Thanks to the famous flamingo photos all over the Internet, Aruba
has been one of the hottest destinations this year, proving once again
advertising powers of Instagram. As you might be well aware by now, I have had
the chance to visit this magical place this autumn. It is an absolute paradise full of pastel coloured houses and soft sandy beaches and in today’s post I wanted
to share a few snaps with you that didn’t make it onto any of my social media
as well as do a quick recap of the trip…
Where To Stay
Let’s just start by saying that, like any Caribbean destination,
Aruba will come with an eye-watering price tag, however every penny of it will
be worth it. There are so many hotels to chose from, raging from mediocre
all-inclusive to luxurious room-only facilities. Renaissance is the hotel to
stay at, but if your budget is closer to a normal young adult’s budget, then
why not opt for “high-rise” hotels. Those include Riu Hotels, Hyatt, Holiday Inn and many others. For those of you who have asked, we have stayed at Riu Palace and having explored all of the near-by hotels, I must say if I was to come back, I would probably stay there again. Riu had the largest and most incredible beach of all, not to mention the usual – lots of delicious food, complimentary water activities (everything from snorkeling to kayaks) and unlimited prosecco!
What To Do
Just like any other destination, Aruba has many excursions to offer, from on-water to land excursions. Of course, everyone is different, some prefer to soak up the sun by the pool, others, like myself, love to get out there and explore as much as possible. I highly suggest to do activities in Aruba, as it is just too beautiful to miss out on. My personal favourites are snorkeling (sea life is amazing, not to mention the hundreds of starfishes scattered at the bottom of the seabed), horse riding on the beach or country-side and just general “must see” places. I’m sure you can find a full list of attractions on TripAdvisor, but I advice to see the flamingos of course (read about it here) and the Eagle Beach.
Where To Eat
Not even sure how to complete this section without dragging it out, as the choice of restaurants is absolutely enormous. On top of that they are all absolutely delicious, from $5 meal to the fine dinning. Aruba is a beautiful safe island where tourists are absolutely free to walk around wherever without any hesitation, therefore you have no excuse about not dinning outside your resort. For an incredible experience you MUST try Barefoot Restaurant – a formal dinning right on the beach, plus you get to see airplanes land about every 10 minutes – incredible. Another favourite of mine was The West Deck cafe – low prices, yummy food, chilled atmosphere and breathtaking views.
Some other places that we have tried and loved:
+297 – Delicious dinner-only destination that turns into a trendy bar by night.
Eduardo’s Beach Shack – If you are a health maniac, this one is for you!
Papillon – French dining so delicious, that only Parisian restaurants could compete with it!
How Not To Get Homesick
Now for me, this part of the holiday is just as important as choosing the hotel or planning outfits. I get really homesick, especially when I travel for longer than a week. I hate leaving my cat on his own and always worry that someone is going to come and steal him (or something else in the house for that matter). It is great when you have relatives that you can FaceTime every now and then, but what if they are away too (my case)? And yes, we do have friendly enough neighbours who won’t let the cat starve, but I just can’t help but worry due to the bad experience I’ve had in the past.
This time, however, things were a little bit different for me, as I was able to monitor pretty much everything that was going on in the house when I was away thanks to Panasonic’s Smart Home system. Through my phone app, I was able to check what my precious pet is up to thanks to the little cameras that are installed throughout the house! I could even do this at night thanks to the appliances control, which means I could turn my lights on and off even while I was in Aruba. Best of all, coming back to the cold London, the heating was already on when we got home. All-in-all this has helped me enjoy our break even more, as I constantly had a piece of mind.
DO NOT be fooled by the clouds, the sun gets you really bad, so be sure to slap on that factor 50.
DO NOT get in the cab wet! This is really important. If you leave driver’s seats wet or even slightly damp there will be a charge from $50 to $100 dollars per ride. Unfortunately, we had to learn the hard way.
DO NOT travel during hurricane season. We were the unlucky few that got caught up in hurricane Matthew, so the second week of our holiday consistent of non-stop eating and watching movies in the room.
DO bring plenty of cash, as the charge for ATM transactions is absolutely ridiculous.
DO fight iguana phobia before you arrive as they are absolutely everywhere and they are huge!
DO enjoy plenty of Rum, sun and sandy beaches 🙂