Aruba Beach
Aruba Nights Island Guide
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  1. #11
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Glad to see you are giving Aruba a visit...you will love it !! I will try to answer the questions I can and I am sure everyone else will pitch in and give you their versions.........many different ideas from everyone, you won't know where to start first....
    I always rent a 4x4. My husband and I first visited on a cruise and rented one and took the chance and toured ourselves, we had a blast. It has become a tradition to go around the island every year to see if anything is new, so my suggestion is yes. But if you are ont too adventurous, rent one for 3 days and see the island and then just use a cab to get around to downtown or dinner.....You can even use the bus which is cheap, we have and have never had a problem.
    If you pay in dollars you will get dollars back, however you may get change in florins. You can use either....you can get florins when you get there or not, depending on your preference. I never exchange for florins.....just keep bringing it home with me...up to about 40 dollars american and might take it with me in november and cash in !!!
    Not sure how late the cabs run, but yes they are okay...I have seen folks talk about a cabbie named "Bully" and how great he is...a little help please.....
    You can get a bus schedule at the hotel also, they run all day, but again since I use a jeep I don't know their schedules..........I do know I have paid the cabs in us dollars though as well as the buses.
    I love El Gaucho, but you will hear varying opinions on that one. I have never had a bad meal and the meat has always been tender and cooked perfectly. A matter of opinion I guess. I would day a must, but I would also suggest Madame Janette's......YUM !!
    Shopping is great in town. When I was there last year the shops up towns by the high rises were just opened..........nice but very expensive !!! I don't go to shop and don't bring home gifts so I really don't do much shopping anymore. Good jewelry shops downtown with really good deals though.
    Some restaurants automatically but a gratuity onto the bill which I don't care for because they say it goes to the entire staff and not just the waiter. If I see that I slip the waiter 10or15% more so I am sure they get what they deserve, but just what I do. I would say to tip as you would anywhere else.
    A must see..........Natural Pool, but hard to get to....quads are the best and safest so if you're into it ....go for it. I would say rent a 4x4, get a map, start very early and start at the hotel, head for the light house, alto vista chapel, goldsmith ruins, then natural bridge........then start from the other end the next day...baby beach and snorkeling, quadrikri caves, love tunnels, ....OH heck, just go for it !!!! Take a sft cooler with you from here in the states to use and fill it with lots of water and spend a day or two exploring......you will come back every year.....I promise !!!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  2. #12
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    Just follow Danadog's prescription and check out the rest of the posts on the board for more answers. Don't worry about missing anything. You'll be back.

    I've started to augment my blog with more photos and things. Over the next couple of months it will continue to swell as I'm on the island now.

    44
    Aruba's Novelist in Residence (sometimes)
    http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com/

  3. #13
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    1. Should we rent a car? If so, is there a best place to rent? Rent for a few days, its a lot of fun
    2. If you pay in dollars and get change in Florins is the exchange rate taken into account. Should we get some Florins before we leave or upon arrival. Nah, you don't need florins, not necessary at all
    3. What is best way to get from airport to hotel and what is approximate cost. Cab's located outside. You could contact Bully for a ride, he will meet you at the airport with your name
    4. Are cabs OK and how late do they run? Run 24/7
    5. Is bus sytem reliable and how often and late does it run. Bus is reliable and located all around the island
    6. How does one pay for cab or bus. Dollars or Florins? Dollars for ride and tip
    7. Is El Gaucho restaurant as good as they say it is? Is there a must do restaurant? Ah, its ok...husband loves it, i don't
    8. Best place for gift shopping? Mall downtown, or new one near highrisers, also marketplace on the waterfront that sells "island type souveniers
    9. What are tipping practices in Aruba? Just like home, hotel, bell boys, cab, maid, bartender
    10. Is there anything that is a must see or do? Plenty to do, and plenty not to do, I am the "not to do person".

    Hope this answers your questions

  4. #14
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyo View Post
    3. What is best way to get from airport to hotel and what is approximate cost. Cab's located outside. You could contact Bully for a ride, he will meet you at the airport with your name
    Fare is about $17 to the low rise hotels and $20 to high rise resorts on Palm Beach.
    Taxi service- BULLY...
    Who is Bully?????

    5. Is bus sytem reliable and how often and late does it run. Bus is reliable and located all around the island
    Bus runs from about 5:45 a.m. to just after Midnight

    7. Is El Gaucho restaurant as good as they say it is? Is there a must do restaurant? Ah, its ok...husband loves it, i don't
    Dh and I side with Cindy. Sorry Rob. Check out some of the reviews at http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/steakhouse.html?cuisine_type=steakhouse

    8. Best place for gift shopping? Mall downtown, or new one near highrisers, also marketplace on the waterfront that sells "island type souveniers
    The waterfront stands and the shops at the airport get our money. T-shirts at the airport are more expensive, but better quality.

