If you are in need of some sun, sand and relaxation than Aruba is an island that will take all your cares away!

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that never disappoints, than Aruba should be at the top of your travel bucket-list! I have been to the beautiful island of Aruba a total of four times (in only five years) so as you can tell I’m a huge fan. Every visit is always filled with perfect weather, friendly locals, amazing restaurants and unrivaled relaxation. Often referred to as “One Happy Island” it surely does not disappoint. If you were to ask me “what is one destination you could go to over and over again, and never get bored” the answer would be Aruba without hesitation.
We were lucky enough to score a two bedroom unit at Casa Del Mar for this year’s vacation. Actually the last two years in a row we have stayed at Casa Del Mar with RCI. Last year we stayed in a one bedroom unit and this year we were lucky enough to get the two bedroom, two bath which had just been recently renovated and looks fresh, inviting and lovely. I can’t tell you how much I love staying in a timeshare when in Aruba. My husband and I enjoy having a full kitchen to make our daily coffee, healthy meals when we don’t want to dine out every evening and extra space to watch TV. It truly does feel like a “home away from home” which makes us feel even more at ease and relaxed.
We decided to go from Sunday to Saturday and take a flight that would have us arrive by midafternoon; perfect to check in and still have time to relax before our first dinner. We took a flight from the New York City area (EWR) and in around five hours we were stepping foot at the Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) in 80 degree weather. There are always plenty of cabs available to take you to your hotel and the process to get through the airport is very easy. The cab ride to our resort was only around 10 minutes and the check in process was friendly and very easy. We actually saw the same staff from last year who always greet you with a smile which is such a welcoming touch.
The property is located on Eagle Beach which has beautiful white sand, a gentle breeze and the perfect vibe for relaxation. The two main beaches to stay at in Aruba are Palm Beach (sometimes called the “high rise” area since many of the hotels are located there) and Eagle Beach (which is a slightly south and a bit quieter). I would say if you’re looking for more of a tourist center, to stay around Palm Beach, but if you want to relax during the day and at the end of a long night, I prefer Eagle Beach. One thing you will also notice about the island, is it’s really relaxed and casual. You can of course pack a few nice sun dresses, maxi dresses, dress shorts and button downs but honestly you can wear just about anything on the island. The nights get a little breezy, but you won’t really need a jacket or sweater in Aruba so packing is fairly easy to do.
Eagle Beach is also close to a local market and a large super market where we like to go and get lots of fresh supplies to stock our fridge. I highly recommend the Super Food grocery store where you can find a wide assortment of delicious fish, cheeses, meats and any last minute items you forgot to pack. We also get lots of fresh fruits to enjoy when sitting on the beach or by the pool. You can grab a taxi there, or you can do like us and rent a car from the resort lobby for a few days to site see and make trips to get everything you need for the week.
Travel Tip: Did you know that Aruba measures about five miles at it widest point and 19 miles in length? This makes it very convenient to get around by foot, cab or rental car.
Favorite Things to Do:
My favorite thing to do in Aruba, is a whole lot of nothing. The reason we love going to Aruba is that you can enjoy taking in the beautiful weather, sitting by the pool or on the beach, reading a good book and just relaxing. To me there is no better weather than in Aruba. The sun is always shining, the temperature is a consistent 80-85 degrees year round and there is a soft, cool breeze that makes even the hottest day very tolerable. The breeze is actually a reason that they tree are slanted in the most interesting ways all over the island. If you want to explore, you can do so by foot and go up and down the beach, either on the sand or on the walking paths, and stop along the way for a game of mega chess, a smoothie at a variety of fruit juice stands, or visit the piers where you can have lunch or go for a sail!
During the week at Casa del Mar we got up early every day and went for a run or a walk together. We love working out and staying fit, but when you are on vacation you may not want to be indoors in a gym so we take advantage of the great weather and go sweat outside. From our resort we would run 1.5 miles up the coast of the island and then back. The roads are well maintained and you there is space to run or walk along the water. You will always see lots of people walking and being active on the island, and since it’s a smaller island you really can get around on foot everywhere.
