Aruba: One Happy Island

2019 has been the year of travel for the Mitchells.

We decided to celebrate our 30th birthday Caribbean style with one of our best friends in Aruba! Why Aruba you ask? Well, it is a Southwest destination, which we have flown exclusively now that we have the companion pass. BOGO tickets!

We also heard wonderful things about Aruba from family and friends. From the pristine beaches to the friendly people and adventure sports to exploring the island…Aruba seemed like the perfect spot to celebrate the big 3-0.

And as we dreamed it would be, Aruba was the perfect destination. We have ventured to several Caribbean destinations over the past 5 years, but Aruba easily claimed the top spot.

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The beaches and water are among the cleanest and most beautiful we have ever seen. We also had plenty of adventure and water sports to keep us busy… but of course, we also enjoyed just laying out and relaxing.

Where to Stay

  • Eagle Beach area (Airbnb or Costa Linda)
    • Our Airbnb was less than a 5-minute walk from Eagle Beach and offered nice peace + quiet, plus a large pool, grills, hot tub, restaurant, and a market.
    • Several people on our flight raved about the Costa Linda! They have been coming back for years.
  • Palm Beach (if you want the all-inclusive, but touristy experience) – Also this is where you’ll find most of the action sports (jet ski, tube, boat, etc)

Best Beaches

  • Eagle Beach (voted top 3 beach in the world!) This beach was absolutely breathtaking. It is also very quiet and subdued. We came here to lay and relax every day and loved the beautiful turquoise waters and smooth and clean sand. This was the highlight of our trip and definitely a must see beach! 

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  • Arachi Beach (also very quiet and has a fun running jump into the water!) + a nice swimming cove nestled underneath the rock outcroppings

Activities You Don’t Want to Miss

  • ATV or UTV Tour – You can cover almost all of the island in 3 hours. We opted for the morning tour (8 am) which is highly recommended – the sites tend to get crowded closer to lunchtime. The ATV’s were WILD! This is a must do for thrill seekers! Be sure to wear water shoes. We missed this memo and ended up with some torn up feet! 

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  • Natural pool (before all the tour groups show up)
  • Hidden natural pool (about 1000 ft south of the abandoned gold mine)
  • Get out on the water! (Whether it’s a boat tour, tubing, jet ski rentals or a booze cruise) Aruba has some of the most beautiful water imaginable and it’s even better from a boat. 
  • Sunsets: Make sure to see at least one sunset on the beach while you’re in Aruba, they are magical.  Bringing a bottle of wine makes it even better!

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Things to Be Careful About

  • Sand fleas (wear bug spray even if you don’t see or feel the bugs!)
  • Spending too much $$$ on groceries: Aruba is a small island and has to import almost everything.  Cheerios, for example, cost more than $8.  Save money by buying local fish/food and generic brands instead of the ones you usually buy in the US
  • Downtown gets really crowded when a cruise is in port.  Avoid it and hang by the beaches to the north!
  • Rent a car when visiting Aruba.  It’s going to be pretty difficult to get around otherwise! We relied heavily on our rental car and found it to be very affordable! 

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  • Aruba is a very small island. It is totally a place to kick back and relax. However, unlike islands like Puerto Rico, there is much less to do (aside from the beach) to keep you busy.

Great Things About Aruba

  • Everyone speaks English
  • Everyone accepts US dollars and almost everyone accepted credit cards
  • No hassling you for money when you’re on the beach
  • Almost nowhere we went ever felt “crowded”
  • Very safe and friendly people!
  • The weather is beautiful almost every day.  It was 82, sunny, and windy (yes it is ALWAYS windy in Aruba) all 5 of the days we spent in Aruba. 

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If you are looking for a spot to kick back and relax while soaking up some spectacular ocean views…Aruba is a must do!

We decided that from now on Aruba has become our “go to” Caribbean oasis. Aruba…we will see you again very soon!


If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb?  We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!

Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.

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P.S. if you really want to maximize your travel, become an Airbnb host!

Fund your travel by renting your place.