This teeny tiny little island of Aruba was absolutely amazing! When I say teeny tiny I really mean it too. The island is only around 5 miles wide and 20 miles long with a population of 105,000 people. While on the island I learned so much about this little country. In Aruba the natives speak many different languages. They speak English, Dutch, and Papiamento! Dutch is their native language mainly because they are owned by the Netherlands, a Dutch speaking European country. Papiamento, is a local language that is a combination of a number of different languages such as; Portuguese, English, Dutch, and Spanish! The locals told us that this is the only language they will use when speaking to each other.
So you’re probably wondering where the best place to stay is now, right? The Hilton of course! The Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino was so amazing! From the perfect location to the endless number of things to do on the resort there is no question that this is the place you must stay at. The service here is the best of the best and the complementary breakfast for Hilton Honors members makes it even better. There was some amazing food options on the resort as well! From the Sunset Grille to the Smit & Dorals Coffee Shop there was something for everyone in the group (even with all of the allergies and pinky habits). The staff was so helpful with planning excursions and making dinner reservations and they were especially helpful when our flight home was cancelled and we had to return back to the hotel for an extra night!
We ate at number of really good restaurants on the trip that were all recommended to us my either the resort or friends who had been to the island before! Our first stop was Gianni’s, it was amazing authentic Italian food that satisfied everyone after the long day of travel we had. They even had gluten-free pasta for me which made it super easy! We also ate at two of the resort restaurants, Gilligan’s and Sunset Grille. Gilligan’s was super great because it was right on the beach and it was super easy to just walk right off the beach and grab a quick bite to eat! Sunset Grille has lots of vegetarian options as well.
My absolute favorite restaurant from the trip (and probably ever) was Yemanja! This place was out of this world. From gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan options they had it all! I started out with the super-food salad for my appetizer! If you know me you know I am all about super-food and this salad was packed with all kinds of super-foods! Next I got the stuffed portabella mushroom (made gluten-free). This entrée had so many different flavors all at once I swear my mouth didn’t know how to handle it all. And finally I got the vegan snickers bar for dessert with a cup of decaf coffee (of course). If you ever find yourself in Aruba you must have dinner here one night!
For our New Years Eve dinner we went to this beautiful little restaurant right on the beach called Barefoot! We were actually seated right on the beach like 15 feet from the water. Sadly right after getting our drinks we were run off the beach by rain (it doesn’t normally rain a lot on the island but we had seen a number of rain showers the past few days). The staff did an amazing job getting everyone inside and seat as quickly as possible! They had a ton of options for me to eat and I would probably say this was our second favorite restaurant out of the whole trip!
And finally! Acai!!! Of course we had to go to Eduardo’s! This place had been on my list for a while now and it was deffinetely worth the wait. We got their acai and pataya bowl (multiple times lol) and they were amazing. We were all very surprised at the amount of fruit it was topped with. From apples an grapes to pinapple kiwi the flavors were endless. We also tried one of their super food protein balls. They were the perfect snack for around the middle of the day!
On this trip we did two excursions through Palm De Tour! This company was amazing! Our first excursion we did was the Palm Pleasure’s Afternoon Delight. This catamaran trip was the perfect way to see two of Aruba’s best snorkeling sites. On this 3 hour excursion we got to take a catamaran out to the Antilla Shipwreck and Boca Catalina. The waters here were crystal clear! This excursion also included drinks and lunch abroad the catamaran. It was such a fun way to see the island and get to know a little more about Aruba!
“The Antilla is the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean, covered by tube sponges, coral formations, tropical fish, shrimp, lobsters, and orange anemones. The pelicans know this area very well and love to rest on the Antilla and enjoy a meal of the silversides which jump from the water below. The entire wreckage is 400 feet long and much of the ship is still intact today. The porthole, deck fitting and interior sections can be explored.” – Visit Aruba
The second excursion we did was the Natural Pool Adventure. We got to stop at Natural Pool and snorkel there which was really pretty. We got to see the Natural Bridge and we drove by the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins on the way to the Alto Vista Chapel which was there very first church on the island. And the last stop was the California Lighthouse. The views throughout this entire experience were absolutely breathe taking. Everything looks picture perfect.
The Aruba Natural Bridge was a tourist attraction in Aruba that was formed naturally out of coral limestone although it collapsed on September 2, 2005.
Overall this was an amazing trip that allowed me to explore and witness more of God’s beautiful creations. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to see such beautiful things this world has to offer. We are already planning a trip back tot his stunning island in the future and can’t wait to return.