Knowing how to spend your time wisely at your ports of call like Aruba, can really make or break your day in paradise. In order to make the most of your time ashore, a little planning will help make the most of your days. Whether it’s knowing which tours are more beneficial, where to grab the best cocktail, or how long it will take to get back to your ship – we’ve got you covered! This year I will cover as many ports of call as possible, so here’s how to spend a rememberable day in Aruba!
A pearl in the Caribbean | where island vibes and their mañana way of life blend with all the modern comforts of back home, making Aruba a true home, away from home.
Located 15 miles north of Venezuela in the warm waters of the southern Caribbean, Aruba is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, 82-degree days, and some of the warmest people in the world. As we arrived we were greeted with a smile and their local saying of: BON BINI to Aruba! Which means Welcome to Aruba!
Aruba is a part of the 3 ABC Dutch Islands. Arubans speak primarily dutch, but you will see that most Arubans speak English and Spanish as well. So these are the main three “imported” languages in which Arubans can communicate very well, in addition to their native tongue. The mother-tongue of Aruba is ‘Papiamento‘. It is a language, not a dialect, and evolved from several older languages as most languages today have done. A saying you’ll see all over the Island is “Biba Dushi” which means: Living the Sweet Life or Sweet Life. Arubans have turned this saying into their way of life and it’s something you’ll surely want to experience.
Arriving to Aruba onboard a cruise line is a great way to experience the Island for a day, but it’s sure to leave you wanting more. So get ready to plan your return!
Shore Excursion Suggestion: A day in Aruba
Most cruises arrive early morning to make most of the day in port. The port of Oranjestad has a modern Cruise facility with three terminals. Upon arrival at the air-conditioned terminals you will find friendly and welcoming staff at the information booths. They will assist you with any information you might need for your Aruba visit.
Upon exiting the doors I recommend taking a taxi tour of the Island to start off. This way you will get to know the entire Island and make a decision on where you would like to spend the rest of your day after the 2hr tour ends. On this tour you will see the entire Island.
Main points of Interest:
- Casibari Rock formations
- Presidents house
- Aruban homes
- California Lighthouse
- Some Beaches: Palm Beach, Boca Catalina Beach, Eagle Beach, Arashi Beach
- The town of Palm Beach
- Shops/Restaurants at the port of Oranjestad
After the tour is done have your taxi driver drop you off at The Hilton Palm Beach. From here you can walk the shops on the Palm Beach strip and than have lunch at the beach restaurant on property or walk down the beach boardwalk to the left and have lunch at the Bugaloe Beach Bar & Restaurant on the pier. I always have to try at least one of the countries or Islands local beers and the local beer here is fantastic, so start off with a Balashi and enjoy the magnificent views from the deck.You can than rent some beach chairs, or book a snorkel trip, maybe rent a jet ski. Whatever you want to do, just make sure you have some fun & enjoy one of the most fantastic beaches in the world.
You should wrap your day up around 4pm if your ship leaves at 5pm and head back on a taxi to the port which will cost you $14 & take you 10mins from the Hilton (I like to give myself an hour to get back onboard as you never know what can happen or how long a taxi can take). You can also hop on the public bus, just make sure you look up the schedule before being dropped off, so you have enough time to get back to the ship before it leaves for the day. Even though, if I was going to get left somewhere I wouldn’t mind if it was here in Aruba!
Go Bananas & Hop onto a colorful open air Banana Bus for your Explore Aruba tour.
Tuesdays through Thursdays/ 4hr Tour
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Price: US$ 37.50 per person
-A 2hr PrivateTaxi Tour of the Island is $95 for 4ppl
-Taxi to the town of Palm Beach will cost you $14 from the cruise terminal (Drop off at the Hilton is a good location)
Arubus N.V. is the major public transportation of Aruba owned by the Government of Aruba. Arubus provides public transportation over major areas of the island. The main bus station is right across the street from the Cruise Terminal.
The lines that can take you from Oranjestad to the beach and hotel areas are:
Line 10, Line 10A, and Line 10B
The rates they charge for bus trip are very reasonable priced. A single bus trip costs 2.50 florins with your Smartcard and 4.00 florins or $2.30 cash.
Over to you guys…What did you love in Aruba? And what did you do there?
Feel free to comment!
| Biba Dushi in Aruba |