Casibari Rock Formation
My husband Bob took these pictures of the Casibari Rocks and the warning sign which says ATTENTION: CLIMBING THESE STEPS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
This is the second most visited site in Aruba (after the Natural Bridge which has fallen down now anyway)
The Government has created trails and steps to get to the top (second picture). It is steep and in some places, only one person can pass at a time. There are some handrails, but Bob's pictures don't show them except you can see some in the first picture where there are people up at the top. He said that in some places you go through tunnels and along narrow steps and ledges.
It’s not for people with small children or the elderly who need help walking. Don't feel bad if you don't feel that you are not up to the climb. It is a desert landscape which basically consists of rocks and dirt.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Mosquitos? No Way! Euhhh... YES!
It is said you are not bothered by bugs or mosquitos. It seems November is a not-bothered month, and slightly bothered in August. The constant breeze (Tradewinds) help to keep them down, as does the climate. However, I think this has to be one of individual bodily dependence. That is there are tiny flying bugs, big flying bugs and black flies. Those tiny little ones come out of the grass with sunset. That is the hit-attack to some of us, included me and one of the models. The Aruban ones made me sensitive from that time. Any bite gives me illness and huge stone-hard bumps. So I got very carefull with the flying creatures ...
Minimise exposure to mosquitos between dusk and dawn: cover arms, legs and feet with clothing, use a DEET containing mosquito repellent on bare skin (these usually give 3 - 4 hours of protection), avoid wearing perfumes, and wear light coloured clothing, as dark clothing attracts mosquitos. Unless in air-conditioned rooms, spray rooms with an insecticide, light a mosquito coil before retiring.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Adventure Travel
Sun Radiation At Aruba
It is the UV (Ultraviolet) radiation that is dangerous to human beings. Our eyes responds to light with wavelengths, so we are able to see colours from red to violet. Beyond the UV we cannot see. We have to take care of the short wavelength of UV radiation (UVA). However, the other UV radiation UVB and UVC are the ones that are even more dangerous to living organisms ...
We experimented with the sun-screen-products of Clinique. The Wear Super City Block SPF 25 and Sun-care UV-response face creme 30 turned out the best, and you get beautifully sun-tanned. My brother, born at Papua New Guinea and oft times staying in the tropics, got sun burnt and the spots around his nose and forehead didn't fade away for a long time ... so be prepared !!!
Sun - effectRelated to:
- Water Sports
- Adventure Travel
Hope you like Lizards
Iguanas are plentiful here. They are all over the place. They dont bother you and are quite timid. Just beware so that you know to expect them. I was warned but did not expect it when I came across a 3 foot long lizard as I strolled down the sidewalk. It's a bit startling.
Most Screwed Up Airport, I've Ever Seen!
Oh man! This is officially the worst airport I've ever been to, and I‘ve been to some pretty messy airports.
I will start from the beginning.
Everyone told us to get to the airport 3 hours before departure, we got there 4 hours, to get it over with. In the U.S., if you arrive, there are always agents at the counter to check you in. Not here. There was one lady at our counter, than she left and some guy came. We expected to be called over, and get it over with, but no. Instead of doing his job, the guy was standing behind the counter for 15 minutes doing absolutely nothing. Than he just walked away. Finally some lady told us, "you were told to come "3" hours early. The counter is closed", so everyone had to stand like idiots for over an hour. They checked the first class passengers in, but not us.
There was only one counter for another airline that was operating. The rest were not. I don't know what these agents are being paid for. There were 20 of them standing around, doing everything but their jobs. One guy was drinking a soda, one guy was texting, another guy was listening to music, two agents were dancing behind the counter, and the rest were all standing around talking to each other. This is the most unprofessional work environment I have ever seen.
Finally two ladies opened the counter and took care of us. They told us which way to go to our gate, and that was it. We got through security very quickly, and I said to my mom, "That was too easy. I don't know why we had to get here 3 hours early." I thought maybe it was because they won't check you in after a certain time. I thought, great. We have 3 hours to kill, so we shopped around, and ate some food. We were there for about an hour. Finally my mom said, "let's go to our gate." I said, "sure, we might as well, we've got nothing else to do."
We followed the signs, and were greeted by a TSA agent. He pointed us where to go. We went through the door, and there were like 500 people there, waiting to get through customs. My mom was freaking out that we wouldn't make our flight. There were only 2 agents working, but they eventually brought 2 more. This is why you have to be there 3 hours early. We weren't the only ones who made this mistake. Several other people also thought the security was it, and they were also shopping and eating, until someone got them. Some were told about the customs, some like us, were not.
There were people trying to get to the front, so they would make their flight, and the agents do not care if you miss your flight.
These 4 Dutch girls, weren't gonna make it, so people let them cut to the front of the line. They all ran to one of the agents together, and some a**hole ran after them, and brought them all back. I am sorry for my language, but that is the best word to describe him. They tried to explain to him that their flight was leaving, but he did not care, and made them go through one by one.
