Last week, I wrote about Grand Cayman, one of the most popular Caribbean ports of call. Today I want to give you some information on another very popular island, Aruba.
Aruba is the smallest of the so called ABC islands (the other two are Bonaire and Curacao). They are part of the Netherland Antilles, and one of their main advantages is that the lie below the Caribbean’s “Hurricane belt”. This means the probability of a hurricane hitting the islands is much less than in the rest of the Caribbean.
Despite being the smallest of the 3 islands, Aruba is by far the more popular among tourists. Its main draw is the white sand beaches along part of its Western and Southern shores. Areas like Eagle Beach and Palm Beach offer a variety of accommodations, and they are just North of the island’s capital or Oranjestad. They also offer water based activities such as parasailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, etc.
For those accustomed to an active lifestyle, Aruba offers an excellent variety of restaurants, nightclubs and casinos, as well as shopping.
For nature lovers, there is a bird sanctuary, a butterfly farm, caves, natural pools, sand dunes, rock formations, and natural bridges. Even though the most famous natural bridge collapsed in 2005, there are several other bridges worth a look.
The Aruba Tourism Authority has released its calendar of events for the rest of the year. They are a wonderful excuse to plan a visit to the island around events of particular interest. Some of the more interesting are:
- March: National Anthem and Flag Day features folkloric productions and sporting events
- April: 49th RBTT International Boulevard Race, with over 200 competitors from several countries
- May: Soul Beach Music Festival, a 2-night concert series. Past performers include Sean Paul, Chaka Khan, Boys II Men, Alicia Keys and Brian McKnight
- May: The Food & Wine Festival coincides with the Soul Beach Music Festival.
- June: 24th Aruba’s International Triathlon, featuring more than 100 competitors
- July: One of the earliest forms of voluntourism, the 16th annual Reef Care Project allows over 800 participants to clean the islands most popular beaches, dive and snorkel sites, and raise awareness for the need for a clean marine environment
- August: Pro-Am Golf Tournament
- September: Aruba Poker Classic & Blackjack Tournament, no limits with over a million dollars in prices
- October: 8th Aruba Music Festival. Past performers include Pat Benatar, the Doobie Brothers, Chicago, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Gloria Estefan, etc.
- November: Aruba Catamaran Regatta
Given the economic situation, it’s easier to find deals at several hotels. Some of the good news from hotels are:
- The Westin Aruba Resort has upgraded its All Inclusive plan to include room service, the Westin Kids Club, beach palapas, and an off-site dining credit to sample some of the local restaurants.
- The Aruba Marriott has completed a $50 million renovation that includes all rooms, restaurant additions, and overhaul of the lobby and reception area.
- The new Three for Free Package from Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino offers a fifth night free, a complimentary one-category room upgrade and full breakfast for two daily. Guests using an American Express Card to pay for their room will receive the added bonus of a special welcome amenity upon check-in and complimentary late check-out. The Three for Free package offers a 25 percent savings, and is available for stays now through March 31.
- Another package deal for the Hyatt Regency offers up to 35% off room rates when booked by March 31st when booked in conjunction with American Airlines flights.
If you want to learn more about Aruba, or would like to look at the possibility of taking a vacation there, feel free to contact us. We’ll work with you to make sure your vacation is all you want it to be.
N. Miami Beach, FL
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171