Oh MY Goodness you've all been so helpful! The videos, blog links, tags to previous posts, and your detailed suggestions really helped me sort things out. I'm so excited!!
Based on all of your fantastic advice I believe I have a plan...
Hyatt to Lighthouse with quick stops for pics along beaches (no swimming here)
Smothies at the Lighthouse & I'll tell them Jacki sent us Alto Vista Chapel Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins Natural Bridge Wave at the Ostriches as we drive by Ayo Rock
Arikok National Park
Fontein and/or Quadirikkri Caves
Boca Prins Baby Beach Charlie's Bar
Head back from San Nicolas toward Palm Beach - Any suggestions on a casual restaurant for outdoor dining during sunset on our way back to the Hyatt? Oranjestad? Eagle Beach? ??
Based on your wise suggestions I eliminated Hooiberg. We're also passing on the animal stops since we recently did a zoo trip with our grandson. It's a full day, but since we have 2 jeeps, if our grandson is "over it" by mid-day, they can always head back to the hotel.
As you can see, we're going to "Go For It".
I'll be sure to post a Trip Report with details...and when I can't function the next day from exhaustion feel free to comment, "I told you So!"
Natural Pool, Druif Beach, Eagle Beach, California Lighthouse, Helicopter
BeachMom, when will you be in Aruba? It sounds like you have a great trip planned. I like that you're planning ahead but keep the option open to wander if you see something that catches your eye. Having been to the majority of those places I have to agree they are great options. It's a full day but having Baby Beach towards the end you'll be able to shorten or extend your time there (I'm hoping you can extend it - it's a beautiful beach!). I can't wait to read about it (which is why I asked when you're going).
Hello Laura ~ Our trip is set for mid-December. We have never been to Aruba and we only have 5 nights/4 days... which explains the jeep island exploration day schedule overload. I'm keeping our last day on the island Open with Zero Plan so we can fill in once we're there, or not. I'll be sure to post a Trip Report of all of our adventures which will also include a Tranquilo private 10am-2pm sail/snorkel cruise.
Hi Beach Mom,
I LOVE the snorkel sail on Tranquilo (huge fan), however, since you only have 5 days...I would suggest that you consider doing a snorkel sail to the Antilla/Catalina bay in lieu of the Tranquilo. In my opinion, seeing the Antilla is one of the best snorkeling sights in the Caribbean and I didn't see that on your list above. With a 7 day stay, you could've done both snorkel sights to see the Spanish Lagoon ( on Tranquillo) in addition to a snorkel tour to see the Antilla...but if you have to pick just one, my recommendation would be to do a snorkel sail of the Antilla/Catalina Bay.
Animals: I recommend skipping the animal farms (Donkey, Ostrich & Phillips). They are all great but all require time to explore and you simply don't have time in your schedule. You will see Donkeys on the way to Baby Beach. If you bring some carrots with you, you will have an opportunity to pull over on the road and the donkeys will come right up to the car so you can feed them. So I would suggest doing that for your "animal stop".
Rock Formations: Both the Ayo and Casibari rock formations are interesting, but given your time constraints, I would pick just one (I'd recommend Casibari - but either choice is good).
Baby Beach: This will be the highlight of the places you’ve listed and your grandson will love it. So just be sure to leave plenty of time so you can enjoy this beach and the water for an hour or two.
Or around the corner is a pizzeria called "Casa Tua Pizzeria".
IMO, the settings of all those restaurants is very charming, you will drive down that little alley with palm trees left and right to a parking lot (paid parking 2 Forins per hour, after 7 p.m. parking is free).
You would be right there were the yacht haven is from where you could have a spectacular view of the sunset before or after dinner. There is as well a little promenade for a stroll, across that street is the large Renaissance Mall and a little further down the street the Christal Casino followed by the Royal Mall Plaza (that large pink building), one of Oranjestad's landmarks.