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Aruban Beaches

Aruban Beaches

MemoriesE

Aruba, as you might expect, is covered in beaches and most of them are beautiful light sand beaches stretching out into turquoise waters.  The great thing about Aruba’s beaches is they are (almost) all public, so you can enjoy any beach no matter where you are staying. The only privates ones are Renaissance and DePalm Islands; you have to pay a lot to get out there for the day.

The left side of the island is covered in sandy beaches. Eagle Beach and Palm Beach are what you’ll read the most about online, because all the hotels are located along them. They are beautiful beaches, light sand, turquoise waters, but they are packed. Many people come to Aruba, stay at an all inclusive hotel, and spend all day at the beach right outside their hotel. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad way to spend a couple days, but there’s a lot more to Aruba.

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Here’s a beach just North of the crowded hotel area.

The southeastern side of the island, Seroe Colorado where we stayed, had two main beaches: Rogers Beach and Baby Beach. They were fairly busy during the weekends, but full of locals not so many tourists. On the weekdays, we had the whole beach to ourselves at times.

Baby Beach is a crescent shaped cove with shallow waters almost all the way out of the crescent shape. I could wade out a long ways and still have the water only at my shoulders. It’s popular for families, since the kids can play in the shallow water. If you drive a ways past the crescent shaped beach, there’s a rocky reef.

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Roger’s Beach is next door to Baby Beach, but even less crowded. We came here on the weekdays, sat in the shade of a cabana, and had the beach to ourselves for stretches.

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There are also some beaches with snorkeling off the shore. We visited Boca Catalina, Malmok Beach, and Baby Beach to snorkel. Although there are other sites as well such as Mangel Halto and Boca Grandi.

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The right side of Aruba is also covered in beaches, but they are not suitable for swimming. This side is exposed to the open Caribbean Sea and has a strong undertow. Aruba is not in the Hurricane Belt, making it great year round for vacations, but they still get huge waves set their way from it. This coast is more divers with some sand beaches, others exposed cliffs with huge waves crashing against them, and other areas are rocky beaches.

We spent one morning along the Grapefield Beach coast, wading in the water, and watching the kite surfers perform tricks.

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Other areas we visited during out “Wild Side” tour of Aruba.

Like the Andicuri BeachDSC_0236c2

 

the Natural Pool inside the Arikok National Park

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and the long expanse of rocky coasts.

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We had a great time laying out on the Aruban beaches we visited. You really can’t go wrong. Just make sure to put on a lot of sunscreen. The constant trade winds make it so you don’t realize how hot you are or how burnt you’re getting!

Bon Bini a Aruba!

Bon Bini a Aruba!

Ocean Memories

Aruba is a funny little island. It’s a lot of desert and sand surrounded by the Sea. I have never seen so many cactus in one place. It’s also an island of friendly people, colorful houses, and a diverse culture. The island stays a constant 78-88 degrees year round, but doesn’t even feel that hot thanks to the constant trade winds (although your hair will look ridiculous in every single picture).

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Today it is owned by the Netherlands and the primary language is Dutch. Although most locals also speak Spanish, English, and Papiamento (the local little-bit-of-everything language). We were there over King’s Day (4/27), which is the Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. All the shops were shut down for the holiday.

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 I’m assuming this is the King and Queen since their picture was everywhere.

It’s slogan is “Aruba, one happy island.” It’s pretty easy to be happy there. A normal day was beach all morning, then some cultural/island sights in the afternoon. We rented a house through airbnb and it turned out great. The house was bigger than we thought, bedrooms with air conditioning, wifi, and a porch to eat our meals on overlooking a slice of the ocean.

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We used our car A LOT since we were staying on the very southeastern tip of the island and most restaurants and hotels are located on the northeastern side. It was a 20-50 minute drive anywhere. I’m not one for crowds though, so I enjoyed staying in the less populated area. Baby Beach and Rogers Beach were both 2 minutes driving from our house. We were the only ones at time during the weekdays. On the weekend it was us and Arubans. Plus Rogers Beach has wonderful shaded cabanas we made great use of.

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We cooked one meal and ate out the other meals. The food we ate was pretty fantastic the whole time, although it had better be for the prices. I know I’m a mid-western girl and it’s more expensive elsewhere in the world. I expect my meal to only cost $8-10. Meals in Aruba that were rated “cheap” online were $15-20 a plate. We did not go to any restaurants that were rated more expensive.

Some of the places we ate at were:

  • Bavaria – delicious German food. I had fantastic chicken schnitzel, Donovan tried the special of stuff beef, and we shared a gooey cheese soup appetizer.
  • Red Fish – I had great shrimp, Donovan had a delicious cheese stuff chicken dish, and we shared a fried rice covered in cheese appetizer
  • B-55 – fun views of the center of the island, good food, bad service
  • Ritz – sort of has an old fashioned diner feel, but local food. I had orlog fries. I had no idea what they were just picked something and ordered it. They were fries, covered in peanut sauce, mayonaise, and chopped up onions. Mayo and onions were a great idea. Peanut sauce… not so much.
  • La Trattoria el Faro Blano – only disappointing place we ate at. They have pretty views at sunset, so everyone goes there around 7. Charge $18+ a plate and neither Donovan nor I liked our meals.
  • Iguana Joes – touristy place in downtown Oranjestad, good food

 Fried Rice  Shrimp  Cheese Soup  Orlog Fries  Donovan Dish

Things we did in Aruba (broken up by my [soon to come] posts on them):

Bon nochi! (Good night!)