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Thread: 1st Aruba Vacation

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    4

    Thumbs up 1st Aruba Vacation

    I just got back from my first time in Aruba. My wife and I really enjoyed it. I thought I would share a little about my experience.
    We arrived on Sunday the 11th. We were very nervous about it as we had never been here before. We have been to various spots in the Carribean and Mexico, but never to Aruba so we didn't really know what to expect. We were sped to our rental jeep, and after the paperwork, we instantly took off exploring the island. I had no clue where I was going, I just decided to drive. I really liked the fact that it is super hard to get lost. With the island being relatively small, all you had to do was head for water, or stay on a paved road, and you eventually came out allright.
    After driving around for a few hours, I felt comfortable. Those round-a-bouts take a little getting use to, but you manage after a few times. I was blown away by the contrast of dessert meeting ocean, as it is something you really don't expect when you think about islands.
    On Monday we got ambitous and decided to try to explore the all terrain portions of the island. We first headed to the California lighthouse in the North. It had wonderful views of the rough waves that hit the North and East sides of the island. I was a little dissapointed at the amout of trash that has been left, or has washed up on that side of the island. That area was so photo-worthy, but I had to do some creative editing to make the pictures I took come out with no trash being visible.
    From the lighthouse we headed to the West side of the island and spent a good amout of time on the route heading to the Natural Bridge, or where the Natural Bridge use to be I should say. We loved the natural grattos that have been carved into the island. These made the most wonderful pictures/videos. I will caution that you have to be careful with the surf, as it is very powerful in these cuts and almost tried to take me out to sea. My wife called me an idiot for getting in, as it is obviously very strong. I can't help it though, and she is probably right!
    We explored the South side of the island later in the day. We hit Baby Beach, and I liked it ok. The water is stunning, and there was a lot to look at in the female category. This earned me a nice little punch in the arm from the better half! We went on around the little road near Baby Beach, and discovered a burial ground which kinda made the hair stand up on the back of my neck until I realized it was a pet cemetary. The names that people give their pets is quite amuzing though, and I couldn't help but notice that there were more than a dozen pets that have died on that island that were named "HITLER"!!!!!
    Tuesday was the best day of the trip for me. We decided to check out the Arikok National Park. We took the jeep and headed into the great unknown. The lady in the visitor center said just stay on the path, and we should have no problems. We got on the trail and quickly discovered that the "trail" was pretty rough and at certain times, I didn't even know if I was on a trail. It was a lot of fun for me, as I grew up off-roading and feel real confident on most trails. While we were heading down a very difficult portion of the trial, we encountered a group of guides on ATVs, and another group in the big Land Cruisers that hold about a dozen people. As we stopped to let them pass, they wound up having a blow out in one of their rear tires. I was impressed at how fast these guys changed that tire.......on a major hill no-less!
    Once we got to the natural pool, I was a little taken back at the size of the thing. It isn't very big. When we actually got close, and got in the pool though, I was instantly aware of why so many people talk about it. It was breathtaking the way that the waves crash over the rocks that surround it. I swam in it for a while and noticed that there are dozens of different species of fish that were in the water, and countless different crustaceans that call the pool home. I must have taken 300 pictures while I was there.
    We spent the majority of the rest of our time on the island around our resort right on Eagle Beach. The water there is pristine, and there is no shortage of water activities within walking distance. There is a multitude of shopping opportunities on the island, but my wife and I didn't go there to shop.
    I have found a new favorite vacation spot, as the people there were so nice, and the breezes make the climate so nice. I don't want to write a book, so Iwill leave it as-is for now, and say that if you haven't been there, you need to get there!

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    29,889
    welcome to the aruba.com community forum

    thanks for posting your experiences.

    where did you stay and do you have any restaurant reviews?

    ok, hitler?! really!!
    i should not be laughing.

