Looking for ideas about how to spend a week on Aruba? This one-week Aruba itinerary will show you the best this “One Happy Island” has to offer!
Ah, Aruba. There’s so much to love about you. Where should I even begin?
Perhaps with your fortunate location in the beautiful Caribbean, but well below the hurricane belt?
Maybe with how you’re blessed with a constant breeze that works wonders in staving off the intense heat?
Or perhaps I’ll start by rhapsodizing about the friendliness of your people, their joyful hospitality, and their pride in their island home.
But that’s not all! I could rave about the gorgeous beaches, covered in sugary-soft sand and rimmed with crystal-clear cerulean water. I could talk about how easy it is to get around the island, how US dollars are near-universally accepted, how the water is safe to drink and crime rates are incredibly low. There’s a glorious near-impossibility that you’ll have a rainy vacation, because the island is a desert. And then there’s the fresh seafood, the global cuisine, the art, music, shopping, and fruity drinks!
I could go on and on.
In short, there’s a reason why Aruba has the highest return visitor rate in the Caribbean: there’s so much to love!
It didn’t take long in the planning of our third mother-daughter trip for Aruba to shoot to the top of our list of potential destinations. It seemed like everyone we met who had been to the island had absolutely loved it, and every article and guidebook we read was effusive in its praise. When the right travel deal for Aruba crossed our paths, we booked it immediately for March of 2022.
Although continued COVID-19 uncertainties caused us to postpone our trip, my mom, sister, and I were elated to be able to reschedule for March of 2023. And after amazing weeks together in Belize and Puerto Rico, we were excited to see what Aruba had to offer… and what all the fuss was about!
The three of us ended up spending six full days on this “One Happy Island” and had a wonderful time. Read on to check out our one-week Aruba itinerary, complete with plenty of tips to help you plan your own vacation to this Caribbean gem!
One Week Aruba Itinerary: At a Glance
Day 1: Arrive and Start to Unwind
After what felt like ages of anticipation, it was finally time to kiss winter (and the kids… and my husband…) goodbye and set off for the sunny southern Caribbean. An early-morning trip to the airport and a four-hour flight later, we arrived in Aruba at around 2:00 PM local time. We quickly passed through immigration and customs and headed directly to our hotel, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort.
Located on the northern end of Eagle Beach in what is known as the “low-rise” area, Amsterdam Manor is a family-owned boutique hotel with unmistakeable architecture and excellent hospitality. The hotel property is spacious and spread out, causing it to feel more like a little village than a hotel or resort.
It’s also right across from the beach, with palapas, sun loungers, and other amenities available for guest use. Plus, there’s a pool area directly below Horizons Lounge, a bar and restaurant with great sunset views (and happy hours to match).
Our room wasn’t quite ready yet, so we walked across the street to the Passions on the Beach bar area to have a welcome cocktail and a late lunch. There’s just something about that first rum punch on a beach vacation that hits different, as the kids say.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long until our room was ready. And what a room! Part of the reason we had chosen Amsterdam Manor was that they offered two-bedroom suites with a kitchen area and a balcony overlooking the ocean. Even though we knew we’d be getting a decent amount of square footage, we were still pleasantly surprised by just how spacious our rooms were. There was plenty of storage, so much so that we easily unpacked our bags and tucked the suitcases away for the duration of our stay.
There were two bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom (complete with complimentary Aruba Aloe products), safe, and television…
… a sitting and dining area with plenty of lounging space in front of yet another big television…
… and a fully-stocked kitchenette with a fridge, stovetop, toaster, tea kettle, and coffee maker.
Perhaps best of all, our enclosed balcony overlooked Eagle Beach and the turquoise waters beyond. There was plenty of room for all three of us to sit and enjoy the fresh air and the view.
Once we settled in, we decided to take full advantage of the kitchenette by making a quick run to the nearest grocery store. Dining out in Aruba can get pricey, and one of the best ways to save money on food while traveling is to self-cater a few meals when possible. We figured we’d pick up some breakfast items and snacks both to cut down on food costs as well as to save us the time and effort of running out every time hunger struck.
Luckily for us, the closest grocery store was SuperFood Plaza, one of the biggest and most famous on this island. This giant complex also includes a small, reasonably-priced cafe, a wine and liquor store, toy store, health and beauty boutique, and a home and garden store that sells everything from furniture to china. Basically, no matter what you need for your time on Aruba, SuperFood has you covered.
We grabbed some deliciously fresh sourdough wheat bread, Greek yogurt, granola, coffee creamer, juice, and bananas and ended up saving around $30-$50 per day by eating most of our breakfasts that week in our room. We also couldn’t resist the abundance of Dutch and European cheeses on offer and picked up supplies for a small charcuterie assortment that would serve as both lunch and snack over the course of the week.
By the time we returned and stashed the goods, the sun was starting to set over Eagle Beach. We made it to Horizons in time for the end of their happy hour and enjoyed a cocktail before settling in for a casual dinner.
With live steel drum music playing in the background, we sipped our fruity beverages and watched the sun sink below the watery horizon. Dinner was simple but tasty and fresh, and by the time the check arrived we were all ready to turn in for the night.
We needed our rest for the long day of beaching to come!
Tips for Arriving in Aruba
- Aruba requires visitors to fill out an Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) card prior to boarding your flight to the island. You will need to present proof of having completed this process (in the form of a digital or printed card with a number, QR code, and big green “QUALIFIED TO BOARD” checkmark) to be allowed on the plane.
- I suggest filling out this form a few days in advance of your trip because you won’t be able to check in (even online or through your airline’s app) without it. Completing it early will save you time and stress during those final pre-vacation prep days.
- Regardless of whether or not you have a kitchenette in your accommodations, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make a quick stop at SuperFood or another grocery store to pick up snacks, meal ingredients, toiletries you may have forgotten, or anything else you’ll need for the week. These supplies, including alcohol, will be much less expensive at a supermarket compared to eating or drinking out.
Day 2: Eagle Beach
Days like this are why most people who choose to vacation in Aruba do so: the winning combination of glistening, sugar-soft sand; a warm Caribbean sun; and gorgeous, clear, turquoise water.
