Carribean is all about blue water and beautiful beaches. On our recent travel to this destination we had the most amazing and relaxing vacation. We did some activities and also enjoyed some free time on the beach and it was the best time spent in a long time.
There are many hotels that are on the beach and has easy beach access. Because of Covid we decided to stay in an Airbnb. We picked our Airbnb condo right across the Eagle beach that is also one of the best beaches on the island. The Airbnb we stayed at was a 4 bedroom apartment and it had a direct view of the beach. It had other amenities available such as gym, pool and sauna. We asked for a cleaning service daily so we did not have to worry about cleaning our place and doing dishes and towels.
View from the Apartment
The Airbnb link is below:
Direct Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the hotels are located in the Palm Beach area where most restaurants are located on the island. The hotels and resorts have lot of restaurants of their own so that is an advantage of staying at the hotel.
The best beach on the island is Eagle beach. The water was clear and the sand was super soft.
The Palm beach is another popular beach that has lot of activities and restaurants available on the beach but I found the beach less clean and more commercialized than Eagle beach.
The baby beach that is far from most hotels is a famous beach and the water on the beach is shallow for kids to play and enjoy.
Manchebo beach is another famous beach and I liked the fact the sand was nice and soft and water was turquoise blue
1. Off-road Adventure
You will see people driving ATV and UTV all over the island and it is definitely a fun activity to do on the island. They take you around the island and show you scenic spots. They also show you some snorkeling and diving spots on island. We booked a semi private tour for 4 hours. It costed us around $300 for 1 UTV car. We booked our tour 3/4 days before we arrived so we did not need to make last minute arrangements. The company we used was ABC tours and we loved it. In our opinion 4 hours was too much so my suggestion would be to reduce it by 1 or 2 hours if possible.
Pros: They picked us up from our location and tour guide was welcoming and fun.
Cons: It felt too long
Contact Information for ABC Adventures : Marvin Kelly +2975943543
Direct link: ABC Aruba
2. De Palma Island
We booked a day pass to this Island few days before our trip. It costed us $100 pp and it included food on the island. We had access to beach, kayaking, banana boat, water park all included in the price. The pass was valid from 10am to 5 pm as the island closed at 5pm.We had an opportunity to see Flamingos on the beach that was one of the highlights of visiting this island. We also rented our own cabana that costed us $200. We did sea trekking that costed us $39 pp where we walked under the water with a helmet. This was a good experience especially for a non swimmer like me. I recommend having water shoes for this island as it was very rocky
Pros: The pass included food and 3 water sports and water park, we could see some Flamingos
Cons: The beach was rocky
Link: De Palma Island
De Palma Island
Flamingos at De Palma Island
Cabanas at De Palma Island
3. Eagle Beach
We spend few days on the beach relaxing and snorkeling and it was worth it. No shoes needed. There are shacks all over the beaches for food. We loved Eagle beach for the waves and soft sand. The water was not very clear but the color was just gorgeous.
4. Yacht/Boat Rental
We rented a yacht one of the days for 4 hours. This was one of the best experiences on the island. We booked this 4/5 days before our trip through Octopus Aruba. They stopped at so many spots to snorkel, offered us food and also picked us up from the palm beach. The customer service was just amazing. I highly recommend doing this.
Link: Octopus Aruba
There is a lot of vegetarian food available on the island so don’t worry about finding options. Most restaurants also have vegan options on their menu so that was a plus. We did carry some things as we had kids with us but otherwise if you don’t carry it’s totally ok. Large American food chains are easily available on the island like Subway sandwich, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. We had Pizza Hut twice on our vacation and it tasted good, little more expensive but was worth it.
Tandoor (Indian Restaurant)
We ordered takeout from this restaurant and the food was delicious. The veggies especially kebabs were delicious and the paneer and daal tasted super delicious. The restaurant was very accommodating with our needs and I highly recommend this place if you are craving flavorful food. This was my favorite restaurant on the island.
Faro Blanco Restaurant (Italian)
We made reservation to this restaurant few weeks before our trip. This restaurant was all view and the food was not upto the mark. Food was super expensive and was not worth it. Only thing I liked was their garlic butter and Arancini. They had limited options for vegetarians and the waiters had attitude. The pasta was runny and the food overall was not great. The desserts were terrible as well. I would say skip the restaurant and only go here for a good view.
Tiramisu at Faro tasted bad
View from Faro
Giannis Restaurant (Italian)
This restaurant had variety of pastas available. Overall every thing tasted good. We ordered their famous Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmiagianno, they make this live in front of you on a cheese wheel and serve you. I thought this was a little pungent and was not a fan but few other people in my group enjoyed it. I highly recommend getting their Ravioli and gnocchi. The Tiramisu was also super delicious.
There is Gelati place right outside the restaurant and their gelatos were so good. I highly recommend trying Ferraro Rocher flavor.
Pega Pega (Global Fusion)
We went to this restaurant for a quick lunch on Manchebo beach. We loved everything we got including their juices. The service was slow and laid back but the food was good and lot of vegan options on their menu.
Salad, burgers and Tofu Tacos
Lola Taqueria (Mexican Fusion)
This restaurant had vegan options available on their menu. The food was ok. They had Falafel Tacos on their menu that tasted very good and it was completely vegan. Their Nachos and Elotes tasted good but otherwise food was ok. The service was very good.
Mathews Beach side Restaurant
We got their pancakes, fruits, potatoes and we thought food was ok. Nothing fancy and the only thing we appreciated was that it was on the beach.
Amore Mio Pizzeria also serving breakfast
We got their pancakes, Dalgona Coffee, Avocado Toast (vegan), French Toast, Oatmeal and their continental breakfast and everything tasted very good. The service was also very good and accommodating.
Azia (Asian food)
We ordered takeout from this restaurant and the food was not great. The spring rolls were good but other than that I did not like their rice and broccoli.
Since we stayed at an Airbnb we needed transportation for all our activities and food. We used taxi for few days and then we decided to rent a car of our own. We used taxi service by Henry and service was outstanding. We got to know him from the airport and since then we decided to use him for the entire trip as his service was outstanding.
Contact Info: Henry +2977303152
Covid Precautions and Testing
Its good to keep in mind that everyone that is flying with you has gotten tested before flying. On the airport and on the flight we did our best to sanitize our hands and keep the masks on. When we got there we had asked our owner to have our apartment completely sanitized before our arrival. We kept the mask on everywhere except when we were in private area or on the beach. There was a curfew beyond 10 pm so all the restaurants closed down early. Most employees had mask on all the time so found it very safe. When we there they were averaging 80 cases per day.
Since we did not stay at a hotel we booked our it separately at Spa Del Sol which was probably one of the best spa experiences I had in my life. This was a Spa experience on the beach in a cabana. The Cabana was located on Manchebo beach. The service was very professional and they were very clean. I loved the natural beach waves sound while getting a massage. The massage itself was very good. I highly recommend this place. We booked our appointments few days before our trip.
Link: Spa Del Sol
Covid Testing Center
There are several places where you can get tested for Covid. Most places only take walk in unless you are booking for someone to come to your location and test you for an extra cost. Most places charge $50 to $100 per person for the test and insurance does not cover it. We got tested at Palm Beach Plaza and paid $75 dollars. We got our results for a Pcr test same day in the evening. Most facilities close from 12:30pm- 2 pm so be aware of that. If you are staying at a hotel, most hotels have testing site in the hotel.
You will have to register with Arubahealthy app before you go testing.
Overall this trip was wonderful and even with the pandemic and some limitations it was was well worth it. I will return to this island in future.