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Thread: Recommendations on BEST experience for Natural Pool excursion

  1. #1
    Junior Member tewshort's Avatar
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    Question Recommendations on BEST experience for Natural Pool excursion

    Hi all!
    My Husband will be making our 2nd trip to Aruba in November, and would like recommendations for the best way to experience the natural pool! We didn't do it our first time to the island, and would love to experience it this time! What's the best way? Rent a jeep ourselves and go, jeep tour, guided ATV tour?? Any experience and recommendations are appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Try sunrise tours from Club Arias
    see on trip Advisor
    5 hr tour on ATV vehicles

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    I do not suggest renting a jeep and going on your own. We did that and were VERY thankful that we found a tour to follow. The terrain is rough and you want someone who knows it well to navigate.
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i agree with jacki and cindy
    sunrise tours w/club arias is good...as are depalm and kini kini

    another jeep tour was recently mentioned here and i will search it out and post back here

    here are some tagged threads re: jeep tours and natural pool http://www.aruba.com/forum/search.php?searchid=618920

  5. #5
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    http://www.sonnytoursaruba.com/index...ours&Itemid=56
    here is the other jeep tour that i mentioned.
    arubalisa posted the link a few days ago and here it is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    My husband and I had driven to the Natural Pool enough times by 4 x 4 to realize we were not interested in doing it again. However we did want our daughter to experience it so chose to go via ATV. We used Kini Kini Tours http://www.kinikinitours.com/index.p...d=22&Itemid=18 and they were excellent. Since we had been to the island so many times before we chose to go with a private tour in order to pick and chose the sights we wanted to see along the way. They receive excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.

    My Review of Kini Kini ATV Tours from a Previous Post

    Private ATV tour... Who to use?
    At the advice of Graham Flanagan here on the forum, we took a private ATV tour with Kini Kini last year. By far, one of the best island excursions we have done. We knew specific sights we wanted to visit and Kini Kini gladly obliged. They are a small Mom and Pop operation- an Aruban and his American wife.

    "So dd and I sit down to await our pick up from Kini Kini Tours and lo and behold there is their driver recognizable by his "Kini Kini Tours" t-shirt sitting on the bench across from us. We went over and introduced ourselves and he helped us into the van and we were off. A short ride down to the high rise hotels we picked up a couple who were taking a jeep tour.

    Our driver Ray took us to Kini Kini's office. It was a house and we were instructed to walk through the house to the back and there was the office! This office is actually in the home of the owners Eloy and his wife Christine. We indeed felt as if we were being welcomed into their home.

    Our credit card information was processed and we were then taken to the ATV's for orientation and safety as well as fitting for our helmets. Eloy and Ray made us feel very comfortable and gave us a good run through before our butts even hit the seats. If the ATV's were not new, they were "like" new. During our stop at the Natural Bridge, a rider on a rented ATV from another company admired our ATV's saying, "We got the good ones."

    I rode single and our 12 yo dd rode on the back of the ATV with dh. Following our guide Ray, we were off to visit the sites. I have to say dh and I had never rode ATV's previously and were slightly nervous given the prospect of riding some local roads prior to heading "off road" once past the tip of the island and the California Lighthouse. Our worries were for nothing. By the time we left the lighthouse we were of course off road and I know I personally was feeling very comfortable driving. Ray allowed us to drive at a speed comfortable to us, leading accordingly and offering up insight and history at each stop.

    Our sites visited included: California Lighthouse, Wish Garden, Alto Vista Chapel, "Baby" Natural Bridge, Bushiribana Ruins, the Natural Bridge and Natural Pool. We have been to all the above sites previously and again, took the tour for access to the Natural Pool. We did give up the stop at the Ayo Rock Formations in order to be able to spend additional time at the Natural Pool. Our guide Ray was very happy to oblige. Dd was happy to be able to take a swim, cool off and rinse off some of the dirt.

    On the back of his ATV, Ray carried a cooler with water as well as strapped our backpack carrying digital camera, video camera and towel and was happy to allow us as much time as necessary at each stop for photos and video.

    I do have to say after visiting the Natural Pool twice previously by 4 x 4, getting there by ATV, was by far the easiest and quickest way in which to get there once we were "off road". It was still a little "hairy", as it was in a 4 x 4, but by following our guide Ray, we knew exactly where on the path to follow. I might add I was grateful the brakes worked! Never once did I fear for my life though. Imo it is more dangerous swimming in the Natural Pool than getting there via ATV. I cannot recommend this tour highly enough, especially as a way to see the Natural Pool. This was one of the best excursions we have ever taken on the island in the 13 years that we have been visiting.

    Was there a downside? Dirty as anything. Riding behind our guide Ray, and then my dh, I literally know now where the expression, "eat my dust" comes from. Remembering how green the island was at Christmas, it was immediately noticeable that it was now so totally opposite. Brown as brown as can be. No significant rain since February, by June the island had become very very dry and DUSTY. As a side note, as I will mention later, the island did see significant rain June 24 and 25. In 17 visits I have never seen the island as dry as it was. If you prepare beforehand and wear junky clothes (think throw away) and shoes as we did, this will not be an issue. My t-shirt from that day just went into the trash; no amount of bleach was ever going to get out all of that dust.

    Dd complained about everything under the sun during the ride, but this was her chance to see and swim in the Natural Pool. If you asked her now I think she would say she liked it but will tell you that she did not like the dirt and the dust. For dh and myself it was a unique experience and an opportunity to see Aruba from a different perspective.

    Advice- wear "disposable" clothes & shoes. Your clothing will be filthy from the dirt.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SkiChris's Avatar
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    I think the trip to see the Natural Pool is one of the best activities you can do on Aruba. The trip is truly an adventure and you will love the opportunity to view the natural terain and lanscape on that side of the island. I agree that ATV tours are fun....but please pay attention to the comments above that you will get EXTREMELY dirty. Your clothes, sunglasses, backpack, hair....absolutely everything will be covered in dirt by the time you are done with the tour. My personal recommendation is to travel to the Natural Pool on a jeep tour. You won't get dirty and you have an opportunity to meet and socialize with others in your jeep. I recommend ABC Jeep Tours. I agree with everyone's comments above which advise against trying to rent a jeep and drive yourself, especially on your first time. It is best to go on a tour for your first visit so you can view the terrain and then decide if you ever want to dare to make the drive on your own in the future. Traveling to the pool by horseback is another option you can consider.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Not sure if I've shared this here before, but here is a picture of a jeep at the Natural Pool from 2009Recommendations on BEST experience  for Natural Pool excursion-nat-pool.jpg
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  9. #9
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Jacki, was that Jeep a part of a tour? Don't think I would want to be in that one!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    No it wasn't part of a tour. At least, I don't think it was. I don't remember seeing any other Jeeps around it.
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

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