Just steps from our hotel was Eagle Beach, one of the most popular beaches on the island and the recent recipient of the #2 spot in TripAdvisor’s 2023 Travelers’ Choice Awards for best beaches in the world. (At least half the taxi drivers we encountered on our trip delightedly reminded us of this fact, usually when explaining to us why this first visit to Aruba wouldn’t be our last.) The close proximity of this gem was one of the major reasons we chose Amsterdam Manor, and we were curious to see if the beach lived up to the international hype.
Despite our excitement to start enjoying Aruba’s famous sun, sand, and sea, however, we took our time getting ourselves out the door that first morning. Our SuperFood-catered breakfast was perfectly satisfying, and it was hard to leave the comfort and beautiful views on our balcony to start smearing on sunscreen. Finally, though, we packed our beach bags, slid on our sunglasses, and made the short walk across the street to Eagle Beach.
In addition to the beach towels provided in our rooms, Amsterdam Manor also offered shady palapas, beach umbrellas, and loungers for guest use. A friendly beach attendant helped us get set up in a sunny spot, and that’s pretty much where we planted ourselves for the majority of the day. The ocean ahead of us was sectioned off with ropes, designating a large swimming area in front of our part of the beach and some narrower spots on either side where Jet Skis and small tour and pleasure boats could come in and out.
Anyone who has read this blog for a while, though, will not be surprised to know that within a few minutes I was already antsy to go exploring. Don’t get me wrong; the view out over the water was gorgeous, and it was absolutely delightful to just sit in the bright sunshine with nowhere to be, no one needing my help or attention, and no obligations apart from the necessity of turning a book page every once in a while. But I was also in a completely new place, with an intriguing slice of rocky coastline to my right and a long stretch of open sand fading away into the horizon to my left.
It didn’t take long for Brooke and me to start checking it all out.
First, we headed north, or to our right as we faced the ocean, toward the rocky section at the very top of Eagle Beach.
There, years (decades? centuries?) of pounding surf had stripped the coastline bare, exposing craggy black limestone and even creating some blowholes when the waves crashed into little submerged tunnels in the rock.
Nearby were one of Aruba’s most iconic landmarks: the famous Fofoti trees. A species of mangrove, these twisted trees grow right on the beach and point in a southwesterly direction thanks to the prevailing (and ever-present) trade winds. They’re a symbol of Aruba and one of the most popular photo spots on the island.
One of my favorite beach activities is taking long walks along the waterline, a pastime that I get to enjoy less frequently now that there are kids in the picture. Thankfully, Brooke also loves a good beach walk, so after checking out the Fofoti trees we set off in the opposite direction to see just what all the Eagle Beach fuss was about.
A short distance down the beach, the sand opened up. While I wouldn’t call our section of Eagle Beach crowded, necessarily, there were plenty of people and families enjoying the sand and sea there. Farther along, however, the palapas faded away, and there were no more Jet Skis or little boats floating in the water. The sand widened, and for a while it was nearly empty apart from the two of us and a few other beach walkers passing through. It was delightful, and I definitely began to understand why so many travelers love this beach and this island.
We continued walking, lured on by the feeling that there was a curve in the coastline just up ahead and we wanted to see what was around the bend. The actual bend took longer to reach than we were anticipating, but we didn’t mind. I mean, how can you with views like this?
It can be hard to tell when one beach in Aruba becomes another (or indeed if they’re technically different beaches at all), but at some point we had walked so far that we had passed onto the area known as Manchebo Beach. Where most of Eagle Beach is separated by J.E. Irausquin Boulevard from the few small hotels and condo complexes nearby, now we came upon resorts set right on the sand. Restaurants and beach bars were starting to serve lunch, and the smells wafting out from their kitchens reminded us how hungry our walk was making us. We finally felt like we’d fully come around the bend in the coastline and turned back just before Divi Beach and the same-named all-inclusive resort behind it.
The walk back to our section of beach was only slightly less pleasant thanks to our rumbling tummies and the fact that the strong wind occasionally kicked sand into our faces. But on such a perfect day, it was hard to mind too much.
The rest of the afternoon was blissfully empty of plans and obligations. After a tasty lunch at the Passions Beach Bar (don’t sleep on the fish tacos!), we enjoyed the beach for as long as we felt was safe for our winter-pale skin. Then, it was back to our lovely room to shower, relax on the balcony, and revel in the warm Caribbean breezes.
Later that afternoon, we took a taxi into Oranjestad to get the lay of the land. After a quick bit of exploration – mostly passing by the shopping areas near the cruise terminal – we turned into the downtown area in search of Driftwood Restaurant.
We’d heard that Driftwood was one of the best restaurants in Oranjestad, and it did not disappoint. With cheery nautical decor (most of the walls are completely covered in pieces of driftwood signed by thousands of patrons) and a menu full of fish literally caught that morning, we fell in love immediately.
We were so excited to dive in to our first truly authentic Aruban dish that I was halfway done before I thought to take a photo. Suffice it to say that the pan-fried mahi-mahi served Creole style was excellent.
Despite the fact that there are dozens of other great restaurants to try on Aruba, my mom was so pleased with Driftwood that she was trying to figure out when we could return on the taxi ride back to the hotel. Further attesting to the quality of the food, our taxi driver ordered the fish soup to take along with her.
After our dinner at Driftwood, we turned in early. The following day would find us traveling all over the island on a rugged “safari” to check out some of the non-beach highlights of Aruba. We couldn’t wait!
Tips for Eagle Beach
- All beaches in Aruba are public, so you’re allowed to soak up the sun on any stretch of sand. Just be aware that palapas, beach loungers, and other amenities are generally reserved for guests of the adjacent hotels, though if your accommodations aren’t nearby or don’t include these amenities you may be able to rent them for a fee.
- Although the trade winds keep the beaches very comfortable, don’t forget that the sun in Aruba is very strong. Wear good sunscreen (at least 50 SPF, we were told over and over) and reapply frequently, especially during the early days of your vacation.
- Speaking of sunscreen, in January of 2019 a ban went into effect prohibiting the use of sunscreen containing the compound oxybenzone, which is harmful to coral reefs. Make sure you pack reef-safe sunscreen to help protect underwater environments and avoid a fine. More information and brand suggestions are available in my Aruba packing list.
Day 3: North Shore Tour + Arikok National Park
Although Aruba’s beaches tend to get the lion’s share of the fame, there’s a lot more to Aruba than sugary sand and turquoise waters! Away from the high and low rise resort areas, the rest of the island is rugged and dry, with plenty of cacti and a spectacular, rocky northern coastline chiseled by the merciless pounding of waves that have traveled across the Caribbean to get there.
