Having gone to Aruba multiple times, we have found the island to be a delightful place to get away from it all. Warm days and nights, beautiful beaches, wonderful water, and plenty of sunshine are a great tonic to dissolve the work and worry of everyday life. If you’re planning a vacation to Aruba, here are 10 things you might want to add to your itinerary that will make your vacation a very enjoyable experience:
1. Visit the California Lighthouse – Located on the North West tip of the island, the California lighthouse is named for a ship that crashed on the coral reefs just off-shore. The lighthouse makes a great photo opportunity with it’s white exterior against the bright blue Aruba sky. The contrast of the water and desert surrounding the lighthouse also makes it an interesting site.
2. Snorkeling at Baby Beach – At the other end of Aruba you’ll find Baby Beach, a secluded cove with a narrow entrance to rougher surf. If you go snorkeling at the entrance to this cove you’ll see an unbelievable number of fish native to Aruba. Fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s a great experience. You don’t need to worry about bringing your own snorkel gear since you can rent this when you get there.
3. Off-Roading in the Arikok National Park – Rent a Jeep from one of the many car rental locations on Aruba and take a day to explore the Arikok National Park. This park takes-up a substantial part of the island bordering the rough surf of the Eastern coast. You’ll see some wonderful vistas, rough terrain, and Aruba’s wild donkeys and goats. One warning – the goats and donkeys may come-up to your Jeep for a closer look but don’t touch or feed these animals! You could end-up with a nasty bite that might make the rest of your vacation less than enjoyable.
4. Golfing at Tierra del Sol Country Club – If you like golf you’ll like this course. A great Robert Trent Jones II designed layout that is Aruba’s only 18-hole course. Located near the California Lighthouse, the Tierra del Sol Golf Course is part of the Tierra del Sol Resort. While the greens fees are a bit high, the experience makes it worthwhile. You’ll get some great views of the island, play some challenging holes, and get to figure out how to deal with the constant breeze that blows across the island.
5. Dinner on the Beach at Simply Fish Restaurant – While there are several restaurants on Aruba that offer on-the-beach dining experiences, we like Simply Fish the best. Located at the Marriott Stellaris Resort on Palm Beach, Simply Fish has great food. It also has a spectacular view of the sunset as you enjoy your dinner. Make reservations close to when the sun sets at the time of year you visit the island.
OK – you now have five great experiences that will make your vacation in Aruba very memorable. But, there are two things you SHOULD NOT do while you are there – we’ve learned these from experience.
First – don’t wait until it’s too late to decide you’re going to do something OTHER than lay on the beach enjoying the sun, sand, and water. It’s so relaxing that you might not mind spending your entire vacation lying under your beach hut enjoying the warm weather and cooling breeze. But don’t make this mistake! You’ll miss some great experiences in Aruba that will give you a whole new perspective on the island – as described above. So, one thing you SHOULD NOT do is plan your entire vacation on the beach – get out and explore the other great things Aruba has to offer.
Second – You will hear this repeated often and it is true – DO NOT go out into the sun each day without the proper sun block. This is important for EVERYONE – yes – even for people that “never burn.” The sun in Aruba is direct since it is located near the equator. The cooling breeze that blows across the island helps reduce the heat of the sun. If you are in the water you may not even notice you are burning – until it’s too late. You SHOULD NOT do outdoor activities in Aruba UNLESS you have sun block.
So get ready for a great vacation to Aruba. You now have five things you should consider for your itinerary and two important things to consider to make your vacation as enjoyable as possible.
Enjoy your trip!