While I’m not sure my brain has fully registered that I am back home and no longer on a sunny beach in Aruba, my body certainly has! It was negative 2 degrees today (… 28 degrees Fahrenheit for all you Americans!) so I am freezing my butt off and already reminiscing about Aruba; and today I wanted to share my “Aruba favorites”
As some of you know, I am no stranger to Aruba since my grandfather has a place there. I went last year and shared a post on “Where to Eat & Where to Shop in Aruba” and a post on “Aruba ‘Must-See’s’ & ‘Must-Do’s‘“. Since I have already done those two posts, this year I wanted to share a broader post on my “Aruba favorites” more generally. I love Aruba so much and it definitely feels like a second home to me now; so I’m thrilled to be able to share these Aruba favorites with you. Let’s get to it:
1. Palm Beach / Eagle Beach:
Unsurprisingly Aruba is full of beautiful beaches. My personal favorite area though is the border of Palm Beach and Eagle beach (pictured above). This area is never too occupied, the sand is perfect and there is a decent sized ‘swimming zone’ marked off in the ocean. There are some waves here, nothing crazy, but enough that if you are floating in a raft in the ocean you feel the waves. Note: if you go south down the beach into Eagle Beach proper it is really crowded, so keep that in mind!
Other popular beaches in Aruba include:
- Baby Beach: This beach is generally crowded and is the most kid-friendly beach since the reef break is designed so there are very little waves. This beach is really good for snorkeling! It is at the Southern tip of the island.
- Arashi Beach: This is the most Northern Aruban public beach. I like it because you can see the California lighthouse from here and there is a Caribbean restaurant at the beach for great drinks and snacks. This beach however is very small.
2. Flamingo Island:
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Flamingo Island, as it is nicknamed, is actually called Renaissance Island and is a small island about an 8 minute boat ride of the coast that is owned by the Renaissance Hotel. The Renaissance is probably the only big hotel in Aruba that is not on a beach, so instead they offer complimentary water taxis that take hotel guests to the island. If you are not a hotel guest you can buy tickets to go.
Visiting this island is one of the best travel experiences I have ever had! It is incredible to hang out in the water with wild flamingos. This is definitely the top of my “Aruba favorites” list. I’ll actually be writing a full blog post on Friday on tips and tricks for attending Flamingo Island, so come back Friday to check that out!
3. Manchebo Resort – Yoga Classes:
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Manchebo Resort in Palm Beach is definitely worth a visit, even if you aren’t staying there during your Aruba trip, as they offer yoga and pilates classes on their outdoor pavilion over looking the beach. There is no better way to start your day then doing a yoga class here in the breeze, listening to waves crash. The classes are complimentary for resort guests, but anyone can attend at a cost of $15 a class.
4. Screaming Eagle Restaurant
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Aruba, so of course it had to make my list of Aruba favorites. Screaming Eagle is in Palm Beach area, and it is on of the few popular Aruba restaurants that is not on the beach. But, it is well with worth going to because the food is amazing!
5. Manchebo Resort – Ike’s Restaurant
Another Aruba Favorite takes us back to Manchebo Resort. The resort has a few restaurants, but Ike’s is what really stands out. Ike’s is a must visit if you are looking for a healthy (but still delicious) meal, or if you have food allergies. As someone who is pescatarian and gluten-free this restaurant was heavenly. They have entire vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menus.
6. Shopping in Oranjestad
One of my Aruba favorites, when you need a break from the sun and sand, is to go shopping in the capital city Oranjestad. Oranjestad is such an interesting city; which architectural influences from the Netherlands. The candy colored buildings can make you feel like you are in a game of Candy Land! They have big designer stores like Gucci & Louis Vuitton, as well as touristy ‘I love Aruba’ shops, and some local clothing favorites like DShoppe.
7. Driving to the North of the Island / California Lighthouse
Another good activity if you need a break from the sun and sand is to take a drive to the Northern tip of the island. It’s interesting to see the less inhabited areas and really get a sense of what a desert climate the island is. If you’re in the Northern area, you might as well swing by the California lighthouse! You can climb to the top and get a 360 view of almost the entire island.
8. Aruba Aloe
I could go on and on about how much I love Aruba Aloe! Aruba Aloe is a company that makes, clearly, aloe based products. They have incredible bath bombs and bath scrubs, as well as traditional aloe products for sunburn etc. Aruba Aloe is the biggest single employer of Aruban people on the island of Aruba, so I love supporting them and helping the Aruban economy. If you want to pick up Aruba Aloe products you can do so almost anywhere – many hotels have an Aruba Aloe store right in the hotel – but I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Aruba Aloe Factory in Noord. (About a 5 minute drive from Palm Beach, 20 minutes from the Airport). Here you can see the aloe fields (pictured above), and get a tour of the factory where you actually learn about why Aloe is so beneficial and how they make the products. It’s actually really cool (… I realize how nerdy that sounds, but by now you should realize how nerdy I am haha)
And that’s it! My top Aruba favorites! For more on Aruba, definitely check out the earlier posts I mentioned (“Where to Eat & Where to Shop in Aruba“, and “Aruba ‘Must-See’s’ & ‘Must-Do’s‘“. And come back Friday for more on Flamingo Island!
Also, if you’re looking for more tropical outfit / winter getaway style inspiration make sure you are following me in the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. (Where I’ve posted a ton of the outfits I wore in Aruba) or you can always head to my “Shop My Instagram” Tab!