Tourists with extensive travel experience know perfectly well where Aruba is located, but for many it will be a discovery that this island with a tropical climate is part of the country of the Netherlands with absolutely no tropical climate. In terms of practical information for tourists, Aruba is an island with its own passports, currency and visas, that is, it is an independent state. You can get here from different European cities, but the easiest way is with a change in the Netherlands. The only thing that can overshadow a vacation in Aruba is high prices.
Photo: Aruba island.
Aruba is an island of volcanic origin, located 25 km from the Gulf of Venezuela. Its area is 185 sq. Km. only slightly exceeds the size of the state of Liechtenstein – 160 sq. km. If desired, the whole island can be traveled in one day, for this you will have to overcome 9 km in width and 32 km in length.
The highest point of the island is Mount Hamonataa (190 m). The lack of vegetation is more than compensated by comfortable beaches, many of which are worthy of appearing in magazines dedicated to the best resorts in the world.
The capital of Aruba is the city of Oranjestad, nearby is the international airport – ReinaBeatrix (AUA). It is noteworthy that the airport does not have a Duty Free zone, since the entire island is a duty-free zone. That is why Europeans combine holidays on the island of Aruba with shopping and entertainment in local nightclubs and bars.
Interesting fact! Aruba is often called Las Vegas in the Caribbean. Dinner can be combined with a game in a casino or watching an exciting show program. Most of these establishments are in the north of Oranjestad, which is located between Palm and Druif.
The island has a low crime rate, so you can, without fear, rent a car and not worry that it will be stolen. Aruba Island is the westernmost in the Lesser Antilles; it is a worthy place for admirers of passive relaxation in the soft sand under the sun. Of course, the prices for holidays in Aruba are quite high, but the money spent is worth the emotions and impressions that a trip around the island will give you.
Attractions and entertainment
First of all, the attraction of Aruba is its atmosphere – joy, emancipation and kindness. In addition to comfortable beaches, the island has a museum and national parks. If you are interested in the history of the island, visit Fort Zaustman – initially the building served as a fortress, then it was converted into a lighthouse, after it is a clock tower, and today there is a historical museum. Be sure to visit the Arikok National Park Park. Lovers of British culture will surely enjoy the island’s second largest city, San Nicholas.
Good to know! In terms of safety, the island is quite calm and quiet, of course, in places of large crowds of people, it is necessary to monitor personal belongings, as pickpockets hunt.
You can talk endlessly about the Caribbean island, but the question that tourists most often ask is the beach with flamingos in Aruba – where is it? To begin with, the coast with flamingos is not located on Aruba, but on a small island that belongs to the Renaissance Hotel. That is why, first of all, hotel residents can visit a paradise with pink birds. There is a beach with flamingos from Aruba to the south. If you live in a Renaissance hotel, during a trip from Aruba to Flamingo Island you need to pay only for food and drinks, everything else – towels, sunbeds, water sports equipment – is provided for free.
Boats run to the island throughout the day from the marina located at the hotel. The island, home to hundreds of flamingos, is a coral atoll that spans an area of just 0.16 sq. Km. Since the island is the property of the hotel, excellent conditions for relaxation are created here – there are two beaches, a restaurant and a bar.
Iguana beach is spacious, covered with white sand, the entrance to the water is gentle, as it is located in the lagoon. There is a restaurant on the beach serving delicious ice cream, a cocktail and a delicious lunch.
Interesting fact! Large iguanas live on the shore, they are tame and enjoy eating lettuce and fresh vegetables.
The highlight of the island is Flamingo Beach. Pink flamingos walk freely between vacationers, you can even take pictures with them. However, the flamingo is a proud bird and will not allow any familiarity in its address. The beach with flamingos is secluded, there is a peaceful atmosphere, it is also called a beach for adults. Stewards regularly go around the entire territory, they can be asked for a cocktail.
After talking with flamingos and iguanas, you can go through the thickets of mangrove trees inland, the main thing is not to follow the path. Bridges and small lagoons are arranged between different parts of the island – they don’t swim here, as fish come here to breed offspring. If you’re lucky, you can see the moray eel cub. In addition to flamingos, lizards, crabs, pelicans and herons live on the island.
Photo: Aruba island, Flamingo beach.
Tourists choose one of the ways to relax on the island of Renaissance:
- come in the morning, relax before lunch, talking with flamingos or iguanas, and then devote time to shopping;
- You can devote the whole day to rest on the Renaissance – lie down on the beach, go snorkelling, eat in a restaurant.
