Aruba

Recently we just returned from a trip to Aruba. We stayed at the Tamarijn Resort. A few people have been asking how it was, so I thought I’d simply do a blog posting for those interested to see. The Tamarijn is an all inclusive resort. You can eat yourself sick or drink until you fall down and it’s all included. This resort has really top notch restaurants al la cart and an amazing daily buffet that changes every day.

These are some examples of food from the a la carte restaurants. The one place we also really liked was the Ginger that had a great assortment of Asian cuisine that was all very very good. One night we really wanted to go back there for a second time as we were both craving Indonesian food, but it was all booked up (you have to pre-book your a la carte restaurants). So we decided to go to the buffet, we were thrilled to see the whole thing was FULL of fresh Indonesian foods!!! Everything from bami goreng to kroepoek and everything inbetween!

So, yes, we were really well fed! Peter and I kept our drinking down to a reasonable level so we could fully enjoy all the amenities of this resort and country. A couple of drinks in the afternoon, a couple at supper and a couple after supper. I have to admit one evening when we had just gotten back from a super tour of the entire country, I did have my afternoon drinks with my supper and after supper drinks…yes, I giggled like a school girl all the way back to my room. Thanks for leading me to safety Mr. Janssen! (that was sooo fun!)

One afternoon we took a cab to a nearby village that was having a children’s parade in celebration of the upcoming Carnival. We expected a small parade but were totally amazed at the size and organization of this event!!! After a couple of hours of waiting and a couple of hours to see it go by we were also amazed at the completion of the organization…the town had large trucks to immediately clean up all messes and equipment, and towns people were following with brooms and bins to sweep the street clean!

When we went to this parade of course we had no chairs with us. A family from Aruba provided us with shade and a place to sit. They are very happy friendly people! Aruba is a very safe place to wander around and it is true they are ‘One Happy Island’.

The weather in Aruba never changes. It’s 26 C in the morning, it’s 29 to 30 in the afternoon and 26 C at night. There is always a breeze blowing. It is like this 365 days of the year. We were told that in September the breeze might go away for a while, which really lets everyone know how hot that sun is!! Tourists like us, have a tendency to get very bad sun burns because that beautiful breeze makes you think it’s cooler than it is. One young woman got so burned on our first day there, we didn’t see her again. So we were very careful about sunscreen!!

One day we took a taxi, oh, by the way, taxis are regulated. They tell you up front from point A to point B exactly what the fair will be before you go. Which is super nice and really not expensive at all. Anyway, we went to the city of Oranjestad , the largest city in the country. We easily spent a day there. It is vibrant, exciting and oh my goodness! One Jewelry store after another! We went to an upper open air restaurant and looked over the town. If you go, you gotta go there!!

These blue horses are in different poses all over the city! How cool is that?

This is one of our views from the upper open air restaurant.

Another things we loved about the Tamarijn is that they don’t pack people in like rats. There was plenty of room for everyone even when they had new people come in while the others were still there. Our room had it’s own Cabana off of our private patio. Then over the walkway was another cabana for the upper room above us. At no time did we have to reserve a beach chair early. We had two that belonged to us, fresh every day. We also had two beach towels. There was no ‘hurry’ no stress. Our room opened up to the ocean on one side through our patio doors and on the other was a walkway to the main restaurant/entertainment area. On the walkway we saw iguanas and lots of lizards.

This photo was looking toward our beach bar. A lot of partying took place there!!

This was our neighbour’s beach lounge chairs, the birds here are very colourful and always looking for a free meal. The crows here too are very brave and love the beach bars and open air cookeries.

I think my favourite thing was swimming in this ocean every single day with Peter. We had so much fun.

I really need to talk about the all day tour (they have a half day but really take the full day!) This is where you learn so much about your host country’s people’s lives and see so much! Aruba is 19 miles long and 7 miles wide. The tour bus makes A LOT of stops, air conditioned and it has big windows! We preferred the bus over the open air jeeps as they were a rough ride and very dusty. The bus finished our tour with a stop at the Baby Beach where the ocean water is warm and shallow (for the non-swimmers or weak swimmers). Part of this also included snorkeling. Which I did. We went to the ropes where the water gets deep and they have a man feeding the fish. The first time I looked down I said “OH SHIT”! , not realizing everyone above me could hear. I saw my dad’s huge fish tank come to life, except the fish instead of 1 inch long were now 2 and 3 feet long! So many and so many colours…it was amazing and spectacular! So glad I did this! I did take on a bit of salt water, as when I came up my feet no longer touched the bottom. But I didn’t care…it was so beautiful.

This is one of the stops during the tour, this is all lava rock. Aruba is just that, lava. Aruba was created 19 million years ago with a volcanic eruption.

Another stop during the tour, a natural rock garden created by the volcanic eruption. Very beautiful.

Some of the many, many cacti here.

During the tour we took a ferry to a tiny island where we had a buffet lunch. This island can be rented out by private citizens with full service.

The view of the tiny island from the ferry.

So I’ll leave you with the following images. We’d both recommend the Tamarijn! It’s very clean, the staff and people there are super friendly. The rooms are a bit dated and a bit small, but really, with the ocean outside your door, you don’t spend much time in your room!! There is nightly entertainment and a host of things to do. There’s a list of daily activities by the Concierge ‘s desk, there’s open air pool tables, giant chess games and others. There’s two pools… The food is great…what more can you want? The cost is higher than most resorts, but remember, no over crowding, no fighting for a beach lounge chair, no lines and all in. We will go back I’m sure in a couple of years. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and thanks for visiting my blog!!