We Love Aruba !
I had to start off with the truth.
Now my first hand story.
Me and my wife first visited Aruba in 2000, it was quaint very friendly and CLEAN.
Our most recent trip in April of 2008 was an eyeopener ! First off, the downtown area closes at 6pm sharp ! On our first visit we stayed downtown until they kicked us out, or the last bus to our palm beach hotel left. Now with the beautiful mall/open plaza directly across from the hotels on palm beach i am guessing alot of the downtown shop owners are not seeing the crowds later in the evening as it once did.
Second, our ride from the airport to the palm beach hotel area was a shock ! It was dirty along the roadway, the grass and fields were high and unkept everywhere, and the quaint little traffic circles were unpainted and the fountains in the center in disrepair WHAT A RIDE !
Our trip was a time warp ride as in 2000 there was maybe 2 cattamaran operators, 1 tube ride and a banna tube ride plus a parasailing boat THATS IT !!
NOW, WoooooW ...the waterway in front of our resort is sooo crowded with tubing boats, cattamarans, multiple parasailing operators and other water activity company operators it really took away from the islands uniqueness.
It seemed like in 8 years time, the entire world heard about, and wanted to experience Aruba which I can not blame them.
My personal opinion, the islands tourism/development department gave way to big business, being the huge developers wanting a piece of the tourism dollar.
Once again i reiterate, WE LOVE ARUBA and will most likely keep returning, the people are the friendliest anywhere, the weather is the best anywhere, and we love it.
We even considered purchasing a new home and living there during the New York winter months. But now we are reconsidering our options on a winter retreat.
I am in no way beating down the island as it is a true paradise on earth, BUT pleease some one in power on the island has to realize what I have seen, as i am sure they themselves are aware and take action to perserve the islands natural beauty or the future of tourism will surely diminish along with the islands beauty.
It was the happiest day of 2008 arriving in Aruba that sunny morning, only to feel heartbroken to see what has happened in such a short span of time. What does 8 years from now hold ? Only the decision makers on the island hold that answer, along with the tourism industry and the future of this paradise.