Aruba: The Happy Island

IMG_2553

Aruba is one beautiful island. I had never thought to visit there but found a steal on flights and Lyle and I decided to go. It was all very spontaneous but our week long stay was absolutely amazing. Aruba offers gorgeous beaches and the best food I have ever had. We decided to stay in two different areas, the first near eagle and palm beach and the second a less touristy town called San Nicolas.

IMG_2536_2

AirBnB in Noord, Aruba. Host: Benny https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2576872?s=DlQ1

In both locations, we used Airbnb which saved us a lot of money that would have been spent at the high-rise all inclusive hotels. Lyle and I have both stayed at many airbnb’s in the states as well as abroad and have had very positive experiences throughout. I would highly recommend trying it. Best advice for new Airbnb guests–stay with people who have many reviews!

We did not realize this when making our flight reservations but the food is spendy so it was nice to have a kitchen so we could save by eating breakfast at home. As for the rest of the meals, they were pricey but you really get what you pay for. Aruba is a seafood lover’s paradise! We ate fresh seafood for almost every meal prepared in Carribean Jamaican, Aruban, Dutch, Peruvian, Latino and Asian styles. Ethnically, Aruba is a surprising mix of different cultures and traditions which makes the fare especially diverse and delicious.

As we would enjoy our breakfasts with Dutch coffee, we used the Menu Aruba magazine to make our decisions about where to eat our dinners. We really became foodies on this vacation!

IMG_2582_2

The friendly kitty below, named Mo would join us during our breakfast time.

IMG_2585_2

Most days after breakfast we would head to the beach. There are two main tourist beaches in Aruba-Eagle beach and Palm beach. We visited both but preferred Eagle Beach. Palm beach was a good time but it was where all the high-rise hotels and casinos take over. Eagle beach was a little less of the the tourist chaos and more peaceful.

IMG_2598_2

Eagle Beach, Aruba

IMG_2639_2

After our stay in the touristy part of Aruba we decided to head to the Eastern tip to San Nicolas. It was more local living and the food was a bit cheaper. It was also close to the Airkok National Park which we visited on a day trip.

IMG_2663

Although the Quadirikiri cave in Arikok National Park is a popular spot I was a little nervous to walk into a bat cave. It is pitch dark as you walk in and flashlights are not allowed. However, if you go far enough into the cave you find beautiful open open space with a natural sun roof.

IMG_2676

Quadirikiri Cave in Arikok National Park

IMG_2692

Dos Playa Arikok National Park

IMG_2696

Our trip to the park did not last a whole day since the sun in Aruba is extremely strong and tires you out quickly. After our visit to the park, we headed to Zeerover, the best fish and chips on the island. It is an affordable and casual dockside restaurant in Savaneta, Aruba. The view is stunning and the menu is amazingly simple: daily catch fried fish, shrimp, fries, plantains, corn bread, with tartar sauce and beer.

IMG_2706

Zeerover Dock

During your meal, you can watch fisherman dropping off their fresh fish at Zeerover’s dock. Tourists got very excited by the catches. Some people went as far as to holding up the fish and posed for photos, as if they had caught it themselves. Tourists can be funny sometimes!

IMG_2718_2

Food was a big focus on our vacation and my favorite meal throughout in Aruba was at Delimar, a Peruvian restaurant in the capital city, Oranjestad. Throughout our trip, I tried many new fish and seafood but I had never had ceviche and it was amazing.

IMG_2788

IMG_2789

Ceviche Classico (Grouper Fish)

IMG_2790

IMG_2792

Curried Seafood and Fried Yuca Root

IMG_2793

Mahi Mahi Fillet

The Dutch Caribbean island Aruba is a treasure. We had a wonderful time, and if you have the opportunity to explore the tiny but diverse island, do it!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s