Adventures in Aruba

I “blame” my new insatiable curiosity about the Caribbean on Patrick Bennett, an AFAR Ambassador who writes at Uncommon Caribbean. These islands were an area of the world that I had written off as too touristy and not for me. But he has lured me back in and the more research I do on this region, the more I am intrigued and the more I am certain that I will be returning very soon.

For my next trip, I want to go to an island that I have not been to before, I want to visit a place with fresh eyes. Fresh, but not naive. I want to seek experiences that are not those that can come from a cruise boat. I want to engulf myself in the real island, meet the real people, taste the real food.

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I am thinking of Aruba.

Adventures in Aruba_Rodgers Beach San Nicolas Aruba
Rodger's Beach San Nicolas, Aruba.

Besides Patrick, my good friend (and fellow AFAR Ambassador) Charu of Butterfly Diary has spent time on this island. When we spent time together in Napa last November she raved about it. Charu also seeks out exceptional experiences and I know by following her lead I am sure to enjoy every moment. I count on her and other travelers on AFAR to share their individual adventures that are unique and unparalleled.

Camping on Cape Lookout National Seashore

How would I spend my time on this “one happy island?”

Adventures-in-Aruba Flamingoes

Well, the beaches are glorious – those are the positive memories I have from my visits to the Caribbean. The warm luscious waters and beautiful white beaches. I am not big on tourists so I think I would head to the Manchebo Beach or Eagle Beach area which is supposed to be less crowded. I could stay at the  Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa or the Westin Resort as I am a big fan of Starwood Properties. But I think a more local experience would be renting a place. It is a good solution and there are plenty of private homes and villas as well as apartments and condos.

Adventures in Aruba

By doing that I can do something I love to do…eat! Nothing draws me more to the Caribbean than seafood. I want to seek out the local market early in the morning and buy fresh treats from the sea and bring them “home” for a relaxing lunch with a nice bottle of local wine from the island.

I can go to the beach and take in the sights, read a book, or just do nothing. In the afternoon when I am beginning to get hungry again I will seek one of my other favorites, plantains. Fried with salt, they are perfect to wash down with an ice-cold beer, maybe a local Balashi?

Fried Plantains and Balashi beer
Photo credit; (Balashi beer): TomH2323

For dinner, I think I am going to go with my girl Charu's suggestion for the most romantic restaurant on the island, Papiamento. Although there are so many restaurants to choose from it will make your head spin! Whichever one I end u going with I need to save room for the local dessert specialty, Pan Bollo, an Aruban bread pudding with Ponce Crème!

Papiamento Restaurant
Photo credit: Aruba Restaurants

Knowing Mr. Misadventures the way I do, he'll want to spend a day capturing the beauty of Aruba in its nature reserve, the Arikok National Park. There are exotic plants and birds and breathtaking coastal views, the perfect way to appeal to a vacationing photographer who might tire of the beaches (is that even possible?!).

Arikok National Park
Photo credit: alljengi:

The more I research I do on my Aruba travel and how I might spend a week on this happy island the more certain I am that I will be going there very soon!

Weekend Adventures - Camping with the GMC Canyon Denali

Have you visited Aruba? What was your experience? Have you thought about visiting Aruba? Why do you want to go?

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  1. Geoff Herrod says:

    Aruba is one of my most favorite places that I have vacationed to. Thanks for sharing this post, you will surely love Aruba if and when you should visit. Just make sure that you find the best Aruba vacation packages for you- if you don’t get a good deal then you might not enjoy your Aruba vacations as much as you should. Take care & nice blog!

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    I went there about five years ago and LOVED it! Definitely want to go back with the hubs and stay in a posher hotel this time haha.

  3. sandra davis says:

    aruba is one of my favorite vacation spots!!!! A relaxing safe island

  4. I have never been to Aruba (or anywhere in the Caribbean, for that matter). I’d love to go (who wouldn’t?). I’ve always thought of it as tourist-y, but now you’ve definitely inspired me to do a little research myself! So thanks!

    1. Pat Woods says:

      @Andrea H,
      it’s a MUST MUST go.. But wait until the Pandemic is over.. I went MANY MANY times…
      And you will go MANY MANY times… Have FUN…

  5. Oh how gorgeous! and the food, YUM! Bring me back some of that fresh caught seafood. That looks like a wonderful place to live not to vacation to! 🙂

  6. Janice L. says:

    Those pictures are beautiful, such powerful imagery! If that alone doesn’t want to send you on Aruba vacations, then I don’t know what will. The climate, the beach, the people, the nightlife- it’s all so awesome. Aruba vacation packages are the only thing that I even consider when thinking about going on vacation.

  7. Although it’s tempting to spend every day lying on the bone-white sand, you don’t want to miss out on Aruba’s wild side. Vacationers can easily spend a week in Aruba exploring the desert-like outback, enjoying the water sports, sampling the nightlife or simply lounging on the shores. Great post!

  8. I love Aruba. Eagle Beach is my happy “go to” place. It is clean, slow moving, filled with nice, hardworking people. The water is warm, the beaches peaceful. The restaurants, excellent. Easy to navigate, exploring the island is easy and snorkeling is terrific on the tour boats. It is like swimming in an aquarium. The airport folks have contracted a case of “governmentit is” and are not all that friendly, but it is the only place on the island you will face an attitude. Stay away from the big hotels, they are like the Mexican resorts. The smaller ones provide better services. We always go back.

  9. Aruba is one of the most beautiful places I visited, I’m enjoying almost every year, Sept is one of the less crowded months of the year… really special place

  10. Pat Woods says:

    Visited many many times.. Fav beach-Palm Beach/Playa Linda, fav restaurant-Madame Jeannette.. Love the people, food, drinks @ all beach bars, sailing, casinos, shopping… Would go back again and again and again… my favorite place in the whole wide world… And I’ve done lots of travel… NEED LOTS OF SUNSCREEN… and just have FUN…

  11. Going again in September. This will be our fifth trip. We love it there.
    We snorkel in the morning, grab lunch, take a nap at the beach or apartment, head out for an afternoon touristy excursion (Arikok, butterfly farm, donkeys, lighthouse, downtown Oranjestad, kukoo kununku, etc.. Then it’s off to dinner, and the casinos.
    Consistent weather, no rain or hurricanes, beautiful beaches and water, fantastic people. What’s not to love about it? Enjoy.

  12. One of our favorite vacations places!! We were supposed to be there next month 🙁