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First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

San Diego
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First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

Hello fellow trippers!

My husband, in-laws and myself will be traveling to Aruba for the first time in June and are staying on Eagle Beach. We will be there for a week and already have a few activities on our list (fishing charter, scuba diving, snorkeling excursion on the Jolly Roger or similar boat, visit the lighthouse, etc.). I've read over the forums and read that Barefoot is a must do for a sunset dinner so I'm going to look into that. We are also considering the Jeep tour to the Natural Pool or just renting a jeep (my FIL is an experienced off road driver). What are some other must-see or must-do activities that we should look into? We love food so any restaurant recommendations would be welcome also!

Thanks in advance!

Leah

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NJ
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1. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

If you are an adventurous eater, try making reservations at Carte Blanche.

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Carte Blanche Restaurant
Carte Blanche Restaurant
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New England
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2. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

Food- a trip isn't complete without a trip to Madame Jeannette's.

Other great ones; Suisse Chalet, LGSmith steakhouse, Amadeus, wacky Wahoo, White Modern

Adventures; jolly Pirates snorkel boat, skooter snorkeling with Arubabob, palm pleasure sunset catamaran ride, Arias 4 wheel sunrise tour

Been 19 times.... ? Ask away

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Wacky Wahoo's
Wacky Wahoo's
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Minneapolis...
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3. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

Definitely Carte Blanche or 2 Fools and a Bull if you're an adventurous eater and love to dine from a chef's menu. Advance reservations are a must at either place since they seat a limited number of people each night.

This website will help with restaurants and reviews and locations:

http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/all.html

Other activities - many different snorkeling excursions to choose from, jeep tour with ABC Tours, horseback riding (we like Gold Mine Ranch), golf, etc. Really depends on what you're interested in doing.

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Carte Blanche Restaurant
Carte Blanche Restaurant
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ABC Tours Aruba
ABC Tours Aruba
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North Cape May, Nj
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4. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

http://abc-aruba.com/

I recommend taking a tour to the Natural Pool. If you decide to rent a jeep and go on your own, be certain that the insurance will cover any damages. Check with rental companies in advance to avoid any surprises. In addition to the Natural Pool, a jeep tour is a fun way to see the island and have the benefit of a guide to explain the history of the sites.

Drive over to the Palm Beach area and visit a few of the hotels. Hyatt has beautiful grounds. Casinos aren't close to what Vegas has, but they are still fun if you are into that.

Make it up to the Lighthouse for photos. Maybe make dinner reservations. We always receive a 10% discount coupon when reserving in person. Food is decent Italian if you stick to pasta. Not good for steak.

Expensive, but worth it for the scenery and the beautiful sunset. JMO. I agree that Barefoot is an excellent dining choice and ask that you visit the web for Windows On Aruba.

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5. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

Amy- Could you tell me why you like Gold Mine Ranch better?

Boston...
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6. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

Baby Beach and Charlie's Bar down in San Nicolaas is always fun. I've never done a jeep tour. In the past we've always rented a van due to the number of people in our family and we would take a day to tour the island in that. It was never 4-wheel drive, but it got you to most sites.

I've since rented 4X4's. It's pretty much a must for the Natural Pool.

My two favorite restaurants are El Gaucho and Sole Mare.

Jolly Pirates runs a great snorkel trip. The more run includes three stops with lunch and a rope swing.

For SCUBA I would recommend Unique Sports Aruba. I've been going with them for a few years now and think they do a great job. They're located between the Radisson and RUI in the High Rise/Palm Beach area but will pick you up at your resort.

I guess the best advice is to enjoy the island and come back to visit. Over 20 years now and I still haven't seen it all.

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Baby Beach
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Charlie's Bar & Restaurant
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Minneapolis...
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7. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

We liked Gold Mine Ranch because it's a small family owned business. They don't take large groups out and match you up really well with a horse - able to do some nice cantering and more personal ride with the guide instead of a large "nose to tail" group. Have been riding with them 3 times.

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8. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

We really enjoyed the Bucanneer restaurant. We also enjoyed Linda's Dutch Pancakes! We went there twice to get the Apple and Bacon Pancakes with the Dutch syrup!

We enjoyed the Kuku Kunukoo party bus (twice now).

One of the hotels had many parrots and othe birds outside in cages near their pool. That may have been the Hyatt.

We want to try the Segway tour next time!

Enjoy the trip!

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Linda's Dutch Pancakes
Linda's Dutch Pancakes
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Niskayuna, New York
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9. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

I would always recommend a half-day tour for first-time visitors--it gives you a taste for what you may want to explore further. I wouldn't bother with the extra expense of renting a 4 x 4 unless you plan to do a LOT of off-road stuff. We have had great luck renting cars from wheels2go and Tropic.

We liked Gold Mine for horseback riding, too, but we LOVED Rancho Daimari because we rode on the beach. I would recommend either Tranquilo for a snorkel trip, or Black Pearl for a sunset snorkel trip.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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Aruba Tropic Apartments
Aruba Tropic Apartments
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Rancho Daimari
Rancho Daimari
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Mount Vernon...
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10. Re: First Timers to Aruba - Must-do Activities?

Our must is driving the island in our rented jeep. We go everywhere. The jeep makes the trip. Zeerovers is a fun stop for lunch. The Blue bar at the Renn is a great happy hour. We like Pinchos, yemanji, and Aquarius for dinner. For snorkeling Aruba Bob is awesome.

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Pinchos Grill & Bar
Pinchos Grill & Bar
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