Blogs from Aruba, Central America Caribbean


Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Palm Beach February 4th 2023

Our last morning in paradise. After another wonderful breakfast buffet we went to take a walk on the beach. The gentle sound of the waves and the soft white sand is something I will really miss. However, we got caught in a passing shower! It started out as a light mist and quickly turned into a downpour. We ran under a tree, which offered little shelter from the rain. Once it stopped we quickly walked back towards the hotel, having to stop under a palapa at the Ritz as the rain picked up once more. After dodging the rain, we decided to sit by the pool for a while. Then back to the room to sit on the balcony for a bit, grabbed some lunch at Starbucks and then had to head down to the lobby ... read more
Cloudy, rainy beach walk
Pool view
Airport hotel

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Palm Beach February 3rd 2023

Today for breakfast….the buffet! Shocking I know! After breakfast we took a cab to the Aruba Aloe Factory and Museum. This is a really neat place! They have an aloe farm smack in the middle of town and there is a free guided tour. Our guide explained how aloe was brought here from Africa, so it’s not native to the island. However, they now have a thriving industry growing and turning it into everything from sunscreen to deodorant to shampoo. Of course they have aloe gel, but I was amazed at all the other products. The one interesting fact about aloe is there is a very concentrated yellow sap that is part of the plant which is actually a laxative. They make sure to remove that before processing the gel. Wouldn’t want to ingest that! After ... read more
Apparently Radio Shack lives here

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Palm Beach February 2nd 2023

Today for breakfast….the buffet! Once again the mango juice was delicious. And we were treated to a little rainbow! The only thing on the agenda today was relaxation. The company pays for one spa appointment for each person at the Mandara Spa here at the resort. This was my first time at a real spa and it was so nice. After we checked in we were taken to the locker room to change into robes and then led to the relaxation area. Our individual therapists came and greeted us with Namaste and led us to our destinations. For Renee, that was a mani/pedi, which she says is the best she has ever had and so relaxing! I had the Aruba massage. This involved some aromatherapy, hot stones, warm towels and, at some points, firm pressure. She ... read more
Assorted shells and corals
Beautiful Landscaping at the hotel
Renee and a grackle have a staring contest

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Palm Beach February 1st 2023

I probably will say this every morning but the breakfast buffet is wonderful! And the mango juice is exceptional! Our excursion for the day was the Schooner cruise. It was to leave at 9:15 and get back at 11:15. I think we started walking to the boat at 9:30. Aruba time takes some getting used to… The boat was through the Jolly Pirate tour company and was a nice sail boat with a sunny front deck and covered rear. I thought the cruise was going to be more sightseeing and less snorkeling but it really ended up being mostly snorkeling. We stopped 3 different places for snorkeling. The first stop was over a ship wreck of a German boat from 1940 or 41. The water was pretty choppy here but I could see parts of the ... read more
Tiny fish
Coral coastline

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Palm Beach January 31st 2023

The nice thing about this trip is it’s all inclusive, aside from souvenirs and personal sundries you might have forgotten to bring. So, it is fine to get the breakfast buffet that costs $75 for two people! In my normal travels I wouldn’t be staying at a Marriott or eating in the Marriott restaurants. I guess we will take advantage of this opportunity and just enjoy it. I will say this buffet was really good. Have you ever seen Eggs Benedict on a buffet? Me either but they had it. Along with cereals, pastries, fruit, an omelet station, pancakes, French toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, bagels with lox AND a giant container of Nutella with a pump. We ate outside with a nice view of palm trees and it was wonderful. Today was one of the days ... read more
Obligatory photo
Little Lizards

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Palm Beach January 30th 2023

Today was mostly a travel day. There are direct flights from Chicago to Aruba but apparently only on the weekend so we had to connect in Miami. Our day started out leaving home at 4:30 AM, chauffeured by our dad, for O’Hare. The temperature was a balmy 12 degrees with a windchill of 1. We arrived, checked our bags, went through security and were to our gate with time to grab a quick breakfast. WE boarded, took off and landed in Miami, all on time. And by some stroke of luck our arriving gate was right next to our departing gate. That never happens! Again we had time for a quick bite and then were on a plane once again. 3 hours later we landed in Oranjestad, Aruba, where it was not 12 degrees with no ... read more
Room 666
Room with a view
Fruit punch and a pretty centerpiece

Central America Caribbean » Aruba October 4th 2022

Yes, all good things come to an end. This morning we bid goodbye to Roxanne before she went to work and did our final birding at Spanish Lagoon. Some cactus flowers remain, but we saw only one humming bird – fleetingly and at a distance. And there were NO burrowing owls out to greet us. Did they have a late night out hunting or what. That was most disappointing, but we did see that the yellow Orioles have finished their hanging nest. Can’t see how a full-sized bird can fit in there to keep eggs warm – wish we could stay for that! We drove past Mangel Halto to say goodbye. It was slightly rougher than yesterday, judging by the line of foam going over the reef. But we were driving home and saw a fork-tailed ... read more
Fork tailed flycatcher at last
Fork tailed flycatcher
Yellow billed cuckoo

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Santa Cruz October 3rd 2022

So it’s a sad day in Aruba – last snorkels, last turtles, last visit to Linda’s, etc etc. We were at Tres Trapi for turtle hunting by 8:30, and we were very well rewarded. This time we weren’t so systematic, so perhaps we were seeing the same ones over and over, but we certainly thought we saw a dozen, including you know who – Hungry Boy, the gray turtle. We also found 2 flying gurnards (sorry Robin) and a Queen Triggerfish at last. Still no sign of the short-nosed batfish or the frogfish. David was infuriated by one particular family who pestered the turtles, and the boy who swooped in to touch the turtle as it was coming up for air, and just as David was filming. I’ve been known to tell off anyone I see ... read more
2 Hungry boy of course
2 One of many
3 At Tres Trapi

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Santa Cruz October 2nd 2022

With the ocean, you just never know what you’re going to find! We were at Tres Trapi by 8:30 to see the turtles, and while they were not in that very first spot of turtle grass just off the steps, we did eventually see 11 of them, including – yes, you guessed – Hungry Turtle. David even watched a turtle do a big poo. Which he documented, of course. We also saw an eel, a flying gurnard, and a magnificent Spotted Eagle Ray. We were reluctant to get out, but 2 hours later we hauled ourselves up the steps and chatted to a couple from England. And unbelievably, it’s a direct flight from Gatwick on Tui airlines!!! So, if the English family wants to meet us someday here in Aruba, let us know! We want to ... read more
2 Plain trunk fish
3 2 turtles

Up at the crack of dawn just about to go birding yet again up near La Cabana!! Oh well. We enjoyed some time at the various Salinas – or salty wet areas – and the ocean front up by Arashi Beach. We actually spied a Southern lapwing, which is quite rare. There we met some fellow birding enthusiasts, David and Karen Light from New Jersey. And they were so interested in seeing Shoco that we ended up offering to drive them over to the open place near the windsurfing area. They had already walked down from the lighthouse, and had no car. Of course the pair of burrowing owls popped up and put on a fine show. Just for fun I took a picture of David and Karen looking. We also ALL witnessed a fly over ... read more
2 fresh fish caught
3 Spotted drum
4 Blue monster fish

Tot: 0.146s; Tpl: 0.006s; cc: 7; qc: 73; dbt: 0.0819s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb