Aruba is called One Happy Island because it’s impossible not to be happy here. The island is rich in diverse culture and friendly people. The white-sand beaches and clear blue water is breathtakingly beautiful. This is the perfect getaway to relax with no distraction.
Traveling to Aruba
A passport is required to enter, not a visa. All visitors are required to complete the online ED card (https://edcardaruba.aw/) process and be approved in order to be permitted entry. Aruba does not require travelers to be vaccinated but you must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID test result at least 72 hours upon entry. Travelers must also purchase the Aruba Visitors Insurance for $15.
For more information on Aruba travel requirements visit: https://www.aruba.com/us/traveler-health-requirements
You must test again for COVID before going back to the US. I took my test at the resort for $50.
The curfew was lifted the day I arrived! (I got lucky!) So I started my first night on a local party bus, the Chogogo. The party bus drives you around the island to bar hop for a few hours. The party bus provides alcoholic drinks and entertainment. This is a fun way to meet other travelers.
You're allowed to dance on the bus and at certain bars. No dancing is allowed at some bars- no, I’m not joking. It’s hard to not dance to Reggaeton and Dembow. I enjoyed the Caribbean music played throughout the island.
I recommend to listen to the local radio! I heard several songs that have not made it to the US.
Arikok National Park/ Natural Pool
If you’re up for an adventure and want to see amazing views of the island, you must go to Arikok National Park. You can hike the trail for 4 hours or rent a 4x4 jeep for a self-drive tour. I recommend to rent a 4x4 Jeep or ATV ride. The famous Natural Pool, Conchi, is remote, yet also one of most popular nature attractions. Please wear water shoes. You will see fish and lots of crabs! Be careful with the crabs as they blend in with the rocks. You can jump off the cliffs into the natural pool. The water is very salty so protect your eyes. You can also take amazing photos here. If you have a GoPro or drone, you will get amazing shots so make sure you bring it!
If you want to go to a beach with a unique experience and party with the locals, go to Baby Beach. The water is crystal clear and only goes waist deep. There’s a bar called, Big Mama, right on the beach that serves Caribbean food (very expensive- will not recommend) and great drinks (affordable). I personally like to get away from the tourist areas and this was the perfect beach destination.
Explore the island and visit different beaches. Stop on the side of the road whenever you see Jugos frescas. You won’t regret it. The fruit on the island is so fresh. You can also mix it with local rum, Ron Tropical. (shhhhh I didn’t say that)
The BEST fresh seafood!!!! Don’t come on an empty stomach. You’ll be waiting at least 2 hours but Trust me, it’s worth the wait! Come early to avoid long lines and to guarantee the fish you want. I ordered hammer jack fish, shrimp and platanos. The reason why it takes so long to get your food is because they literally go catch the fish you want! The fishermen go to the ocean on their boats and bring it back to fry. You can watch the whole process while you wait. You must also try the local papaya hot sauce and beers.
Gambling is legal in Aruba. I played roulette for the first time and I actually won some dinero!!! If you have some time, go to one of the several casinos on the island and try to win some money to use on your trip. #TravelHack
Casinos are open till 1am.
This was the most disappointing part of the trip. Visiting Flamingo Beach is not that easy. If you're not a guest at the Renaissance Aruba Hotel, you may be able to purchase a day pass for $125, if available, to the private island. Try to book prior to your trip as they limit visitations to the private beach. The earliest time to arrive to the island is at 7am. It’s highly recommend to go as early as possible to avoid the crowd and take the best photos. Unfortunately, a confirmation email of the day pass reservation was not sent and they were unable to look up the reservation in the system, even though the charge came through. Make sure to screenshot your confirmation number as you may not receive an email. The system is very flawed and it’s not operated by the Renaissance. I love flamingos and so sad to not scratch this off my bucket list.
The main languages spoken are English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamento (native language). I really enjoyed listening to the different dialects and the music.
Aruba is on of the safest islands in the Caribbean. I highly recommend for solo travelers to add Aruba to their travel list.
Aruba is the "Island of Aloe"and is one of the largest exporters of Aloe Vera products in the world. Visit the Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory. Even the resort offered complimentary Aloe products.
It’s safe to drink the tap water. No need for water bottles. Aruba has some of the cleanest water in the world.
No need to exchange your money, US dollars are accepted everywhere. And yes, Aruba is EXPENSIVE! Use the Qapital app to save on travel funds. Use my code ‘nv6x94z5’ and earn $5 when you join.
PSA: Bring mosquito spray!!! I was devoured!!!
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