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Thread: My off-road driviing experience - tips/directions

  1. #1
    Senior Member fattypatty's Avatar
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    My off-road driviing experience - tips/directions

    driving with honda CRV.

    driving was not bad at all as i had originally feared. just remember that the round circle with a hypen in the middle (looks like a minus sign) means DO NOT ENTER - ONE WAY STREET. other than that you will be perfectly fine. just remember that the island is so small that 5 minutes of driving will place you a good inch or two further away on your map.

    North end of the island - driving from the lighthouse to the chapel via the dirt road is very doable. you need to take the 2nd dirt road on the right (leaving the lighthouse) and follow the path. it's a fairly smooth ride to the chapel.

    however, from the chapel to the gold mine is not possible in my opinion with a regular SUV. you have to take the left at the 2nd cross (leaving the chapel) and follow the dirt road. everything is pretty much smooth until you reach a narrow point where the cliff is completely separated from each other (looks like the natural bridge w/o the bridge). at this point the road turns uphill sharply - too steep of an incline for an ordinary SUV in my opinion - or it could've been erosion from the hard rain that fell 2 days before our venture. either way, we had to turn the car around (tight u-turn in the confined space) and go back to the chapel and use the paved roads to reach the gold mine (ask for directions - it's right next to the natural bridge).

    from the gold mine to natural bridge - easy going. just follow the signs - it takes less than a minute.

    south-end
    arikok national park - follow route 4a (this is the road where you see the huge pizza hut on the main road by palm beach (1A). continue on the road for a good 10-15 minutes until you see a sign for the park. make the left turn and follow the road for another good 5-10 minutes. then you'll see the visitors center. there's really not much to do at the center save for using the restrooms. before you make your way through the park, there's two roads you can take. one leads you to the san nicholas via the caves, dos playas beach, the windmills, etc....(this is the main road for the park). the other road is behind the vistor's center (very steep uphill climb that winds its way behind the mountain). this road will lead you to the highest mountain top in the park (600 ft approx). i'm not sure if you're allowed to enter this way, but we didn't know which way to go and went up this road first before turning around and heading back the correct way. they're currently building something on the top of the peak - and this road is very much more rough terrain than the paved main roads. but you can see the entire in-land island from here and also the north side of the island cliffs and ocean - much better than the views/sights offered on the main road.

    btw, all roads in the park have these HUGE rain gutters on the road. i personally thought only an SUV would be able to cross it w/o scrapping the bottom of the car, but i did see a toyota yaris do it w/o any problems.

    there's really not much to see in the park except for the wild goats and donkeys here and there. you can visit the caves i guess (we didn't since we had very young toddlers with us and didn't want to bother with it) everything else is the same as the landscape you see driving on the north end.

    once you leave the park and enter san nicholas, you can continue your way to the first circle turn stop and make a left. then continue following the road until you hit the large road (1A). you can make a left to continue onto baby beach or make a right to head back downtown and to the palm beach.

    hope this helps for those looking to drive.
    Last edited by fattypatty; 10-16-2009 at 10:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i am going to copy this post and put it also in the GENERAL SECTION too. good information

    thanks!
    andrea

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    Senior Member mjn109's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I printed it out & I am bringing it with me when we go in January! We tried to find the gold mines last January to no avail! Did get a nice view of the island though

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    Senior Member CandyC55's Avatar
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    Patty no mention of the natural pool... I would so much like to go back but it was a nightmare getting there... It was literally the jeep ride from hell!!! We went two years ago... Any suggestions has the route improved.

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    Senior Member fattypatty's Avatar
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    i didn't even venture there....nor would i by myself - even with a jeep wrangler. its just too rugged and mountainous and desolate. i would hate to get lost, stuck, or whatever on that terrain with no one in sight.

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    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CandyC55 View Post
    Patty no mention of the natural pool... I would so much like to go back but it was a nightmare getting there... It was literally the jeep ride from hell!!! We went two years ago... Any suggestions has the route improved.
    Candy, traveling to the Natural Pool in any kind of vehicle other than a 4x4 is just about impossible....even with a 4x4 its quite tough..
    We have been going there for years, but now just use quads...if you really would like to go try one of the tours....they will get you there and back out in one piece....
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

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    Quote Originally Posted by CandyC55 View Post
    Patty no mention of the natural pool... I would so much like to go back but it was a nightmare getting there... It was literally the jeep ride from hell!!! We went two years ago... Any suggestions has the route improved.

    Horseback is the best route from what I hear...didn't get to do it, but I heard alot of people said it's the best way - hopefully this helps.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CandyC55's Avatar
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    Thanks all just wish it were easy to get to the pool... It is beautiful.

  9. #9
    Senior Member fattypatty's Avatar
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    i'm not sure how it is via horseback. but it's quite wild and fun via jeep. wobbling over the jagged rocks and traversing steep downhill roads is quite exciting.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wildewoman's Avatar
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    We went on ATV's last year & to get to the pool was very scary!! We had to go from 1 large bolder to the next - 1 tire at a time!! We thought we would go out a different way - we did not!!

    I don't recall where we saw it - but is there a paved road to the Ostrich farm?? I remember we went by it on our way to something esle & thought - "I'd really like to stop there". We plan on visiting it when we return to Aruba next October.

    Thanks!

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