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Aruba for the first time

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Feb 19th, 2014, 03:42 PM
  #1
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Aruba for the first time

Ok so after choosing 3 different places we finally stuck to Aruba and booked it for end of April staying at la cabana beach resort and casino on eagle beach. Just looking for some input on some adventurous things to do. We want to try scuba diving for the first time as well so any recommendations for a dive shop to go to would be great. Also thinking about a trip to curaçao or Bonaire for a day (or 2 if it's easier) we are staying 7 nights so the day trip is prob better for time schedule, has anyone done this trip with a time restriction and what would be the best things to see or do while over there.

Definite plans are to scuba dive, snorkel, skydive, possible fishing charter trip. It's just overwhelming finding the right places to book everything so everyone's input is very much appreciated and would love any all suggestions on fun adventurous things to do on this beautiful island! Thanks in advance!
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Feb 19th, 2014, 03:45 PM
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Also is there dolphin/shark swimming on any of these 3 islands?
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Feb 20th, 2014, 06:29 AM
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OH WOW you are going to my favorite place ever!!! Can I go too?? Haaaa! I have stayed at la Cabana several times prior to purchasing our own timeshare at Divi Links. La cabana is fun place with great happy hours everyday. Sorry but I cannot advise on Scuba diving.

There is a restaurant called The Driftwood. He does Charter trips and then cooks the fish of the day fresh that p.m. You can look into that through the web.

You want adventure?? Take the ABC jeep tour--it is for the very adventurous and a tour you will never forget. Trust me. If you are the adventurous type this is for you. Somewhat bumpy to say the least.

If diving is for sure a must and it sounds like it is then Bonaire would probably be your best option. I think for 7 days in Aruba when you are a first time visitor would keep you busy enough. Maybe others can help on the diving matter. I know you would need to be certified first? Would you be happy with snorkeling? There is a tour to Baby beach clear at the end there and is great place to snorkel there. It might be an easier option than the diving.

There is a fun Kucko bus it is a party bus that goes to various clubs in the p.m Sunset sails, and horseback riding on the beach. you can go on a 4x4 tour which is fun. A place called Georges has the best rental and prices. You will have fun. Will you have a car? Driving is easy. You are on a bus line but we prefer a car. Some people never rent a car. Also go to Aruba.com site and go on there forums. They will have a plethora of info for you on there.

I can also give you restaurant suggestions if you like.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 06:57 AM
  #4
KVR
 
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With regards to scuba diving, you do not want to waste precious time on your vacation getting certified. It's takes several days and a lot of time. If you are really that interested then get certified at home and then just do your open water certification when you arrive on the Island.

Other possibly options other than scuba diving; There is a sea trek option at De Palm Island or you can snuba. Either at De Palm Island or at the Antilla Ship wreck.

If you fly over to Curacao, you can scuba dive at the Aquarium with a Dive Master. No certification is required. There are tons of fish and you can feed the sharks. That was the highlight of our Curacao trip. I don't know any place for swimming with the dolphins, but we did see dolphins at the Aquarium.

If you fly to Curacao or Bonaire, you need to have a plan of action so you don't waste time trying to figure out what you are going to do once you get there. Definitely have a rental car waiting or a tour excursion booked. We also did the beach hopping tour and the East/West Tour on our vacation with Actief. The beaches are on the West side of the Island, so you need a rental car and a very detailed map to find them or a tour to get you there. With Actief there was just us and another couple on our tour.

http://www.curacao-actief.com/

For things to see and do in Aruba:

http://www.visitaruba.com/things-to-do-in-aruba

DePalm.com

Dining in Aruba:

http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/all.html

I would love to go back to Aruba sometime, but the distance and cost was so much compared to Mexico, so we just going back to Mexico every year. Have a great trip!
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Feb 20th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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http://abc-aruba.com/

This is the jeep tour I was referring to it is a bit rougher then De palm.

