Friday, June 21, 2019

Aruba Travel Guide :: Top 10 things to do

Today, I am sharing what we did in Aruba. I covered where to stay and how to get around the island here if you're interested.

1. Eagle Beach: If you Google "What to do in Aruba", Eagle Beach will be # 1 on the list and it's for a good reason. It's breathtakingly beautiful. Amazing crystal-clear turquoise water, a powdery soft beach to dig your toes in, and calm waves. We couldn't have asked for anything better. Pictures and words just simply couldn't describe how amazing this beach was. Did you know Eagle Beach is ranked the third best beach in the world? Notes: Even though it's a public beach, there are some costs. One way taxi there: $13, rental for 1 umbrella: $25, rental for 2 beach chairs: $20, lunch from a food truck: $40, one way taxi back: $13. Total cost to spend a few hours at the beach: $110. My swimsuit is linked here and earrings are here.
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{Eagle Beach - How amazing is the water?}

2. Renaissance Private Island: I talked about this island in my previous post. This private island is a little slice of heaven. There are flamingos walking around, a spa cove, hammocks, good food and crystal clear water. What else would you ask for? Fun fact: Did you know when flamingos hatch, their feathers are actually light gray? Flamingos are pink because they eat brine shrimp which contain a red pigment. How cool is that? The Caribbean flamingo is by far the brightest and one of the largest of all the flamingos.

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{Renaissance Private Island at sunset}

We booked a tour to visit the next 5 spots. I'll talk more about the tour in a second.
3. Aruba Ostrich Farm: First stop - We got to feed the baby ostriches (they don't have teeth yet). We saw the emus and peacocks up close and personal. The tour guide was very experienced and informed.

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{Shorts *only $15* | Cami | Headband}
4. Natural Bridge: Second stop - Aruba's Natural Bridge collapsed in 2005 and only a small part remains, but the crashing waves and scenery are so beautiful to experience.
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5. Donkey Sanctuary: Third stop - It's free to visit. You can purchase a bucket of food to feed the donkeys and they are so friendly and adorable. There used to be many donkeys on the island, but were sadly executed and Aruba was left with twenty donkeys. This sanctuary is working on safely breeding donkeys to help regain their population. They currently have 120 donkeys at the sanctuary. You can help support the cause with donations. Another wonderful visit!
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6. Caves in the Arikok National Park: Fourth stop - After visiting the donkey sanctuary, the next stop was the Arikok National Park to explore the caves. The caves were very cool and interesting. You can easily walk around and go pretty far into the cave. Definitely worth seeing! The cave contains drawings from the prehistoric age many years ago that you can witness.
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7. Baby Beach: Our last stop of the day was Baby Beach. If you have young children, this stop is a must. This is a perfect quiet, relaxing & gorgeous beach. There are parts that are very shallow. It’s great for kids because the ocean is calm. We brought our snorkeling equipment and were able to see so many. My exact swimsuit in pink
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{This picture was taken at Baby Beach, Aruba}
8. The Butterfly Farm: We spent a few hours here and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was interesting to learn how butterflies form. The guide once again was very knowledgeable and friendly. It was amazing to see so many varieties of butterflies. It costs $16 per person but you can come back for free for the rest of your vacation.
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9. Natural Pool: This is the one thing that we couldn't do. We wanted to book an ATV tour to the natural pool but Madelyn is still a bit young for that. For liability purposes, you have to be 12 or older. The natural pool looks incredible. If you don't travel with young children, I highly recommend you look into this excursion.
10. Shopping: There is no shortage of high end stores in Aruba. The Renaissance mall has all the designers you could imagine. We're talking about Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Cartier, Rolex...As for prices, they're about the same as what you can find in the U.S. However, if you're a tourist, you do not have to pay a 6% general sales tax. The only exception I found was Gucci. Their prices were about 10% cheaper.
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De Palm Tours: I wanted to take a moment to share my personal experiences of the tour with you. As mentioned above, we wanted to do the Natural Pool Off-Road Adventure but couldn't since Madelyn is not old enough. We settled for the Baby Beach Off-Road Adventure and I am so glad we did. At first, I wasn't sure if the tour was worth it. We paid almost $500 for the 4 of us. However, I am happy to report that it was worth every penny. It was an open air Jeep ride and the kids had a blast on this off-roading adventure. It was a fantastic and exciting way to see a lot of this wonderful island. Our guides were knowledgeable, fun and caring. Courtney had a small cut on her finger and he went out of his way to take care of her. From the minute they picked us up from the hotel to the minute they dropped us off, they made sure that we got everything that we needed along the way. This was a highlight of our trip and I would highly recommend anyone to go on this tour and see all the great sites Aruba has to offer.

It was our first time in Aruba and we absolutely fell in love with this little island. So much that we're thinking about owning a vacation home there one day. Let's just say it's a goal/dream. It might happen or it might not. Coming back after an amazing trip, I feel motivated to work harder so that we can have more opportunities to travel the world with the kids. We're already thinking about our next tropical vacation to the Turks & Caicos. If you've been there before, I would love to hear your thoughts. My husband and I are so looking forward to our next trip to Machu Picchu, Peru to celebrate our 10-year anniversary in less than 8 weeks!

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