Our main goal for our third day in Aruba was to experience Arikok National Park and its famous Natural Pool, or Conchi. To do so, we chose to take a guided Jeep Safari tour that included those two spots but also a few of the island’s other popular sites: the California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, and the Natural Bridge. It felt like a lot to pack into one six-hour tour, but it also felt like a lot of bang for our buck.
(Psst! I wrote a full account of our north shore tour in another post, so this recap will be a bit abbreviated. Make sure to check out that article for lots more photos, as well as plenty more details and tips for your third day in Aruba!)
Our feelings were true on both counts! We did pack a lot into our half-day tour, but it was a great use of our time and a great value for the money we spent.
And so, contrary to our lazy morning the day before, we were up and out bright and early on our third day in Aruba, piling into the covered bed of a brightly-painted pickup truck from Rockabeach Tours with our guide, Hugo.
Unfortunately, our trip started out on a sour note as we arrived at Arikok National Park to discover that rough seas had forced the closure of the Natural Pool. Of all the attractions on Aruba, Conchi was one of our most highly anticipated.
It was a big blow.
Thankfully, Hugo gave us a choice about how we could proceed. We could either drive out to Conchi – forty-five minutes each way of rough, bumpy roads just to have a look around and drive right back – or he could use that hour and a half to show us a couple of other places on the island, including a spot where we could do some snorkeling.
In the end, our little group agreed to forego the ride in favor of getting to see some other highlights on the island. I was disappointed not to even be able to see the pool, but in the end I was glad we made the decision we did.
Hugo hopped back into the cab of the pickup, and we sped off toward his first consolation stop, leaving Arikok National Park in our literal dust.
The first of Hugo’s consolation stops was a beach on the southern coast called Mangel Halto, which seemed to be populated more by locals than tourists. Weather-worn rocks hung over gorgeous blue water, and the walk to the sandy part of the beach was lined with mangroves and other growth.
The small, sandy beach was fronted by a calm lagoon formed by some rocks in the distance that kept the waves at bay. It was peaceful and beautiful, and a little more wild and imperfect than the beaches near the resorts.
I liked it all the better for it.
Next up was the Natural Bridge, another of Aruba’s famous landmarks. To get there, we crossed the island toward the northern coast and picked up our north shore itinerary where we’d left off.
The northern coast was stunning, with continuous views of blue waves pounding against dramatic sea cliffs, coves, natural bridges, and tunnels worn into the rock by centuries of rough surf.
It was a bumpy and windy (in both senses of the word) ride, but we eventually reached the Natural Bridge. Long a symbol of Aruba, the Natural Bridge was a hundred feet long and roughly twenty-five feet high until it collapsed in 2005. Today, visitors can view the massive slabs that remain in a heap where the bridge used to be, as well as the “Baby Bridge,” a smaller natural bridge right beside it.
The whole area around the Natural Bridge was dramatic, with big boulders, a rock-strewn coastline, and powerful waves sending clouds of white spray high into the air with every crash against the rocks. There were plenty of signs warning folks to avoid certain areas due to the risk of falling or collapsing earth, but there were also plenty of people ignoring those signs in search of better views or the perfect selfie.
Soon enough, it was time to move on to our next destination: the Cave Pool. Tucked into the cliffs between the Natural Bridge and the Bushiribana ruins is a sea cave that is separated from the open ocean by collapsed rocks from the cliffs above. The result is a natural swimming hole with beautiful water and ledges for cliff jumping.
Getting to the cave pool isn’t for the faint of heart; there’s a wooden ladder to descend, a bunch of wet and uneven rocks to scramble over, and a ledge to jump off to reach the water beneath. With the rough surf we had been experiencing, the journey was made all the more perilous by the waves that were crashing high against the rocks and making the path more slippery than usual.
In the end, Brooke and I were the only ones who were game to give the cave pool a go. Hugo led us along the uneven terrain, expertly guiding us to the best footholds and the best spot to jump in.
I was nervous, but at that point, there was no turning back. There was nothing left to do but say a quick prayer, take a deep breath, and jump in!
A moment later, Brooke jumped in as well, and we spent a couple of minutes bobbing around and exploring the cave. According to Hugo, the water is usually pretty calm, but on that day the current was strong and it wasn’t really a pleasant spot to linger for long. With Hugo’s unfailing guidance, Brooke and I climbed out of the water and made our way back to our mom and the rest of the group. I was on a total adrenaline high as we toweled off and loaded into the pickup to make the short drive to the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins.
Looking at the ruins now, it’s a bit hard to picture what the gold mill must have looked like in its prime as it processed tons of rock and gold ore during Aruba’s 19th-century gold rush. But process it did; the Bushiribana Mill spent a decade as the backbone of Aruba’s gold industry before the cost of operation caused it to be shuttered.
The stone facade remains, with open windows that look out hauntingly on the vast ocean beyond. It’s a pleasant enough place to do a bit of exploring, but I’ll admit that it paled in comparison the the cave pool adventure we’d just undertaken.
After a quick pass through the ruins, our next adventure was a long, scenic, and VERY bumpy drive up the northern coast to Alto Vista Chapel. Hugo expertly navigated us along the winding and rock-ridden dirt road, passing tiny beaches, rugged coves, and stately sea cliffs on one side and a seemingly endless expanse of desolate wilderness on the other.
Somewhere my chiropractor’s pulse quickened in alarm at the stress my spinal column was enduring.
Finally, however, we reached Alto Vista, a lonely little Catholic chapel whose bright colors stand in cheery opposition to the drab countryside around it. The current chapel dates to the 1950’s, but it was built on the site of what was rumored to be Aruba’s first church, constructed in 1750. Nowadays it’s one of Aruba’s most famous landmarks and a popular stop on island tours in addition to being a place of prayer and contemplation for the faithful.
Our visit to the chapel was short, as it’s the kind of spot where you sort of get the idea within the first couple of minutes. Afterward, we headed to our second consolation stop: Tres Trapi.
Tres Trapi, or Three Steps, is a little cove between Malmok and Boca Catalina beaches on the far northwestern corner of the island. The eponymous three stone steps take you from the rocky shore down into beautiful clear water. It’s apparently one of the best spots on the island for snorkeling, with starfish, sea turtles, and other marine life frequently on display. We didn’t see much underwater – an unfortunate side effect of the heavier-than-usual winds we’d be enduring – but it was still a pretty spot. We also appreciated being able to take another refreshing dip after our dusty journey.
