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Thread: Car rental vs tours

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Smile Car rental vs tours

    My husband and I will be taking our first trip to Aruba in February. I am having a hard time deciding wether to rent a car for a day and explore the island ourselves or take a tour. What would you recommend doing and what sights should we make sure we see? We are staying at the Hyatt and for sure would want to see the bird sanctuary and natural bridge. I guess we could explore downtown another day and take the bus?

    If we do rent, should it be a car or a jeep (we won't be going to the natural pool)? Also, the map that everyone recommends, do you know where you could get it in Canada? What would be the best sites/route to take?

    Are there any companies that do private jeep tours? I don't think I would be comfortable on a atv based on what I have read. If we did a private jeep tour, is it worth it to go to the natural pool?

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    If you feel you need a tour of the island, Depalm has a 3 hr bus tour that kinda covers it all...
    Buy the map on line, its Borsch, or something like that. Its a great map !
    Yes, there are private jeep tours, I am sure others will weigh in on this.
    We usually rent a car for 3 days, staying 2 weeks, and find that is enuf for us.
    What ever you do, you will love aruba...enjoy it !

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Here http://www.aruba.com/forum/f7/map-island-32987/ is a post on the Borch Map.

    For a first time visit, I've always thought a guided tour would be nice in order to know what you are seeing and get some insight/info/history. There are any number of operators. A great private tour is with Bully (Who is Bully?????).

    A small tour operator is Kini Kini http://www.kinikini.com/. They offer two half day island tours:

    Aruba's Finest Land Tour
    Sites to be visited
    - California Lighthouse
    - Alto Vista Chapel
    - Natural Bridge
    - Ayo Rock Formations
    - Bushiribana Ruins
    - Balashi Gold Mill Ruins
    - Oranjestad - Down Town (drop-off upon request)

    Arubian Country - Side Tour
    Sites to be visited
    - California Lighthouse
    - Natural Bridge
    - Ayo Rock Formations
    - Rooi Frances
    - Gold Melting Ruin
    - Oranjestad - Down Town (drop-off upon request)

    For the price, $35 & $30 repectively, surely a good bargain.

  4. #4
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    Arubalisa, thanks so much for the info. Is there one of the 2 tours that you recommended would be better since they both go to the natural bridge? Also, does Bully do private tours? It looked like most people had him for airport pickup and drop offs. Do you know how much he would charge and does he have a set tour or will take you wherever you want?

    Thanks again....Danielle

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waitnc View Post
    Arubalisa, thanks so much for the info. Is there one of the 2 tours that you recommended would be better since they both go to the natural bridge? Also, does Bully do private tours? It looked like most people had him for airport pickup and drop offs. Do you know how much he would charge and does he have a set tour or will take you wherever you want?

    Thanks again....Danielle
    You are very welcome. I would choose Kini Kini's first tour in that it includes Alto Vista Chapel. In my mind, if you are at all spiritual, you don't have to be religious, this is truly a spot NOT to be missed. Click on thumnails below to enlarge:




    Bully does private tours. The last I heard the taxi drivers, as required by law, charged $40 an hour for private tours. (This price may or may not have increased in the last two months. Rumor had it all taxi fares were increasing.) If you email Bully and give him an idea of what you are interested in he can give you a price and customize the tour however you like. I know he gives a good many tours to cruise ship passengers who are on the island for sometimes only half a day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fattypatty's Avatar
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    Bully does private tours. The last I heard the taxi drivers, as required by law, charged $40 an hour for private tours. (This price may or may not have increased in the last two months. Rumor had it all taxi fares were increasing.) If you email Bully and give him an idea of what you are interested in he can give you a price and customize the tour however you like. I know he gives a good many tours to cruise ship passengers who are on the island for sometimes only half a day.[/QUOTE]


    does bully give private tours via the outback also? or is it limited to paved roads?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fattypatty View Post
    does bully give private tours via the outback also? or is it limited to paved roads?
    I would email him to ask specifics of where he can and cannot go. The rate is now $45/hour for taxis.


  8. #8
    Senior Member Sunny Beaches's Avatar
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    IMO I would rent for a day on site resort rental, tour the island at your own pace you will be able to see what you want in a day! Just make sure you stay out of the sand, if you get stuck there are people who will help, floor mats help with traction!

  9. #9
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    We just got back from Aruba - June 3. It was our first time and I do recommend taking a tour of the island. We used the Depalm 5 hour, air conditioned bus tour, for 3 adults and 1 child it was $199. The tour included, the lighthouse (10 min.), chapel (10 min.), lunch at B55 (40 min), natural bridge (15 min), snorkel at baby beach (45 min). 10 min didn't seem like a long time for lighthouse or chapel - but it is....take a photo, use restroom, get a drink. The bus driver/tour guide tells you about history of aruba, the government, customs, education, everyday life - very educational. Free drinks of water, cold cans of pop. It was nice to take a break from the sun/heat for one day and enjoy the air conditioned ride. Hope this helps.

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