Note: a new section! What about my poetic travel stories? I will continue to write them of course. Writing a touching story is the most beautiful thing in the world. Play with words. Create a story. That’s who I am, and that is why What About Her inspires. So wherever my suitcase takes me, I scribble words and thoughts on my heart and share them.
However, daily I am flooded with e-mails from readers. Sweet words, favors, e-mails that really touche me and make me realize why I’m doing this. But as well, emails with questions. Many questions. Asking for tips, what the real must do’s are on a destination, what I would recommend, and so on. It seems easier to add a fine section of must do’s. Perhaps there will be more other sections. It will still be very Laura. Online and offline there are enough lists with standard tips. I don’t need to repeat them, although I occasionally will do that sometimes just because they are worth it. I’ll keep looking for gems, the must do’s and see’s that are not in every list. Along with my travel travel stories and movies that take you to the destination in your mind, a perfect complement to What About Her. Good idea?
1. Sleep at the Boardwalk Hotel Aruba (BBQ!)
The Boardwalk Hotel Aruba is highly recommended when you want to avoid the huge towers of high rise hotels and resorts. You should. The Boardwalk Hotel is a charming spot on an old coconut plantation, surrounded by palm trees, singing birds and the ocean within walking distance. This tropical oasis is run by amazingly sweet Belgian twins who grew up in Aruba. It’s a place where you can enjoy your rest. You sleep in your own casita and they are fully equipped. A sitting room with kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom in Caribbean colors and atmospheres. Eco-friendly and filled with local art. It feels like coming home. We have a patio with barbecue and are able to dive in the pool from our patio. The best thing about this place? The Treasure Box. Each guest receives a personalized Treasure Box with a selection of ‘treasures’ that can be found on the island. Real tips from locals, the most beautiful corners, unknown beaches and lovely hotspots. My greatest treasure was this amazing hotelspot.
Curious for an impression of the Boardwalk Hotel Aruba? Check out this video:
2. Rent a bike
It’s not the first thing that comes on your mind when you think of Aruba, as it is often recommended to rent a car to explore the island. Yet we, befits the real Dutch, rented a bicycle. We have discovered a part of the island by bike and that was amazing. We found secret beaches, hidden coves and more. Please pay attention on the road while cycling, Arubans are not used to cyclists.
3. Snorkel around a shipwreck
You can’t escape from water being on a Caribbean island. You are surrounded by a lot of azure blue water that hides a world which you can’t even imagine until you have a dip and peek under the surface. Diving must be very good in Aruba, and snorkeling here is worth it too. We take a Catamaran cruise for a day and snorkel above a shipwreck with many tropical fish. Spending a day in the sun on a boat (unlimited rum!) is not a bad idea at all.
4. Don’t forget the wildlife above the surface
In addition to the under water world, the island itself has some unusual animals as well. You’ll find iguanas, beautiful birds, snakes, pelicans and lots of donkeys. There is even a surplus of wild donkeys and therefore there is a donkey sanctuary, where I cuddle these stubborn animals like a maniac. And many dogs and cats, wonderful to see that Arubans love their animals. They even have a pet cemetery on a beach. Impressive to see kilometers of beach full of small crosses.
5. Go road tripping with a local
These were the two most beautiful days. We have an amazing day with local Jonathan, he shows us around and takes us to many hidden corners of the island. We take a walk through the Arikok National Park and we discover the rugged side of Aruba, the North. Between the boulders and the raging sea is a natural pool, we get lost in a cave, we count countless cactus and we end up in a traditional rum shop, an Aruban Pub. The day after we go for a road trip with Ricardo from See Quality Tours, an Aruban at heart as well. He offers private tours. It is a one mans show, but he full of passion and conviction. When you don’t want to hire a car but still want to explore the island, I recommend this private tour. He takes you to the most beautiful spots of the island, tells interesting stories and takes all the time for what you want. We climb natural bridges, drive to hidden coves, enjoy the views from the old gold mine, see different cities, a black beach, visit the donkey farm, and saw many more pretty things. Aruba has more to offer than just the long white beaches on the South coast. A must.
6. Go parasailing
I saw them every now and then. A boat in the water, a parachute in the air. Pulling each other back and forth with a rope. Parasailing. Ok, I can do that. How scary can that be? It turned out that I was hanging a lot higher in the air than I thought. The boat turns out to be just a dot from the air, the wind pulls me all over and the water seems bizarre smooth. And blue. I hang in the air and see pretty much all of the island. But what a thrill, this is amazing. It is dead silent. What a feeling of freedom.
7. Take your thoughts to a paradise beach
I just wrote that there is more to Aruba than just white beaches, but still, there are white beaches. The sand is whiter than white and softer than silk. The water is calm, magical turquoise and wonderfully refreshing. My favorite? Arashi beach. Just look.
8. Eat a tasty bite (while airplanes fly over your head)
In Aruba you have a stretch of beach where the planes fly right over it during the landing. You will be able to stand on it, but there are also a variety of restaurants along the beach near this place, such as Barefoot-a fine place, all I found eating there what a disappointment. Where you can eat well? ArubaVille & Moomba Beach.Or eat fresh fish between the fishermen at Zeerover, where you eat the daily catch from a basket while drinking local beer.
9. Amaze yourself over a thousand shades of blue at the Mangel Halto mangrove
This I found, in addition to the rugged North and its hidden coves, one of the most beautiful places in Aruba. The colors here are indescribable and among the trees of the mangrove you will find a beach of white sand. This is where the locals are. They will come here after work or in the weekend for swimming, lazing around and drinking. A fine place.
10. Take a picture with the famous tree
Something that you just have to do when you are in Aruba is take an idyllic picture with the Divi Divi tree. This tree is on Eagle beach and it’s really worth a picture.