Jeep Tour or on Your Own

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May 13th, 2004, 10:56 AM
  #1
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Jeep Tour or on Your Own

Going to Aruba in July with hubby and kids 14 and 11. I'm wondering for those of you who have been to Aruba, is it worth it taking a guided tour, thinking of the 1/2 day Jeep Tour, or just treking it on our own. Any opinions? Thanks.
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May 13th, 2004, 11:10 AM
  #2
cdt
 
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If you're not fond of eating other people's dust, do it on your own.

Get the best map you can find. You still may get lost, but it's not a large island, the people there are friendly, and you'll find your way eventually.

Some of the "roads" (esp. to the Natural Pool) will be less intimidating if you have a little off-road experience.

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May 13th, 2004, 02:39 PM
  #3
 
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we did it on our own and loved it. it was the best day of the trip.
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May 14th, 2004, 06:32 AM
  #4
mjz
 
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I agree with the other posters. We rented a jeep for 3 of our 5 days and had a blast exploring the island...especially the Arikok National Park where we were able to explore caves, the Natural Bridge and have beaches to ourselves. However, with the kids, I would recommend some swimming caution as the current is quite strong on this side of the island. Take a map, guide book and drinks/snacks and have fun...don't hassle with an organized tour.
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May 14th, 2004, 10:48 AM
  #5
 
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One other suggestion. If you do decide on a tour, don't pick a huge operation, pick one of the smaller ones. Ask the concierge for a recommendation. Everyone goes to the same places... why be in a train of 14 jeeps when you could be with just 1 or 2. However you do it... plan on getting kind of dusty.
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May 14th, 2004, 02:44 PM
  #6
 
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Having done a jeep tour, I would have to say "never again" and go on your own. Then you can go where you want to go and do what you want to do. The other posters who have mentioned eating dust aren't kidding!
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May 15th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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The jeep tour is hell on earth.....It was probably one of the worst experiences I have had while on vacation.Avoid it!
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May 15th, 2004, 08:18 AM
  #8
 
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Capri - you too? I loved the beginning - racing along the beach on the other side of the island. That was cool. Then after we left the Natural Bridge area and began to climb the rocky area, I started to get nervous. There was no road, we were riding over huge boulders, going down huge drops and my daughter and I were petrified. At one point, the guide wanted to take a short cut and we ended up tettering on the end of this rock formation with about six inches between our vehicle and a 30 foot drop. I was furious that he would put us in that kind of harm's way. Once we got to the Natural Pool I let him have it. He apologized and got us out of there in a much safer manner. What I was sold and what actually happened were two completely different experiences and I made sure when we got back to the hotel, I let the sales person know. All I can say is "never again".
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May 15th, 2004, 03:54 PM
  #9
 
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Capri & MuyLinda ~

My husband & I were planning to do a jeep island tour our first full day of vacation to get a "feel for the island".
Can you recall the outfit that you used for your excursion?
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May 15th, 2004, 05:35 PM
  #10
 
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We did the jeep "safar" tour with DePalm Tours and thoroughly enjoyed it. There were about eight jeeps in our "caravan" and we all had a blast.
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May 15th, 2004, 05:52 PM
  #11
 
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Hi Tricia - if memory serves me correctly, the jeep tour company for us that day was "Franco".
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May 16th, 2004, 06:14 AM
  #12
 
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Thanks ~ now I know who to avoid!

I've read that "ABC" tours and DePalm, as schmerl mentioned are good jeep tours. Can anyone comment?

Schmerl ~ How long did the DePalm safari tour last? What did you like most about it? Did you go to the "Natural Pool"? Did you wait and book your tour once you arrived in Aruba? Thanks for any further info!
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May 17th, 2004, 11:49 AM
  #13
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Thanks for all the replies. I believe we'll go out on our own. Do the maps have the route to the Natural Pool on them? I've heard about the rocks marked with NP. Is it terribly difficult to find? Would you recommend reserving a vehicle ahead of time or just when we get there in July?
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