One Happy Island…Aruba: Part 2

Sorry it took so long to get Part 2 up, but boy does time fly when you’re livin life!! So last time I told you about our wonderful resort and the maxin’ chillaxin’ we did there.

Now for the adventures! We checked out the local activity shack (several of these along the beach to book your activities) on the beach right in front of our resort for ideas…

These guys hooked us up! We decided first on the UTV tour of the island through Around Aruba Tours. The UTV was our choice because it’s side by side (as opposed to front-to-back for two on the ATV) and because it’s covered (I burn easily!).

And maybe cuz they look a little more safe than the ATV? Anyways, this was a spectacular trip!!

We started our morning getting picked up right in front of our hotel and a short bus drive to the location. Upon arrival, we checked in and then had a little time to see some adorable animals!! That was a nice surprise! The Philip’s Animal Garden was great – you get a bag of carrots to go feed the animals!!

They were so cute!! Just don’t get too close to the camels! They looked hungry!

Even saw a white peacock!!

We only had a short time with the animals, then we got our UTVs and our buffs (soon to find out how absolutely necessary they are with all the dust kicked up!!). This is the “before” pic! Still clean…

Our driving lesson was this: “drive em like you stole em!!” And then we were off!! Our tour guide, Marlon, was the best!! Luckily the hubs likes to drive, cause this went from “whoa” to “holy sh%t” several times during the trip!! Bring your sunglasses and get that buff up because YOU are the windshield!!

We drove a little on real roads, but it was off-roading most of the time. Saw horseback riders along the way. Our first stop was at the Alto Vista Chapel, the first one on the island.

The peace labyrinth outside of the chapel did make me feel peaceful. I think we need more places designated for peace, don’t you? We stopped at the remnants of the old gold mill and got to climb around a little. Fun!!

Then we rode to the natural bridges and beach overlooks, Baby Bridge, Shark Bay, and more!!

This might be a yoga pose? And a moment of meditation…

Then the ride got crazy!! Rough, tough, thank god for the buff!! These UTVs are tough! I. Ant believe we didn’t break it! We may have had a minor fender bender when we got stuck on a rock and had to reverse, but no major damage! It was a hell of a wild ride and not for the weary, but it sure was a blast!!!!!

Our last stop after some wild riding was the natural pool. The Natural Pool was the perfect cool-off spot. We parked the UTVs and made our way down a short hike of rocky steps. Just know that you’ll have to hike back up a that stone staircase. It’s not bad, but you need a little leg power for it!

Even after a cool dip (be careful, it’s very slippery and lots of folks are trying to get in and out), I was still sooooo dirty from all the dust kicked up during the off roading!!

Yes, that’s dirt caked on me!! Hehe! So fun to get dirty sometimes!! Note to self, don’t wear a white tank top for this!

Again, loved the buff! I felt like a bandit!

This was such a fun trip, I highly recommend it!! And if you’re lucky enough to get our awesome tour guide, even better!! I know you’ll have a blast too – a definite must when you visit Aruba! It was $200 (including the $20 tip we gave at the end) and worth every penny for two of us for four hours of solid, dirty, wild fun! Can’t remember getting this dirty as a grown up! Yay!!

We were so hungry for lunch when we got back to the hotel that we didn’t even clean up first. Just rolled into the lunch buffet lookin like homeless folk. Luckily people didn’t seem to mind – and those who had done the tour knew what we had just done!! It was great!! Took a long time to get all the dirt off, but so much fun!!!!!

Our other activity was a snorkel trip, booked at the same activity shack on the beach. We booked the two-stop snorkel trip with Aruba Watersports Center on the catamaran, The Arusun. It includes all the gear, an open bar for plenty of rum punch, and a small lunch. The two stops are the Antilla Ship Wreck and Boca Catalina Bay. The boat ride was so smooth and relaxing.

I didn’t take any snorkeling pics, unfortunately, cause it was kinda tough to maneuver the phone along with my gear, and I just wanted to swim and snorkel around, but I can tell you the wreck was super cool!! It’s a big German ship that sank just off the coast during WWII and has a lot of history. You can snorkel the whole length of it, peering down over the remains. The depths of the water at this spot go from 12 or so feet to about 50 feet! There are also scuba trips that go in and around the wreck. Maybe next time!!

Our second snorkel stop was more for the fish, and in shallower water if you’re weary of deep water, and there were plenty of fishies!! We got to feed them some tortilla pieces to get up close and personal with them and they were so cute!! Nice and easy snorkeling, good location if it’s your first time. After snorkeling around for about an hour or so, the ride back to shore was extra relaxing!! I may have even dozed off!!

Great snorkel trip, about 2.5 hours, $45 a person. Very nice and super fun guides!!! Great time with Aruba Watersports Center and the crew of The Arusun!

We also did our own snorkeling back at our resort a few times. There’s a Little Rock formation just off shore that has plenty of fish to see and the pelicans perched on top of the rocks are right there with you!

The all-inclusiveness of the Riu includes the non-motorized sports like snorkel, kayak, and stand up paddle boarding!!

It’s tough, but doable – if I can balance on this thing, you can too!!

I just loved absolutely everything about our trip. I cannot wait to go back!

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