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First Visit to Aruba

ct
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5 posts
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First Visit to Aruba

Hi,

We are planning our first trip to Aruba. We will be aparty of 4 adults staying at the Ocean Club in May.

Any ideas on things to see, places to go and of course where to eat?

Any think we should bring that's hard to get etc?

Would appreciate any help

Thanks. Terry

New Jersey
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1. Re: First Visit to Aruba

Check out the inside pages. It will answer most of your questions.

There are a lot of excursions - water, horseback riding, ATV rental, helicopter tour, etc., etc. Several spas on the island (one located at Marriott). Casinos. I don't love the shopping, but it's worth a trip downtown anyway. Iguana Joe's is great for lunch while you're there.

Moombas on the beach at Holiday Inn for happy hour. Also Bugaloe Bar over by Hyatt. KuKoo Kunuku bus is a fun night out.

Restaurants are endless. At Marriott there's Tuscany for Italian and Simply Fish on the beach. A few other favorites are: El Gaucho, Madame Janette, and we really liked Salt & Pepper for lunch. Breakfast buffet at Marriott is outstanding (pricey - but excellent).

Sun block isn't hard to get, but it's expensive if you run out, so bring lots.

Hope this helps.

Enjoy.

Massachusetts
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2. Re: First Visit to Aruba

Here's a copy of my reply to another couple traveling to Aruba. My personal restaurant favorites:

Madame Janette - one of our favorites on the island. Not on the beach, but most seating is outdoors under twinkling lights. There is usually a guitar player. If you like steak, then try the filet with Madame Janette steak butter or if you are a seafood lover, the almond-encrusted grouper. For the desert, the vanilla bourbon ice cream with hot blueberry sauce is a must.

Simply Fish - the name says it all. On-the-beach dining at the Marriott Hotel. Get there for sunset. Each table has its own lantern - very romantic. The menu choices are limited (usually 7-8 entrees), but very fresh. Sunset reservations are recommended.

Marandi - Our absolute favorite. The restaurant itself is set under a giant palapa, on the beach. I know they were planning to move locations soon, but will remain by the water. The entire staff is Dutch, and they are just lovely. Again, sunset reservations are a must.

For authentic Aruban cuisine, I would also recommend Gasparito, a restaurant and art gallery. The Keshi Yena is fantastic; it is served with fish or chicken, prepared in a blend of dutch cheeses. Request outdoor patio seating.

I would also recommend renting a car for the day to see the sights; California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, stop by Boca Catalina (near the high rise section) for snorkeling. I also agree with Shamrock that having lunch downtown, at least once, is a must. It's fun to have a few drinks and people watch at Iguana Joe's.

I agree with Shamrock about the sunscreen. Easy to find, but expensive in Aruba. Whatever you normally use at home, count on using double in Aruba. Also, I always pack a small first-aid kit; ear drops (for swimmer's ear), Dramamine (a must if you are prone to seasickness), band-aids, Advil, travel packs of kleenex, eye drops, etc. Again, all can be found on the island, but why pay three times the price.

phila
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3. Re: First Visit to Aruba

a half day jeep tour to all the landmarks was a must for us- we used http://www.abc-aruba.com/

New York, NY
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4. Re: First Visit to Aruba

If you're up for adventure, you should try SNUBA. Basically it's almost like SCUBA but the air tank is on a floating raft instead of being part of you. You submerge to about 20 feet deep. I did this at the Antilla ship wreck and other coral reef spots and it was great!

5. Re: First Visit to Aruba

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