Disclaimer: COVID-19 FREE ZONE. Since ya’ll are encouraged to not travel and to avoid human contact at this time, please enjoy this post instead. It wont give you coronavirus I promise. And you get to join me in the Caribbean. SO many wins.
Arrrruba! Prior to moving to NYC, I had no idea Aruba even existed and I am so glad to know that it’s real. This place is the best of both worlds. Who would’ve thought that you could find beautiful white sand beaches in a desert? It is the second best option if you aren’t able to travel all the way to Africa and want to experience both the desert and the sea in the same setting.
Namibia(the only place in the world where the ocean and desert meet) has been on the top of my bucket list since forever as well as Australia’s Pink Lake(which I heard, sadly, is no longer pink) and coincidentally I found similar phenomenons in Aruba. Although we accidentally stumbled across this pond and am not sure if the color is natural or man-made, this was overall a pretty cool experience. Word of warning though, it was stinky and reeked of sulfur aka the infamous rotten egg smell. That didn’t stop me from getting out of the car to take a million pictures though.
Coming from NYC where it was both freezing and raining, I got a little too excited to see the sun and, dramatically put, to finally feel warmth again so as a result got a nasty sunburn despite applying SPF 50 every hour. Before arriving, I expected the climate to be tropical and boy was I wrong; the savannah-like landscape was a pleasant surprise. It was not humid but rather quite dry(like a desert lol) which made going into the ocean even more satisfying and at times, necessary. The temperatures stayed in the mid to high 80s the entire time we were there and it rarely rained outside of San Nicolas(on the southern part of the island) but when it rained it never did so for more than an hour.
Apparently, Aruba is the only spot in the Caribbean that does not experience extreme weather such as typhoons or storms which makes it a perfect place to visit year round. It is also one of the safest countries in the Caribbean to visit if that is a concern as well. The abundance of beaches with white sand and turquoise colored water is mind blowing. My favorites were Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Both had very different vibes despite only being a ten minute drive from each other, which if you consider how small the island is could be considered quite a distance.
I’ll start off with Eagle Beach since it was my favorite due to the fact that there were less people and you could always find a semi-private spot. In addition, the accessibility to water activities like jet skiing was a plus since it made the entire experience more convenient. It was around $60 to jet ski for one person and $15 more for two people, but my advice is to get your own so you can race hehe. The sunset at Eagle Beach was insane and I would definitely recommend watching it by the Divi trees(exclusive to Aruba). The only con I can think of is that this beach does not have any spots to grab food at which are walking distance so you would need to bring your own food. There is a bar, however.
Palm Beach is a lot more crowded and rowdy because of it’s proximity to all the main resorts and shops. The food options here were more abundant and better and if you ever find yourself in Aruba, you should try Eduardo’s shack. They have acai and poke as well as pressed juices and smoothies. Finding healthy food options that were also tasty was a bit tough here so we were super excited to discover this gem. This beach was where we went to grab food and people watch whereas Eagle Beach was where we opted to chill out and swim at.
Another stunning beach is Baby Beach, which is located on the Southern end of the island near San Nicolas(not as touristy and despite being known as the “run-down” portion of Aruba, I found it to possess lots of personality and to be pleasantly quirky). The water was very pleasant but it is a bit more rocky than the other beaches which had soft and silky sand.
If you are looking for more excitement, I can happily tell you that Aruba is the kitesurfing mecca. It gets extremely windy here which makes it the ideal place to kite surf, I did not see that many regular surfers because despite being windy the water is quite calm. There were two locations that I found where you could kite surf and one was conveniently located next to the Ritz Carlton in Oranjestad, no need to travel far. The other was a bit out of the way, it was called Boca Grandi but the wind looked stronger here so it is a better option for the more experienced surfers.
Another super exciting activity(not for the faint of heart because you will swoon) is feeding the stray dogs on the island! *In baby voice* They are so cute, smart, independent and all good boys/girls, oh yes they are.
OKAY so this is something I would like to mention since I could not find information about it from ANY online sources, but in Aruba, they don’t give a shit if you’ve got places to be…they will just close off all the roads for impromptu parades that go until 2 am. I found out the hard way and got stuck in the middle of one and could not find a way out for four hours. It was lit though.
Other cool attractions consisted of the natural bridge in Arikok National Park, California lighthouse, natural pool, Arashi Beach, Druif Beach, Casibari boulders and off road beaches/cliffs. There’s also a flamingo island which we did not get to visit. Word of warning, almost popped a tire getting to Druif beach because the road was all gravel and rocks.
Stay healthy and safe everyone!