There’s something about the beaches of Aruba that entices us to return again and again.
I’m not sure what it is.
The feel of the white sand underneath my feet…
The perfect cooling temperature of the ocean…
The way the sun casts that certain glow…
The cactus and divi divi trees…
We’ve been visiting Aruba for over 10 years now…
Years ago we stayed for a week in one of the many all-inclusive resorts that line the seven-mile strip of beach along the west coast of the island. But lately, we’ve only been able to visit Aruba by cruise ship. It’s quite the tease really to have a gorgeous island right in front of you and you only have 6 hours to enjoy it! But we manage. The key is to make the most of the time that you have.
We’ve done this trip so many times that we don’t even need to think about what we need to do or where we’re going – we’re on a mission.
In Aruba we have OUR spot.
We get off the cruise ship as fast as we can and we walk directly across from the cruise ship terminal to the main bus depot and board bus line 10 ($2.30 US). The sign will say “Hotel Area”.
(The bus depot is just west of the Royal Plaza – the pink buildings with the gold dome in the photo)
It’s quick and easy to get to ANY of the fabulous beaches by bus PLUS you also get a mini tour of all the luxurious resorts as they are all along this very same bus route. Taxi’s are also readily available.
All Aruba beaches are open to the public. Just look for the walkways between the resorts that say “Public Access”. If you decide to use the beach near the resorts you may have to pay for the use of their facilities as well as umbrellas and chairs but for the price, you will be well looked after.
It’s near the end of the line and a bit remote (in a good way) and there are no facilities – but we don’t care.
There’s shade from the trees but I usually bring my own sunshade so that I can pick my own spot away from the other people. (They don’t call me the Calculated Traveller for nothing). With our cooler packed with drinks/snacks and our mp3 player and speaker we hunker down for the long haul with our friends the pelicans and the odd iguana on the rocks.
The water at Malmok is shallow, clear and calm. Perfect for snorkeling or just to stand in the water to cool off.
Speaking of snorkeling – don’t be surprised if you see people from the cruise ship on their expensive shore excursions being dropped off to this very location. There is a large reef system and sunken wrecks nearby if you want to venture away from the shore.
If we are travelling with others, and we often do, our beach of choice is Eagle Beach. It’s more populated and there are shaded picnic areas as well as some rental water sports available.
When we’ve had our fill of the sun, we simply walk to the bus stop on the main road and catch the quick bus ride back downtown to shop for handicrafts, jewelry, perfume, electronics and souvenirs before returning to the ship.
We have plans to return again – I already have a date set with a certain Pelican I met….