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Much to do?

Shropshire UK
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52 posts
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Much to do?

Hi

We are considering a holiday at the Tam or Divi all inclusive.

We haven't visited Aruba before and have read conflicting reports.

Sometimes I think it sounds great and then I am put off completely?

The Tam and Divi get good reviews on trip advisor but other reviews say it is unfriendly and that the food and rooms are not that good?

Others say the beaches are stunning, but others that they are rocky and it is very windy so the sea is rough and the beach sand blasts you.

I read it is safe to get out and about and explore, but then that the island is a 'desert' with nothing to see or do?

Is there anything to do once there?

One minute I am ready to book, the next I am completely put off.

I suppose it is relative to some extent; we stayed at the Iberostar Tucan in Mexico (playacar) and loved it there so maybe that is a good yardstick? The hotel was good, beaches were good and plenty to see an do. I think I am confused trying to get a handle on Aruba - maybe someone can help?

thanks

G

Sittingbourne...
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230 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Much to do?

you don't say what you like to do?

Stavanger, Norway
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for Western Norway, Stavanger
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104 reviews
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2. Re: Much to do?

Graynot,

In 2007 we stayed 2 weeks in Playacar and in 2008 we stayed 2 weeks in Aruba. We loved both places!

In Aruba we stayed in a resort on Manchebo beach. This is a beautiful beach, no rocks. We did not have any problems with rough seas and sand blasting. There is almost always a breeze in Aruba, but this is just making it more pleasant to stay outside.

Have a look at this post and if you like to do the stuff listed herein I think you will like Aruba: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147247-i144-k2864…

Pippi

Niskayuna, New York
Destination Expert
for Aruba
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3,489 posts
179 reviews
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3. Re: Much to do?

We are Tam fans. Unabashedly so, but that doesn't make us blind to its shortcomings, which are slightly-tired accommodations (although SPOTLESS), occasionally uninspired buffet offerings (although EDIBLE) and mirth-inducing evening entertainment (although WELL-INTENTIONED). We enjoy relaxing on the beach, which is unparalleled, having a drink at one of the bars and meeting other like-minded travelers.

An Aruba vacation can be as action-packed as you make it, as opportunities abound for off-roading, snorkeling, sailing, horseback riding, shopping, gambling.

No vacation is perfect. A positive attitude and an open mind is probably the most vital thing to bring with you no matter where you go.

Good luck with your decision!

Gorham, Maine
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803 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Much to do?

As others have said Aruba has as much or as little as you'd like to do.

We spent a week in Aruba and loved it. We stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club through their incredible "preview special". See marriott-vacations.com/travel/resorts/marrio…

Yes, we did get the timeshare presentation and tour, but it was only 90 minutes and they didn't bother us once during our entire stay otherwise.

Spent an additional 2 days at the Renaissance through Priceline.

If you are a beach bum, Palm and Eagle will give you wonderful sand, clear calm water, and lazy sun. Palm also has beach activity vendors while Eagle is more quite.

The wind issue really only arises if you go to beaches like Arashi or Baby which are known for their wind. Try kite surfing at Arashi!

There are places to explore - dunes and lagoons and offroading. You can dine at endless wonderful restaurants (so I personally would not do an all-inclusive). There are also music venues and casinos. What more could you want?

Aruba is SAFE and fun. Everyone I met was polite and nice and seemed happy to see me. You can be lazy or adventurous. You can eat simply or elegantly. It does not have the poverty issues I've seen on other islands (not that there isn't *any* but certainly not as pervasive).

I can't imagine anyone who loves the Caribbean going to Aruba and not having an excellent time no matter their tastes.

Beverly Hills...
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2,900 posts
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5. Re: Much to do?

You could always sail the Black Pearl!

North Cape May, Nj
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12 reviews
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6. Re: Much to do?

Let's start with Aruba's beaches. IMO, and few would argue, the best beach is Eagle Beach. Hotels on Eagle Beach include Amsterdam Manor, Costa Linda (time share), Bucuti Beach Hotel and Manchebo Beach Hotel. Technically, Manchebo is on Manchebo Beach - not Eagle, but impossible to determine where one starts and the other ends. Eagle Beach is gorgeous and relatively uncrowded as it is a large beach and the hotels are small.

Secondly, let's choose a hotel. Also, IMO, the top hotel is Bucuti Beach and Tara Suites. Tara Suites are beachfront. The only non AI accomodations in Aruba that are so. I recommend that the visit bucuti.com for more info and read the trip reports.

Aruba is a desert, but it is beautiful in its own right. There is a tradewind that is most welcome from the heat. Some places on the island experience stronger gusts than others. I have stayed on Eagle Beach a dozen times and never had a problem with strong wind.

All inclusive is almost necessary for some destinations due to safety or lack of good restaurant choices. Aruba is safe to explore day or night and has an incredible abundance of excellent dining choices.

Entertainment is a bit low key, but places to dance or listen to music are available. The island does not roll up the sidewalks in the evening as some others do. Some other activities have already been mentioned.

In summary, Aruba is the most revisited of all Caribbean islands. There must be a reason. I am certain that you will love the island, its people and everything it has to offer.

Shropshire UK
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52 posts
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7. Re: Much to do?

Hi

Many thanks for all the replies.

They are very helpful and give me plenty to think about.

thanks

G

8. Re: Much to do?

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