It was and toss up between Turks and Caicos or Aruba for my birthday. I have heard of Aruba of course but wasn’t too familiar with the island personally. After all, this was my birthday after Covid finally dying down, so I decided I needed to celebrate it to the fullest. So I chose Aruba, and I am glad I did. It was everything I needed and what I wasn’t expecting as well.
I stayed at the Amsterdam Manor which was in the perfect location for me. The location had a pool and across from the resort was Eagles Beach. On the beach was and restaurant/bar named Passions. Now Passions was just okay… as far as the menu. They served typical dutch food which was just okay. However, you did have the luxury of dining on the beach. But I wanted quiet and the side I stayed on was more serene.
In the morning times, I chose the sheltered dining area. At night you were greeted with champagne while you waited. Now fathers day they offered mimosa with breakfast. For dinner, I was disappointed with the establishment. My birthday was fathers day so I made reservations just in case. However, with reservations, I still had to wait unfortunately.
My resort I stayed in and Passions are partnered up per se so it was terrible how they both dropped the ball. The ambiance of dining on the beach was breathtaking. But the service that night was not stellar. In fact, for the rest of my stay, I dined at Pure Ocean whose menu stomped on the Passions mediocre menu. Aruba was quite beautiful and just what I needed nevertheless.
I did not know that the island was pretty much desert ,sand and cactus and you name it. But that was refreshing to experience in person. Now the weather was hot but most of the time it was and small breeze with it. I frequent the Eagles Beach area, Palms beach and the shopping area, Butterfly Island, and generally mingled. I went on the sunset boat ride which was nice but it was overcrowded.
So the experience I thought I would have was and party vibe instead on the boat. I went on and jeep tour which was quite fun and adventurous. The driver was not and safe driver lol. I survived the ride and saw some amazing scenery like Aruba nature’s pool, an old church that is still open to the public, houses deep in the desert, and other places that were farther away. I will say my favorite place was where the butterflies were located. I went twice to see the butterflies while on my vacation.
Rumour has it when and a butterfly lands on you it’s the perfect time to make and wish. I ate lots of tasty foods especially at Pure Ocean and did partake in some drinking just a tad. I went shopping, of course, I mainly bought jewelry for friends and family. I bought some comfortable walking shoes and some Aruba apparel. I also got suckered into buying some skin products from Gold Harmony in the Palms Beach area.
The salesperson Kara was just adorable and funny so she won me over. Advice to anyone traveling to the island get some comfortable walking shoes. It’s a lot of rocks and shells and you name it on the beach and desert areas. I was disappointed that it’s against the law to bring shells back from the island. I thought it was just and rumor but it’s and real thing. It’s signage in the airports warning you against it as well.
An also there tons of stories online as well from others experience(Leave the shells). It was way smoother getting through the airport arriving at the island than leaving. It was definitely and longer process. So give yourself at least a three hour head-start so you don’t miss your flight. You have to provide a negative Covid test which is taken 72 hours before your flight departure.
Also, another test is required before going back home (72 hours). Overall I will be coming back to the crazy desert island again. The people are super friendly and the island is just so cultured. The next time I come I will be staying at and nicer place because I joined and vacation club. Bring some coins because you’re going to want to buy things and it’s not cheap, to say the least. I have included tons of pictures that I hope you all enjoy