We took our adult kids to Aruba this summer and we truly had the best time, so fun to travel with your kids, who are also your friends! We flew from Jacksonville and had a layover in Miami. The flight wasn't bad at all, thankfully we had no issues and were in paradise by the end of the day. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Resort Spa & Casino and it was beautiful! I could've used a bigger room and better wi-fi, but I shouldn't even complain about that. For those who haven't been there, the climate is more dessert like with low humidity and it's warm and breezy the entire time. My idea of perfect weather condition. I'll highlight some of our favorite things we did and restaurants. I highly recommend a trip there if you like a tropical vacation! Read on and you can shop my SET SAIL prints from Aruba!
“Travel is not reward for working, it's education for living.”
Where We Stayed. What We Ate. What We Did.
WHERE WE STAYED | We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Resort Spa & Casino and if we could do it again, it was great. Wonderful property, close to shopping, food, excursions and wonderful staff. Lots of food on property and there was even some free activities included with your stay, like morning yoga, painting classes, cooking with the chef and I took a mixology class, which did not disappoint. (ages 18 & up)
Right off the hotel property were some amazing walkable restaurants, lots of shopping options, and it felt very, very safe. One night, I lost my phone in a cab, the driver found out it belong to me (many thanks to the Faro Blanco restaurant calling multiple people on my behalf) then the cab driver drove back 20 minutes back to return it safely to me. The locals are honest, welcoming and diverse. Aruba is one of four countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and while most everyone speaks English, the official languages of Aruba are Papiamento and Dutch, however most Arubans speak a minimum of four languages, including English, Dutch and Spanish, even French. How awesome is that to be multilingual?
WHAT WE ATE | Probably my favorite part of vacations is always the food. In no particular order, the restaurants I would highly recommend are: The Bohemian Cocktail Lounge & Restaurant, gelato from the cutest double-decker bus called Gelatissimo, Lola Taqueria + Craft (next door to each other), The Bread Basket for lunch or breakfast, Scott's Brats for breakfast and also Eduardo's Beach Shack for Acai bowls, eggs and other healthy options. Nikkei Sushi Wok & Bowl, Faro Blanco near the Lighthouse (only place we didn't walk to and it's about a 15-20 minute cab/uber, but so worth it with sunset views, make a reservation).
WHAT WE DID | Our family is quite adventurous and we love excursions, water activities and are always up for an adventure! Our favorite day was spent chartering a 5 hour schooner through Monforte Luxury Cruise where we took a sail on the Caribbean, then stopped for snorkeling at a lagoon, which was breathtaking! While you are anchored, you could lay on the sail hammocks, sunbathe on the deck, swing off the boat with rope-swings, kayak, or even do some assisted scuba diving. They fed us a beautiful grilled lunch, listened to great Caribbean music, had custom pure drinks and enjoyed the entire day. Totally book this! They have a sunset cruise which I will do next time.
Our other great excursion was taking a bus, then quick boat ride to DePalm Island. There, we ate, drank, went snorkeling off the shore and my favorite was having an up close encounter with the flamingos. There are also banana boat rides, salsa lessons, slides and a waterpark for kids. If you don't like crowds or prefer not to be around younger kids, I would spring for a private cabana, chairs, it was worth it.
On the last morning before we flew home, we rented a little Hobby Cat sailboat for an hour (seats a maximum of 4 people and must have sailing experience). Thanks to my husband, he did a great job! It was so fun and a beautiful way to see the beach from the ocean. We went though Ocean Faith Water Sports, who has so many water activates right from the beach.
Mostly, we layed at the beach under straw cabana huts, had a complimentary cabana at the pool one day with awesome pool service and rented a few floats to just relax in the ocean. The water is clear, warm, still and the perfect way to vacation. I think if I go again, we will stay longer! It was a special way to spend time with loved ones, explore and indulge.
*This post is not sponsored, I enjoy sharing food, journeys and travel tips.
However I am available for travel photography, boutique hotels and airbnb photography,
Below are some personal family iPhone pics. We had a wonderful vacation and the best part was spending time with family, especially before our daughter moves away to college in the Fall and our son gets an apartment with friends.
Vacations and travel are a treasure.