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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: Recommendations + advice please

  1. #1
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    Recommendations + advice please

    Hi everyone,
    Just finished rescheduling our trip for a third time (since April 2020) and hopefully we can actually go this time .
    We have been in Aruba twice but last time was 20 years ago. I got some good recommendations from this board on places to stay for this trip so we booked 3 nights at Manchebo Beach and then 11 nights at an Air BnB at Gold Coast. Figured to be best away from busy hotels.
    We are going in November, week before Thanksgiving and flying back day after Thanksgiving. This is supposed to be our 20th anniversary trip from last year as well as a family trip with our 15 year old. Maybe you could help me with a few things?
    I really wanted to do Jolly Pirates again but not sure if I am ready for crowds like that with covid and all that (I assume they are still crowded). Is or are there private snorkeling and boat tours you recommend for a small group of three?
    The last two times we were there in May, is November much different? From what I read the weather is about the same, water temp of the ocean too? I don't remember mosquitos, is that different in November when it's sprinkling rain a little bit?
    Any must do local restaurants we should not miss? We like all kinds of food but definitely the more local the better. Where are the best chicken satay on the island? Should we go somewhere/do something for Thanksgiving Day?
    Thank you so much in advance and thank you for posting all your neat trip reports, I enjoy reading them!
    Anja
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  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    A smaller more quiet snorkel tour ...I recommend the Tranquilo.

    I think the difference between Nov and May is that there are more frequent rain showers in Nov.
    Really my experience is that they are not too much bother, but be aware that there could be some rain.

    The mosquitos depend upon if there has been much rain.
    When it is dry, the mosquitos are not present.....unless I am there ..I am a magnet for mosquitos.

    I can tell you that the worst chicken sate' is at the Paddock.
    I do like the sate' at Lindas pancakes!

    A few local spots.... The Fish House, Local Store, Alfies and Cafe 080. Also any of the food trucks!!

    If you are looking for turkey on thanksgiving day, some of the restaurants will offer it.
    Buy one at home, stick it in the freezer and have a Thanksgiving dinner when you return.
    Turkey in Aruba is really not that terrific.

    Please read the restaurant reviews in the trip reports.

    I believe that the ocean temp is always between 79 and 82.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja D. View Post
    Hi everyone,
    Just finished rescheduling our trip for a third time (since April 2020) and hopefully we can actually go this time .
    We have been in Aruba twice but last time was 20 years ago. I got some good recommendations from this board on places to stay for this trip so we booked 3 nights at Manchebo Beach and then 11 nights at an Air BnB at Gold Coast. Figured to be best away from busy hotels.
    We are going in November, week before Thanksgiving and flying back day after Thanksgiving. This is supposed to be our 20th anniversary trip from last year as well as a family trip with our 15 year old. Maybe you could help me with a few things?
    I really wanted to do Jolly Pirates again but not sure if I am ready for crowds like that with covid and all that (I assume they are still crowded). Is or are there private snorkeling and boat tours you recommend for a small group of three?
    The last two times we were there in May, is November much different? From what I read the weather is about the same, water temp of the ocean too? I don't remember mosquitos, is that different in November when it's sprinkling rain a little bit?
    Any must do local restaurants we should not miss? We like all kinds of food but definitely the more local the better. Where are the best chicken satay on the island? Should we go somewhere/do something for Thanksgiving Day?
    Thank you so much in advance and thank you for posting all your neat trip reports, I enjoy reading them!
    Anja
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? SIDTM
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    We usually go in May and November. Our last trip was November 2019. You won’t find much difference in the weather. Any rain that we have experienced has happened overnight so it never impacted our day. We always have enjoyed Thanksgiving week and you would be surprised how many restaurants offer a Thanksgiving menu. Manchebo is one of our favorite places to stay. The staff is wonderful and their restaurants are excellent.

    You might like to take a look at Black Pearl for a snorkeling trip. They only take out twenty people. There are two snorkel stops and it’s a pretty laid back trip.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    https://www.facebook.com/yanticaferestaurant

    Yanti Cafe and Restaurant is a local place that has great peanut sauce with their sate. It used to be near MAB Paints on Smith Blvd, but have moved to Wilhelminastraat #105 not far from the Banco de Caribe. They are a Surinamese/Indonesian place. We have not been to their new location. It's more of lunch place IMO than dinner.






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  5. #5
    Senior Member bhoffdhoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    A smaller more quiet snorkel tour ...I recommend the Tranquilo.

    I think the difference between Nov and May is that there are more frequent rain showers in Nov.
    Really my experience is that they are not too much bother, but be aware that there could be some rain.

    The mosquitos depend upon if there has been much rain.
    When it is dry, the mosquitos are not present.....unless I am there ..I am a magnet for mosquitos.

    I can tell you that the worst chicken sate' is at the Paddock.
    I do like the sate' at Lindas pancakes!

    A few local spots.... The Fish House, Local Store, Alfies and Cafe 080. Also any of the food trucks!!

    If you are looking for turkey on thanksgiving day, some of the restaurants will offer it.
    Buy one at home, stick it in the freezer and have a Thanksgiving dinner when you return.
    Turkey in Aruba is really not that terrific.

    Please read the restaurant reviews in the trip reports.

    I believe that the ocean temp is always between 79 and 82.

    What Andrea said. Perfect advice.

    Robin, I love your new avatar!!
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  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for your input!
    I will check out Tranquilo and Black Pearl and look for the restaurant reviews too.
    Yanti Cafe and Restaurant sounds great, will put that on our list for food places. Food trucks sound also good, I assume they are just in random places but I am sure we can find some (we will have a car).
    Ocean temp sounds great, all the weather websites fluctuate so much so it's good to get some first hand advice.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member phrogg108's Avatar
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    I second the vote for the Back Pearl. Done it twice and will be again next month. It is a great time! And, as always gets mentioned: the grilled cheese sandwiches they serve are out of this world!!! So is the rum punch.
    Pictures from our Oct 2020 trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/TGHm1uumCXGEkEHv5
    Pictures from our Oct 2021 trip: (link forthcoming!)


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  8. #8
    Senior Member B Likes To Travel's Avatar
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    I was on the island last year late November. The weather was great, with a few showers here and there. Mosquitos know how to find me so I always bring spray/wipes and I brought a repellant candle for sitting on the balcony.

    I don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but I ate at Zeerovers last year. It's one of my favorites and its a local restaurant. It was very empty - as empty as I ever saw it that day. No tourists. Check it out during your trip.

    A few other local places I like are Red Fish, Fish House, Pika's Corner, and Kamini's Kitchen.

    I'm not sure who serves Thanksgiving fare.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
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    Welcome. Enjoy your trip! I don't have much to add to the other responses already shared so I'll just echo what they've said.
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village

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  10. #10
    Senior Member EDMLS1358's Avatar
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    Try Anna Maria's or Azzurro for great Italian dinner.
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