An island with pink flamingos, turquoise water and surrounded by mangroves is a truly paradise. The attraction is accessible only to residents of the Renaissance Hotel, but what about the guests of Aruba who live in other hotels but want to see flamingos? You can buy a ticket and go to the island as part of an excursion group.
Good to know! Groups of 20-25 people are sent to the island to get a ticket in time, you need to arrive at the ticket office early – at 7-00.
There are more than 50 places on the island where excellent conditions for diving and snorkeling are created. In some places, visibility reaches 30 m.
The best places for water sports.
- Antilla is the largest ship sunk in the Caribbean, its length is 122 m. The ship was sunk during the Second World War. Part of the ship is visible above the surface and can be snorkeled. The most popular are night dives.
- Pedernales is a wreck that is part of a sunken oil tanker. The ship is located at a depth of 9 m, so this is the place for diving is often chosen by beginners.
- Jane C – a ship carrying cement, is located on a flat bottom, at a depth of just over 25 m, this place attracts a lot of fish – small, tropical and large barracudas. This is a great place for underwater photography.
- Mike Reef – if you describe this place in two words – a burst of color, there are orange or purple sponges, a large number of corals.
- Mangol Halto Reef – starts at a depth of 5 m and ends at a depth of 33 m. The reef is teeming with marine life – from small fish to large rays and octopuses.
There are many diving centers in Aruba where customers will be provided with the necessary equipment. You can always use the services of an instructor. The most popular diving center, whose branches are located throughout the island, is the Red Sail. Most departments work every day from 9-00 to 18-00.
Another popular diving center is Aqua Windies, where you can take a full training course or take a single dive. Instructors select a dive site individually for each client. The diving center is open every day – on weekdays from 8-00 to 20-00, and on weekends – until 17-00.
It is important! Each center provides quality diving equipment for rent. You can also take part in an organized snorkeling tour.
If you want to get to know the deep sea without diving, visit deep sea fishing. To do this, you can visit the diving center or arrange fishing with local fishermen.
It is a covered garden, which covers an area of 9 thousand square meters. Hundreds of butterflies fly in a picturesque, tropical garden with waterfalls and ponds. Insects are so tame that they sit on visitors. If you want to see nature in all its diversity and colorfulness, be sure to visit the farm, where butterflies of the most diverse shapes and colors live.
Good to know! Guests are offered to buy a half-hour excursion, in which a guide in English talks about the wonderful transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
In the garden there are butterflies at all stages of the life cycle – a caterpillar, chrysalis and, finally, a butterfly. From the guide, guests will learn interesting facts about butterflies. In addition, in the garden, tourists can take photos for their pleasure. Believe me, the frames are luxurious.
Interesting fact! Want butterflies to sit on you? Wear clothes of bright colors, and the best shots are obtained in the afternoon, when the number of visitors decreases.
- official address: JE Irausquin Boulevard, Noord, the attraction is within walking distance from Palm Beach, also the farm can be reached by car;
- work schedule – every day from 8-30 to 16-30, the last group of visitors enters the garden at 16-00;
- prices for services and other useful information for tourists on the official website: www.thebutterflyfarm.com/.
Of course, first of all, Aruba is a flamingo, but the island is a godsend for a naturalist, there are many parks. Philip’s Animal Garden is very popular. This is not just a zoo, but a non-profit, charitable organization that is engaged in the rescue of exotic species of animals living on the island and in the region. Thanks to the efforts of the founder of the park, unique animals and birds appeared in the collection. It is noteworthy that the entire territory of the zoo is designed and built by one person – Philip Conrad Merriweather. Initially, Philip became interested in snakes. In addition, the collection contains many monkeys, goats, pigs, horses, camels, ostriches, rare species of birds. The zoo regularly holds events aimed at improving the conditions of animals. If you find yourself in an excursion group, you will be allowed to feed the animals.
- Address: Alto Vista 116, NoordAruba, Dutch Caribbean;
- You can get there by car, the trip takes 5-7 minutes, the landmark is the Alto Vista chapel, signs are installed along the road;
- work schedule: from Monday to Friday – from 9-00 to 17-00, weekends – from 9-00 to 18-00;
- ticket prices and other useful information on the official website: www.philipsanimalgarden.com/.
Approaching the donkey reserve, you will hear a characteristic cry of animals. Here you will find lovely, good-natured animals that trustingly reach for the hands of guests. The history of the reserve is quite dramatic – earlier donkeys were used as the main means of transportation, however, with the advent of cars, the need for animals disappeared, and they began to ruthlessly throw them away. Homeless donkeys roamed along the roads, and the founders of the reserve decided to save the animals by providing them with food, drinks, care and good living conditions.
