Mangel Halto for snorkeling, Palm and Arashi for beach time.
Car rental vs. taxi+Arubus
As you already know, I'm going to Aruba next May with my wife-to-be for our honeymoon (9 days) and are wondering whether to rent a car or rely on taxis and the Arubus.
Apparently we'll need 4 airport-Radisson / Radisson-airport rides (when arriving in Aruba; when leaving Aruba; and on the day we'll fly to Curaçao to spend a day there, returning in the evening); we also want to spend a day in Baby Beach, which we can't reach by Arubus (at least that's what it looks like). Other than that, we'll be going to Oranjestad, Arashi Beach, maybe a dinner at The Old Man and The Sea, all places covered by Arubus routes (or so it seems).
Not considering the cost, so far, the pros of renting a car are (or seem to be)
1. No need to rely on public transportation, which is subject to schedules and the like
2. Having a "place" to leave small stuff when going to, let's say, Baby or Arashi beaches
And the cons of renting a car are
1. Can't drink during dinner
2. I really don't feel that comfortable driving someone else's car, especially in a place I don't know
3. I don't have an international driving license (only the Brazilian one)
4. Need to worry about refueling and other maintenance
Any insights, advices, things I'm not considering but should?
It truly is personal preference. Many here will tell you that they could not get by without their own vehicle.
In the long run I do not think there is a huge savings in renting a car vs. using taxi and the bus.
My husband is of the same opinion as you, not having to worry about driving he can drink wine with dinner and also not worry about unfamiliar roads, especially at night.
With that said, perhaps a compromise would be to rent a car for say 3 days of your stay and lump together those 3 days of your travels to the airport (for Curacao), dinner in Savaneta as well as your trip to Baby beach.
I don't have an international license and drive in Aruba. I don't believe it's an issue.
The one thing a car provides is freedom. If you are talking to others and they recommend a restaurant or a sightseeing trip to some other part of the island, you can decide to go. Souvenir shopping can take you all over the island.
a few years ago we vacationed in aruba at the same time as some folks from our hometown.
they stayed at divi phoenix for 3 weeks.
we at lacabana for 2 weeks.
we went out to dinner with them and we drove them 3x.
all other meals and activities for them were by taxi or bus.
including their airport taxi r/t and all of their activities, they paid a few dollars over $400 including tips 21 days ( i emailed and asked she keeps good records/ receipts, as do i)
our car rental (small 4 door yaris) including filling it with gas at the end of our stay was $360. 15 days
so doing the math, their use of taxi and bus was considerably less than our car rental.
but, we went to baby beach once or twice for snorkeling.
we went to alto vista chapel, fallen down natural bridge and a few other road trips.
we had the more convenient alternative that suit our needs. where as they did not do any kind of a venture that cost them more than $40 r/t in the taxi.
we also do not drink more than a glass of wine while at dinner.
they on the other hand usually share a bottle of wine.
bottom line is we paid more for the convenience of having the car.
if i were staying at an all inclusive place, i would consider renting just for a few days so
we could get out and off to explore a bit down towards savaneta and baby beach.
I just returned from an awesome 2 week trip, one of which I rented a jeep. Money is not an issue since the savings either was is small. A $100 while on vaca is not worth worrying about. Next time I will take a few taxi cabs and plan a day trip via a tour company.
I was kinda worried that the jeep rental place would try and say I did some type of damage to the vehicle and try and make me pay. I rented from royal car rental, very cheap, but a shady operation. I wrote down all dents etc with their rep. Several companies go to baby beach, natural pool etc.