Friday, November 1, 2013

Let Me Tell You About....Aruba

When travelers ask us  where they can travel to that is tropical and safe, my usual answer is Aruba and with good reason.  In our opinion, Aruba is as American as you can get in a tropical island – in fact it is sometimes called “Arizona in the Caribbean”.  English is spoken, driving is on the same side of the road as in the States, the U.S. dollar is freely  accepted, there is very little crime and most of all - the people are lovely. Did you know their unemployment rate is less than 1%?

Outside the hurricane belt, the weather in Aruba is hot with very little rain but can be humid. It makes an ideal location for Destination Weddings.  The beaches are plentiful with soft white sand and azure blue water.  Temperatures average   84  degrees   year round with trade winds all day and night.  (Don't spend too much time getting your hair done!)  Make sure you bring a hat and use sunblock – the sun is very hot and you can easily burn.

But it is an island of beauty. From the most beautiful beaches  on the South and Western sides of the islands to the harshest and rockiest on the north east side, there are plenty of activities for everyone.  Swim in the bluest water with the most amazing sunsets. Snorkel, scuba dive, snuba dive, hike, walk, run a marathon, see the old goldmine and caves, go 4 wheel driving  or hike to the lighthouse (and a wonderful restaurant.)

The island measures approximately 19 miles long by 6 miles wide with, as our bus driver explained , “12 traffic lights with only six working”.  The island is located below the hurricane belt and has a dry climate with very little rain. The south and west part of the island houses the capital, Oranjestad and miles of beautiful beaches.

On the northeast coast, along the windward shore, you’ll see the island’s fofoti trees. The constant trade winds have permanently bent them.

There is little need for an all inclusive resort stay in Aruba. There are more than 200  restaurants in all price ranges and you can purchase duty free liquor in the airport and leave it in your room. From 4 star restaurants to Wendy’s, there is something for everyone.

There are two main hotel zones – besides downtown Orangestad where you can stay near the airport, most hotels are located at either Eagle Beach (low rises) or Palm Beach (high rises). There are more restaurants within walking distance of hotels in the Palm Beach area than in the Eagle Beach area.

Some hotels in the low rise area are Bucuti and Tara Suites, Amsterdam Manor,   several Divi Resorts, and MVC Eagle Beach. In the high rise Palm Beach area, you’ll find Hyatt, Marriott, Radisson, Occidental, Riu and the newest hotel, the Ritz Carlton.

While you may never get tired of swimming at the amazing beaches  there are plenty of activities on the island. Arikok  National Park is a great place to spend a day. In the interior of the island, Arikok is similar to areas in Arizona, a desert like area full of neat rock formations and lots of cacti.  You’ll also find some of Aruba’s most amazing views, as the ocean crashes against the rugged shoreline below and natural bridges and caves can be found.  It is easy to get around by car, has amazing formations  made of lava, quartz diorite and limestone and many animals that are indigenous to the island. There are three caves and while the beaches are too rough to swim, there is a natural pool to take a dip in. You can go horseback riding, ride ATV’s  or motorcycles here as well.

Did you know that gold was once mined in Aruba? You can explore the ruins of two mines and go to Wishing Rock Beach to make your own wishes and rock formations.

For a destination wedding, nothing beats Aruba and you don’t have to do a cookie cutter wedding at a resort. We have several independent wedding planners who can make your dream wedding come true. Imagine a wedding on Eagle Beach and then watching a brilliant sunset with your new spouse and your guests.  Or have a beautiful wedding at one of the popular resorts, where you’ll be able to enjoy fabulous food and drink on the beach. How about a reception on a catamaran at sundown? We can make that happen for you too.  One thing you likely will not have to worry about is getting rained on.  Aruba averages only about 16” of rain per year, mostly in November and December.  If it rains it is usually a very short shower that washes over the island in a few minutes.

Are you ready to go? We are ready to plan the perfect trip for you. Call us and check our Pinterest pictures to see actual hotel pictures.
Call us at 516-608-0568.

All photos copyright of Promal Vacations May not be used without express permission.

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