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Discover the Desert Paradise: Aruba | Jade Carcamo - Sojourney Travel

Discover the Desert Paradise: Aruba | Jade Carcamo - Sojourney Travel

Aruba is a mix of Arizona and island life. The cacti remind me of the desert, but the crystal-clear water and the white sand beaches are paradise to say the least. 

Don't miss popular spots like Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, and Baby Beach. Eagle Beach was my family’s personal favorite. The water is beautiful, and the sand is so soft. 

If you are looking for a good sunset and a nice place to sit and enjoy some gelato, go to Palm Beach. The Marriott has a gelato spot inside. Grab yourself a scoop, head outside and sit and watch the majestic sunsets. No filter added on these pictures! I love when the sky speaks in 1,000 colors. Just beautiful!

Getting Around Aruba:  

Renting a car in Aruba is easy and learning how to adjust to the island’s driving style wasn’t difficult either. There are no stoplights or stop signs, but navigating around the round-abouts is easy to adjust to.


Aruba offers a diverse culinary scene influenced by Dutch, Caribbean, and South American flavors. Be sure to try local specialties. Here are my recommendations. 

  • Gianni’s Italian Food (reservations recommended) -- The BEST Italian food I’ve ever had! They import almost everything directly from Italy. They have a signature dish (Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmigiano) where they bring out a large wheel of Parmesan cheese, light it on fire, and cook your spaghetti right in front of you. To die for! 
  • Sushi Factory – Don’t let the location fool you! We loved this unique sushi restaurant. The restaurant is small, so we ordered everything to-go, but it was amazing! 
  • Flying Fishbone – This is a higher end restaurant that allows you to enjoy your dinner right by the water. It’s all about the experience for this one!
  • The Dutch Pancake House – Dutch pancakes are just as yummy! This is another location that has a long wait, so be prepared and get there early! 
  • Gelatissimo – This place serves AMAZING gelato on a double decker bus. It is just outside of Gianni’s along the Palm Beach strip. 
  • Eduardo’s Beach Shack – Stop here for a good afternoon acai bowl, juice or smoothie! 
  • Clover Coffee + Marketplace – This is such a cute place to grab juice, coffee, or a quick pastry.

Things to do in Aruba: 

  • Discover Local Culture: Explore Oranjestad, Aruba's capital, to experience the island's vibrant culture. Visit museums like the Aruba Aloe Factory. The Aloe Factory has a free tour; a lot of the lotions and aloe gels range from $25 - $30.
  • Experience Water Sports: Try windsurfing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, jet skiing or sailing along the coast. Aruba boasts some of the Caribbean's best snorkeling and diving spots. Explore colorful coral reefs, underwater caves, and shipwrecks! 
  • Flamingo Island: Although we didn’t get to experience Flamingo Island, I’ve heard so much about it and it’ll be on the “to-do” list for the next trip. This is a man-made island where you can take pictures with famous flamingos and lounge in hammocks. Reservations are required for this unique excursion and day passes cost around $125 per person.

Getting to and from Aruba: 

Give yourself plenty of time to go through customs when traveling internationally. My family flew from Atlanta to Aruba through Delta Air Lines. Start the check in process early! It took me about an hour to check in a family of 5! There is additional documentation that needs to be filled out upon check in for your flight. You will fill out information regarding where you are staying, the reason why you are visiting Aruba, passport information, etc. You will then be granted an Embarkation and Disembarkation Card (ED-Card). A digital copy of this documentation is sufficient at the airport.  

When traveling back from to the United States, you will go through two sets of customs and bag drops. You’ll drop your luggage, go through Aruba’s customs, pick up your luggage and drop it again on the “U.S. side”.  

Most importantly-- Ensure you have an up-to-date passport!  

Overall, we loved Aruba and we plan on going back soon! Aruba is definitely family friendly but could be a great get-away for just adults. Are you ready to plan your vacation to Aruba? Reach out to me or your preferred travel advisor today!