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Thread: Newbies looking for advice...

  1. #1
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    Newbies looking for advice...

    Good morning to all on this bright Saturday morning!

    We are headed to Aruba next July and staying at the Amsterdam. Our little group consists of myself, my wife and our daughter (11). We were in Aruba only once before on a cruise some 15 years ago and are looking for some advice. We will be staying six nights and want to enjoy the beautiful beach first and foremost. We are not looking to be on-the-go constantly but were wondering what the "do not miss" items would be in your opinion.

    We ate way back when at El Gaucho and were hoping it is still as awesome as we remembered it...other than that we do not have any solid plans right now. Any input is certainly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    There is a lot to choose from Aruba has changed a lot in the past 15 years!

    The Amsterdam is a very nice place and you are across the street from a fantastic beach. El Gaucho is still there but there are so many top notch restaurants to choose from now.

    How you spend your time depends a lot on what you like to do.

    There are all kinds of island tours using buses, ATVs, jeeps and horses. There are several boat tours you can choose from that do or do not include snorkeling. There's a banana boat, personal water crafts and parasailing. You can get your hair braided or get a massage. Of course you can shop 'til you drop or eat until you explode.

    What do you like?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    At your daughter's age, she would most likely enjoy a snorkel excursion with Jolly Pirates and a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary.

    Dd on their rope swing



    My daughter feeding a carrot to a baby donkey


  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    welcome to the aruba.com community forum.

    check out the family vacation category http://www.aruba.com/forum/f8/

    there are not a ton of kids at amsterdam manor so there may not be many kids her own age to hang out with at the pool there.

    as lisa said the donkey sanctuary and the jolly pirates snorkel might be fun for the family!
    also too an organized jeep tour......(NOT self guided)
    phillips animal sanctuary/farm is a nice break from the beach and is just a 10 minute drive from amsterdam manor.


    visit the culinary/culture section too for dining options.
    great steaks as good as elgaucho downtown can be had at yemanjas.
    and i am not steering you away from elgaucho.
    here are a whole bunch of threads re: family friendly restaurants http://www.aruba.com/forum/search.php?searchid=290432

    andy too made some great suggestions!

    spend lots of time in the various categories here and ask lots of questions!!


    Quote Originally Posted by copcarguyp71 View Post
    Good morning to all on this bright Saturday morning!

    We are headed to Aruba next July and staying at the Amsterdam. Our little group consists of myself, my wife and our daughter (11). We were in Aruba only once before on a cruise some 15 years ago and are looking for some advice. We will be staying six nights and want to enjoy the beautiful beach first and foremost. We are not looking to be on-the-go constantly but were wondering what the "do not miss" items would be in your opinion.

    We ate way back when at El Gaucho and were hoping it is still as awesome as we remembered it...other than that we do not have any solid plans right now. Any input is certainly appreciated!
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 11-02-2013 at 11:16 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kent's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board! Something different is Aruba Trike. They have a few that hold 3 people and its a fun way to see the Island. They are 3 wheel motorcycles.
    Snorkel Mangel Halto, day or night with a waterscooter. Check out our website. E-mail Stuart at arubabob@live.com or call Stuart local: 745-7459 Or visit: www.arubabobsnorkeling.com 50th trip Dec 11, 2017

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. I'm sure your family will have a blast in Aruba and you have plenty of time to plan. Searching this site will reward you with many suggestions for family oriented activities. A jeep tour might be fun or renting a car and spending some time at baby beach.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the great input!

    Snorkeling is definitely a trip we would like to take (maybe two). Our daughter rides horses so I am afraid the Donkey sanctuary might be the same old same old for her. Are the jeep tours really good or are they too touristy? I just hate going on excursions where it feels like your guide is "going through the motions". Likewise the pirate snorkeling seems a little janky for our tastes. Just good old sampling of the beauty of the island and some good eats in the evening are our real aspirations. We will probably eat breakfast and a snack at the hotel.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copcarguyp71 View Post
    Thanks for the great input!

    Snorkeling is definitely a trip we would like to take (maybe two). Our daughter rides horses so I am afraid the Donkey sanctuary might be the same old same old for her. Are the jeep tours really good or are they too touristy? I just hate going on excursions where it feels like your guide is "going through the motions". Likewise the pirate snorkeling seems a little janky for our tastes. Just good old sampling of the beauty of the island and some good eats in the evening are our real aspirations. We will probably eat breakfast and a snack at the hotel.
    Better off then renting a jeep and touring on your own. Bring snorkel gear and there are some spots where you can just snorkel on your own right from the beach and not be bothered with anyone.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Better off then renting a jeep and touring on your own. Bring snorkel gear and there are some spots where you can just snorkel on your own right from the beach and not be bothered with anyone.

    The trike tour looks AWESOME and got a big thumbs up from the other side of the bed! We may consider renting a jeep too one day...not too sure yet. Is there any good snorkeling at Eagle Beach around where the Amsterdam Manor Resort is?

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    if your daughter is a rider, then i wholeheartedly recommend a horseback tour!
    Rancho ElPaso or Ponderosa or Gold Mine all get good reviews. I have ridden with them all, and love the beach and countryside ride, but not the ride to the natural pool.

    I don't know what Janky means (my age is showing right?) but if it means not cool, then how about the snorkel tour with KENT and STUARTwww.arubabobsnorkeling.com

    kent is a member here and he and Stu run an awesome snorkeling tour!! Been there, done that , loved it!


    IMO there are no bad tours on the jeep tours out in the arikok. Kini Kini and DePalm run very good tours.

    Quote Originally Posted by copcarguyp71 View Post
    Thanks for the great input!

    Snorkeling is definitely a trip we would like to take (maybe two). Our daughter rides horses so I am afraid the Donkey sanctuary might be the same old same old for her. Are the jeep tours really good or are they too touristy? I just hate going on excursions where it feels like your guide is "going through the motions". Likewise the pirate snorkeling seems a little janky for our tastes. Just good old sampling of the beauty of the island and some good eats in the evening are our real aspirations. We will probably eat breakfast and a snack at the hotel.

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