De palm island is really not worth the money. We went for a full day and was not impressed. The food is not great, and the snorkeling was mediocre. there was a banana boat ride which we enjoyed. Now that was fun.

KVR That is a great site visitaruba.com. That gives you many options.

I like Mexico also but it seldom likes me.

There are so many great restaurants. Depends on your budget but the one to not miss is Madamn Jeanetes. It is an island favorite and it does not disappoint.

Wacky Wahoo's for fresh fish. Wonderful sea food.

Iguana Joes for Ribs. (A fun place great drinks.) To many to mention.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 06:44 PM
  #6
KVR
 
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We did the full day jeep tour with ABC and loved it even though it was quite bumpy. Our tour went to the Natural Pool. We were the only people wearing water shoes and not flip flops. It was a good decision.

We actually liked De Palm Island. We did the full day also. Saw lots of blue parrot fish and sergant majors. The buffet food was iffy, but the burgers, fries and ice cream were good. But, I'm happy anywhere I can get AI drinks though. I think the snuba there would be worth it. If we ever do go back I will look into it.

We are headed back to Mexico in May. The price and AI just can't be beat. We are saving up for Costa Rica next May for DH's 60th birthday. That's what he wanted so a couple of less expensive trips this year and last year so we can save up for that expense. It'll be worth it.
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Feb 21st, 2014, 06:27 AM
  #7
 
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KVR: Yes "bumpy" for sure that is why I warn people or try to at least as it was not for the faint of heart. It was a tour I will not forget---LOL. OP claims they want some adventure so I think it might be for them.

For some reason I don't recall the Snuba on De Palm Island at all. Perhaps we missed it. They had a place where they took people out further for snorkeling on De Palm Island tour. I really like the snorkeling at Baby beach. There is also a place on the way to the lighthouse where they take snorkeling boats. If you have a car you can just go to the beach and walk out. It is rather rocky however.

Where in Mexico do you stay? Playa del Carmen area or Riviera? Yes it does provide a great bang for the buck. I have not been to Costa Rica but it sounds very pretty. Enjoy!

I have bucket list and we are doing what I want for my birthday this year. I will be 65! I got that red,white and blue card in the mail. (Medicare) YIKES! We are going to Europe it is top priority on the list. Take care.
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Feb 21st, 2014, 07:46 PM
  #8
KVR
 
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diann24, I believe they recently started the snuba at DePalm Island. When we where there we did seen them doing it at the shipwreck on our snorkel tour.

"There is also a place on the way to the lighthouse where they take snorkeling boats." I believe that is Arashi Beach. We snorkeled there also and at Baby Beach. We really enjoyed the snorkeling in Aruba.

We have been to Mexico many times both Caribbean and West Coast. This will be 13th trip to Mexico. This time we are staying in Puerto Morales. About the only area we haven't been to yet. There is fabulous reef right in that area that I have been wanting to see.

Happy Birthday and have a great time in Europe. I have been to London once. I would like to do a European cruise someday.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 07:54 AM
  #9
 
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We have just returned from our 11th annual February 2 week trip to Aruba. We love the island. We stay at the Amsterdam Manor next door to LaCabana. Eagle Beach is great. The beach in front of LaCabana can be crowded and you have to get out early each morning to get a tiki hut. We are not into scuba so cannot help you with that. Parasailing and jet skis are available right on the beach. The bus runs right in front of LaCabana and will take you to the high rise area where the large hotels are and many restaurants and the opposite way to the downtown area. If you want to tour the island, you will need to rent a car. After so many times there, we just enjoy the sun and the beach. We did the touring years ago. Madam Jeanette's is a great restaurant but you have to get reservations in advance. Others we like in the high rise area: Casa Tua, Tangos, Hosteria Da Vittorio, Le Petit Cafe, Tony Roma's for ribs and Chalet Suisse near LaCabana. Have fun and enjoy.
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