I can say I've been to Aruba now. I don't know what all the hype is about. I wasn't very impressed compared to the Bahamas with the underwater life and scuba diving in Aruba. They have no sharks, which is a big ticket item when you're scuba diving, everybody hopes to see a shark.
We went to Aruba for a week. My husband and I arrived on Monday because we had issues with the airline, causing us to cancel our first day of scuba diving. when were scheduled to arrive Sunday, Monday scuba dive, Tuesday scuba dive, Wednesday go on an ATV tour of the island, Thursday scuba dive, Friday scuba dive, Saturday go hiking, Sunday leave.
The scuba diving off of Aruba is a lot of wrecks. We dove through an airplane. The scuba company went in and cleared out all the seats and we actually swam through the airplane. Multiple ships and a lot of coral formations. Wasn't very impressed with the underwater colors because the light was very limited. We had a wonderful dive master that spent a lot of time in South Africa, she was very knowledgeable and safety conscious which put our minds at ease.
The day that we went on our ATV tour around the island was very warm so I decided to wear workout pants and a sports bra. Had I known that we were going into a national park and everything was loose and Dusty dirt I would have worn long sleeves because, I was completely covered in dust at the end of the ride. We had a blast on the ATV tour. They took us to different spots on the island. None of which are accessible by walking, you have to take a tour of some sort to be able to get there. We stopped at a Natural Bridge, an old ruin, a hilltop chapel and a natural pool. It was amazing getting outside of the tourist District and seeing the poverty level of the rest of the island, as we were driving up to the National Park. Again my husband and I opted for our own ATV so that we can both drive rather than, one person driving the other person not being able to see very much. It cost an extra bit of money but was totally worth it. After returning our ATVs, we stopped in the tourist district. This area was directly across the road from the dock where the cruise ships dock. It was amazing to see some of the stops that they had in the mall. I could only describe it as a MINI Rodeo Drive. As we walked under one of buildings off the main street, there was a small ocean fed canal, with boats on it. That was a sight to see!
We found and ice cream shop so every day after we got done scuba diving, on our way back to the condo, we would stop and grab ice cream. One time we figured we would just cut our losses and bought an Ice Cream cake, turned out to be very hard to cut (which we tried to use our scuba diving knives to do). We only had a mini fridge in our hotel room, the cake didn't fit in the freezer section, so it melted pretty fast.
While we're out and about exploring we went down to the
southern tip of the island, (fun fact the only Police Department on the island is in the southern tip of the island.) As we drove around, we drove past the red light district. My brand new husband was being solicited by woman. There were women hanging out of doors saying come this way, over here, waving their hands at him motioning for him to come this way as we drove by.
We visited a light house at the most northern tip of the island (where public was able to drive.) I had been under construction for years, so you couldn't go up in it.
We decided to spend our Saturday hiking up a big mountain in the center of the island, we wanted to get to the highest point so we can see whole island. At one point, there are stairs going up. The rise of the stairs is about 18 in a piece and the tread is probably only 10 in deep so that makes for some pretty interesting hiking. It was amazing once you got to the top, you think there be a lookout of some sort but NOPE. It was a power station with huge thick power lines running down to different parts of the island. We did get to see some skinks with aqua tails.
I can at least say I've been to the "A" island out of the ABC islands. And the main point is we were on our honeymoon so it's really about the person you spend the time with and the experiences that you have together!