Reasons to Travel to Aruba: Adventure, Food and Fun

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This post brought to you by Aruba Tourism Authority. All opinions are 100% mine.

Living in Southwest FloridaI have access to turquoise waters, natural beaches and a variety of soft-adventure activities so why would I consider an Aruba vacation? Well, because Aruba is NOT Florida and the happy island offers more than the stereotypical Caribbean vacation.

Hopping online and doing a little research for Aruba travel planning, I discovered there is more than just beaches, water, warm weather, lots of adult beverages and the Beach Boys. (You know the song Kokomo, “Aruba, Jamaica, ooo I wanna take ya…”) In addition to driving on the right side of the road and low humidity, here are just a few of the reasons making me excited about planning an Aruba vacation…

Aruba’s Soft Adventure
Turns out, Aruba has soft-adventure activities I enjoy doing and would like to try including riding “happy horses” on the beach.  Close to my heart are preserved areas and national parks and it turns out, nearly 20% of Aruba is designated a national park!

Arikok National Park is Aruba’s crown jewel with more than 7,900 acres for exploring by foot, hoof or jeep. In addition to beaches, there are rocky cliffs, caves, cactus and funky land formations from limestone, lava and quartz diorite – yeah, Aruba is definitely up my alley!

Happy Island’s Yummy Side
Equally important to things to do are the things to taste during my vacations. The island’s cuisine sounds like an intriguing blend with flavors from the Netherlands, South America, Europe, the Caribbean and native people. Being an island, fresh seafood as grouper, mahi mahi and red snapper tend to be a main ingredient. Yum!  I’m told dishes are infused with spices to enhance, not to necessarily to add heat. What about dessert? Local flavors as banana, coconut and rum appear to be key dessert ingredients.

The Aruba Gastronomic Association offers a Dine Around Program which includes a group of  more than 20 restaurants serving up tantalizing three-course menus. A dining pass for a set number of dinners or breakfasts at any of the participating restaurants can be purchased making it easier on choosing where to eat in Aruba.

In doing my research for a potential trip, I found several festivals with an emphasis on food, such as the Aruba Food, Wine & Art Festival (June), Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival (October) and the every Thursday night Carubbian Festival  in San Nicolas.

Fun, Funky and Happy
I’m all about visiting unique little gems and Aruba appears to have plenty to do. Fields leading up to the Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory were in use about 160 years ago when farmers planted the first aloe plant. How cool is that?

I have a soft spot four four-legged creature which is why visiting the Donkey Sanctuary is on my must-see Aruba list. Although not native, donkeys have inhabited the island for about 500 years and this sanctuary is working hard to save the donkeys.

In addition to being fascinated with rocks and dirt, I’m fascinated with what humans have left in rocks and dirt, which is why the National Archaeology Museum Aruba in the city of Oranjestad appeals to me. The museum has more than 5,000 years of Amerindian culture on display through over 10,000 artifacts. History fascinates me!

Getting from Here to There
Getting to Aruba seems pretty easy and a heck of a shorter flight than going to say, Brazil. From Orlando I found a non-stop for less than $400 for an under four-hour flight time. Not too bad.

That’s the short version of why I’m excited about planning a vacation to Aruba. Visit aruba.com and leave a comment on what excites you about an Aruba vacation. Or, have you already been? What did you like?

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Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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