Looking at Google maps, there are 20 or so palapas in front of the two vista buildings and 25 or so on the other side of the pool/bar/restaurants. As for the lounge chairs, I've never seen them all full.
Yes, that amount sounds about right. I just got back. We had to be out on the beach by 6 to secure a palapa for the day. Didn't mind getting up early, didn't want to waste a minute anyway! If you go to the buffet try to sit in Yaldo's section, he will take very good care of you!
My husband and I are planning a trip next year to Tamarijn or Divi. He needs shade. We have a portable umbrella that can be packed in a suitcase so we don't have to worry about getting a palapa. I understand chairs are readily available (am I right?), but has anyone seen an umbrella being used on the beach there? I think I might feel a little silly puting up our own umbrella, but I also don't want to get up at dawn to get a palapa. Is there any reason to believe we won't be able to dig it into the sand? Thanks.
Thank you so much for the welcome and for the advice. I know he won't leave home without it, so I guess if he can't find a palapa, he will have to hold it the whole time he's using it! I like the sun, especially on my very few vacatons each year, so I can do without either a palapa or umbrella on any vacation I take. We always take a tropical vacation in May, so perhaps it won't be as crowded as the winter months may be and he'll be successful in finding shade. I haven't been on this May's vacation yet and I'm already researching and looking forward to next year's! Was in Aruba a few years ago for one day on a cruise stop and have wanted to go back ever since.
if the umbrella is small enough to be held as you say he may have to do, i can say with much certainty that the umbrella will be a tattered and bent mess after a day or 2 in the aruban tradewinds as well as a safety concern if it flies out of his grasp.
the umbrella you speak of can and will become a projectile.
I will echo Andrea's words that any umbrella will surely become a dangerous weapon.
In May in Aruba average windspeed is 19 mph. But gusts on AVERAGE are 35 mph.
Shade palapas are difficult to come by at times but if spf 50 will not do the trick you may well find yourself waking up early. Keep in mind that there are a good number of them between the Divi and Tamarijn resorts besides just those in front of the resorts themselves.