I specify immediately that the low cost of the title is intended for an international trip starting from Italy so don’t expect a spending under € 1500 per person for 11 days.
This year we started organizing our August holiday trip early. We wanted to leave for a distant destination, but unfortunately, August is not the right time for most of the places in the world outside Europe.
Our first choice was Bali, but the eruption of the Agung volcano and the necessary vaccinations made us desist. Then by chance a friend suggested Aruba, island where I didn’t know absolutely we could go in August! In fact it is the only one in the Caribbean to be out of the route of the hurricanes and with an excellent climate all year. In Aruba August is also low season because the island is filled with tourists when in America it’s winter. By booking in January we were able to find affordable prices, we took the flight with Klm via Amsterdam at € 848 each, although the one with American Airlines via Miami cost € 650, to avoid doing the ESTA and the endless queues to immigration to the United States, but also because in the past we didn’t feel comfortable with American Airlines. The flights of KLM were punctual and, although we were in Economy, we were pampered with drinks, meals, snacks (even an ice cream croissant!) free. Above all, each seat had its own screen with a selection of films (also in Italian), games and music; which we had not found on the American Airlines flight to Mexico.
On Booking we have chosen where to stay, of course the hotels had crazy prices, but we found apartments at really low prices. We chose the Bubali Luxury Apartments that was not too far from the sea at a price of 1130 € in two for 10 nights (read the conditions of each room because there is always about 14% to add service taxes) but there were even much cheaper accommodations than this one. Our apartment was fantastic, large, equipped with every comfort and the owners very kind and available for every need. It was also 5 minutes from one of the largest supermarkets on the island, Super Food, so convenient.
The only other big expense was to rent the car, which is essential to travel the island independently, we rented it from the owners of our apartment and for 10 days it cost us $ 420 including insurance.
I recommend you to download the map of Aruba from the Google Maps APP in order to have a GPS without internet. And before leaving, remember to take out travel insurance that is essential because medical care costs a lot abroad, we did it with Axa (I can not judge how it is in case of need because fortunately we didn’t use it).
APP useful for the trip:
Tourism is essential for the island and can already be seen from the car license plates, where there is the slogan “One happy island” in addition to the official website aruba.com
Our trip in the happy island started with the most touristic beach: Palm Beach. This is the beach in front of the mega resorts and for this reason it is the most crowded and the most expensive (we spent $ 45 for a beach umbrella and two sunbeds). Despite this, it is to be seen, the palms delimit the boundaries and it’s a show especially at sunset. I recommend a very high sunscreen because the temperatures reach very high levels, but the very pleasant wind, which constantly blows on the island, doesn’t make you feel the risk of a burn.
For lunch we ate a yogurt with fruit from Eduardo’s Beach Shack discovered thanks to Instagram:
The second day we exploited the fact of being able to get up at dawn easily, thanks to jet lag, and we went to the Renaissance Hotel to try to be among the first 20 to buy the entrance to their private island where there are flamingos . In fact, every day at 6.30 am the queue begins to form because the ticket office opens at 7 and only the first 20 (which are not guests of the hotel) can buy a ticket to reach the private island. The only other way to get to the island is to buy a night at the hotel because the Renaissance guests have the opportunity to get to the private island whenever they want.
The ticket is expensive, costs $ 125 per person and includes transportation with a motorboat to the island and lunch at a restaurant there. The beach of the flamingos is reserved for adults but there is an hour in which children can even see them. We preferred the Iguanas beach which was much larger and quieter (there was only one iguana but far from the beach and the sunbeds).
The third day started with an amazing breakfast at Linda’s Dutch Pancakes:
And it continued with the discover of Eagle Beach, one of the most famous and large in Aruba. Really beautiful, poorly equipped, huge and with fantastic colors. Right on this beach are the famous Divi Divi trees bent by the wind, symbol of Aruba.
While in the late afternoon we visited the center of Oranjestad:
the day after we went to visit the Alto Vista Chapel, which can be reached by car driving on really scenic streets with white crosses that accompany you until arrival and cactus in every corner.
Then we went to see a bit of different beaches in the car, starting from the visit of the California lighthouse in the north of the island, going down the coast we saw Arashi Beach (often there you can see the turtles) and we stopped to do a bit of snorkeling at Malmok Beach.
Then we went to visit the aloe factory, which is one of the main resources of the island, and in the evening we ate some crazy ribs at Smokey Joe’s:
FIFTH AND SIXTH DAY
In the afternoon we went to Mangel Halto: one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. Amazing the tongue of sand without rocks in the sea forming a footbridge and the mangroves. The water is low so it is also suitable for families with children!
On the seventh day we visited the small town of San Nicolas, famous for the magnificent murals that adorn each wall. Apart from street art, we found a truly deserted and desolate town!
From San Nicolas we reached the beach of Baby beach, very popular with locals with children, but we honestly found it chaotic and on the horizon you could see an abandoned oil refinery.
The last days we returned to the beaches that we loved the most: Palm beach, Mangel Halto and the private island of the Renaissance hotel.
Lastly I would like to recommend the Salt&Pepper restaurant in Palm Beach, very good and super special location thanks to a huge collection of salt and pepper statuettes!
The crazy sunsets over the sea, the long deserted white beaches and the transparent sea will remain in our hearts forever!
Here the video of our holiday: