Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Playing in Aruba
Playing in Aruba
ACTIVITIES IN ARUBA
The nearest beaches are not quite walking distance, but very easily reached by taxi or even local bus via L.G. Smith Boulevard, which parallels the waterfront. Druif Beach is to the northwest of the pier, Surfside to the southeast, close to the end of the airport runway. Both are supported by resort facilities. West of Druif Beach is a nearly continuous stretch of sand and beach resorts that wraps around the southwest and west shores. While nude sunbathing is illegal (and an affront to local sensibilities), topless sunbathing is hardly unknown at Manchebo Beach (which is also the largest beach on the island). Continuing north up the coast, Eagle and Palm beaches are in the heart of hotel country, offering a wide range of watersport options and amenities. At the north end of the strip, Malmok and Arashi beaches offer good swimming and snorkeling, but few amenities. Off to the extreme southeast beyond the oil refinery, Baby Beach is a popular, reef-protected lagoon with gentle surf but few facilities.
At latest count there are 12 casinos in Aruba, most of them associated with the resort hotels that line the beaches to the northwest of Oranjested. These include the Holiday Inn, Hyatt Regency, Radisson, La Cabana, and Marriott resorts. These all have beach and recreational offerings that should keep the whole family happy. Closest to the pier is the Crystal Casino in the Renaissance Aruba hotel, about a block southeast on L.G. Smith Boulevard.
Scuba, snorkel and wind surfing are all popular activities, and thanks to the mostly wild northeast shore, off-road vehicle tours abound. Arashi and Malmok beaches, at the far north of the western beach strip, are popular snorkel destinations, and a bit south of that, Hadicurari is known for windsurfing. Also near Arashi Beach, Tierra del Sol is an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II golf course—reservations and information at http://www.tierradelsol.com/golf.
Out-of-town Sights: Arikok National Park to the northeast offers hiking opportunities amidst cactus and low scrub. One of the island’s better-known sights, Natural Bridge (a seaside coral arch), collapsed in 2005. Bashiribana is a stone ruin - a smelting operation leftover from gold mining days. Alto Vista Chapel is a quaint, stone and stucco church on the rugged northern seacoast. California Lighthouse is a tall, photogenic lighthouse on the northwest point of the island near Malmok Beach. Palm Beach hosts Butterfly Farm, one of several such exhibits in the Caribbean.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53339) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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