The attraction appeared in 1997, today about 40 donkeys live here. On the territory of the zoo you can buy a tour, and in the souvenir shop – buy memorable gifts. Donkeys are also big gourmands, they like carrots and apples, so be sure to bring vegetables and fruits with you.
Good to know! Admission is not charged, but any donations are welcome, as they are used to improve animal welfare.
- Addresses: Sta Lucia 4A and Bringamosa 2Z;
- work schedule: daily from 9-00 to 16-00, January 1 – day off;
- prices for services are presented on the website: main.arubandonkey.org/portal/.
Aruba is a tiny island, almost 20% of its area is covered by the Aricoc conservation zone. The park is located in the north of the island, around the mountain peaks of Aricok and Hamanota. In this part of the island, the soil is rich in minerals, which is why there is lush vegetation and many animals live. Some of them are characteristic only for the island of Aruba. This applies to some species of owls, parrots, quihi trees, divi divi, aloe and tropical flowers.
The park has preserved unique attractions – natural and historical:
- Arawak petroglyphs discovered in Fontaine Cave;
- old plantation;
- Dutch colonist settlements;
- gold mines.
Across the park, hiking trails are arranged that lead directly into the thickets of exotic plants. A huge number of animals have been preserved in the reserve zone.
Natural formations – the caves of Guadiriciri and the Tunnel of Love are located on the outskirts of the reserve. In the caves, tourists visit two rooms with a total length of more than 30 m.
Interesting fact! The Tunnel of Love is so named because of the shape of the entrance, which resembles a heart.
- work schedule: from Monday to Saturday – from 8-00 to 16-00;
- ticket price $ 11; children under 17 years old admission is free;
- the ticket is valid throughout the day;
- Website: www.arubanationalpark.org/main/.
The best beaches are located in the south of the island, however, some tourists find it strange that in the same part of Aruba there is a seaport, an airport terminal and an industrial zone. Another distinctive feature is that there are no bays in the south of the island, which means that the waves are strong enough. But, given the close proximity of South America, the wind on the island blows from the north, so there are fewer waves on the south coast.
However, in the north-west there are also decent beaches, the best of them – Arashi Beach, Hadikurari Beach – here are excellent conditions for diving and snorkeling. Love luxury, choose Palm Beach and Eagle Beach – they are next to luxury hotels. For relaxation with children and tourists who prefer privacy, Baby Bee and Rogers Beach are suitable. Of course, the Renaissance or Flamingo beach should be noted especially. This place is different from all the others – iguanas and flamingos walk freely here.
Interesting fact! Flamingos that live in captivity on the hotel territory are white in color, as their diet lacks crustaceans and algae.
The beaches of Manchebo and Eagle Beach form a cape that protrudes into the sea, and resembles the beak of an eagle. They are located on opposite sides of the “beak.” Eagle Beach – it is white, fine sand, fofoti trees, palm trees and various water activities. All this makes the beach one of the best for relaxation. Sand of white color heats up less, so you can walk along the coast barefoot.
Near the shore there is a parking lot, there are toilets, a cafe. In the evenings there are sunsets of amazing beauty.
It is important! The beach is located at the hotel, however, access is open to everyone, you can use everything except sunbeds.
Guests can rent a room in large but low-rise hotels. The minimum price for a double room in a 3-star hotel is 104 euros, and in a 4-star hotel, the room price is 213 euros.
This picturesque place is located in the northwest of the island of Aruba. The quality of relaxation here is so high that Arashi was awarded the Blue Flag symbol for maintaining beach vacation standards. The main attraction is the California lighthouse, which is visited by couples from all over the island. And here are good conditions for snorkeling.
There are canopies and palm trees on the shore, which creates a pleasant shadow in which you can hide from the scorching sun. The shore and bottom are covered with sand and stones. The water is clear, you can see the fish, so vacationers come here with a mask and snorkel.
Good to know! This is the last place suitable for swimming, then the windy part of the island, covered with stones, begins.
The minimum price for a studio apartment near the beach is 58 euros. You can book a room in a two-star hotel for 3 stars at a price of 100 euros, and a hotel in a 4-star hotel for 146 euros.
This is the most party place in Aruba. There are many palm trees, restaurants, discos and shops, and, of course, a huge number of tourists. The shore and bottom are covered with sand. Nearby are luxury hotels, you can rent a private condo. This beach is often chosen by families with children, since the descent into the water is gentle and gentle. There are many water activities on the shore. The only thing that can overshadow the rest is the constant noise and a large crowd of people. You can get there by bus or minibus.
It’s important to know! It is on Palm Beach that a cruise liner comes daily, so the number of vacationers on the shore increases.
