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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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  1. #1
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    Smile Leaving in 10 Days - Do I make reservations in Advance

    I am leaving for Aruba on June 14th - approx. 10 days away. My boyfriend and I love to tour and hike so we are looking at a lot of the tours on the websites.
    On some of the tour websites it says I should book 10 days in advance so that means today... From experience is it best to book the Jeep Tours and Sails in advance or can I do it when I arrive.

    I am looking at the following activities - would love to hear opinions if anyone has taken part of any of the activities in the past.

    - Full Day Jeep Tour
    - Tattoo Party Boat - (Is Wed or Fri better)
    - Sunset Sail -> there seem to be a couple options - anyone recommend the best?

    I was also thinking of renting a car and driving to the National Park to explore the caves and tunnels - should I book car in advance??

    Any help would be great…I feel like I might be over planning but I do not want to miss out on anything because it is “sold out”!
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Advance reservations this time of year is personal preference. Dh and I prefer to make advance reservations when we know are plans are set. We just like knowing that we can do what we want, WHEN we WANT. If you wait until you are on the island, there may be somethings which you may have to be flexible on, such as a one day car rental. Once we waited until we were on the island for a one day car rental and they were sold out for the day we wanted, and that was in September when the island was nearly deserted.

    For restaurants, popular restaurants such as the Flying Fishbone, make your reservation today, yesterday if you want a table on the beach at sunset.

    You mentioned you are hikers. http://www.sensitivehikers.com/ Aruba Nature Sensitive Hikers. No matter where you hike, plan on bringing water, wear sunscreen and a hat.

    All day jeep tours, http://www.abc-aruba.com/ ABC Jeep Tours is very popular.

    Sunset sail, check out Tranquilo http://www.tranquiloaruba.com/ for a smaller more intimate excursion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rob o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Advance reservations this time of year is personal preference.
    Arubalisa is truly the maven of Aruba. I think "personal preference" is code for...."you don't have to have them (reservations)". That said, if I were 1/2 of a young couple and did not know Aruba, I would do my homework on-line and plan (that's part of the fun), but would not make reservations and remain totally flexible. What you think you want to do now may change when you get there.

    One more thing...in Aruba, even if you make advance reservations you typically have to re-confirm once you get there anyway.

    Take advantage of your concierge!
    Please contact via e-mail at arubarennowner@gmail.com



  4. #4
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    Cool Book in Advance

    I agree with the previous comment that you should do your research in advance of getting to Aruba as it will leave you with more time to relax while on vacation. That being said....

    I would book your excursions in advance. Indeed, some of the companies offer discounts if you book in advance/book online and you will be assured that your chosed date will be available if you book in advance.

    In my opinion, the full jeep tour is well worth it as it is a great way to see Aruba. However, I would recommend that you go with a company that travels to the Natural Pool as part of an island tour. That being said, I thought the ATV tour was more fun than the jeep tour. Kini Kini tours offers a great full day ATV tour that you may want to investigate further.

    For the sunset sail, you may want to try Pelican Adventures. I believe it is $42 per person (i.e. reasonable) on a catamaran (i.e. nice boat) and it is not too crowded (at least it was not when I went).

    As for renting a car, if you are planning on doing the full day jeep tour, you will most likely be going through the National Park and visiting the caves on the tour. Hence, you may want to rethink whether it is necessary to rent a car when you are there.


  5. #5
    jep
    jep is offline
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    all of the hotels have at least one tour desk -- and they can help you book of your tours. We had a great time on the ABC Jeep tour last year --- it helped that the guy drving the jeep was a little bit on the wild side. While you can get to Natural Pool on your own, would not recommend -- the trip in a jeep in well worth the experince.

  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for your responses, I can not wait to leave work and research the things you all mentioned.

    One thing I see the ABC tour is 5.5 hours for the Jeep Tour, but I also see a tour with a stop to DePalm Island that is 8 hours - but 2.5 hours is snorkling on the island - This was the site I was looking at : Aruba Safari + De Palm Island Combo. Does it make sense to do the snorkle with the tour or rent equipment on our own

    I also have some other questions that I will post later I truly appreciate it - this site rocks!!

    THANKS!!

  7. #7
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    Cool Try a separate snorkel tour

    Many of the full day tours stop at Baby Beach (good location to snorkel) and provide you with equipment/some time to snorkel while there, hence, you can take a jeep tour and go snorkeling without having to go to De Palm island. That being said, the tours (i.e. that include snorkeling in the itinerary) provide you with a limited amount of time to snorkel at Baby Beach.

    If you would like to do more snorkeling, I would suggest that you go on a separate tour. I know the Tranquilo offers a 10AM to 4PM($70 per person) tour that has received some pretty good reviews on this forum (see the link to the Tranquilo in Arubalisa's reply). Alternatively, some of the hotels (e.g. Holiday Inn) will provide you with snorkeling equipment for free (as part of your all-inclusive package). As such, you may want to rent a car after you have gone on the tour and go back to snorkel to Baby Beach/other spots around the island that you did not get a chance to visit while on the tour.


  8. #8
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    Leaving in 9!! Days and I think I have a plan - what do you think?

    Thank you all again for your help, I went home last night and mapped out the activites I plan to book ahead. I would love to know your thoughts...

    Tours
    Atlantis Submarine
    Jolly Pirates - Sail / Snorkel Swim (Malmok, Bpca Catalina, Antilla)
    Aruba Safari + De Palm Island Combo (California Lighthouse, Bushirbana Gold Mills Ruins, Natural Bridge, Ostrich Farm, Snorkeling at DePalm Island)
    Rent Car and Drive through Island
    Tranquilo Sunset Cruise

    Night Activities
    Tattoo Party Boat
    Kukoo Kunuku

    Dinner
    Madame Jeanette’s
    Flying Fishbone

    The rest of our time we plan to do beach, bars, and random other activies. Are there any key things that I am missing to get the full Aruba experience (We are there for 9 days)

    Thank you!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Thumbs up

    >>>> "popular restaurants such as the Flying Fishbone, make your reservation today,"
    ----- This might be the one you should make reservations in advanace.
    The first 3 weeks in June are very slow so reservations are not needed for most tours. Except: Go to the site below.
    http://www.visitaruba.com/travel/toa.../#schedule2008
    During the summer months there are very few cruise ships in port. But they sometimes can hog all the tours so stay on the beach those days.
    Last edited by TomFrederick; 06-04-2008 at 10:07 AM.

  10. #10
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    The site says you can only book for 5pm - can you sit there to see the sunset?? Doesn't that happen around 6:30.

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