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Aruba Island 2010 - A Great Vacation

Thinking about visiting the island of Aruba for your next vacation ? Continue on and read our experiences and reviews as collected in August 2010. We list the hotels we stayed in, the restaurants we visited, places we went to - and some do and dont's. These are our personal opinions - feel free to react - you can leave comments at the bottom of the page.

An overview of the places we went to is provided on the google map below - just a quick reference which also provides the links to the more detailed reviews and opinions of other travelers. More information, tips and reviews for these places is available in the sections below.

Aruba 2010 weergeven op een grotere kaart

Flying down to Aruba... can be done with a variety of airlines - including American Airlines Logo American Airlines from New York and Miami, Martinair from Amsterdam, Jet Blue, US Airways, Delta Airlines, ... We choose to fly with American Airlines from Miami.

Places to stay...

We choose to stay in three different hotels during our 11 days on the island. Renaissance Logo The Renaissance Resort downtown Oranjestad, Marriott Vacation Club Logo The Marriott Surf Club Resort at Palm Beach and Westin Logo The Westin Resort Aruba at Palm Beach.

Click here to get more information, my pictures and my reviews of these three resorts in Aruba !

Getting around...

there are plenty of taxis on the island, and there are buses connecting all major places downtown and in the Palm Beach/Eagle Beach area every 20 minutes. If you want some flexibility to visit the landmarks on the island, do a bit of shopping, and find some of the pristine beaches, then you should get a rental car. Almost every rental company is present on Aruba (at the airport, and with free pick-up from your hotel). All of them offer regular cards and 4x4 jeeps - ideal if you like to do some off-road (beach) touring. We choose to rent from Avis logo and that was not the best choice...

Avis Rental Car Aruba Why Avis Rental Car was not the best choice (and you should check out other local companies):

  1. We got a car full of dents and scratches (see picture)
  2. We got a car with 52,000 on the counter - note that the island North to South measures about 40km and count out how long this baby has been around.
  3. Picking up the car with advance Prefered reservations took 34 minutes - not exactly speedy service and annoying when you just flew in and want to get to your hotel
  4. Despite being an Avis First Prefered Member, I did not get a car upgrade (reserved a B-group, and got one of these small cars including the small wheels - a Kia Picanto Ex see picture). I'm sure you can get newer and better (looking) cars from local companies with better service at an equal or cheaper price !
  5. And the best one... when returning the car I was asked to sign a credit car receipt which was exactly $100.00 higher than the amount due. When I pointed that out to the AVIS representative, she issued a $100.00 credit to my credit card as the amount was already charged before I even signed the receipt... Smells wrong.

Places to visit

The Butterfly Farm is worth your time and money... visit early in the morning to see the new butterflies come to life, get a tour with plenty of interesting tidbits of information - and take a good camera as you will want to take plenty of pictures of these beautiful creatures.
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