My Aruba Travel tips

Aruba has been a destination that has been on my list since a while so I was excited to make the trip happening last week finally 🙂 Aruba is known as“ one happy island “ and as soon as you set foot on this island you learn why quickly. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful and everyone we met seemed genuinely happy. There are over 100.000 people living in Aruba in total, coming from more than 100 nationalities which makes the rather small island quite international – with most people speaking 3-4 languages.

How to get there:

As there are currently no nonstop flights from Germany to the island we flew from Frankfurt via Amsterdam on KLM. The flight time from Amsterdam is a little over 9 hours and went by quickly.

Having arrived to the island our first stop was Amigo car rental at the airport which turned out something I would def recommend you as Aruba is an island that you can easily explore and drive by yourself and there are many cute spots where you might want to stop on the way. By the way wherever you drive everything is just a 20 minute ride away as the island is quite small 🙂

Where we stayed:

The first part of our trip we stayed at the super cute boutique hotel The Boardwalk. We fell in love right when we entered as this place is a hidden tropical gem on an island that mostly has several bigger hotel complexes.

The upscale adult only boutique hotel is an absolute secret tip for lovers of intimate tropical places who want to feel the holiday relax mode appreciating privacy, service, beautiful aesthetics and a touch of serenity. It is located right next to Palm beach and they have a little buggy shuttle that brings you there within 3 minutes every time you want to go.

The boardwalk consists of 46 private villas called casitas set in a tropical areal full of palm trees, hammocks and very chilled ambiance. Each of their villas comes with a living area, full equipped pastel colored kitchen area, the most comfy bed you can imagine, bathroom, outside terrace with bbq grill and all the villas are just steps away from their 2 pools that feel like a tropical oasis.

They also have a restaurant that made it to be one of our favorites on the island. Lots of fresh juices, acai bowls, healthy food and pasta and Mediterranean classics make the Coco Cafe Aruba  a top secret tip not only for breakfast but also for a romantic dinner in between boho palm tree setting.

The second part of our trip we stayed at the legendary Aruba Ocean Villas which was a dream come true. Aruba Ocean villas are the only tropical overwater hotel in the entire Caribbean and we absolutely loved the place. We got very lucky and to stay in their brand new presidential suite Jon Jon which must be the coolest hotel room in entire Aruba. You can find a full review of our stay at Aruba Ocean Villas that I wrote here.

Things to do:

Conchi natural pools: We wanted to go to the conchi natural pools but were informed that its quite a long ride as they are located within Arubas national park you are only allowed to go by 4wheel so we booked the  natural pool & indian cave safari Jeep tour with ABC tours which lasted the entire afternoon. A 1 hour drive through changing landscapes from tropical to absolute Africa like dry rocky landscapes with rock formations and cactus plants everywhere was quite impressive as you will see landscapes that you would not associate with a Caribbean island.

The streets towards the natural pools are very rocky so make sure to expect to be thrown around quite a bit during your drive there but after 2 cave stops we reached the conchi natural pools. Swimming there is fun but make sure not to go too much towards the end as the waves can come crashing over the cliffs unexpectedly. The scope of the waves and the power of the ocean at this spot really becomes visible from above – so of course I had to fly my drone and it looks even more impressive from bird view 🙂

Beaches: As our hotel was located right next to one of the most amazing beaches of course we loved spending some time there. Aruba has many amazing beaches, some of the most famous ones besides Palm Beach being Eagle beach, Baby beach, Manchebo beach and Mangel Halto beach- all of them with white sand and crystal clear torquoise water.

Snorkeling apparently is amazing in Aruba and we wanted to do a snorkeling trip but ended up not having enough time but if I would go back to Aruba I would plan that in for sure as well.

Oranjestad: The colorful center of Aruba is great for an afternoon or evening walk. There are many pastel colored houses, shops –some of them turned out to be empty, a shopping center and little restaurants along the peer.

Flamingo island: The famous flamingo island belongs to Renaissance Wind Creek hotel where we stayed for one night to be able to go to Flamingo island. The boat picks you up right from the hotel lobby and it’s a 10 minute boat ride to the private island that all hotel guests have free access to. If you are not staying at the hotel you can also purchase day passes which is recommended to buy long in advance as they are sold out quickly. I liked staying at the hotel for a night as this way you can get to the island early in the morning and get to experience the island without many other guests. Luckily they regulate the amount of people on the island so it didn’t feel crowded and actually was a very calm relaxed day and the cute flamingos blended it naturally. I would def recommend staying a day at Flamingo island as the island itself is beautiful and the flamingos are a highlight as well that you shouldn’t miss when coming to Aruba. The island actually features two beaches as well as a mangrove with iguanas so its a perfect day trip. There is a restaurant as well which  serves breakfast, lunch and drinks.

Artisa Gallery: The former red light district San Nicolas turned into a street art district where you find streetwork art of many international artists who paint the walls of every building in colorful designs – they also have an art fair every year where new artists from around the world join. Make sure to stop by Artisa Gallery and have a chat with Titos who is the founder of the entire development.

 

Restaurants:

The Coco CafĂ©:  Became our favorite for breakfast – bowls, acaii, smoothies, omelettes, greek salads, Guacamole – all the ebst snacks -you name it 🙂 I also love their pasta and can recommend the place also for a romantic dinner.

The West Deck: Island bar and beach grill with traditional Caribbean food – yes its more simple and casual setting but nice to try when you are in Oranjestad – turns out people in Aruba love fish and fried snacks . They have good cocktails too

Bohemian: Bohemian vibe beach dinner with healthy food and tasty drinks that also turns into a bar on the weekends.

Que Pasar: restaurant and wine bar in Oranjestad –we ended up here based on a recommendation of a friend who has lived in Aruba. The place is actually a stylish wine bar atmosphere and they serve steaks, sushi and fishas well as international cuisine and also offer wine tastings.

The old man and the sea: Located at Aruba Ocean Villas this beach restaurant  is a secret tip also in case you don’t stay at the hotel make sure to come here for stepping into another world for dinner or a drink at their bar. The vibe is beautiful at night and could be out of a romantic movie scene – their highlight is their famous Penne a la Vodka.

I would recommend Aruba to couples, group of friends and families who are looking for an exotic caribbean getaway, beautiful beaches on an island where you can mix in beach relaxation with adventure acitivies.

Our time in Aruba just flew by and I cant wait to return to the happy island again hopefully soon 🙂 

Thanks to Aruba Tourismus for helping putting together this fabulous trip.

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