests as well as use of the Ritz beach bar service.
For those that prefer a larger luxury hotel with onsite amenities such as restaurants, bars , a spa and even a casino, check out the 5-star Ritz- Carlton Aruba .
Probably the best day of our trip was spent with RJ of Aruba Outdoor Adventures . If you’re looking for a fun excursion with a knowledgeable guide, look no further! Check the website for a full listing of all the kayak and snorkel tours offered. I can guarantee you will have a memorable time and feel as though you’ve made a friend!
If you’re planning to explore the island , which I highly recommend, you will want a rental car for at least part of your stay. We used Yess Car Rental and were very pleased with price, service and the vehicle.
Places to visit include:
There are no shortage of excursions available on Aruba. Some of the most popular are sailing, catamaran and snorkel cruises, and off road ATV / UTV tours. Search for tours and excursions here : Aruba Excursions
After all that beaching or exploring, you’re bound to be hungry. Well you came to the right island ! Of all the islands I have visited, Aruba seems to have the most variety and quantity of restaurants. There is basically something for everyone regardless of budget. For example , you will find everything from food trucks serving tacos by the beach to 5 star gourmet tasting menus.
Book a sunset table in the sand at Barefoot Restaurant
In the years since our first visit in 1989, Aruba has seen a lot of growth and commercialization. Many visitors love that they can shop designer stores and find familiar chain restaurants. Personally, I prefer a more authentic local experience. There are plenty of fabulous Aruban owned restaurants and businesses to visit. On this trip, our favorite meal and over all dining experience was at Barefoot Restaurant located directly on the beach . Their sister restaurant Quinta del Carmen also gets rave reviews.
Other restaurants to try for local cuisine are:
In addition to the traditional Aruban & Caribbean cuisine , you will find a lot of Dutch influence represented throughout the island . If you’re a cheese lover, you’ll want to try the Keshi Yena, a traditional Dutch Caribbean dish featuring melted Edam cheese.
Aruba offers a wide variety of options for nightlife.. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet nightcap or a lively dance party, you won’t have to look too far. Take an evening stroll in the capital of Oranjestad where you’ll find seaside bars such as Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant. Check out the numerous restaurants & bars in Palm Beach, like Bugaloe, MooMba, and The Pelican Pier ( a favorite of ours for happy hour). And if you’re feeling lucky, you’ll certainly want to visit a casino or two !
Are you ready to plan your visit to One Happy Island?
Ciao for Now…
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Ciao for now
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