Our first trip to Aruba was in July of last year and we absolutely fell in love with it! We managed (I think) to get a lot in during our week there.
After arriving at our hotel and having a drink and settling in a bit, we had lunch and then headed out to see the California Lighthouse. Saw some goats while we were driving around that way and then made our way over to the Alto Vista Chapel and walked through the Peace Labyrinth. We then spent some time on the beach back at the hotel.
On our second day, we decided to visit Arikok National Park. Spent a good part of the day there and visited the Miramar Mining Complex, Fontein Cave, Quadirikiri Cave, and the Natural Pool. Saw more goats and a white donkey, plus a lot of lizards - loved the beautiful blue colors! Once back at our hotel, we spent some time on the beach, had dinner, walked along the beach after dinner and called it a day.
On our third day it rained briefly in the morning, which we didn’t mind watching from our balcony. We stopped at Diana’s Pancakes Place for breakfast and then visited the Bubali Bird Sanctuary which you could enter right across the street from Diana’s. We also spent some time at The Butterfly Farm and Philip’s Animal Garden. Back at the hotel, we spent some more time on the beach and practiced snorkeling (Never did it before and panicked somewhat at first!). Saw a few schools of fish, but nothing very colorful.
Day four started with horseback riding (the Goldmine) which was one of my favorite things. Riding on the beach was something I had always wanted to do! Afterwards, we drove back to some of the places we had ridden by while on horseback and spent some time exploring. While at the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, we had a downpour, but it didn’t last too long, and driving through the mud puddles in the jeep was fun. We then found the Ostrich Farm. It was okay and I’m glad we went, but don’t think I would go back. Saw more goats while out driving around and stopped at the Ayo Rock Formations. We also went to the Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory. They didn’t have a tour running that day, but they let us walk through ourselves, which was fine with us. There is a store there, too, where you can purchase their products. We spent some time outside walking around the aloe plants while we were there, as well. Back to the hotel for some food and drinks and more time on the beach and snorkeling.
On day five we went back to Diana’s Pancakes Place for breakfast, drove around for a bit and would up in, I think, Oranjestad? There was a bench with a bull on it, and a bunch of stores. We also stopped to snap a few pics in front of the big I (heart) Aruba sign. Realized we were in the wrong place and headed to where we were supposed to be for a tour. While waiting to go on a semi-submarine tour, we stopped in a for a drink at Bugaloe’s. The semi-sub was nice, though we both started feeling a little sick.
More time at the beach back at the hotel.
On day six we started with a pre-sunrise trip back up towards the California Lighthouse and the east side to watch the sunrise from the beach. Back over on the west side of the island, we found a smaller I (heart) Aruba sign, which we stopped to pose by. We also stopped to check out some of the high rise hotels and walked around a bit in that area. (We stayed in the low rise section) We stopped at Eagle Beach and then at Arashi beach where we went snorkeling. More interesting fish at Arashi than back at the beach at our hotel.
Back to Diana’s Pancakes Place for breakfast on day seven and then went snorkeling. Found a few starfish that time, along with a lot of different colorful fish. What a great experience! Stopped at Salt & Pepper for some appetizers and drinks and definitely would go back. Revisited The Butterfly Farm since I had had some trouble with my camera on the first visit. More time on the beach back at the hotel and even went in the pool - hey, it’s there, why not? Had some drinks and watched the sun set.
Last day….once again went to Diana’s Pancakes Place for breakfast (I’m not exactly an adventurous eater). Was very sad to leave…can’t wait to go back - so much we still want to do!