Mondays are the bad but Mondays after vacation are even worse. All I want right now is the sun and some sand but I’m stuck here in my office. Ok, enough of the sob story I want to tell you about Aruba! When deciding on which Caribbean Island to choose next we landed on Aruba since we loved Curacao so much and they are neighbors. We were not disappointing. Aruba has amazingly warm water, great snorkeling, and so much more.
We chose to stay at Costa Esmeralda Village in Noord. It turned out to be the perfect home-base. It was new, clean, and very reasonably priced. We split the two bed/two bath apartment with another couple and came in under $100 a night.
While Aruba does have some high rise hotels you could still get away from the hustle and bustle and find beaches where there were only a few families.
The food in Aruba was unsurprisingly expensive but there were so many options to choose from you could find reasonable meals. We especially loved the Dutch Pancake houses which usually only ran us about $12 a meal. Plus our apartment had a kitchen so we could easily make meals there and save a few bucks.
We attended the Bon Bini festival that is held every Tuesday night and had mixed reviews. Overall I’m glad we went but I can’t lie, I was a little bored during some of it. The reason it is still worth it to go is you get to learn a lot about Aruba’s culture and history. They even teach you some of the language so for the rest of our vacation I was able to say thank you, hello, good morning, etc. in Papiamento to the locals.
One of my favorite activities in Aruba was our ATV day. We rented ATV’s for a day from Justin’s Car & ATV Rental. We thought we had seen most the island, but we were way wrong. On the ATV’s we completely circled the island and went places you can’t get to by car. We were able to visit the beautiful Natural Pool and explore some ancient caves.
A huge highlight to the trip was the diving. Ryan FINALLY got his diver’s license and so we got to go together for the first time in Aruba. We went with Happy Diver’s and glad we did. They were professional, got us to the dive spots before anyone else, and included everything in the price(even photos!). We got to dive along the Arashi reef and see tons of sea turtles and sting rays but the best part was diving to see the Antilles ship that was sunk over 70 years ago.
The snorkeling in Aruba was great. It took us awhile to figure out which beaches were best and where to go on those beaches but once we did it was great. I will do a more detailed post later on the beaches on Aruba.
Overall it was a great trip. I would definitely recommend Aruba. I wish I was still there sitting on the beach after a long snorkel drinking a pina colada.