From Tres Trapi, it was a quick, five-minute drive to our final stop of the day: the California Lighthouse.
Completed in 1916 and named after a steamship that was wrecked off the coast twenty years earlier, the California Lighthouse is the tallest building on Aruba and offers panoramic views from the top. It costs $5 to climb the lighthouse, and I’m sure the views at sunset are absolutely divine. We, on the other hand, were content to admire the structure from the ground.
With this final Aruba icon for the day checked off our lists, it was time to pile into the truck for our final drive back to our hotel. Hugo snaked his way down the southern coast of the island, past the multi-million dollar homes of Aruba’s elite and the international jet set. Next came Palm Beach, with its trendy restaurants, glitzy shops, and high-rise hotels. And then, finally, there we were at Amsterdam Manor.
After a fond farewell to our intrepid guide, Mom, Brooke, and I returned to our room to enjoy a late lunch of rum punches and Super Food charcuterie on our balcony. Later that evening, we sought out some traditional food at The Old Cunucu House.
The Old Cunucu House had been recommended to us by everyone whom we asked about where we could find authentic Aruban food. And it did not disappoint! The interior was charming, the service was excellent, and we tucked in heartily to dishes like iguana soup and keshi yena, a chicken dish baked with onions, peppers, celery, olives, raisins, cashews, and a heap of Gouda cheese.
By the time we finally returned to our room for the evening, we were wiped! The third day of our week in Aruba had been jam-packed with new sights, strong winds, heart-pounding leaps of faith, natural beauty, iconic landmarks, and delicious food.
Who could ask for more?
Tips for Arikok National Park and the North Coast
- Visiting the Natural Pool and Arikok National Park is best done with some sort of tour, as the drive to Conchi is challenging and absolutely requires a four wheel drive vehicle.
- Despite not being able to access the Natural Pool, we still had a great experience with Rockabeach Tours and our guide, Hugo. I would highly recommend their Jeep Safari tour.
- Especially if you have only a short time to spend on the island, consider taking a tour that packs a lot of sights into one adventure. Being able to check out the lighthouse, natural bridge, chapel, gold mill ruins, and the national park in one fell swoop freed up time later on in our itinerary, and we never felt rushed despite having so many stops on our list.
Day 4: Get Out on the Water
With all that gorgeous turquoise water around, we knew we had to spend some time on it, in it, or both. Add in my mom’s love of snorkeling, and it was an easy choice to spend the morning of our fourth day in Aruba on a catamaran snorkeling adventure.
When you first start looking for snorkeling trips in Aruba, the results can be a bit overwhelming. There are private tours, quick 2.5-hour sails to a couple of snorkel sites, afternoon cruises with lunch, and tours that include snorkeling stops alongside other island attractions. We considered a few different options, but ultimately chose a half-day catamaran sail with Pelican Adventures. This tour had three snorkeling stops where most only had two, and it also included a light breakfast, full lunch, and open bar. It didn’t cost much more than the other options we’d considered, so it was an easy choice!
In the end, we had mixed feelings about this particular excursion, though few of our complaints had anything to do with the tour company and none had anything to do with the crew. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
The morning started early, with a taxi ride to Pelican Pier in the heart of Palm Beach.
We had driven through the Palm Beach area the day before and walked some of the shops later in the evening, but this was our first glimpse at the actual beachfront. It was narrower at this point than our stretch of Eagle Beach, but the water was blissfully calm and tranquil.
The first indication that things would be going a little differently than we’d imagined came as we took our place in line. The queue of people behind us kept growing and growing, and we realized that we had booked a much larger tour than we had either remembered or realized. As it turned out, our catamaran had room for sixty passengers, and every single one of those spaces was filled.
When we were allowed to board, everyone was packed into the seating area toward the back of the catamaran until we could safely pull away from the pier and hit the open water. It didn’t take long for the crew to give us the all-clear to explore the boat, but it definitely made a difference when people began to mill around instead of being seated all together.
And it was definitely worth milling around! The front of the catamaran had two netted areas for lounging and enjoying the views, and it was glorious to be able to sit in the bright sunshine and watch the Aruban coastline slip by.
Setting sail also meant the opening of the bar and beginning of the breakfast service. We each received three breakfast pastries apiece, which weren’t half bad for being mass produced.
True to the tour description, our catamaran did make three snorkeling stops: Catalina Bay (Boca Catalina), the wreck of the SS Antilla, and Malmok Reef. The views from the catamaran were beautiful at each of them, and thankfully the exceptionally strong wind we had experienced over the last few days had died down so that we weren’t in danger of being blown overboard!
Unfortunately, however, those winds had done their damage. Despite Aruba’s reputation for crystal-clear water, visibility was poor at each of the stops and almost nonexistent at the Antilla. It also seemed like all the sea life had been chased away; we saw a few schools of fish, but none of the turtles, sea stars, and other marine life that we might have expected from tour descriptions and claims that Aruba has “the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.” (Belize would like to challenge that title, by the way.)
Mostly, I found myself admiring the bare, sandy sea floor.
That was fine at Boca Catalina and Malmok, but it really put a damper on our stop at the Antilla. That was the spot I had most been looking forward to; I’ve never snorkeled at a real shipwreck and hadn’t even considered snorkeling trips that didn’t include it as a stop. After jumping in, however, I barely made it five minutes in the water. The sea was rough, making swimming and floating at the surface a challenge to begin with, and visibility was so poor that I could barely make out more than the faint outline of something that I guessed was the ship. Seeing me calling it quits so quickly, my mom and sister didn’t even bother getting in the water.
Thankfully, our final stop at Malmok Reef ended up being the best of the three. Visibility seemed a bit better, and there was more sea grass, coral, and fish than the previous two destinations.
I may sound like I’m complaining – and I know that places like Belize have spoiled me – so please don’t get me wrong. I was glad and grateful to be outside, in a gorgeous place, enjoying the sun on my shoulders and the cool water all around me. But like my disappointment over skipping the Natural Pool the day before, it was still a bummer to have come so far (and paid good money) only to miss out on something that could have been awesome.