They eventually started to let people cut, so they would make their flights. After over an hour, we eventually made it through. At this point, we were expecting anything. Bag search, more security, and our hunch was right. We got through the customs area, only to be greeted by another security checkpoint. I have been to dozens of airports and NOWHERE have I had to go through 2 security checkpoints. What, they thought you gained something illegal, since your last checkpoint?
That's not even the worst part. I had a bottle of juice, that I bought after the first checkpoint. An agent told me, I can bring it through customs, and I got it through the second security, but than some guy said I can't bring it to the gate, and I either have to drink it or pour it out.
This doesn't make any sense. There is a store right after the first checkpoint where you can buy food, and Dutch cheeses, but if you buy something from there, they will confiscate it at the second checkpoint, since you cannot bring any meat or dairy products out, so you would have just wasted your money.
Do not stop to buy anything. Go straight to the customs area, and to your gate.
We also told the customs lady, we had beef jerky, and she said it's illegal to have. But we had been carrying it since we left California, and no one said a word.
This is the most screwed up airport I have ever seen. The only and I mean the ONLY good thing was that we took care of customs in Aruba, so we didn't have to deal with it in the U.S.
Other than that, there are no nice comments to me made about this airport. This place is really screwed up.
If you were thinking about taking a day trip to a neighboring island, forget it.
At least I will know for next time.
If there was another way to get off the island, I would suggest doing that instead, but unfortunately, there is not.
The Dutch People Are Rude
Before anyone says I am generalizing, or trolling, please read the entire post.
I don't know what is wrong with the Dutch people on this island, but for some reason, they are very rude. They are only nice if they are a tour guide, or trying to sell you a timeshare, but if you meet them on the street, in the taxi, or in the hotel, they are very rude.
All the local mulato cab drivers talked to us the whole ride, and laughed with us, but we had a few Dutch cab drivers, and they were all rude, grumpy, and didn't want to talk to us. I asked a Dutch cab driver what "Iguana Joe's" is, and he answered in a very grumpy tone, as if I had asked something wrong. The Dutch cab drivers all seemed like they hated their job, and were doing you a huge favor by driving you. Most Dutch drivers didn't say a word to us the entire ride.
We said "hi" to some Dutch boys at our hotel, and they just mumbled back.
My mom asked this Dutch girl if the store is open, and she jumped up, and started freaking out, and never answered her question.
And it wasn't just with us, they were like that with each other too. There were 2 guys and 1 girl at our hotel, all from the Netherlands. They were swimming in the pool, and didn't say a word to each other. Not even so much as a, "hello".
But the local people, when we said "Hi", or "Bon dia", they always replied in a very friendly , and happy tone, and were very helpful when we asked for something. You could tell they are happy people. But the Dutch, no.
Even these tourists from the Dominican Republic, and hotel staff from the Philippines, were really friendly, and talked to us.
We later asked a local cab driver if the Dutch people here are friendly, and he said, "Some of them are." Which means that most of them are not.
We also met an Asian kid who lives in the Netherlands, and he also said they are very rude. No one we talked to had anything nice to say about the Dutch people.
We were surprised. We always thought they would be friendly. I don't know what is wrong with these people. They would not talk to ANYONE.
I was at the Bon Bini Festival, and there was this Dutch lady sitting next to me, and I was taking video and pictures of the dancers, and she kept looking at me, like I was some kind of retard. No one else was looking at me like that, except her.
We were hoping to make friends with some Dutch people, but after we saw how rude they are, we didn't even bother trying.
Do not waste your time with these people, unless they talk to you first. There are much friendlier people on the island that are worth meeting, and making friends with.
If you still think I am trolling, go and you will see for yourself.
Crossing the road
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.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Deep fried Oreos.....
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 islandRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
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.
One Way Road Through Eastern Arikok
Back when we were still planning to rent a car, I thought about driving to San Nicolas, and entering the park from the south. I was told by people on this site, that it can be done. Technically, it can, but you might get a ticket in the process.
We were traveling on the dirt road, that runs through the eastern part of the park (where the caves are). We were on a jeep tour, and I noticed the road was only wide enough for one car. I asked our guide, if it's a one way road, and he said, "Yes. You can only go this way. If someone tries to go the other way, they will get a ticket."
The road was empty, and in a rural area, and we didn't see a single ranger, but it's not worth risking it. DO NOT enter the park from the south. If you're gonna drive yourself, enter the park from the west, and drive it, clock wise.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
Aruba is very very windy, just take a look at their signature divi divi tree. Girls always remember to bring something to tie your hair up with, it is annoying to let it all down and flying all over the place while eating dinner.
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!Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
If you decide to go offroading around 'tunnel of love'...be careful...we were going to pass the tunnel of love until we heard a loud shot..followed by some more...then i saw a small sign warning that it is a live firing range for the army and enter at your own risk...we quickly turned back!
Treat tourists as Criminals
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.
HATE It!!!!!!!!!!!!!Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Danger to life and limb
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.Related to:
- Study Abroad
Been here many times. My opinion is it is the best overall resort on the island for value, luxury,...more
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