One hundred meters from the beach line is an apart hotel, the price of a room here is 154 euros. At 200 meters is a villa, here the price of a double room is 289 euros. There are also hotels with double rooms at prices ranging from 85 to 549 euros.
Located in the east of the south coast. This place was named because of the high degree of safety – on weekends children are brought here. One of the few places where there is almost never waves, because it is located in a lagoon protected from the wind. In addition, Baby Beach is recognized as the most photogenic, most likely, this is due to the unusual color of the water – it is uniform, turquoise.
The shore and bottom are covered with sand, fungi are installed, there are several cafes, parking. There is a bit of a refinery visible, which, however, does not spoil the impressions of the rest.
Near the coast, just 400 meters away, there is a guesthouse with an area of 250 square meters, you can stay here for 26 euros for two per day. The house is designed for four tourists, in this case the price is 51 euros per day. The nearest apartment is 7 km from the coast, the price is 68 euros per day for two.
This place is recognized as the most romantic on the island, perfect for relaxation. It is always not crowded and secluded. It can be reached by bus. Paid sun loungers are available, but guests at the Manchebo Hotel use them for free. Given that the coast belongs to the hotel, there is always a clean coast, the sea is warm, the trade winds are constantly blowing and this adds a certain flavor to the rest.
There are apartments nearby, the minimum price for a double room is 154 euros, the price of a double room in a 4-star hotel is from 173 euros, the price of a double room in a hotel is Manchebo is 320 euros.
Money and gratuities
The official currency of the island is florin, in everyday life – 1 florin, 50, 10 and 5 cents. You can also pay with American dollars. Currency can be exchanged at any bank, work schedule – from 8-00 to 16-00. Another way to pay on the island is by credit card.
Tipping is generally taken into account. If not, it is customary to leave an amount of 10 to 15% of the invoice amount. Taxi drivers do not tip.
It’s important to know! Additionally, you will have to pay for the carriage of bulk baggage – this moment is discussed with the taxi driver before boarding the car.
Since the tourist infrastructure in Aruba is well developed, there are no problems with where to eat. As usual, at beach resorts, the closer the institution is located to the water, the higher prices will be in it. But you can always find a restaurant that is optimal in terms of price / quality ratio.
- A full lunch in a cafe will cost from 10 to 15 dollars per person.
- The average bill for two in a restaurant will be from 50 to 80 dollars.
- The price of a budget lunch in fast food establishments is from 7 to 8.5 dollars.
Weather and climate when it is better to go
Throughout the year, the weather remains warm. There is no clearly pronounced seasonality on the island, while the difference between day and night temperatures is not more than 4 degrees. Traditional daytime temperatures range from +26 to +29 degrees. Water warms up to +24 degrees.
It’s important to know! In general, a vacation in Aruba is wonderful at any time of the year. During the period from November to December, short-term rains can occur, from May to September it rains quite often.
A trip to the island of Aruba – a visa for the Russians
When planning a trip, do not forget to get a visa to Aruba for the Russians. You can get the document at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Health insurance is also required.
Aruba and Schengen visas are different documents. In other words, a Schengen visa does not give the right to enter the island.
How to get to Aruba
Despite the fact that there is no direct flight to Aruba, tourists have no difficulties with the flight. You can choose different flight options, all of them will be with transfers – in New York, London or Amsterdam.
The most convenient flight from Moscow is with KLM via Amsterdam. We have to make two transfers – in Amsterdam and Curacao. The total duration of the journey is 22 hours 10 minutes. There is also a one-stop flight in Amsterdam, but in this case you will have to spend one night in the Netherlands.
Aruba island – interesting facts
- The landscape of Aruba is somewhat specific – there is no dense vegetation, but plain, desert landscapes prevail.
- If the goal of your trip is diving or water sports, choose the northeastern part of Aruba. Luxury hotels for passive beach holidays prevail in the southwest of the island.
- On the island of Aruba it is impossible to meet nudists, it is not customary to relax here without clothes.
- If you plan to move around the island in a rented transport, you have a unique opportunity to visit all the beaches, because they are located compactly and conveniently for vacationers.
- Every year, the island hosts a windsurfing championship. A favorite sport for locals is beach tennis.
- In Aruba, you can drink tap water without fear. True, tourists still prefer to buy peeled in stores.
- The island has two official languages - Dutch and papiamento. Most locals speak English and Spanish.
Given that the island is a duty-free zone, high prices for holidays in Aruba are partially offset by affordable prices in stores. Jewelry is in special demand.
Aruba is an island that is visited annually by more than a million tourists. This fact undoubtedly indicates the popularity of the resort.
Where to look for pink flamingos in Aruba – watch the video.