I love to get a few good books to take to Aruba and enjoy sitting by the pool during the day to read. We also enjoy getting a few drinks by the pool at Matthews Bar & Grill and a few times during the day they ring a bell which signals two for one drinks for Happy Hour. They also have a lot of great activities on the properties that guests and members love to take advantage of like salsa lessons, water aerobics, shuffle board and bingo. At night time you can sit out the back of the restaurant in lounge chairs and listen to the waves hit the sand and sip on a nice glass of wine. Their food is fantastic for quick bites by the pool or for a nice, casual dinner.
Favorite Places to Eat:
Azzurro Ristorante Italiano Aruba at Playa Linda (Resort ID: #2139). We dined here when went to Aruba for our honeymoon and loved their fresh lobster and pasta made in a large parmesan wheel. You can sit down near the glass edge tables and watch the sunset (sometimes it’s a beautiful pink/purple which is breathtaking!) The entire place is dressed in crisp white colors and bright blue, with a perfect view at any table of the ocean.
There is a great local coffee shop near Casa del Mar that we visited almost every day that I highly recommend called Santos. They make delicious hot or cold coffee drinks as well as fruit smoothies. I am a big coffee drinker and their iced coffee is fantastic! It is within walking distance to the property and also across from a great casino with some little shops, restaurants and a small grocer.
There is also a really nice open plaza across from Casa Del Mar that has a market, Dunkin Donuts, a few smaller food spots, a casino, a Juan Valdez coffee shop, the Aruba Aloe store (which we love their products!) and a great restaurant that plays live music each night. The local market shop has everything you need from toiletries, to apparel to wine! I also really love the Aruba Aloe store where you can get some amazing after sun products and bath balms and salts – perfect after a long day out in the sun. Many nights we would walk over to the shopping plaza area and hang out there and grab a drink or coffee before heading uptown in a cab to Palm Beach for more fun.
What’s so great about Aruba?!
I would have to say, hands down, the best thing about Aruba is the consistent weather. I have been there a total of 35-40 days and have only experienced rain once, for a total of one hour. It is always sunny, 80-90 degrees, with a slight breeze, and gorgeous! If you want to lay out in the sun and get a tan, you can do that by the pool or on the beach. If you prefer to stay in the shade you can grab a “chickee” which are the palm covered umbrella tables. These are very sought after, so you have to get up very early to grab one – the early bird really does get the worm when you want a good spot on the beach in Aruba. Usually we would wake up, get a long walk/run in up toward Palm Beach, turn around and stop for iced coffee, then go lay out by the pool or beach.
I would also say that in Aruba there is a lot to do with the family. From visiting the California lighthouse at the tip of the island, renting a Jeep or ATVs to the natural springs, playing games along the walking path along the beach, or enjoying excursions like snorkeling and banana boating, there’s so much to do! I always feel very safe on the island and the locals are all very friendly.
I highly recommend renting a car for at least 2 days and go drive around the island – you can see the entire island in one day since it is so small, but there is so much to explore! If you go to the California Lighthouse you can also get fresh coconut water right out of the coconut. The views are also spectacular and the lighthouse has been there since 1891. Also make sure to head toward the area where all the big cruise ships port so that you can walk around and do some souvenir shopping. You’ll also love the bright colored buildings and architecture.
Pro Tip: Make sure to wear sunscreen in Aruba! You may not think you need it, but the sun is very strong. The cool breeze is deceiving, but you don’t want to get burnt the first day on your vacation so load up on that SPF. If you do happen to get a bit burned, try the Aruba Aloe store – they have amazing products using local aloe plants.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion Aruba is one of the few places I have ever visited where I look forward to going again the following year. Sometimes you visit a destination, and while it is a great time, you just check it off your list and move on to the next place. For me and my family, we can go back time and time again and always look forward to it. Life is always so busy and fast paced, it’s nice to be able to jump on a plane and go somewhere where time feels like it passes a bit slower and the weather is constantly beautiful. I highly recommend everyone try Aruba at least once, but I guarantee you that you’ll get bit by the bug and visit again.