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Location: Noord

Day 1 - 18 Dec 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Aruba Resort

Noord, Courtyard by Marriott Aruba Resort

Content: After arriving at the airport, we grabbed our rental car from Fox Rentals, which was only a 10-15 min drive from the hotel as well - all very reasonable as Aruba is a pretty tiny island. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriot Aruba, a fantastic stay which was a bit cheaper than many of the other hotels and resorts in the area (things can get pricey during the holidays)!

Location: Arashi Beach

Day 1 - 18 Dec 2021

Arashi Beach

Arashi Beach, Arashi Beach
Arashi Beach, Arashi Beach
Arashi Beach, Arashi Beach

Content: Our first stop in Aruba was Arashi Beach! It was a beautifully semi-isolated beach located a bit further away from the usual resort beaches and tourist “traps”. It was only a 25-30 min walk (along the beach, might I add 😉) to Arashi! You’ll have to walk through many of the resorts’ beaches to get to this area.

Location: Eagle Beach

Day 1 - 18 Dec 2021

Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach, Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach, Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach, Eagle Beach

Content: Our next stop for the evening was Eagle Beach - this was a great place to fly my drone and watch the sunset. We dressed up a bit and walked along the beach, waiting for the sun to set and the restaurants to start serving dinner. For dinner, we walked over to a pizza place - they had amazing Italian Pizza (don’t worry, the Aruban food will be coming up soon!). Because there are lots of tourists here, there is a wide variety of food available!

Location: Noord

Day 2 - 19 Dec 2021

Pelican Adventures

Noord, Pelican Adventures
Noord, Pelican Adventures
Noord, Pelican Adventures

Content: Today we decided to book a Catamaran tour through Pelican Adventures! It was a fantastic tour - it was a fully inclusive lunch tour (and free booze!) with free snorkel and snuba gear to use while on the catamaran. We had three stops during the half-day excursion. One to swim with the fish (and a shipwreck), one to swim with sea turtles (if you were lucky enough to spot them!), and one to swim off of the coast. The picture above was taken with the DJI Mavic Air 2 - great for drone shots if you decide to bring it with!

Pelican Adventures

Noord, Pelican Adventures
Noord, Pelican Adventures

Content: The lunch on the catamaran was a classic Caribbean dish - plantains, rice, fish or meat, and various steamed vegetables. The food was absolutely delicious and the “hosts” were very gracious. They made sure we enjoyed our time on the trip, and also invested a lot of time and energy into teaching us safe ways to snorkel and easy ways to spot the sea turtles!

Noord

Noord, Noord
Noord, Noord

Content: Later that night, we decided to grab dinner and watch the sunset along the strip of resorts. The food consisted of grilled shrimp stuffed in a pineapple, rice, plantains, and Yucca. We also spent a lot of time shopping for beach dresses, flip flops etc. the entire strip has a flurry of shops and restaurants - but beware, everything is extremely overpriced!

Location: Santa Cruz

Day 3 - 20 Dec 2021

Arikok National Park

Santa Cruz, Arikok National Park
Santa Cruz, Arikok National Park
Santa Cruz, Arikok National Park
Santa Cruz, Arikok National Park
Santa Cruz, Arikok National Park

Content: Today we went on a Jeep Tour via ABC tours to see the Natural Pools at Arikok National Park - unfortunately, the biggest natural pool was closed (the tour company knew ahead of time but decided not to tell anyone that it’s closed 50% of the time… beware of this! Call ahead of time.. we were very disappointed that this happened). Fortunately, they took us to other locations, including another natural pool at the edge of the ocean. We only had 20 minutes here because they were trying to show us other site such as the California Lighthouse, a storage for gold (during the gold rush), as well as Malmok beach!

Location: Unknown

Day 3 - 20 Dec 2021

Fontein Cave

Unknown, Fontein Cave
Unknown, Fontein Cave
Unknown, Fontein Cave

Content: We visited Fontein Caves later that day and were able to see cave drawings that were over 1000 years old. We also explored the surrounding area within Arikok National Park to see volcanic-like rock formations! Pro tip: bring water, it can get really hot in the desert!