This was also about the time that the mood on the catamaran shifted considerably as the open bar began to show its effects. Where previously the boat had been filled with people enjoying the sunshine and drinks – albeit some more loudly than others – now a couple of groups had passed the point of fun and had instead become rude and disruptive. Even the crew were exasperated, and it was hard to find a peaceful corner of the catamaran to appreciate the scenery and experience or to eat the tasty provided lunch in peace.
Eventually, the captain turned our catamaran toward Pelican Pier. My mom, sister, and I grabbed some space at the quieter front of the catamaran and enjoyed the trip back to Palm Beach.
The beaches were much fuller at 1:00 PM than they’d been at 8:00 AM, and as we walked through the resort properties to grab a taxi we got to appreciate the differences between our laid-back spot on Eagle Beach and the swanky resorts we were now traversing.
Later that night, my mom had a hankering for something different after a few days of fresh fish and other traditional Aruban food. Her craving led us to Lucca Trattoria, a trendy, open-air eatery specializing in rustic Italian cuisine. And we’re so glad it did, because Lucca was awesome!
We arrived early and enjoyed a tasty cocktail at the bar…
… then settled down in their stylish dining room to share some incredible freshly-made pasta, a wood-fire pizza, and a big salad.
It was just the break we needed from fish, and I’ll likely be dreaming about that pasta for a long time.
Tips for a Snorkeling Trip in Aruba
- As I mentioned, there are dozens of snorkeling trips available on Aruba, from private charters to big party boats like ours. Think carefully about what kind of experience you want and book accordingly.
- While the size of the group and the behavior of some of the guests didn’t really line up with what we wanted from our trip, I can’t say anything negative about Pelican Adventures. The crew were all friendly and helpful, the food was tasty and plentiful, and the boat seemed to be in good shape. (Plus we had a wonderful time on their dinner cruise later in the week.) Next time, I personally would just choose a smaller tour.
- Although we were unable to see the wreck due to the poor visibility, I would still recommend choosing a snorkeling tour that includes the Antilla. It’s a fairly unique experience and one of the more popular attractions on the island.
- It is absolutely essential to bring reef safe sunscreen (containing no oxybenzone) for a snorkeling trip in Aruba. Make sure to reapply frequently, as the sun is very strong. You may also be well served by bringing along a rash guard to give your skin a break.
- If the thought of shared equipment skeeves you out, consider bringing your own mask and snorkel.
- Tips for the crew are greatly appreciated. A good guideline is to tip 10%-15% of cost of the tour.
Day 5: Explore Oranjestad
After some pretty solid days in the sun, we figured the fifth day of our week in Aruba would be best spent exploring the colorful capital city of Oranjestad.
To start, we indulged in our first restaurant breakfast at the Dutch Pancake House. This famous institution already had a line outside by the time we arrived, and it was still going strong by the time we left.
Larger and thinner than American-style pancakes, Dutch pancakes resemble crêpes (though they’re a bit thicker) and are usually served loaded with sweet or savory toppings. M and I had somehow failed to try them when we were in Amsterdam, so I was glad to be able to indulge in another Dutch country.
After breakfast, it was time to wander around Oranjestad. A quick jaunt across the street brought us to historic Fort Zoutman, the oldest surviving building on the island. It is most easily identified by its striking tricolor Willem III tower, which was the original entrance.
Inside the fort is the Museo Historico Aruba, or the Aruba Historical Museum. The museum was closed, otherwise we would have spent some time inside learning more about Aruba’s history!
(PS: If you happen to be visiting on a Tuesday, don’t miss the Bon Bini (Welcome) Festival that is held in the museum courtyard from 6:30 – 8:30 PM! It’s a great way to explore Aruba’s culture and history and includes music, dance performances, local art, and food. Admission to the weekly festival is $15.)
From the fort, we decided to make our way toward the cruise ship terminal to check out the sights and possibly hop on the free trolley.
As one might expect so near a cruise terminal, most of this part of downtown was devoted to gift shops, including a long line of open-air stalls selling everything from t-shirts and magnets to stuffed animals and handicrafts.
Across the street was one of Aruba’s most recognizable buildings: the pastel pink Royal Plaza shopping mall that looks more like a frosted cake than a commercial center. If you’re a shopper, you can’t go wrong here; there are dozens of stores inside whose wares range from cheap souvenirs to jewelry (cruise ship port, remember?) to internationally-recognizable clothing brands.
We poked around the outdoor shops a bit, eventually finding my mom a Christmas ornament to take home and a souvenir long-sleeved t-shirt apiece. We’re not big shoppers, though, so it wasn’t long before we turned our attention to the free downtown trolley that was just pulling up near the cruise pier.
A somewhat recent addition to Oranjestad, the free trolley makes six stops along its downtown loop and is a convenient way to explore the capital, especially for cruise ship passengers. It was charming and clean, and we appreciated being able to see a bit of the town without having to use our feet to do so.
At one point, though, the trolley stopped for a fifteen minute break – I’m still not certain if this is a normal part of the route – and we left it behind to wander around ourselves.
Happily, that wandering led us to our lunch spot, the family-owned Pastechi House. I would have invented any excuse to indulge in another one of these tasty snacks after trying my first at the Natural Bridge, but the fact that we only needed a light lunch to get us through the day made it all the more perfect.
After we finished our pastechis, the owner called his nephew to give us a lift in his taxi to the Aruba Aloe Factory and Museum. We spent a few extra minutes dodging police after our driver went the wrong way down a one-way street, but eventually we made it to the factory.
It was a lot more fun that way.
Aruba’s warm, arid environment is perfect for cultivating this wonder plant, and at one point aloe vera covered two-thirds of the island. Today, Aruba’s aloe products are world-famous for their quality and healing properties, and you’ll find Royal Aruba Aloe goods for sale all over the island.
At the factory, daily free tours are offered every fifteen minutes in any of Aruba’s most commonly spoken languages: Dutch, Papiamento, English, and Spanish. As we waited for our tour to begin, we got to walk through the small onsite museum detailing the history of aloe production on the island. Afterward, our tour began with an outdoor demonstration against a backdrop of hundreds of thriving aloe plants.
Our guide explained how aloe is grown and harvested, showing us how to wash and “filet” the leaves to extract the amazing gel-like material within. Then, we went back inside for a bird’s eye view of their factory floor, some sampling of the goods, and the inevitable gift shop endpoint of any good tour. My sister, who is a nurse, was particularly impressed by the case studies on display detailing the borderline-miraculous healing experienced by burn victims using some of Aruba Aloe’s medical-grade products.
