There is more to the Aruba paradise that you think.
We go past the surface to explore in depth what we already knew and onto what we have recently discovered.
It was when I stepped 'out of that casino' that I almost got 'burned'. It was not casino security that I had to avoid, it was that burning hot white sand. It was a real shock! I was accustomed to that sugary white coral sand of Cancun.
But most people do not experience that when they visit Aruba. I was just lucky that day. For all I know, the hotel imported sand just to keep us inside the casino - fools that they must have been.
Most people are familiar with very Aruba's Palm Beach in the 'north'. But since it is such a small island, everyone usually finds it a breeze to eventually get out and explore the entire island. Aruba is really one happy island as the official tourism site declares.
In their videos you can actually feel the fun and warmth that the place exudes. Their Family Itinerary video shows that there is a Butterfly Farm less than a mile from a main hotel area of Palm Beach, then a waterslide park on De Palm island 8 miles away, seaside Arikok National Park in another 5miles and then only 5 more miles to Baby Beach where kids can safely learn how to snorkle.
For more active visitors, the Adventure Itinerary takes you from Eagle Beach 2.6 miles north to Malmock Beach for kite and windsurfing, then 2.2 miles offshore to the Antilla Shipwreck, then 8.4 miles for horse back riding in Arikok NP and then 2.2 miles by jeep to the Conchi Natural pool.
But most people will start their vacation with the Relaxation Itinerary beginning in the capital city of Oranjestad. Golfers may then head 2.5 miles to the Tierra del Sol Resort & Country Club. Water lover may instead head southwest toward Renaissance Island. Foodies may choose to head to Zeerovers to the southeast for seafood. If they plan it just right, they could even go a little beyond that to San Nicolas for a local parade and festival.
For beach lovers, you will love Aruba's Eagle Beach, Aruba Beach, Tam Beach, Arashi Beach, Palm Beach and all the others as much as I do.
What To Do
Here's the best way to become familiar with all that an area has to offer! Browse through the various tours and activites lists. These include the popular De Palm Island Tour, Tour + Snuba and the Full Day De Palm Island Tour + Sea Trek tours.
Among the other organized activities which you might imitate with self exploration include the Aruba Sightseeing Tour, Discover Aruba Tour, Luncheon Snorkel Sail, Catamaran Sunset Sail, Palm Pleasure Sunset Sail, One or Two Tank Dives, PADI Scuba Diver Course, Baby Beach Jeep Adventure, Natural Pool Jeep Adventure, Palm Pleasure Snorkel Adventure and Afternoon Delight Snorkel Sails.
- Aruba is a very small island. It is just 19.6 miles long by 6 miles wide and is located 15 miles north of the Venezuela coast of South America.
- The average weather is 82 degrees with constant cooling trade winds.
- It rarely rains and is outside of the hurricane zone.
- The island has one of the world largest desalinization plants providing you excellent drinking out of the faucet.
- The captial of Oranjestad is on the south coast.
- Most hotels are located along Palm Beach and Eagle Beach.
- Dutch and Paiamento are the official language, but most people speack 4 languages including English and Spanish.
- US dollars are widely accepted so there is no need to convert money to the official Florin currency with an average rate of 1.77 to the dollar.
- An easy price conversion for US$ is to take 1/2 of the local currency price and then add 10%
- Banks are open 8am to 4pm on Mondays through Fridays, but there are about 50 ATM that accept Cirrus, Mastercard, Maestro or VISA logo cards 24/7.
- Wi-Fi is availalbe in many public places as well as hotels and various hotspots.
- Cell service is available and you can rent phone at the airport to avoid possible roaming charges from your carrier.
- Your hotel can direct you to a doctor, emergency room or a 24 hour pharmacy or Dutch named Boticas.
Where To Stay in Aruba
There are actually some small properties where you can feel right at home in Aruba. One of my favorite tricks for finding just the right place is to just go to a hotel reservation and look around the map. With the great quality of mapping it is quite easily to select a place in the perfect location.
In a relatively small place like Aruba, this is especially easy!
But with so many hotel reservation systems to choose from, where do you start? Our preference is the Booking.com hotel site. The page for Aruba includes ALL the properties you want to review with the most complete list we have ever seen.
They also further suggest those ideal for Beach Coast, Romance Honeymoon, Spa Relaxation, Luxury and Families. While the isle is small, hotels can also be reviewed for their location near the main attractions of Arikok National Park, De Vuyst, Eagle Beach, Haven Barcadera, Hooiberg Mountain, Oosthaven, Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Reina Beatrix International Airport, Sint Nicolaashaven, Tierra del Sol Golf Course and Westhaven.
This Travel Now list also includes the places they offer along with helpful Trip Advisor reviews including:
High Rise and Larger Properties- Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort Aruba Beach Resort and Casino, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino, Occidental Grand Aruba All Inclusive Resort, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Riu Palace Antillas All Inclusive, Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive, The Ritz-Carlton Aruba, Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino, Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club,
More Properties - Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort, Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort, Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, Aruba Blue Village, Aruba Cunucu Residence, Aruba Tropic Apartments, Caribbean Palm Village Resort, Club Arias Bed & Breakfast, Del Rey Apartments, Gold Coast Aruba, Hotel California Aruba, MVC Eagle Beach, Paradera Park, Punto di Oro Residences, Sasaki Apartments, Talk of the Town Hotel and Beach Club, The Mill Resort & Suites Aruba, The Vistalmar Ocean View Apartments, Villa Du Laurence, Wonders Boutique Hotel
So have fun and choose the best spot place for you!
More Resources: Riu Hotels
PDF Resources: 2015 Aruba Calendar of Events, Aruba Destination Guide, Wedding Information and Requirements and the Kids Activities programs