    10. Is there anything that is a must see or do? Plenty to do, and plenty not to do, I am the "not to do person".
    Hope this answers your questions
    http://www.aruba.com/whattodo/ Use the drop down menu for a dozen choices.

    (Cindy I could easily vacation with you doing nothing. )

  5. #15
    Junior Member
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    Ralph, Yes I agree with Dana. Rent the jeep. We rented one for 2 weeks and had a blast. Each time we go back we find something new. The soft cooler from home is a great idea, pack it with a lunch, snacks, and some water or drinks. This is what we did and great fun just exploring, taking great pics, and finding alot of neat things. We started at the California Lighthouse one day and worked our way down, and then the next time we went to Baby Beach and worked our way back the other way. You just won't believe your eyes and yes you will come back again and do it all over. We built a few rock formations on our own and added some washed up trash. We hope to go back and see if it is still there. Some one even put their bra out there. Pretty funny. You will see what we mean when you go. Just have a great time. Cindy M. ( Bikerchic from PA)

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Mornin' Ralph,

    I just couldn't let your question about El Gaucho to go by without a reply.

    Now, I'm only thinking of your health here. (Lisa has heard this one several times before; CindyO, this is me telling you this for the first time.) but you're on holidays; you're walking around, swimming, snorkeling, etc in tropical heat. You're using up muscle and muscle is protein, right? El Gaucho's 16oz Gaucho steak is the best tasting source of protein on the planet!!!

    Sorry, Lisa and CindyO, but you know it wouldn't be right if Ralph went to Aruba and didn't get his protein from the right place. Don't think of it as a restaurant recommendation; think of it as a suggestion for healthy living!!

    Have a good one.

    Glenn

  7. #17
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Ralph and Glenn, and my husband for that matter....enjoy El Guacho, 16 oz steak..yes good protein for you....take alll the men....the girls will enjoy something else when we're there...Though I will say, they have added some nice new sides so you have 6 to choose from, and you can pass on the soggy corn....garlic mashed is really good, onions good too

  8. #18
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Mornin' Ralph,
    I just couldn't let your question about El Gaucho to go by without a reply. Have a good one.
    Glenn
    I couldn't be more proud of you! I like the part about replacing muscle.

  9. #19
    Member tirrell143's Avatar
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    First Timer Questions

    This will be my wife and I first trip to Aruba. Since my wife was a little girl she has dreamed of visiting Aruba. For her 30th birthday I surprised her with this trip scheduled for Dec 13th - 20th. We will be staying at the Divi Village Golf Resort. Being that this has been alife long dream for her, I really want to make this the most amazing vacation possible on a blue collar budget. I have booked sunset cruise, a day at the de palm island, and a off-road adventure. I have some other ideas, but I am not sure how practical they are considering my lack of knowledge of the area.

    My questions are as follows:

    1) Any advice or tips for first time visitors?

    2) Any things we absolutely shouldnt miss?

    3) Best Restaurants that are a must?

    4) Rental car necessary?

    5) I was thinking about spending a night on the beach, watching sunset, and sunrise. Any laws against doing such a thing? Safety? (I am a large (6'7") Martial Artist, so I am not the type people will want to think about making trouble with.)

    6) Here is the corny one, That tree we all see in pictures (you know the one, seen it in others avatars), is it real, and where can I find it?


    Thanks in advacne for your help. I really want to make this the most memorable trip for my lovely wife. Life is short, never know if you can ever make it back, so I want to do it right!

  10. #20
    Senior Member Sunny Beaches's Avatar
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    Welcome what a surprise, no you can't sleep on the beach. By staying at the Divi golf i believe Windows on Aruba on site you can have a 3 course meal off the main menu for $30pp that's at least a 50% savings. Don't over book your only there a week and IMO being on the blue collar I would rent a jeep for a day and explore on your own, California Lighthouse, Alto Vista, Gold Mine, Baby Beach to snorkel with no waves, but plenty of fish all do able in a day. Then relax and enjoy! (if you do rent & go to the north side(ruff) don't drive in the sand. The tree I think is in the high rise area, but it's not the only one. Also across the street from where you are is the Tamarijn & Divi resorts that have restaurants on site, and the Alhambra Casino with golf cart shuttles.

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