Bon Bini Aruba... One Happy Island!
This pristine paradise is a 26 mile island located in the Dutch Caribbean. Aruba is out of the hurricane path so it is a great tropical destination to choose. It is 15 miles from the coast of Venezuela. We saw Venezuela each day on the horizon from our beach on our resort.
Aruba is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands lying in the southern Caribbean Sea. The capital and the largest city on the island is Oranjestad.
The native language in Aruba is Papiamento. It is a Portuguese-based creole language spoken in the Dutch Caribbean. It is the most-widely spoken language on the Caribbean ABC islands, having official status in Aruba and Curaçao.
Bon Bini means Welcome in Papiamento. You will see this all over the the island and hear the Arubans say it. Some other phrases are:
-Dushi is Papiamento for tasty
-Bon Bini means welcome
-Danki means thank you
-Bon dia is good morning
-Ayo means goodbye
-Te aworo is see you later
-Awa is water
COVID Aruba Regulations
These are the guidelines for COVID to get into Aruba:
Aruba ED card:
Upload 72 hours prior to boarding. This is the website to use to upload all of your information in order to get the green check mark to enter Aruba.
Also upload negative covid test (taken 72 hours prior to boarding) on your own in your home country.
The test has to be specific test and brand. The guidelines can be checked here. I printed off the guidelines and took it with me for a covid test. The doctor has to write that the test was taken “nasal.” I wanted to be sure everything was uploaded and prepared to make our arrival into Aruba as smooth as possible.
When we got to the airport it turned out our COVID test wasn’t the valid/accurate one. We had to download the Aruba health app and fill out our information. We then paid $75 each for the COVID test. We sat in a chair and a nurse from the local hospital administered the test. The swab went down your throat and then deep into your nose.
We then got a paper that said we are quarantined until the results came back. We took a taxi for $26 to our resort: The Divi and Tamarijn All Inclusive Resort. When we arrived they gave us one key and we couldn’t leave the room. If we left the key wouldn’t work. They had someone walk us to our room and they sent us wine and room service. You aren’t allowed to leave until the results are back. We then got our negative COVID results by email 7 hours later. We took that email to the front desk of our hotel to get our all inclusive wrist bands and room keys that are activated for the trip.
It was an easy process and the resort was so accommodating during the waiting period. We then got to enjoy our trip with no problems and COVID negative.
The Divi and Tamarijn All Inclusive Resort
The Divi and Tamarijn All Inclusive Resort was stunning. I 10 out of 10 recommend. We booked this resort on a Black Friday deal and got the accommodations for half off. There are two separate resorts: the Divi and the Tamarijn. They are side by side and you are allowed to go to either resort to eat. We stayed at the Divi. While we were there the Tamarijn was being renovated but they still had a shuttle that takes you to a food place called Ginger that you can eat over there.
I highly recommend the Divi because you can walk right out of your room onto the pristine white Sandy beach. You can also see the ocean from your patio in most of the rooms.
Our room was an ocean front room and it was in the Casita section of the Divi resort. We walked out of our door and we stepped right onto the sandy white beach. There are rows of tiki huts lined for shade and relaxation. You grab a chair and enjoy the baby blue water and breeze. You can go to the towel kiosk and ask for floats and noodles also to relax in the water. There are also so many iguanas around the resort. They are so unique and love to be fed.
This resort is ALL INCLUSIVE! I tried any alcoholic drink on the menu that I wanted. They had bars by the pool and on the beach that you just walked up and ordered a drink. They had a drink menu that you can choose from or you can order the typical liquor drinks. A few I tried that I loved were: The Yellow Belly, Caribbean Temptation, The Divi Cooler, and The Brown Lady. The Brown Lady is not on the menu but you have to ask and it was my go to drink for the week.
Restaurants on the resort:
Pure Lime: this was a Mexican restaurant that was open for dinner each night except Wednesday nights. They had the best margaritas and cheese dip.
Pelican Terrace: this was the restaurant that was open for breakfast and lunch. You can choose indoor or outdoor seating. Every food you get is made to order for you. It is right on the water and you can listen to the calming ocean as you eat. You can order a mimosa on Sunday.
Red Parrot: this was a fancy dinner restaurant. You can choose indoor or outdoor seating. We chose indoor to get the full effect of the elaborate restaurant feel with white table clothes and light up menus. The wine here is exquisite.
Bar: the bar opens at 11 for drinks and food. You can order pizza and paninis here to eat.
Ginger: this was an Asian fusion restaurant located at the Tamarijn. You can take the shuttle to eat here. They have amazing food and you have to try the Cosmopolitan drink.
There were 4 bars on the Divi resort, 2 pools, and beach access from any angle.
We went during the pandemic so there wasn’t many people on the resort so we didn’t need reservations to eat. We basically got VIP treatment the whole trip. Normally you would need to make reservations ahead of time for dinner each night.
**Tip after each meal. Our rule was $5 for breakfast and lunch. $10-$20 for dinner each night. If you tip they remember and they will treat you extra special. Also be sure to tip the housekeeper, bartenders, and the man who takes up the beach chairs. This isn’t required at an all inclusive but greatly appreciated and they will be so thankful.
Spa Del Sol
While on this island you have to have a day of beauty and do a spa day. I went to the Manchebo Resort and got a massage at Spa Del Sol. This was a 5 minute walk on the beach from my resort. The massage was in outdoor huts with a view of the ocean while you’re being pampered. It was $120 for a 50 minute deep tissue massage. They allow you to shower before the massage also in a quaint outdoor shower. The spa is tranquil and serene. It’s the definition of paradise. Be sure to tip your massage therapist at the end.
We took a taxi downtown to Oranjestad for a day. It was $10 each way from our resort. We wanted to explore the shops and see the Dutch style architecture.
We decided to rent a car and explore the island. We rented a car at the Hertz counter in the front of our resort. The company gave us a map of the island before we left.
Natural Bridge: this is located on the northern shore. This side of the island shows a different landscape with waves pounding on the coast and large drop off cliffs. The bridge collapsed but the Baby Bridge is still intact. There is also a gift shop and restroom for $1 there too.
Baby Beach: this is a snorkeling beach. It is simply stunning. The water is baby blue. You can rent a chair and cabana covering while you are there for $60. Also you can eat if you’d like while on the beach. It is called Baby Beach because the water is so calm. I felt some pull and current while I was in the water. This is in the San Nicolas area of Aruba.
Alto Vista Chapel: This is a quaint church that is located in the Aruban countryside. It is surrounded by cactus. The drive up there is beautiful and you get a full taste of Aruba.
California Lighthouse: You can see a 360 view of the island from the lighthouse. There was a man selling coconut smoothies up there also. It was called Yum Yum. He had a parrot there you can view and the smoothies were so fresh and of course cute. This is located in Noord, Aruba.
Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins: this is located in the deserted area close to the cliffs and the Natural Bridge. It is off on a dusty road. This is remnants of a 19th century gold mill. You can walk into the ruins also with a view of the sea.
Cactus are all over the island.
Aruba is known for aloe. There are large aloe plants all over the island.
The people are extremely kind and friendly.
It didn’t rain during the day, but around 2:30 each night it rained.
The sunsets are picturesque . They are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. You have to sit out on the beach and watch it one afternoon.
The landscape is so diverse: cactus, palm trees, deserted areas, calm beaches, cliffs, and ruins.