We were due to go to Bermuda but there were two hurricanes arriving back to back, so at the last minute, we re-routed to Aruba!
Aruba is part of the ABC islands which are out of the hurricane belt. While Sept is not peak season, it was a perfect time to visit – hot weather, winds to cool you off, and a perfect long weekend beach holiday. We spent 3.5 days in Aruba and had a blast.
Upon arrival on Friday, we checked into the Ritz Carlton in Palm Beach. We started the trip with lunch at Madero Pool & Bar, the poolside / beach restaurant. We had a nice table in the shade, and while we waited for our food, went for a quick dip in the pool.
Following lunch, we went to the beach and went for a swim in the ocean. It was then time for sunset, where we went to the hotel’s terrace. The sunsets are spectacular.
We then went for another short swim in the ocean, a dip in the pool and eventually got ready and walked into town, for dinner at Casa.
We woke up this morning and joined Robin at Palm Beach Divers for a two-tank dive. Our first dive was at the Anilla Shipwreck followed by the Ayushi reef.
Following the morning, we stopped for lunch at Nos Clubhuis where we had a great view. The food was mediocre but the highlight was the resident iguanas, which came to enjoy the leftovers once you were done with your meal! I am sure it is not good for them, but quite cute nonetheless.
The afternoon was a lazy one – filled with a nap, another swim in the ocean, and then we enjoyed sunset on our private balcony – we had this fabulous upgraded executive suite with a giant balcony overlooking the ocean.
We had dinner at BLT before calling it a night.
Aruba has amazing wind and therefore quite a bit of sailing, kiting and windsurfing. We booked a morning lesson with Vela Sports for windsurfing, which we got to try but had a disappointing lesson experience.
Due to wind conditions, I got on the board, and started cruising. I ended up quite far out before taking my first fall, which was great for my wind surfing abilities but not great in that the shop wasn’t equipped to dealing with it – the instructor was very far away and never taught me how to turn on the board!
Anyway, while it was a bust from that perspective, it was a cool experience and I am eager to try it again (hopefully with a better instructor).
We aborted and re-routed to the resort activities at the Ritz. We grabbed a couple paddle boards and hung out on the beach for a bit.
Later that afternoon we joined Black Pearl Sailing for a catamaran sail and snorkel tour. This was quite nice with snack, all inclusive drinks and two nice snorkel stops with a good amount of life. The first was a reef and the second was actually the Mantilla ship wreck. It was neat to have seen it as a diver the previous day, but also as a snorkeler just above the wreck.
Once we made our way back, we got some ice cream, took a nap, shower and hung out on our balcony once again. Eventually we made our way to town and had dinner.
We woke up early and went for a walk on the beach before it got too hot. We ended up at The Bread Basket for breakfast before walking back to the Ritz. We then went for another swim, before getting ready to head out.
It was a perfect morning before catching our flight home.