“ARUBA, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya… Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama!”
Good morning, babes! Colton and I are home from Aruba. I had some requests for a post all about our vacation, so here we go!!!!
Where we stayed
For the first part of our trip we stayed in an Airbnb. The main reason we stayed in an Airbnb for the majority of our trip was to save on cost and for the experience. When I travel, I sometimes like to avoid resorts (don’t get me wrong-I love a good resort) but honestly I can lay by a nice pool and have someone serve me pina coladas at any nice resort/hotel in Texas. Our cute little condo was $90 a night and was perfect for us. Plus it had a pool (you can’t beat that). The condo was clean and we felt safe the entire time. Aruba is an over all safe island (one day our taxi driver told us they had a 4% crime rate).. Here is the link to the airbnb. Also, the host provided chairs and a cooler which was nice to take to the beach.
On the last night of our vacation we stayed at the Renaissance Resort and Casino downtown (which was closer to the airport). This is what gave us accesses to to their island that has the “insta famous” flamingos. Link to the hotel: Renaissance Resort and Casino.
So let’s talk about the Renaissance private island. Aruba’s beaches are absolutely gorgeous. We spent 7 days on the island and saw almost all of the beaches they have to offer. However, I would have to say the Renaissance private island was the least prettiest. It almost seemed that the beach was man made. The island has two sides- one side is Iguana Beach (family friendly) and the other side is Flamingo beach (adults only). Colton and I spend most of the day at flamingo beach and ate lunch at a restaurant on the island (at iguana beach). I am not going to sugar coat the experience at the private island and try to make it something it wasn’t. So here goes my honest review… the island was crowded. Everyone was chasing around the flamingo trying to get that perfect photo with them and some individuals even got rude. We ended up leaving the island after a few hours to go back to the hotel pool. It was definitely a cool experience but I would only stay one day at this hotel to just see the private island and maybe move to a different hotel or stay at airbnb like we did. The island of Aruba just has so much more to offer than just the private island. The island is free for guests staying at the hotel but you can also purchase a day pass to visit the private island if you aren’t staying at the hotel ($100). Unfortunately, if the hotel is full they don’t sell the passes. The Renaissance Resort and Casino has another location on the beach as well, but I cannot speak for that location.
Colton and I decided to rent a car since we stayed at an airbnb. If you stay at one of the main hotels, I am not sure you would need one. Renting a car gave us the ability to see the whole island… literally one day me and colton drove from one side of the island to the other (it took us about 30 mins). I would definitely recommend doing it if you want to explore the island, even if its only one day. We did not have a problem finding parking and did not have to pay to park anywhere. We rented a car from Amigo Rent a Car. Website: https://www.amigocar.com. We had an overall good experience. We picked the car up at the airport, which was very easy and returned it to their main office. On the last day we turned the rental car in and took a taxi to dinner at our favorite place (Zeeovers) and it was $30 one way, so $60 total. So if you took a taxi everywhere it could definitely add up. However, the taxis are companly safe- we took several and never felt scared. Many of the taxi drivers told us that the island’s government has very strict rules on who can be a taxi driver.
We booked our excursions through De Palm Tours. Website: https://www.depalmtours.com. We did the UTV Natural Pool tour and the Snorkeling adventure. Both were amazing and we had a blast. The company was very reliable and professional. Here are some pictures from both.
We went to Palm Beach, Arashi, and Baby Beach- all absolutely beautiful. One thing we learned is that in aruba ALL beaches are public, so even if its located right in front of a main resort you can be there. One day we laid out by the RIU hotel. Palm beach is the beach where all the main resorts are located. You can get access to the beach by parking in front of the De Palm pire. Arashi beach is a public beach- we took our chairs and cooler from the airbnb, packed our lunch, and rented an umbrella from a guy on the beach (you can also rent chairs). This beach was beautiful!!!!! Lastly, Baby Beach. This beach is on the complete opposite side of the island (by Zeeovers- check my food recommendations below). If you go to this beach I would recommend renting a car because it was a good drive. It was beautiful but I think Arashi and Palm Beach were prettier.
I am such a foodie when it comes to traveling! I legit always plan my vacays around what we are going to eat. I have listed all the places we ate on the trip and gave them a 1-10 rating. (10 being must eat and 1 being not so good) All restaurants are linked as well!
10/10: Casa Tua Pizza– (Recommended by Caitlin Covington) This place was amazing. The food was so fresh.
10/10: Eduardo’s Beach Shack– SOOO good!!! This place is a must.
10/10: Zeerovers– This was mine and Colton’s favorite meal of the whole trip (we actually ate here twice). This is not your typical restaurant. They serve you what they catch that day (talk about FRESH seafood). P.S. if you don’t like seafood, I would skip this place. So you walk up, buy however many pounds of shrimp or fish you want, and then they cook it right there on the deck for you. I was amazing!!!! It is kinda far from the main hotels but it was so worth it!! I believe this is a local spot, it seemed like a lot of locals ate here. Also, be aware you might have to wait in a line. The first time we went we waited for about 20 minutes and the second we walked right up. It just depends if you beat the crowd. Website:
9/10: Diana’s Pancake Place– Trying dutch pancakes while on the island is a must!!!
8/10: Bugaloe Beach Bar– Highly recommend if you’re wanting to eat on a beach. This place was beautiful. We had drinks and the group ceviche.
8/10: Madame Janette -This place a great atmosphere and amazing food.
7/10: Flying Fishbone- This restaurant was recommended by many travel blogs so we gave it a try. It was a bit pricey though, just a heads up. Also, the plates are huge!!! Colton and I wish we had split something. Definitely a very cool experience though.
Let me know if you have any other Aruba questions in the comments and I will get back to you!!!