Having explored much of the Caribbean but not yet the ABC’s (Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao) – I opted to take a week long late summer trip to Aruba. The weather on the island is certainly highly appealing with usually fairly constant temperatures moderated by trade winds, little rain on an annual basis, lots of sunshine and is located outside of the hurricane belt. Although I did have to reroute my original return flight plan which was through Houston (because IAH was shut due to the epic rains from the tropical storm Harvey) to Fort Lauderdale.
Conveniently located only 20 minutes from the airport in Orensjstad the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is located along the edge of a very long white sandy beach. A stay here offers the luxury of a premium resort combined with the natural beauty of Aruba. For those that want action, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is an ideal place to park it for a few days. A variety of water-sports are available within short walk from the property, the casino is open 24/7, often there is live music in the evenings, a sizable pool that is very family friendly yet also appeals to adults with the swim up bar and the mesmerizing aquamarine water, long sandy beach and plenty of palm trees.
Speaking of the beach, those in the mood for romance should consider a romantic dinner at a table in the sand, mere steps away from the gently lapping waters. A dining table at Atardi Restaurant offers excellent seafood along with the opportunity to watch the sunset.
Just north of the Aruba Marriott and Stellaris Casino is the California Light House. It’s name comes from a steamship of the same name that was wrecked nearby offshore. Over 100 years old it has become a popular tourist destination with accompanying vendors selling plenty of fresh coconuts to thirsty tourists in the hot sunshine.
Aruba is easily explored, especially if you have a rental car. The east side of the island features desert like landscape with cactus and arid vegetation. The beaches are further and far between here then on the west side of the island and the landscape tends to be rocky and rugged.
Worth visiting is Arikok National Park (remarkably covers nearly 20% of the islands’ total acreage). Highlights here include the Natural Pool (accessible only by 4wd or by hiking), a number of picturesque beaches, and several caves including my favorite the Guadirikiri Cave (with sunlight streaming through several holes in the roof).
And along Eagle Beach are two iconic trees – ‘twin’ Divi trees grow next to each other – with their gnarled trunks and picturesque canopy they create one of Aruba’s most iconic photographs.
And looking for another romantic experience, check out The Screaming Eagle Restaurant where you have the option to lie down while hosts brings your food and drink to your ‘bed’. French fusion foods with plenty of local seafood on the menu.
Need more ideas for your Aruba vacation? Here are 16 Facts about Aruba that will Surprise You!