Finally getting round to our trip report, but better late than never. First let me say that we miss Aruba every day!
This was our first trip ever to Aruba. We were there from January 1st through the 10th. We fell in love with Aruba immediately. Our idea of a great vacation is hiking, snorkeling, relaxing and eating great food. We do not care if a vacation spot has great nightlife or not. Taking that into consideration, Aruba for us, was perfect.
What we loved about Aruba:
1) Snorkeling We have been to Hawaii twice and Aruba beats it hands down. The variety of species was amazing. Check out all our pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49245808@N06/
3) Marriott Surf Club Staff was great, rooms were nice and location was good too. We also grilled our meals almost every night and enjoyed meeting fellow grillers too.
4) Sunsets every night during our meals were fantastic too.
5) Ling and Sons - their produce and fresh fish in their ready-made sauces were awesome. Try their grouper in French sauce and their filet mignon that was cheaper and better than in the US.
6) Arubian people - They are so friendly and accommodating.
7) Scuba Diving - Our first time ever scuba diving was fun. We took the resort course from Red Sail Sports with a great instructor that made it easy. But we still loved the snorkeling better. Every day we went to Catilina Cove we saw our favorite turtle and new kinds of fish every day. We also enjoyed Mangel Halto, the coral and water clarity was spectacular. There is a current, so make sure to keep track of where you are.
8) All the help and advice we got from this forum was the best, too. Thank you so much to everyone! We felt like experts before we even arrived.
9) The weather. It was like the movie Ground Hogs Day, everyday you got up it was the same. Sunny hot and windy!! We loved it! It did rain once when we were in the car driving to the Arikok National Park for about 30 seconds.
What we disliked about Aruba:
Since I love to cook and we were on a budget, I only have a couple of quick restaurant reviews:
Rumba Downtown Oranjestadt. Great place for lunch!
Moomba on the beach. Great atmosphere, food was just OK. I told my wife that I thought the roof was moving. Then a couple of months later I heard it fell. I am glad no one was killed!
La Vista Just OK for the money.
Simply Fish very romantic, right on the beach, but I cooked a lobster that was better!
The Camera used is a Pentax Optio W80 12.1 optical zoom. Very easy to use.
The turtle pics are from Catalina. We saw the same turtle almost every day. He has a cut on the back right foot. A very friendly guy!