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My day in Aruba Feb 25


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We rent a car at SmartRent, just outside the pier area. There are plenty of autos available and we got a late start. However, if you want a jeep, you better get there earlier or reserve ahead of time. Our Toyota was $45 for the day. I think the jeeps are $85 but I may be wrong about them. There are several car rental places all together there. If you want to rent ahead of time but not go through the biggies like Avis, etc. you can call Piedra Plat 297-962-2220 or contact her through smartrent@email.com. She was friendly, efficient, low-key and competitively-priced without all the high-pressure crap.



We had read a lot about how the roads aren’t marked well in Aruba, and that’s true, but if you have any kind of innate sense of direction, you should be ok. We only got lost once and then a nice guy in a pick-up led us back to the main road. It’s not that big of an island, so sooner or later, you’ll end up back in Orangestaad. We did the usual and drove to the natural bridge, drove to baby beach and snorkeled and just hung for a couple of hours, then tracked down the famous Charlie’s Bar, which has been in Charlie’s family for 4 generations. It’s kinda hard to find, about 5 miles from baby beach, just ask the locals and they’ll point you there. Anyway, Charlies is quite the trip. It’s a tradition that everyone who goes there must leave something and man oh man, you never saw so much interesting junk in all your life! The folks are friendly, the beer is cold and the fish is fresh. We had the house specialty; giant tiger shrimp, boiled in some special sauce, served piping hot. You peel the shrimp (try not to burn your fingers) and then dip it in Charlie’s “honeymoon” sauce. But only if like hot sauce. Really hot. Yummy! When we were finished, there were shrimp shells piled to the ceiling. Ok, ALMOST to the ceiling.



Fully satiated, we headed back to the ship, did a little shopping, turned in our car and then ate at a restaurant on the water called Don Carlos. Warning: DO NOT EAT THERE. The service was amazingly horrible, the food was mediocre and the prices were ridiculous. Find another place. Any other place. We then spent a little time in the Crystal casino then back to the ship. :)

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Did you end up circling around the entire island? If starting out going up the coast to the natural bridge and then back down again to Baby Beach, and back to the ship, how much time would you say it took? Include snorkeling time at Baby Beach... ;) We will be in Aruba from 10-6 and want to hit Arashi/Malmok for snorkeling, natural bridge and pools, Baby beach and back.....with time to browse the shops of course! Maybe even stop at Charlies to see what people left behind!! LOL!

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We were in Aruba from 8 AM till 11 PM so we had lots of time. Didn't even leave the ship until around 11:00 AM. We didn't go to around the entire island because we wanted to get back in time to shop. The shops close around 6 PM so we didn't have time to tour the entire island first. We spent about 2 hours total driving time, an hour snorkeling Baby beach, 1 hour at the bridge and an hour at Charlies bar. We should have started earlier and we would have had time to go the lighthouse and other beaches like Arashi.

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