Traveling with Children – Aruba

ArubaCollageWe visited Aruba during Spring Break ’14. In summary, we all loved it. White sand beaches, turquoise sea, the resort we stayed at, sighseeting around the island, restaurants, food, everything. Only two things slightly scarred our experience were the relateively high prices and return trip.
ArubaMap American citizens do not need visa to travel to Aruba for vacation. However, it’s considered international travel. You need to take your passport with you, go through passport control and customs entering Aruba and coming back to the US. You need to allow yourself enough time to go through luggage check-in, passport control and customs on theway back home. Everything at the airport moves really slow.

The weather is always around 80F all year around. The forecast predicted rain few times during our stay. Every time it rained at night. It was never to hot or too humid. The sun is powerful though. You need good sun protection and need to put on sunscreen few times a day.
IMG_7053We stayed at Tamarijn Aruba, a twin hotel resort, on the west side of the island, just north of Oranjestad. We purchased our package on their website. It’s twin sister Divi was just north of Tamarijn. We stayed all inclusive. We were able to eat at both hotel’s restaurants. There were mini trams running between Divi, Tamarijn and Alhambra Casino which is a part of the resort. There is also a section with a golf course.
IMG_6675Our rooms were at two story buildings overlooking the beach. Behind all inclusive guest rooms were time-share rentals (Dutch Village) with kitchen and living room. There were many visitors, mostly from Venezuela staying at those rentals.
IMG_6379View from our room balcony was divine. You could literally jump to the sea.
IMG_7038There were 3 mid-size pools scattered around at Tamarijn. They were right behind our rooms, between our building and the time-share. I liked the fact that. pools were small, because kids spent more time at the sea, than the pool.
IMG_7011And the beach and the sea were indescribable. We’ve visited many Caribbean islands. My husband always does a great job picking the best beach on an Island. Here it was marvelous. It was shallow enough for the kids and deep enough for us. There were barely any waves. It wasn’t too cold or too hot. It was just right.
IMG_6309This is only a quarter of the hotel’s beach. The hotel’s rooms extends along Divi Beach. Lots of place to spread around for the guests. That doesn’t mean that there is no beach chaise lounge race in the morning. Everyone wants to get a parasol close to their rooms.
IMG_6369Kids snorkeled by the beach to discover the fish around small reef and collect shells.
IMG_6381There were lots of stones to make castles out of.
IMG_6534Sunsets were amazing. There is a bunker bar on a small cape where people welcome sunsets with their drinks.
IMG_6162After dinner, there were entertainment at the resort. We didn’t stay and watch all of them. Whatever we have seen was fun for the family. First night was Mariachis performing.
IMG_6553We were impressed by the young synchronized swimmers.
IMG_6164Latin dancers were amazing.
IMG_6179My daughter couldn’t get her eyes of off the dresses and make-ups.
IMG_6145What I liked better about Aruba compared to some other Caribbean islands were the the things you could do outside-of-the-resort. We’ve rented a car to go around the island. First destination was Oranjestad.
IMG_6707The architecture is pretty colorful and fun. Most of these buildings are high end retails stores by the cruise ship dock.
IMG_6709We wanted to have lunch at Yemenja in Oranjestad, which was highly raved, but it was closed. We ate at Delimar, peruvian restaurant which we came out of full and happy.
IMG_6571One day we did the Atlantis Submarine Expedition by Depalm Tours. I highly recommend this for families. Depalm Tours has other attractions as well, but this was the only one which 6 to 60 year-olds could attend and enjoy. We got on a small ferry from the dock year the cruise ship dock.
IMG_6579View of Oranjestad from the sea.
IMG_6604This is the “reality” of the Happy Island. Land fill near where we got in the submarine.
IMG_6612Submarine is ready for us.
IMG_6621Tropical fish list to help recognize.
IMG_6624Everyone is lined up.
IMG_6694Cameras are ready.
IMG_6649One fish, two fish.
IMG_6637Red fish, blue fish.
IMG_6676And a – intentionally sunken – ship wreck.
IMG_6683We hit the bottom of the ocean at 143ft, then went up.
IMG_6710We went around the island and visited other beaches. This was the ancher in memory of all the seamen at the entrance to Seroe Colorado.
IMG_6712Kite surfers at Seroe Colorado.
IMG_6722-001Island’s donkeys on the way to Baby Beach.
IMG_6718They were really friendly. I think people feed them.
IMG_6734This was another reality of the Happy Island. The refinery chimneys right by the baby beach. The beach was great but the smell coming from the refinery was very unpleasant.
IMG_6851The tagline of Aruba, “One Happy island”. I can vouch for that.
IMG_6985We also went out to the town at night. This is the old mill.
IMG_6270We went up north from Divi beach towards high rise hotels. There are lots of restaurants, stores and street vendors to enjoy and shop from. We visited these restaurants and were really happy with them. “Fishes & More”, “Tango Argentine Grill” . We might have eaten gelato at “Gelatissimo” almost every night.
IMG_6834-001We couldn’t get enough of the beach…
IMG_6320..and the sea
IMG_6559We took many pictures to save this happy island in our memory. However, I really want to go back few more times.

Comments

  1. Tulay O says

    Merhaba ben Tulay,sesiz takipcilerinizdenim,
    cocuklar ile yapila bilecek seyahat/tatil yerlerini paylastiginiz icin size tesekkur etmek istedim,benim de 9 ve 6 yasinda iki kizim var, tecrube edinilmis yere gitmek tercihim.
    CA’a selamlar.

    • Practical Mama says

      Tulay Hanim,

      Takipte oldugunuz ve ses verdiginiz icin cok tesekkur ederim. Cocuklarin yaslari ayni. Size de iyi gezmeler, eglenceler.

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