I’m a sucker for a good factory tour, and I appreciated the pride with which these products are made and sold. Mom, Brooke, and I grabbed a couple of goodies to bring home, so we’ll see if their miracle night creme helps combat the twin skin disasters of aging past thirty and being a mom to toddlers.
I also appreciated that, by the time we left, goats had been turned loose to weed the aloe fields.
After we finished up at the aloe factory, we returned to the hotel to get ready for a sunset dinner cruise. Although we wanted to go out with a bang by taking the cruise on our final night in Aruba, that happened to be an evening (a Wednesday) that it wasn’t offered, so we did it on day five instead!
If possible, I encourage you to do the cruise on your final evening, so that’s where I’ve placed the photos and information in this one-week Aruba itinerary. It was a fantastic experience and would be a great way to end your time in Aruba! In the meantime, I’m going to highlight here what we actually did on our final evening: a toes-in-the-sand dinner at Passions on the Beach! (It was still a great way to go out, if you run into a similar timing situation that we did :))
Located directly across the street from Amsterdam Manor, Passions on the Beach offers upscale dinners in the sand with sweeping sunset views or, later, romantic flickering torchlight. Each evening, after sunseekers have returned to their hotels, the beach area is transformed into a beautiful dining space.
Our reservation wasn’t until after 8:00 PM, so we weren’t able to be dining at sunset. But knowing the legendary status of Aruban sunsets, we made sure to hit Eagle Beach for the spectacle anyway.
By the time we arrived for our reservation, the torches were flickering and the surf was a quiet whisper invisible beyond the tables. We were offered champagne at the bar while we waited, and then we shuffled through the sand to our table near the water.
I’ll be honest that the service was a little off on the evening that we dined at Passions on the Beach – we sat for a long time before seeing our server, who rarely checked on us after, and it took an exceptionally long while to place our order and get our drinks and food – but Brooke’s unicorn fish special was outstanding, my mom really liked her steak, and I thought the fish soup was great. Plus, it was so fun to eat with the sound of the waves rolling in beside us and our toes dug down in the sand!
Tips for a Day in Oranjestad
- Even though you’re not basking in full sunlight like you would be at the beach, it’s still smart to lather up with some reef-safe sunscreen while walking the sunny streets of Aruba’s colorful capital. I like Neutrogena’s DryTouch sunscreen for days like this because it offers protection without leaving my skin (and clothes!) feeling greasy.
- In my opinion, unless you’re a big shopper or a casino-lover, you really only need about a half day to experience Oranjestad. There are, however, plenty of excellent restaurants downtown to keep you coming back!
- Many island tours include a stop at Aruba Aloe, though it’s easy enough to get to the factory on your own using taxis.
- Reservations are essential for Passions on the Beach, especially if you care about what time you’ll be eating. There were no reservations available earlier than 8:00 PM when we made ours, and while we enjoyed our torchlit dinner, I think the sunset hour would have been better.
Day 6: Day Trip to San Nicolas
One of the best ways to see more of Aruba – especially the Aruba away from the tourist districts – is to rent a car and take a day trip south to San Nicolas. After spending so much time in Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, and Oranjestad, we were excited to check out a more authentic side of the island.
Nicknamed “Sunrise City” due to its easterly location, San Nicolas boomed in the 20th century thanks to the nearby oil refinery. These days, the refinery has shuttered, and San Nicolas’s fame comes instead from its beautiful beaches, colorful downtown murals, great food, and accessibility to a more “real” Aruba.
It sounded good to us, so we rented a car and set our GPS for San Nicolas!
(Psst! I also wrote a full account of our San Nicolas day trip to keep things streamlined here. Don’t miss that article for more photos, information, and tips!)
We started our morning at the southern tip of the island, where we visited a monument to sailors lost at sea…
… as well as the gorgeous and nearly-empty Boca Grandi beach. The beaches on this end of the island were wild and mostly deserted, a far cry from the resort-packed stretches of sand further north. While the current at Boca Grandi is too rough for swimming, the strong winds make it heaven for kitesurfers.
The three of us spent some time walking along the pillowy sand and admiring the views. It was delightful to have the place almost entirely to ourselves!
After Boca Grandi, we continued down the coast in search of the Seroe Colorado Lighthouse, driving along dusty roads lined with brush, cacti, and the occasional beach access road.
When we reached our destination about ten minutes later, we learned that the “lighthouse” moniker was somewhat… misleading:
But while the lighthouse itself was less than impressive, especially compared to the stately California Lighthouse to the north, the rugged sea cliffs were definitely worth exploring.
By the time the three of us returned to our car, we were ready for lunch! We’d been looking forward to Zeerovers all morning… or, more accurately, all week. It seemed like no matter who we asked about where we should eat on Aruba, Zeerovers was at or near the top of the list.
Zeerovers is located in the seaside town – and former Aruban capital – of Savaneta, which involved a little backtracking up the coast. But the extra minutes of driving time were well worth it for incredible fresh seafood with lovely Caribbean views!
Considering the place had been constantly recommended to us for the first few days of our week in Aruba, it could have been a real disappointment. But every ounce of hype was completely deserved. The food was so fresh and delicious, from my flash-fried fish and shrimp to my sweet plantains, homemade tartar sauce, and pickled onions. And the scenery? Icing on the cake.
Eventually, we had to roll ourselves out of Zeerovers to head to the final stop on our day trip to San Nicolas: Baby Beach.
The most popular beach on the southern end of the island, Baby Beach sits in a wide, sheltered lagoon south of downtown San Nicolas. While many day-trippers and tour groups make a stop here, it’s also very popular with locals. The crystal-clear water is shallow and gentle, making it perfect for kids, and onsite facilities include bathrooms, free beach shelters and palapas, and a bar and grill. There’s also snorkeling toward the mouth of the lagoon, though you need to be careful to stay within the marked area for your own safety.
There were plenty of people at Baby Beach, but we were still able to find a shady spot in the foliage to stash our beach gear and take a break from the sun when needed. The beach was also big enough that it didn’t feel crowded.
True to form, Brooke and I took a walk along the beach, traversing the place from end to end to see what there was to see.
And it did not disappoint.
