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Aruba 7.18.23

We’ve been to Aruba several times so we knew what to expect and what we were doing. I wanted to rent a UTV again and spend the day at the beach since we’ve seen all of the island including Flamingo Island. I contacted Off Road Evolution Aruba which is who we just used in June to rent a UTV. However they stated they no longer were allowed to pick up guests at the cruise port, nor take them back. That would have been $30 round trip for a taxi. So I kept my options open and ended up contacting Arubiana. They stated they would reimburse us for the taxi to their location, and provide transportation back to the port. So that’s who we ended up going with. We were in port from 8am until 10pm.

We debarked the ship when it was cleared and walked off and through the Dufry area. As soon as we exited the building, the taxi line was to our left, and we hopped into the first taxi and told him to take us to Paseao Herencia Mall up near Eagle Beach where Arubiana was located. When we got to the mall, I was confused as to where to go so I called Arubiana. They told me how to get to the office, which you walk beside of the Aldo store on the lower level and there’s an elevator. You take that elevator up to the 3rd floor. Once you exit the elevator, you’ll see Arubiana to your right. We went inside of their office and downloaded the Arubiana app, signed the paperwork and then took the elevator up to the 4th floor where we picked our UTV. Since we were the first ones there, we had the pick of the litter. It was a nice UTV in great shape, and was a pretty blue color. The cost for the UTV was $229 for the entire day.

We left the mall and headed toward the desert. We stopped at the California Lighthouse first since that’s the first stop when you get into the desert. We didn’t go to the top since we had done that before. From there, we rode through the desert and ended up stopping at Druif to see the rock formations, then onto Wariruri where we stopped for some pictures.

From Wariruri we rode up to the Alto Vista Chapel where we wanted to get some pictures. We stayed here for a bit to wait for the excursions to leave so there wouldn’t be as many people. Once they left, we got our pictures then back to the desert we went. We rode up to the Natural Bridge and grabbed some pictures before heading to the Bushiribana Ruins for a quick stop. Here we bought drinks and walked down to the ocean to check out the coral. The coral is really neat in this area! We then cut out of the desert down into Santa Cruz where we hopped on the road toward San Nicolas.

Once we made it to San Nicolas, we rode around to check out the artwork before venturing over to Baby Beach. Once at Baby Beach we stopped at Rum Reef for some lunch. My wife got chicken and I got the shrimp skewers. This lunch was fantastic!!! The views were good, the service was great and the food was exceptional!

After we finished eating, we went over to the beach where we’d spend the rest of the day. We just relaxed in the water at Baby Beach and enjoyed our day being sea sponges.

After a few hours at Baby Beach, decided to head back to the western end of the island. We made our way back into Oranjestad where we ended up going back up to Eagle Beach where all of the cruise passengers go since it’s right at the port. For some reason cruise passengers always want to stay beside of the ship. Eagle Beach is a nice beach but Baby Beach is MUCH, MUCH nicer than Eagle Beach. Plus it’s not as windy and the sea current isn’t as strong. We just wanted to stop at Eagle Beach “because”. We then rode up to Palm Beach and Arashi Beach to check them out before heading back to Paseao Herencia Mall where we would drop off the UTV. However once I parked it, I realized I forgot to fill it up with gas! So back out we went to the nearest Citgo to fill it up with gas. It took $15.75 to fill up. Then we went back to the mall, again, to drop off the UTV.

Once we parked the UTV we went down into the mall to do a little shopping. They have a Psycho Bunny store as well as a Tommy Hilfiger store that we went and shopped in. We also went into the “Beach and Flips” store to do some shopping. We did a good amount of shopping at the mall. I never miss a Tommy Hilfiger store because 95% of my wardrobe is Tommy Hilfiger so I always add to my collection.

After we finished shopping at Paseao Herencia Mall we went back to Arubiana to catch their shuttle back to Oranjestad. We made it back to the port and went to the little shops by the port so I could find my youngest son a lanyard. That’s the one thing he wanted from the islands. He wears it at school so I was determined to find one. I finally did!

After we shopped around the port, we walked over to Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar for dinner. It was Tuesday so TACO TUESDAY!! They have beef tacos for $2, chicken for $3, veggie for $4, fish and shrimp for $5. We loaded up with tacos and only spent $27 on dinner.

After we were done at Lucy’s, we ended up going back to the ship and taking showers. It was a long day and we didn’t wear sunscreen. We were burnt to a crisp! Overall we had an amazing day in Aruba and can’t wait to be back in 2025.