Last summer, we vacationed in Aruba! It was amazing, to say the least. Definitely one of my favorite destinations ever.
We have this thing where we don’t repeat vacation destinations, for the most part. When we just do a domestic trip in the summer, we purposely never stay in the same house or even go to the same beach! It’s so fun, because we’re constantly trying new things and not getting bored. However, there are obviously times when the spot is so amazing, you could never confine yourself to that idea. That’s how our Aruba trip was. From the first day, we were all pretty confident Aruba would be an exception to our rule.
My family is big on just lounging for an entire week when we do summer vacation. Because we do a decent amount of travel other times in the year, we usually want the summer trip to be relaxing. So our time in Aruba was pretty chill. When we go back at some point, I’d love to rent a Jeep and do a little more exploring!
Aruba is owned by the Netherlands. Oranjestad is the capital. It has the fun characteristics of many other cities – great shopping included. But the best thing about Aruba is all of the beaches.
The weather in Aruba is pretty much always in the 80s and sunny. A lot of people talk about how crazy the wind is, but we hardly noticed it being any worse than any other beach. If anything, it was actually nice to have a breeze in the heat.
beaches to visit / things to do
We started our trip on Palm Beach, and I’m so glad about that. It was a really fun introduction to the island. Palm Beach is the busiest of the beaches, and it has all of the high rise hotels. The water here is SO calm, so if you like to wade for hours on end, this is a great spot.
Eagle Beach was our second, and favorite, beach. The scene was a lot calmer. The water was divine. There weren’t nearly as many people around as there were on Palm Beach. I think its all about what you like in a beach! Some people love the energy of a crowd. We went jet skiing here, too!
renaissance private island (flamingo beach)
This is positively a bucket list spot. The flamingos are located on the Renaissance’s private island, which is adult only. You take a short boat ride out to the island that runs every 15 minutes. There is also iguana beach right next to it, which is family friendly. The flamingos literally just hang out next to you all day. You can feed them and sit in the water with them. VERY unique experience! They also have food and drinks and other amenities. I don’t think I’d spend my time doing it again, but I would absolutely recommend it for your first time. The only reason I wouldn’t do it again is because the sand is really rocky, and there isn’t much space to spread out. My main piece of advice is to stay at the Renaissance for at least one night if you want to experience this. If you’re not a hotel guest, it’s $100 per person to go to flamingo beach.
baby beach & rodgers beach
I really wanted to try these two beaches! We had them on our itinerary, but we ended up skipping them. They were something like a 30 min drive from our hotel, and we just decided that we loved Eagle Beach enough not to spend an hour in the car.
Baby Beach is known for the super white sand and perfect water. You might even find some donkeys to feed on your drive over! So fun!
arikok national park
I think we’ll do this next time we visit Aruba! It’s a full national park that you can explore!
snorkeling / jet skiing
There are so many opportunities to have some fun in the water! It is so clear, the snorkeling looks amazing. Like I said, we went jet skiing on Eagle Beach!
small natural pool
The photos I’ve seen of this natural swimming pool are INSANE. I 100% want to do this next time. Looks like such a unique experience!
where to stay
This spot is incredible. You are treated with champagne as soon as you arrive! It sits right on Palm Beach. The hotel is beautiful, and the service is unmatched. They walk around and hand out fruit and popsicles! You can have food and drinks delivered right to your chair in the sand, too. I am glad we didn’t spend the whole week here, only because we had a group of five. It was a little difficult to find that many chairs together, and we like to spread out a blanket and all that. But if you are honeymooning or just have two or four people, this place is perfect, especially if you really want that full relaxing, taken care of feeling.
This was where we stayed on Eagle Beach. The location is seriously perfect. The rooms are just normal, but they are great for a group. This gives you more of the feeling like you’re at your own beach villa. You’re still in a complex with other people, but your room is set up more like a little house. We had two bedrooms, a living room, and small kitchen. The hotel still has its own restaurants and people who will help you on the beach. You can order food and drinks right to your chairs, so it’s also very fun and relaxing.
We only stayed here because we knew we wanted to go to Flamingo Beach. I am SO glad we did, though! The hotel grounds are beautiful. They have two huge pool areas, because this hotel is not actually directly on the ocean. You take the little boat out to the island. They also have volleyball and corn hole. We played corn hole one evening while there was a Disney movie playing next to us, right outside! The rooms are also super nice. They are spacious, and the views are incredible. If the ocean were more accessible from here, I’d probably think this were the perfect spot.
a few other hotel options to explore:
Manchebo Beach Resort (Eagle Beach)
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort (Eagle Beach) – adults only! perfect for a honeymoon
Boardwalk Boutique Hotel (Palm Beach)
Aruba Marriott Resort & Casino (Palm Beach) – we walked through this one to get to Atardi and it looked beautiful!
where to eat
This might be the easiest category to talk about! Pretty much everywhere we ate in Aruba was amazing. My biggest piece of advice would be to research the sunset times in Aruba for when you’re traveling, and schedule your dinners accordingly.
passions on the beach
Passions is Amsterdam Manor’s restaurant. It’s an absolute must. You sit right on the sand. The food is incredible, and the views match it. We ate here at the beginning of our trip, and it was really hard to beat.
This one has a similar setup to Passions. It’s amazing, too. We enjoyed our experience slightly more at Passions, but Atardi is another great option. They invite you to take off your shoes as soon as you arrive, too!
Flying Fishbone is like no other place I have ever had dinner. We decided to make the trek to this one (it’s about a 25 minute drive from the Renaissance hotel), and we were all happy we got to experience this. They have tables in the water. Literally, in the water. Some just get your toes wet, but others look like you’d almost need a bathing suit! I reached out of my comfort zone and ordered the “rainbow fish.” We had so much fun here!
West Deck is super casual. We walked right to it from the Renaissance. The vibe here is fun and easy going, and the food is delicious.
dutch pancake house
We tried the Dutch Pancake House for breakfast when staying at the Renaissance. It’s soooo yummy, and they have a million pancake choices!
a few other restaurants to try:
Zeerovers – casual and authentic
Pinchos Bar & Grill – on a dock! I want to try this one next time
Eduardo’s Beach Shack – casual lunch on the beach
Save this post again for later! Xoxoxo, Delaney