The color and shallowness of the water was unbelievable, especially when we reached the far eastern end of the curved bay. Instead of retracing our steps along the beach, we decided just to trek directly across the water back to Mom. The water never went past our shoulders!
We spent most of the afternoon lounging at Baby Beach. When finally it was time to head back north, we made a quick pit stop at the famous Charlie’s Bar along the way.
A neighborhood institution for over eighty years, it’s not hard to believe Charlie’s Bar’s age once you catch sight of the interior. Decades worth of bric-a-brac, antiques, and left-behind junk cover every available surface along the walls and ceiling.
At last, we headed back north toward Amsterdam Manor. The final stop on our road trip to San Nicolas was the famous Aruba sign on the outskirts of Oranjestad. For the obligatory photo, of course.
Later that night, a combination of general indecision and long wait times around town led to us dining at Azia Restaurant & Lounge in Palm Beach. Boasting Aruba’s longest bar, Azia specializes in fresh sushi and pan-Asian flavors.
We didn’t expect to be having Asian food that night, but the bao buns and beef stir fry were both very tasty. It was also a nice departure from the fried food we’d savored earlier at Zeerovers.
Tips for a Day Trip to San Nicolas and Baby Beach
- Make sure to check out my post on taking a day trip to San Nicolas for lots more tips for this day of your week in Aruba. You’ll also find more information about Zeerovers there, as well as in my list of the best restaurants in Aruba.
- As mentioned above, don’t attempt to swim at Boca Grandi, as the current is dangerously strong.
- Zeerovers is a very popular spot, so either come early for lunch or be prepared to wait in line!
Day 7: Beach Day + Sunset Cruise
For the final day of our vacation, we wanted to take it as easy as possible. Our original thought when planning our one-week Aruba itinerary was that we would use this morning to experience the pleasures of Palm Beach.
It was a good idea. However, the pull of Eagle Beach, and especially the beach loungers and umbrellas provided for free by Amsterdam Manor, was just too strong. We ended up spending the morning and early afternoon just a few steps from our hotel, reveling in our final hours of sugary Eagle Beach sand.
First, however, we had to return our rental car.
After learning our lesson about the higher taxi costs to get to the airport, we paid a $10 fee to return to a Palm Beach office instead. Afterward, we politely declined the offer of a ride back to our hotel so that Brooke could do something she’d been longing to do since we first arrived in Aruba: go on an e-scooter ride.
In almost no time at all, we had located a couple of Evikes scooters and were on our way. It was super easy to scoot south through Palm Beach, eventually meeting up with a bike path that runs the length of Eagle Beach. We whizzed by Amsterdam Manor, waving to our mom on our balcony, and continued onward until we began to reach the outskirts of Oranjestad. Then, with Brooke fully satisfied with her e-scooter experience, we returned to the hotel.
The rest of the morning and afternoon were relaxed and low-key, with some leisurely beach time, relaxation in the room, and an unhurried getting-ready process for the evening’s festivities.
As I mentioned above, the original goal for the last night of our week in Aruba was to take a luxurious, four-course dinner cruise as a final, splurgy hurrah. Since the tour wasn’t offered on our final night (a Wednesday), we ended up at Passions on the Beach instead. But I still recommend trying to do a dinner cruise on your last night, if possible, and that’s why I’m sharing the details here!
(Psst! Surprise, surprise… there’s a more detailed post about our sunset dinner cruise, as well.)
We were looking forward to our sunset dinner cruise, but the evening ended up exceeding all of our expectations. In fact, when our week in Aruba was over we all agreed that it was one of our favorite things we did during the entire trip!
A little before 5:00 PM on the evening of our cruise, we found ourselves back at Pelican Pier. The Monforte III, a 115-foot wooden schooner, soon pulled up to the dock.
To our delight, our assigned table happened to be at the front of the ship just under the forward mast. This allowed us to spend the entire evening in the open air, with the only obstruction to our panoramic views being the ship itself.
As we set sail, we followed roughly the same course as our snorkeling trip had taken. This journey, however, was infinitely more peaceful and enjoyable. The bar opened promptly, and we were content to sip wine as we sat along the railing and watched the beautiful coastline roll by once again.
Eventually, the Monforte III anchored near where we had snorkeled a few days earlier, and we stayed there for the majority of the evening. There was still plenty of sun to be able to enjoy the scenery, though it continued its steady descent toward the horizon.
Soon enough, the first of our four courses arrived: an Aruban take on ceviche. Next came a salad with fresh shrimp and greens, accompanied by a tangy dressing.
We were off to a great start, and the sunset and the food just kept getting better! It was around this time, as I made my way aft to refill my wine glass, that I realized that our chef was actually grilling our steaks right on the back of the boat!
Those steaks were soon served with potatoes, asparagus, and a lobster salad.
Despite my somewhat modest expectations for the food on our cruise – how good could a dinner cooked on a wooden boat actually be? – it was excellent! Everything was fresh and well-balanced, and my steak was cooked perfectly. We couldn’t get over how delicious everything was. Even taking the rest of the experience out of the equation, our dinner cruise on the Monforte ended up being one of our favorite meals of the trip.
Throughout our dinner, we were entertained with live music, and the sun continued its dramatic descent toward the sea. By the time it began to grow truly dark, we were topping off the evening with coconut flan alongside a home-baked, crispy cookie.
Eventually, both the sunset and the dinner were over and we had to return to Palm Beach. It was a quiet and peaceful journey through the dark, accompanied by the soothing sound of the sea as the ship cut through the waves.
Tips for Your Final Day + Sunset Cruise
- As mentioned above, all beaches in Aruba are public, so you’re allowed to soak up the sun on any stretch of sand. Be aware that palapas, beach loungers, and other amenities are generally reserved for guests of the adjacent hotels, though if your accommodations aren’t nearby or don’t include these amenities you may be able to rent them for a fee.
- E-scooters are a fun way to get around the island, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Just make sure to use caution on roadways, don’t ride on sidewalks, and leave your scooter in an out-of-the-way place.
- It is highly recommended that you book your Monforte III dinner cruise well in advance, as the group is intentionally kept small and it is only offered on certain evenings.
- Make sure to check out my full post on our Aruba sunset dinner cruise for lots more photos, tips, and information for planning your own!
Day 8: Return Home
Ugh, the worst part of any vacation: the end of it. After a beautiful week in Aruba, it was time to go home. I missed M and the kids terribly, but at the same time it was pretty hard to say goodbye to a view like the one that we had from our balcony that morning.
