In April we went on Carnival Vista to Aruba. One reason I like cruises is because you get the chance to explore a different place for a day. Many times you want to go on vacation and see many pretty places but will you really like it? Not all places are as nice as the images or fun. Sometimes I like to try a place before I actually decide to book a full week there and spend so much money.
Aruba is a small Dutch island off of the coast of Venezuela. Part of the ABC island which also includes Bonaire and Curaçao. Aruba is very unique because some parts are tropical, with white sand and clear blue beaches but also has a dry climate with cactuses.
When we arrived at the cruise port first we decided to walk around near the port. We saw many places to eat and cute little souvenir vendors. The buildings were all different and very pretty, everything was clean and seemed safe. We really liked walking around but we decided to go back to the port to book a tour and come back after. There were people standing around with the little tour booklets so we chose the whole island tour.
It was very nice it was a guided tour. During the car ride the guy explained the island’s history and when we arrived at the locations he would get off with us. He showed us around or helped with anything until we had to go back. First we stopped by an Asian store, they had everything and of course, husband had to try the local beer.
Our first stop was at Ayo and Casibari Rock Formation. This was my favorite! From the bottom, you could see the huge boulders and we were excited to climb to the top not knowing what we would find. There was desert sand and cactuses and other pretty trees. We started the climb which was very steep. My husband is 6’4″ and found some places a bit tight to get through, luckily I’m small and had no problems. It was a fun climb and when we got up there it was just breathtaking! Beyond beautiful you could see everything from there. The colors were amazing. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Our second stop was near the coast where there were rocky edges and harsh waves. At this moment I thought all of Aruba was dessert and rocks. To be honest, I was tired of seeing red sand and cactuses, I thought there were no beaches or nice landscapes. Regardless it was still beautiful. We also visited an old gold mine. It was in ruins but you could climb to the top and once again the views did not disappoint. Everywhere you turned there was an amazing view.
The next location was the famous natural bridge. Although the original bridge collapsed in 2005 it’s still a very nice area. There is a baby bridge to see and you can walk over it. There’s also a souvenir shop and on the outside wall, you can see an image of the original bridge.
We learned that nothing is really produced in Aruba. Everything is imported making prices more expensive. We noticed there were all different types of social classes. We saw modest homes and also very expensive big houses with a view.
We were headed to the beach. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Along the way, we stopped for some refreshments next to the lighthouse. Then we drove down and passed by a couple of hotel zones. Our tour guide took us to a beach which was very nice but not the busiest major beach. He dropped us there and asked at what time we wanted him to pick us back up. A couple hours later he arrived on time just as he said. The beach did not disappoint as well. The sand was soft white and the water crystal clear blue.
The word I will use to describe Aruba is unique. Not what I was expecting and full of surprises. Every time I wasn’t too sure about something, it ended up blowing me away. Views for days! Red dessert sand and cactuses to white sand and blue water. I enjoyed Aruba so much I would definitely come back in the future for a whole week to keep exploring everything I missed.