Must See Destinations in Aruba

Warm weather, clear-blue water, and good vibes. It is no wonder Aruba is a popular vacation spot for many people due to its beautiful weather and “One Happy Island” motto. During winter break I had the opportunity to vacation in Aruba with my family. There, we visited Flamingo Beach, the island’s Donkey Sanctuary, and explored the island on a UTV tour. 

Our first adventure on the island was at Flamingo Beach. Visiting Flamingo Beach was the main reason for our trip, and it was well worth it. When we got there the atmosphere was fun and relaxing. There were a flock of flamingos roaming around as people held out their hands for feeding and to also take pictures with them. The beach was lined with an abundance of reclining beach chairs for relaxation. Music was playing, and waiters and waitresses were walking around offering tropical drinks. The flamingos were an interesting site as they were taller than I had expected and made funny noises when communicating with one another. Flamingo Beach is one of Aruba’s private beaches that one would have to take a little ferry to get to. In addition, it is only available to guests staying at The Renaissance hotel. Although, if not all the rooms are booked at the hotel, one could buy a day pass. However, there is no guarantee so it would be ideal to stay at The Renaissance to ensure a spot at Flamingo Beach. 

Next, we visited the island’s Donkey Sanctuary. This day we rented a rental car and drove to the location itself. Even though the island is small, we got a little lost with all the rotaries in Aruba. It was worth it in the end though, because since we went on our own we were allowed to stay at the sanctuary for as long as we wanted. Tour groups came in and out, staying for only 15 minutes tops; so if someone is interested in petting/feeding the donkeys, I would recommend going to the sanctuary on one’s own and not with a tour group. When we arrived, we were greeted by donkeys fenced behind the parking lot. Once the owner opened the gate, we were free to walk around in a big open land full of 130+ donkeys. My family and I split two large food buckets and began feeding the donkeys. We stood on a fenced in platform and one by one, the donkeys started to surround us in hopes of eating some of our treats. The noises that they made were funny and the owner explained it was to get our attention so that we could feed them more treats. After a little bit, my family and I were feeling adventurous so we stepped outside of the gated area and began feeding them in the open space. Immediately, we were surrounded by a swarm of donkeys encircling us. We had to hold our food buckets above us so that the donkeys would not try to attack our food. The Donkey Sanctuary is a great organization as they are a loving place for food, water, shelter, and care for the donkeys. The organization is volunteer based and non-profit so any donation is very much appreciated. This day was probably one of my favorites on the trip because it was fun to pet and play with so many donkeys. 

Finally, our last excursion was taking a UTV tour of the island. This was very cool because we were able to go off-roading, which is something I have never done before. On the UTV tour our guide was very adventurous and encouraged us to drive fast and drive over unusual ground such as rocky hills and bumpy sands. On our tour we were able to explore ancient preservations of the island’s historical hieroglyphics and stone structures. One of the coolest points on our tour was jumping into a “natural pool” which was a warm body of water enclosed in rock and coral. This was a nice ending on our tour as the water cooled off our sunburnt bodies. 

I would highly recommend visiting Aruba and exploring these different places that the island has to offer.