Aruba will impress you with great beaches, caves, tropical nature and rich history. This tiny Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela is famous for its windswept sand dunes, cacti groves and some of the best wreck diving in the Caribbean.
The small private offshore island, owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort in Oranjestad, is home for the pink flamingos. These beautiful birds live there in mangroves - their natural environment. However, they are not native to Aruba. There is a small vending machine that sells food for the flamingos. Unfortunately, kids aren't allowed to come to the beach. This totally sheltered island is also home to other wild birds and iguanas.
Guests of the hotel have free access to the Renaissance Island. The only way to get there is by boat that leaves from the resort every 15 minutes. If you want to visit the island as a non-guest, you can buy a day pass in the reception of the resort. However, the passes are not available if the hotel is fully booked.
Photo: Natalia Barsukova, Shutterstock
How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Aruba:
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- 7-night stay in top-rated hotel in Aruba + summer flights from London for £388! >>
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Where to stay:
We encourage you to stay at the excellent 3* De Cuba B&B. Located in Noord, this Bed & Breakfast features an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi. Boasting a shared kitchen, this property also provides guests with a barbecue. The property provides a shared lounge. Each room includes air conditioning, a wardrobe, a terrace with pool view, a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, bed linen and towels.
Near Oranjestad we recommend you to book Pallazzio Apartments & Studios with good reviews. Just 5 minutes’ drive from Eagle Beach, Palazzio Studio offers self-catering accommodation with free WiFi access available in the apartments. A kitchen, a plasma TV with cable and a dining table are featured in each air-conditioned apartment. The private bathrooms are equipped with a bath or shower and free toiletries. Barbecue facilities and bicycle rentals can be found on site at Studio and Apartments Palazzio. A number of outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the area, such as golfing, cycling and horse riding. Several restaurants and grocery stores can be reached within 5 minutes’ drive of the property. The centre of Oranjestad is 6.5 km from Palazzio Studio and Apartments, and Queen Beatrix International Airport is 9 km away.
What to do:
While beaches are what the majority of tourists come to Aruba, the island has much more to offer. Visit Donkey Sanctuary, where wild donkeys live safely. It’s free to visit, but donations are welcome.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Arikok National Park.
Take a day trip to De Palm Island and try zipline rides, salsa lessons or banana boat rides. This private coral island boasts its own waterpark. Underwater helmet walk allows swimmers to enjoy a scuba-diver-like experience.
A trek to the top of California Lighthouse offers some of the best views of Aruba’s coastline.
Go on an off-road tour, explore the island’s rocky terrain on horseback and slide down towering sand dunes.
Go surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Rent a paddleboard, try snorkelling or scuba diving and admire colourful fish.
Aruba is famous for its excellent wreck diving, catering to divers of all levels. You can explore the SS Antilla, the second largest shipwreck in the Caribbean. The wreck, which is teeming with tropical fish, is a popular site for both snorkelers and scuba divers.
Take a boat tour and fish for tuna.
Oranjestad boasts the longest linear park in the Caribbean. Its paved trail is prefect for walking, running and biking.
During Carnival you can take part in parades, contests, and other festivities.
Explore the picturesque ruins of Bushiribana Gold Mill.
Visit Alto Vista Chapel, located on a hill near the town of Noord.
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