Location: Oranjestad

Day 3 - 20 Dec 2021

Oranjestad

Oranjestad, Oranjestad
Oranjestad, Oranjestad

Content: Later that night, we grabbed a quick bite to eat on the resort strip in Oranjestad! The food was pretty good - I had fried tofu with rice and vegetables! For dessert, we had pistachio creme brûlée! Afterwards, we walked along the beach and watched the sunset.

Location: Malmok Beach

Day 4 - 21 Dec 2021

Malmok Beach

Malmok Beach, Malmok Beach
Malmok Beach, Malmok Beach
Malmok Beach, Malmok Beach

Content: Today we drove out to Malmok beach - it was a relaxing day, filled with strolls, good (cold) açaí bowls and smoothies, as well as plenty of drone shots near the edge of the water. It was fun to drive a bit further away and experience the calm of being away from the touristy areas!

Location: Desert Exploration

Day 4 - 21 Dec 2021

Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Desert Exploration, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Desert Exploration, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Desert Exploration, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Content: We took an impromptu photoshoot near some luxury cabanas - it was a beautiful day, but a bit eerie since it seemed like the area was abandoned. Aruba is known to be a safe place however, so we weren’t too worried. We also visited the desert areas of the island - as you can see, there are no shortage of cactuses!

Location: Oranjestad

Day 4 - 21 Dec 2021

Flamingo Beach

Oranjestad, Flamingo Beach
Oranjestad, Flamingo Beach

Content: The California Lighthouse was a nice place to visit afterwards… however, I wouldn’t worry too much about making it to this location if you’re crunched for time. There wasn’t anything particularly spectacular about it!

Location: Renaissance Hotel Island

Day 5 - 22 Dec 2021

Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Content: So… Flamingo beach! 🦩 lots to tell about this destination. First of all, it’s pretty tough to get tickets to this island if you don’t plan ahead. This island is owned by the Renaissance Hotel Aruba, and there are three ways to get here: 1) Stay at the hotel. This gives you a free pass to the island (but rates can be very high - when we were looking for prices in December, it was around $700 a night!) 2) Wait in line on the “day of” your departure to the island and hope that the tickets don’t sell out. This is the cheapest option, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get tickets. If the hotel is at a certain capacity, they won’t sell anymore tickets that day. 3) Book a Spa package! (This is what we did). Book a spa package for about $170 per person (basic package) - this includes a ticket to the island, a massage, and free lunch /free access to snorkel equipment etc! Another pro tip is to get there as early as possible! The biggest reason tourists go here is for Flamingo Beach - they want pictures with real flamingos! And who wouldn’t? But in order to beat the rush, I’d get to the boat by 7/7:30 am to avoid more people showing up around 9/10 am. Also, please please be gentle with the birds. They are not native to Aruba and they can’t escape people who are being aggressive with them. Be mindful and only take pictures when they seem less timid enough to come to you!

Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Renaissance Hotel Island, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Content: The island itself was amazing! There were Places to relax on hammocks, sit beachside with food and drinks, as well as snorkel and swim in the crystal clear waters! We very much enjoyed the spa as well - we had a 30 min long massage on the WATER, in a cabana! Beautiful views and luxurious vibes (even if only for a day)!

Location: Iguana Beach

Day 5 - 22 Dec 2021

Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Iguana Beach, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Iguana Beach, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)
Iguana Beach, Flamingo beach (Renaissance Hotel)

Content: There was also another part of the island that housed iguanas! We were able to watch the iguanas swim through the water and bask in the sun - the other nooks were very picturesque! It was exciting to explore every part of the island to take fun pictures!

Location: San Nicolas

Day 6 - 23 Dec 2021

Baby Beach

San Nicolas, Baby Beach
San Nicolas, Baby Beach
San Nicolas, Baby Beach

Content: Our last day came faster than we could anticipate! On this day we decided to visit Baby Beach. It’s a beautiful beach with really transparent waters - it almost looks like baby blue water. It was a very calm place (there were tourists but not as many as you’d think), so we just spent a couple hours there! It ended up getting too hot to stay longer than two hours so we drove down to city hall to pass the time (on our way back)

Location: City Hall

Day 6 - 23 Dec 2021

Aruba

City Hall, Aruba

Content: Our final stop was City Hall! It was pretty deserted today, but we decided to take a few pictures near city hall in order to satiate our curiosity for what city-life was like inAruba! All in all, it ended up being a fabulous trip! The weather was nice, the beaches were glamorous, and the people were so hospitable!