Sunday 9 December, 2018

Budget travel with Loop to: Aruba

A few inhabitants of Flamingo Island, a spit of land off the main island of Aruba that's privately owned by the Renaissance Hotel.

A few inhabitants of Flamingo Island, a spit of land off the main island of Aruba that's privately owned by the Renaissance Hotel.

The tiny island of Aruba is every traveller's paradise. Just 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela, it's one of the four countries that together form the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Known for its pristine white sand and turquoise sea, Aruba is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. While this isn't atypical for most islands, the Aruban beaches are all the more striking against the backdrop of the strong European influences that can be seen in its architecture, language, and food. 

Long known for being the go-to destination for American and European tourists, it's easy to think that Aruba might be overpriced, but, if you look carefully, you'll find that this stunning destination is not only well within budget, but can easily become your favourite island to run away to if you're looking for a quick getaway. 

Fly to: Aruba
From: Sunday, October 7 to Saturday, October 13, 2018

For:  US$452

 

Stay:

Option 1: Private Townhouse for US$35 per night

Located just three away from the beach and supermarket, this brand new townhouse is located in a private residence and is fully air-conditioned complete with a private bedroom, living room, and two flat screen TVs. 


 

Option 2: Sopmac Apartment for US$59 per night

Sopmac Apartment is a new apartment suitable for two guests and has a pool. Located on the north side of the island, the modern and cozy one bedroom apartment is within a few miles from shopping malls, restaurants, and beaches. It even has a patio for guests to do some BBQ-ing.


Option 3: Private Villa for US$35 per night

Located in a quiet neighbourhood, this villa is only a five-minute drive to the Palm Beach hotel area which has some of the best dining options and nightclubs. The spot is also perfect for the nature-loving traveller. The villa is located a short 10-minute walk to miles of shoreline for an amazing biking or hiking experience.

 

Eat:

Option 1: Gostoso Restaurante for US$7 to $34

For authentic Aruban cuisine, Gostoso should definitely be on your foodie bucket list. Located in Oranjestad, this local favorite offers a well-conceived menu featuring both Portuguese and Aruban dishes. With its cosy atmosphere and impeccable service, Gostoso Restaurante is a must for lunch and dinner.

 

Option 2: Keshi yena 

If you love cheese, then keshi yena is a definite must-try.  It's a main course dish made up of a large round ball of cheese, stuffed with spiced meat, and served steamed or baked. The name "keshi" is reported to be the Papiamento language rendering of kaas, "cheese" in Dutch. Each restaurant seems to have their own version of keshi yena so it's worth sampling variations of it.  

 

Option 3: Barefoot Restaurant for US$12 to US$34

Who wouldn't want to enjoy an evening of fine dining...in slippers? In line with their slogan, 'Fine dining in flip-flops', Barefoot Restaurant invites their guests to indulge in an experience that includes great food against the beautiful backdrop of Aruban sunset.  With a gourmet menu that includes dishes like scallops and bacon, snapper filet with Old Amsterdam cheese, or sirloin steak in a dark rum-pepper sauce, we won't be surprised if you indulge yourself at Barefoot Restaurant every night of your stay.

 

Do:

Visit Fontein Cave for US$11

Fontein Cave is situated inside Arikok National Park and just a short walk from one of the most spectacular beaches and cliffs in the island.

The cave is known for native Arawak drawings that cover the walls and the colourful stalagmites and stalactites to be found inside the cave. The drawings and other artifacts that have been found over the years give scientists a clue that the native Arawak Indians once performed tribal rituals in this spot.

Fontein Cave is not only a unique natural attraction in Aruba, but it is an important part of history.
 

Visit the Aruba Aloe Factory for free


Aruba was the largest exporter of Aloe in the world and two-thirds of the island were covered in Aloe plants. The Aloe Factory is a fun morning or afternoon trip, and it’s fascinating to see how the aloe vera is made and all the different products that can be made with aloe.

 

Catamaran Sail with Snorkeling for US$42

Catamaran sailing and snorkeling off the coast of Aruba? Yes, please! Soak up the Aruban sun with this tour where you can visit two popular snorkel destinations: the Antilla shipwreck and Boca Catalina Bay. Your tour package includes all snorkeling equipment, an open bar, and snacks to keep you refreshed between dives.

 

*Airfare and accommodation prices quoted are listed at the time of publication. Due to fluctuating rates, prices are subject to change. 

 

 

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