We went to Baby Beach and it was really beautiful --- the very shallow blue waters looked perfect for kids and in the distance u see some people snorkelling. I walked with the JumpingTwins (7 years old) to the island just off the beach and it was just about 4 feet all the way, and we enjoyed seeing the fish by the island...an hour later, my wife joined us and she said it was a bit hard for her to go to the island, and that her feet did not touch the sand ....that's when I noticed that the waters seem to have risen! So it was now over 5-6 ft! So, I just swam back to shore to get some help to bring us back! And I was swimming back, there was some undercurrent as well so it was hard to swim back....I did finally get a local to help me get the rest of the JumpingFamily by using a small float/raft....I later googled Baby Beach and saw that several people have drowned in this area around the island, specially where they snorkel. The beach is wonderful...but just stay in the really shallow side and watch your kids because sometimes because of the clear blue shallow waters, we forget that the sand shifts below and that we are not in a man-made pool which has constant depth....
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
I made a video of our trip to Aruba!
Hope you like this:
JUMPING FAMILY IN ARUBA!
God...I hate these things...they make my mouth water and my gut bust..why do things that taste soo good end up being so bad for you?????? Had these at Smokey Joes which is part of the Iguana Joes chain on the island
Watch the traffic on the roads here especially after you have had a few Brights or Pink Iguanas at the local bar. This is probably your only worry on the island. I have also seen worse drivers in other places.
We decided to head to the beach for the day off the cruise ship and chose the closest beach to Oranjestad which is Druif Beach. When we arrived we asked a security guard if there was a problem sitting on the beach and she said not to worry, she was patroling and that we could sit on the beach next to the resort which was used by hotel guests. We didn't see any open chairs so we sat on the beach under a palapa, when a chair became free, I went to spread my Princess cruise towel on the chair and a man who had a stand on the beach renting chairs came running over and said we had to rent from him and to get off the chairs even though they didn't belong to him. Something about how he had the exclusive right to non hotel guest chairs and no explanation about the hotel guard seemed to suffice. Of course, our blue and white striped towels gave us away, the hotel guests had green towels.
Not wanting a fuss, we spread out back on the sand as we didn't really need the lounge chairs. I wouldn't have taken a chair if there were hotel guests looking to use them and I was fully willing to rent a chair from the hotel who provide the chairs and palapas but the man renting chairs really annoyed me. I know he's trying to make a living but it's a public beach and the chairs nor the palapas belonged to him, he just had a stand on the beach.
The man disappeared shortly after we got there and never came back, I'm guessing that he does most of his business in the morning when the ships arrive and then goes home.
It is an upmost heard question "if there are sharks in the water". Ofcourse my dear, sharks do live in the ocean all over the world. The moment you enter the ocean in Aruba or anywhere, you become part of the food chain.
Find most of the sharks on more of the East side of the Aruba island, where the island dumps a lot of its trash. Visit the Andicouri Bay, or try the eyecatcher of the Natural Bridge. Here the tourists may watch meat-food to sharks so swimming here isn't that realistic ...
For shark-lovers; you can get really close to sleeping nurse and sand sharks at the Shark Caves. Usually they sleep during the day and, allowing humans to get closer you may even touch them ... though better leave the sharks and donot bother them ... heehee
This may not be a problem for everyone, but my husband seems to be particularly sensitive to jellyfish parts that are floating in the water, just about anywhere in the Caribbean where boats frequent. Here is what we've figured out: Boats pass through areas where jellyfish congregate and the propeller rips them up into tiny pieces. Apparently even the jellyfish parts can sting sensitive people and the parts float everywhere! I don't usually get a bad reaction from jellyfish. But then I always wear a full wetsuit that covers my arms and legs while I'm diving and snorkeling. Sometimes I feel a barely noticeable stinging on my face but it never leaves a mark on me. My husband wears a shortie. Just look at his arms by the end of our vacation in Aruba! He says he rarely feels any stinging while he's in the water but it itches a lot afterward. This happens every time we go to the Caribbean. Every day he gets more and more marks! If you are sensitive to jellyfish stings then wear a wetsuit in the water! And bring the Benedryl!
Natalie Holloway disappeared in 2005 and as a result of this a number of people have expressed concern about travelling to Aruba.
I was in Aruba in Dec 2006/Jan 2007 and found the place to be idyllic, peaceful and beautiful. We were not hassled by anyone. I know that there was additional press about this case in late 2007 but as the case was reopened in 2008 I imagine all that has quietened down now.
People disappear in all countries of the world all the time. You just have to be cautious no matter where you are, even at home.
Do not leave a bar with the Kalpoe bros. or Joren Van Der Sloot. Especially if it is Carlos and Charlie's. It may be the last time you are ever seen.
In addition, do not count on the Aruban police to help you if you have trouble. They are more concerned with protecting the reputation of the the island as a tourist destination, and often like to sweep crimes under the rug.
