Travel Report: Aruba

Many of you know that over this winter break from school, I traveled with my family to Aruba, a small island off the coast of Venezuela. I thought I’d write a brief report on my time there, and give some pointers for others who might head there at some point. Aruba is a nation part of the Dutch commonwealth, and thus the official language is Dutch, however most everyone speaks English (on top of Papimento and Spanish). The Aruban government has made it very enticing for Americans to travel there, everywhere I saw, the US dollar was accepted side-by-side with the Aruban Florens.
My trip was a bit on the short side (only five nights) so I mostly explored the area closest to our apartment at The Boardwalk, which is at the north-west end of the island. We booked our stay there, and as part of a package deal, windsurfing lessons and rental. The beach where the Vela windsurfing school was is just a short walk from the Boardwalk and along that beach are all sorts of other resorts and activities from sunset cruises to jet-ski rentals. Aruba is an excellent location for windsurfing due to its consistent winds of about 20 knots, year-round nice weather (mid 80s) and reefs extending out from the beach allow you to walk back if you’re a beginner. While most of my stay was dedicating to windsurfing, I did spend a half-day on a Landrover tour of the island, which brought us to a few areas off the beaten track which exhibit a far more rugged side of Aruba. The natural pool is very enjoyable, and the view is excellent. Additionally, the coral caves are a very different type of cave from the traditional, and are very neat to explore.

Recommended:

  • The Iguana Cantina – This Mexican cantina was very tasty, so good in fact that we returned a second time. I had the red snapper, which was an entire snapper fried, providing an excellent presentation. Between 5-7PM is happy hour, which means 50% off margaritas, sangrias and beers.
  • Gelato from Cafe Amici – There is a huge selection of flavors, and the gelato is very tasty, an excellent way to end the day.
  • Vela Sports windsurfing – The lessons and equipment I got from them was very helpful, and I was able to progress from the beginner lesson my first day to water starts and harnesses at the end of my stay.

Recommended with Reservations:

  • Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant – While the food here was very good, the service was terrible, and the portions left you looking for a second dinner, even though the prices were high.
  • ABC Island Tours – While the tour was a lot of fun, and I got to see parts of the island that were not very accessible, the tour did not go to all of the advertised locations, leaving much to be desired. I suggest verifying with the tour company prior to booking the stops.

I hope this provides some helpful information for those looking for an escape from the cold. If you have any further questions feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to reply.

Peace and chow,

Ranok

P.S. An obligatory photo of my windsurfing:

My windsurfing