Aruba, Jamaica, ohhh I want to take You!
I had to start this blog with that line because my teen daughter actually thought Aruba was a state in Jamaica. She was totally shocked to find out that they were a separate country.
However, Aruba is in fact its own island, with its own vibe. I was blessed enough to visit this amazing place last July.
Aruba stole my heart early on in my trip
Maybe it is that it sits outside the hurricane zone?
Maybe it’s because it only rains about 14 days a year and they are mostly in November?
Maybe it is the people and the deep history of the island?
Whatever of the many reasons, I left a piece of my heart forever in Aruba.
Aruba’s Most Beautiful Beaches
Aruba has some of the most beautiful white sand beaches you will find anywhere in the world, and a bonus is that the sand does not get hot. It stays nice and cool so you don’t burn your feet while on the beach.
Palm Beach is the popular tourist beach where all the action is happening. Most of the hotels are located on this beach.
However, if you are looking for a quiet beach then Eagle Beach is where you want to stay. Eagle Beach is voted the second most beautiful beach in the Caribbean and the third in the entire world. In stark contrast to Palm Beach, Eagle Beach is quiet and a more laid back crowd.
However, if you want more to do then snorkel a sunken ship, windsurf or take a catamaran ride, there is still lots to do.
We did a tour in a jeep that took us across the 17 mile island. First stop was the beautiful lighthouse, then it was off to one of the stone bridges on the island.
The terrain of Aruba changes drastically from one side of the island to the other. The hotel zone is green and tropical, whereas the other side of the island is rocky, desert like conditions, complete with Cacti. It was a very bumpy and fun ride as we learned about the history of Aruba.
The stone bridge we visited had collapsed some years before but it was so amazing to see God’s work. I took some amazing photos of the waves lapping up against the rocks.
We also visited the natural pool. This is an area in the ocean that is surrounded by rock. It is filled with the water from the ocean but completely protected from the actual ocean. The waves were rough that day so watching the water come up and over the rocks to fill the pool was really neat.
A Little Bit of History
Aruba belongs to the Dutch, in fact every Aruban is also a Dutch citizen. They have the ability to go and study in the Netherlands for free when they reach college age.
Schooling in Aruba is very different than we are used to. The high school students are divided into professions and then they attend that specific high school.
Each student is required to learn Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento. That is the officially recognized Aruban language. It is a combination of Portuguese creole language, Spanish and Dutch. Tourism is over 80% of their GDP, so language is extremely important.
I never, for even a minute, felt unsafe on the island. I took a 30 min walk from my resort to Hard Rock Café. I got lost on my way and had to ask for help, but everyone was really nice and helpful. I had better luck not getting lost on the way back. Such a beautiful walk along the beach on a beautiful day.
Many of the resorts on Aruba are not all inclusive. Honestly, there is no reason to not eat out in Aruba. There are over 400 places to eat on the island. So don’t be afraid to venture out and try new foods and new places.
We did Wine on Down the Road with the Kukoo Kunuku bus. This was so much fun and, at just about $100 per person, gave us lots of tastes of local restaurants and of course WINE.
The bus is known as King of the Roundabouts and is really fun driving in continuous circles on the roundabouts. We stopped at 4 different restaurants for a progressive dinner with different wine at each stop. This is a great way to try lots of places and have so much fun.
Aruba is truly One Happy Island and I am so thankful to get to experience it. I cannot wait to go again!
Ready to book your next vacation? Begin your next adventure here.
Thanks to Embrace the Journey Travel Planner, Angel Waite, for writing this blog post for us. You can learn more about Angel here.