While out on the ATV tour (which was awesome) they stopped at the 'natural pool' which is a large pool of rock created by the ocean (lagoon type). There is a smaller 'pool' at the top where people jump from into the large pool. My daughter stood up and stepped on a sea urchin! EXTREMELY painful and they can not be pulled out! The strands are hollow and brittle so they immediately break in your foot. We finished the ATV tour and rushed her to the hospital where they told us there was nothing they could do just wait until they were pushed out of the skin themselves, but had to keep it wrapped for several days - total bummer! WEAR WATER SHOES AT ALL TIMES!
I had thought that travel to Bonaire or Curacao from Aruba would be pretty simple and that they would have a ferry, turns out that they aren't that close to one another and the only option is to fly between them. When I inquired about daytrips, they said it ran between $300-$600 dollars to get to Curacao, guess it will have to wait for another trip. The flight from Aruba to Curacao is about 30 minutes, Bonaire about 35 minutes.
Aruba is touted as having near perfect weather but they do get rain, the day we flew in it had rained the entire day. For the 5 days we were there, it rained every day, never enough to ruin your trip, but enough that I needed an umbrella at least one of the days. The rain tends to come in quickly and go quickly, October-January is when they get the most rain, an average of 18 inches per year.
Although sanddunes on Aruba are rather small and have crystaline white sand, some people seem to think they are only to be crossed by Jeeps & other vehicle types. Apart that this is absolutely illegal due to the fragile nature of these small nature miracles on the island, the best way to enjoy them is by foot. There's plenty of "parking" space on the flat surroundings and it is far more enjoyable going in by foot, even taking your shoes of to have a nice natural massage...have fun!
As a fair skinned individual I can say, based on very painful personal experience, that if you have ever been known to get a sunburn, you will definitely get one in Aruba unless you take the necessary precautions and follow all sunblock directions religiously.
Knowing my tendency to resemble boiled crustaceans after any extended solar exposure I arrived in Aruba with a giant economy sized tube of maximum strength waterproof sunblock. While the gorgeous sunshine dispells any thought that a burn is not possible, the famous winds of Aruba keep one cool enough to minimize emerging burning sensations.
Due to repeated and generous applications of sunblock I avoided burning until I went snorkeling. I thought I was doing everything right- I even wore a long t-shirt over my swimsuit. But I learned my defenses were inadequate when I tore myself away from the amazing display of fish and coral to use a restroom. Upon entering the ladies room I glimpsed a streak of brilliant pink in the mirror. I turned to look behind me. Nothing. I looked in the mirror again, and to my horror saw that the vibrant color was the back of my legs.
It seems that I didn't reapply the sunblock near enough, and the cool water combined with the breeze had completely balanced out the burning sensation that would not subside that evening. I iced, aloe vera-ed myself to kingdom come, and sprayed enough Solarcane to cover a football field.
I ended up with a second degree burn and edema. The burn cream provided by my physician when I returned home was the greatest help, particularly when the thousands of tiny blisters began to dry and itch like there was no tomorrow.
My suggestions: The higher the SPF the better, apply and reapply more than you think necessary, and have a friend be your sunburn "spotter"- early warning is far better than a later surprise.
We traveled here for a nice, relaxing vacation only to have someone break into our hotel room and steal most of our belongings. The hotel staff was not receptive and accused of us lying. They notified the Police, who took it upon themselves to harass us for our entire stay and accusing us of lying. They would show up at the room at all hours, come in and check the drawers and safe to make sure we had not stashed the items and jewelry reported stolen in them. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience and I will never, ever go back. I don't even take a cruise that makes a stop there and if I ever decide to do a cruise with an Aruba stop, I will make sure I am booked for a massage or some sort of activity onboard and not disembark and set foot on this island.
On the return flight, the staff seemed somewhat happier, and it was more enjoyable due to a shorter flying time (8 1/2 hrs). and some herbal sleepers to knock us out so we didn't have to suffer!
They still managed to forget our veggy meals (booked ahead) & had originally seated me & the Small Person in different rows (had also confirmed seating arrangements before flight). We took our own food this time!
The plane was totally overbooked & they tried a VERY hard sell to get us to stay in Aruba for longer. Originally delighted we were ready to accept when they let it slip that they couldn't promise to get my sister back from Amsterdam for the last leg of her journey. We declined as we felt we wanted to get the return 'dreadful journey from hell' over with & were tired having already flown from Venezuela that morning.
Onflight food was still totally disgusting. Veggy breakfast consisted of a stale ricecake, cut in half and wrapped in clingfilm, some off fruit salad (around 4 pieces of old fruit), a dry cracker and water. There was juice available from the hostess, but she zoomed expertly past so fast, lips frozen into a stiff smile, she missed our row of seats entirely.
I know it is a huge plane full of a very large amount of people, so a hard job for the stewards, but maybe KLM could provide more staff? Also, the staff are getting paid, we the customers, are paying!
KLM should check out the veggy food on Monarch Airlines which is far superior even for short haul journeys to Spain from the UK.
Handy tip : There is a 20 kilo weight limit on the return journey. We were OK, but I saw many people rearranging their cases in Aruba Airport.
Another handy tip : Take your own food, you will need it.
LG Smith Boulevard 55-B, Oranjestad, Aruba, 1347, Caribbean
Good for: Business
My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here. There is a great restaurant on site and the staff are...more
Palm Beach Road, Noord 43E, Noord, Caribbean
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples