Bob, Debe, Micah and Chelcy
Our travel days lately seem to always be an experience so we expected it today. We had a "noonish" flight so a relaxing day but between plane changes & flight delays we ended up getting to Aruba the following day at almost 1 a.m. That was after trying to land in Aruba, going right back up and being told Aruba was celebrating Carnaval and we had no one to clear us to bring the plane in. Amazing. So the below photo is Micah and Chelcy waiting for the rental car to pick us all up.
People are always asking me about where we stay in Aruba. So here is the time sharing we stay in. Complete with full kitchen and even outside grills. It has two large pools, one small shallow pool for kids and a couple hot tubs. Plus the ocean just across the street. Every thing you need for a great trip to Aruba.
Our first stop on day one is always for groceries. Even though Super Food isn't the cheapest place to pick up groceries, it is very easy to maneuver and find things. Including meat that is already seasoned and ready to cook. Yum yum
After getting groceries and settling in, it was off for our first drive around part of the island. This day would take us from our time sharing, up around the California lighthouse, around the windy coastline and up to Alto Visa Church. After a good night sleep, it was off to our first snorkeling place. Arishi Beach is a great place for snorkeling with a walk in entry and reef very close to the shore. Today we saw schools of small fish which where so neat.
Very close to the Natural Baby Bridge you will fine the ruins from the Gold Smelter Mines. Bob, Micah, and Checly spent some time climbing the inside while Debe took photos. lol
From there it was off on the dirt road around the coastline of the island. You pass many beautiful areas including a couple of beaches. The final destination was back up to the Alto Vista Church for a shave ice and rest. Then some inland attractions.
There is a lot to see inland also. Including two favorite rock formations that send tourist running to them. The first, and most popular is the Casibari Rock Formations. A tough climb with tight areas but so worth the view from the top. A great place to see the Hooiberg Mountain.
The other Rock formation is called the Ayo Rock Formation. Even though the grounds are beautifully kept, the climb into the rocks has become dangerous. The last two times we have been there, wasp nest are everywhere.
As many times as we have visited Aruba, we have never visited the Donkey Sanctuary. So on this day, we decided to take a look at it. It is free but they do sell food to feed the donkeys and/or souvenirs to help support the place. Over 100 donkeys have been taken in and have to be fed. Worth the visit. And the food to feed the donkeys is only $1.00 a bag.
It was only halfway thru the day and we had seen so much. So a stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken kept us from going back to the time sharing unit. After eating it was off for more of Aruba.
The next photos are Oranjestead Town. The buildings are Dutch and cool looking. The last photo is the soveneir stands built for cruise passenger to have a place to shop.
And with the new I LOVE ARUBA sign, it is a popular place to have your photo made. Can you find Micah and Chelcy!
For anyone wanting to just drive into the National Park, eat at Boca Prins restaurant and go back out - just tell them at the gate and you save the $5 per person. Below is a photo of the restaurant which is just before the Fontein Cave. As we continued past the restaurant (remember we are going backwards because we came in the back side), we stopped at a beautiful beach area very close to the sand dunes. Gorgeous place.
I really wanted to post a photo so everyone can see the road leading into the National Park. This would be from the main entrance. You can do it in a car but go very slowly as the road has these dips in it for water drainage during rain. Just inside the entrance and to the left you pick up a dirt/rock road which is very rough and very steep. That road takes you to the Natural Pool (Conchi). This road can only be taken in a Jeep or ATV. Very rough.
Our last day was back to the pool and beach for that last bit of tan but for dinner that night, was out to The Promenade Cafe. They had a menu but you could do the all you can eat appetizer which was absolutely great. Now, this is not a cheap restaurant but it is so good. The appetizers were like mini meals and were all delicious. So if you are ever in Aruba, you have to try this place. Highly recommended.