    we have been in that cemetery and never noticed the "hitlers"
    Quote Originally Posted by jaybar1977 View Post
    I just got back from my first time in Aruba. My wife and I really enjoyed it. I thought I would share a little about my experience.
    We arrived on Sunday the 11th. We were very nervous about it as we had never been here before. We have been to various spots in the Carribean and Mexico, but never to Aruba so we didn't really know what to expect. We were sped to our rental jeep, and after the paperwork, we instantly took off exploring the island. I had no clue where I was going, I just decided to drive. I really liked the fact that it is super hard to get lost. With the island being relatively small, all you had to do was head for water, or stay on a paved road, and you eventually came out allright.
    After driving around for a few hours, I felt comfortable. Those round-a-bouts take a little getting use to, but you manage after a few times. I was blown away by the contrast of dessert meeting ocean, as it is something you really don't expect when you think about islands.
    On Monday we got ambitous and decided to try to explore the all terrain portions of the island. We first headed to the California lighthouse in the North. It had wonderful views of the rough waves that hit the North and East sides of the island. I was a little dissapointed at the amout of trash that has been left, or has washed up on that side of the island. That area was so photo-worthy, but I had to do some creative editing to make the pictures I took come out with no trash being visible.
    From the lighthouse we headed to the West side of the island and spent a good amout of time on the route heading to the Natural Bridge, or where the Natural Bridge use to be I should say. We loved the natural grattos that have been carved into the island. These made the most wonderful pictures/videos. I will caution that you have to be careful with the surf, as it is very powerful in these cuts and almost tried to take me out to sea. My wife called me an idiot for getting in, as it is obviously very strong. I can't help it though, and she is probably right!
    We explored the South side of the island later in the day. We hit Baby Beach, and I liked it ok. The water is stunning, and there was a lot to look at in the female category. This earned me a nice little punch in the arm from the better half! We went on around the little road near Baby Beach, and discovered a burial ground which kinda made the hair stand up on the back of my neck until I realized it was a pet cemetary. The names that people give their pets is quite amuzing though, and I couldn't help but notice that there were more than a dozen pets that have died on that island that were named "HITLER"!!!!!
    Tuesday was the best day of the trip for me. We decided to check out the Arikok National Park. We took the jeep and headed into the great unknown. The lady in the visitor center said just stay on the path, and we should have no problems. We got on the trail and quickly discovered that the "trail" was pretty rough and at certain times, I didn't even know if I was on a trail. It was a lot of fun for me, as I grew up off-roading and feel real confident on most trails. While we were heading down a very difficult portion of the trial, we encountered a group of guides on ATVs, and another group in the big Land Cruisers that hold about a dozen people. As we stopped to let them pass, they wound up having a blow out in one of their rear tires. I was impressed at how fast these guys changed that tire.......on a major hill no-less!
    Once we got to the natural pool, I was a little taken back at the size of the thing. It isn't very big. When we actually got close, and got in the pool though, I was instantly aware of why so many people talk about it. It was breathtaking the way that the waves crash over the rocks that surround it. I swam in it for a while and noticed that there are dozens of different species of fish that were in the water, and countless different crustaceans that call the pool home. I must have taken 300 pictures while I was there.
    We spent the majority of the rest of our time on the island around our resort right on Eagle Beach. The water there is pristine, and there is no shortage of water activities within walking distance. There is a multitude of shopping opportunities on the island, but my wife and I didn't go there to shop.
    I have found a new favorite vacation spot, as the people there were so nice, and the breezes make the climate so nice. I don't want to write a book, so Iwill leave it as-is for now, and say that if you haven't been there, you need to get there!

  3. #3
    Member ubouu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    UNDER A PALAPA, ON ANY BEACH !!
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    80
    Loved your review.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4
    We stayed at La Cabana. We have a time share with BlueGreen. The resort was undergoing some remodeling, but the rooms were really nice and updated well. We didn't spend a lot of time there, but we will be back.
    We only ate at one really good restaurant called the Screaming Eagle. Really pricey, but the food was really good. I'm not the best person to give food reviews, as I am like Mikey; I'll eat anything.

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    29,889
    we own at lacabana as well as with bluegreen.
    lacabana has made some great renovations and it is looking mighty nice!

    screaming eagle gets some good reviews and i am glad that you liked it.

    again, thanks for posting your review.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaybar1977 View Post
    We stayed at La Cabana. We have a time share with BlueGreen. The resort was undergoing some remodeling, but the rooms were really nice and updated well. We didn't spend a lot of time there, but we will be back.
    We only ate at one really good restaurant called the Screaming Eagle. Really pricey, but the food was really good. I'm not the best person to give food reviews, as I am like Mikey; I'll eat anything.

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