Soon enough, though, we were bidding a sad farewell to our much-beloved room at Amsterdam Manor and piling into a taxi bound for the airport.
Unfortunately, leaving Aruba can be a bit of a hassle for those returning to or through the USA, as you actually pass through US customs and immigration before boarding your flight home. On one hand, this is nice because you don’t have to deal with it after a long flight, but it does mean that you need to arrive to the airport extra early for your departure.
Everything I read told me to arrive no later than three hours prior to our flight time, so that’s what we did. (Thankfully, our flight wasn’t until 3:00 PM so we were able to enjoy a leisurely morning on our oceanview balcony before our 12:00 PM checkout.) In total, the whole journey from checking our bags to reaching our gate only took us about 45 minutes, but I could definitely see how things can back up and cause delays. Here are all the steps to leaving Aruba:
- Arrive and check in/check your luggage.
- Stand in line to have your passport and boarding pass checked to enter the airport.
- Go through Aruban immigration.
- Pass through the first round of security.
- Pass through (or by, in our case) Aruban customs.
- Retrieve your checked luggage.
- Clear US immigration and customs.
- Drop your checked bag off again.
- Pass through a second round of security.
Unless we hit the airport on an off day, there also were no TSA PreCheck or Global Entry benefits, even when being screened by US officials. Everyone went through the same lines, including having to remove shoes, outer garments, and tablets/laptops from carry-on luggage to pass through security… twice.
It was a bit annoying, yes, but in the end I was grateful that our airport process took much less time than we had feared. Once we were through all of the checkpoints, we had plenty of time to grab lunch and relax in the terminal before our flight boarded.
My final view of Aruba was of the southern tip of the island fading off into the distance. Boca Grandi, with its wide beach and powerful waves, looked so small as we flew away.
When I look back on our week in Aruba, I’m grateful for how warmly we were welcomed, how well we were taken care of at our hotel, how amazingly fresh and delicious our meals were every single day, and for all the wonderful things we were able to do and see along the way.
We fit a lot into our week in Aruba, from action-packed days like our north shore tour to taking time to intentionally relax on Eagle Beach. I feel like we took advantage of almost everything the island had to offer us, and while we certainly didn’t exhaust all the things there are to do and see (more on that below!) I left feeling satisfied that I had truly experienced Aruba. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back; I’m not even guaranteed a tomorrow. But if the statistics have anything to say about it, I will; this “One Happy Island” has the highest rate of return visitors in the entire Caribbean, and it’s not hard to see why.
Above all, though, I am overwhelmingly grateful to have had another opportunity to spend a week traveling with my mother and sister. Each of these trips has been incredibly precious, and I know how blessed and fortunate I am to have had these experiences with these women who mean so much to me.
I can’t wait to see where we go next.
Tips for Leaving Aruba
- Even though our airport process only took about 45 minutes in total, it’s still wise to arrive at the airport at least three hours early, just in case.
- Wear shoes that easily slip on and off, as there is no TSA PreCheck available and everyone has to take off his or her shoes at least twice.
- Do not attempt to take any sand or seashells home with you. Doing so is illegal and may result in a fine.
Other Things to Do in Aruba
Even though we managed to pack a lot into our week in Aruba itinerary, there were a few things we weren’t able to do or that weren’t quite our style. If you find yourself looking for more things to do in Aruba, here are some suggestions:
- Visit the Donkey Sanctuary
- Tour an ostrich farm and grab a bite to eat afterward
- Explore the Butterfly Farm
- Take advantage of other water activities, such as scuba diving, parasailing, scenic cruises, or even a submarine voyage!
- Go horseback riding, which would be an especially awesome way to get to the Natural Pool.
- Try your luck (responsibly) at one of the island’s many casinos.
A note on Aruba's flamingoes:
As you’ve probably seen on Instagram, Aruba has a small population of (non-native) flamingoes that have become a bit of a national symbol. Many people come to Aruba looking forward to getting up close and personal with the flamingoes, but it isn’t as easy as just choosing the right beach and walking up to them.
Aruba’s flamingo population live on a private island owned by the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, and to get there you’ll either need to be a guest of the hotel or pay $125 per person for a day pass (if any are available). While that seems pretty steep just to visit some birds, there are other reasons to visit Renaissance Island, including private beaches, private cabanas, a spa, and dining.
We briefly considered trying to see the flamingoes, as it seemed like such a popular thing to do on the island. There’s no denying that it would be fun to interact with such a unique animal in a gorgeous setting! Ultimately, though, we decided against it. The primary reason was the cost and inconvenience. Day passes would have set the three of us back almost $400, but we also didn’t want the hassle of having to change hotels mid-trip (to a place only ten minutes away, and in the heart of downtown vs. right on Eagle Beach) to do it for free.
In the end, we decided visiting Flamingo Beach wasn’t worth the money or giving up a day on our week Aruba itinerary to visit it. If you disagree, feel free to book a night or two at the Renaissance or grab a day pass! I’ll happily admire your awesome photos when you return 🙂
Where to Stay in Aruba
We absolutely loved Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort thanks to its charming design, spacious rooms, overall cleanliness, close proximity to Eagle Beach, amenities, and incredible service. I would highly recommend basing yourself there, especially if you’re traveling as a family or group who could benefit from the added space in the two-bedroom suite. All rooms come equipped with kitchenettes, which help tremendously in cutting down on food costs on an expensive island.
Other great hotels and resorts in Aruba:
- Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. This adults-only getaway on Eagle Beach specializes in romance, and few do it better. My friend Molly and her husband honeymooned here last year and are already trying to come back.
- Karibu Aruba Boutique Hotel is a modest and reasonably-priced alternative to the big, expensive resorts. It’s located in Palm Beach within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and the beach, and the reviews are outstanding.
- Boardwalk Boutique Hotel is another great alternative to the high-rise resorts and boasts cheery, colorful cottages in Palm Beach.
- When originally planning our trip last year, we planned to stay at the Radisson Blu thanks to a great travel deal. We had to cancel, but the hotel still has great reviews.
- Most of the major hotel chains (including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, and Ritz-Carlton) have beachfront resorts in the high-rise area.
- If you want to visit the famous flamingoes without paying for a day pass, you’ll need to book a night at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort.
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