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Fishbone

Buses - Aruba & Curacao! Yes you can!

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Posted (edited)

I’m posting this on both the Aruba & Curaçao boards so that those who like to take the bus, like me, will know that it is an easy and cost saving alternative! 

 

We just returned from another Southern Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Conquest, which included stops in Aruba & Curaçao. We’ve recently cruised there twice before & also took buses on those occasions. 

 

We are a party of 4 - my husband & myself (40s), my son (8), and my super awesome old mom (70). 

 

ARUBA
In Aruba, we went to Arashi Beach, which I love. To get there, we simply got off the ship & walked across the parking lot to the bus station (Oranjestad Bus Terminal), which is literally directly across from the terminal. Across the main road (Lloyd G Smith Blvd).

 

There is a ticket booth that sells tickets from a window - $5 (US dollars) per person, round trip. If the ticket booth is closed, you can purchase tickets directly on the bus. I believe a taxi was $26 one way, so we saved about $32.

 

The bus to Arashi also includes many other stops, including Eagle & Palm Beach. But not all buses go to Arashi, so be sure to ask the bus driver. This trip, we waited less than 5 minutes before the bus arrived. Last trip we waited 30 minutes. There’s a few benches to sit on while you wait.

 

Sorry, I do not have the bus schedule, as I did not intend to post about the bus, but if I remember correctly, I think the bus to Arashi comes once an hour at the :40-:45 mark? 

 

The bus will drop you off directly at Arashi beach. I think it took about 20 minutes. 

 

The bus from Arashi comes once an hour around the top of the hour. You get back on the bus at the same place in the parking lot as you were dropped off. 

 

Buses are filled with both locals and travelers. Aruba buses look just like regular buses here in the States.

 

Someone overheard that we were headed to the bus & asked if they could follow us. Suddenly, we had lots of people trailing us. There is no problem taking the bus in Aruba. It’s really easy, safe, efficient & saves a few bucks. 

 

CURAÇAO 
In Curaçao we went to Mambo Beach, which sometimes gets negative reviews, but we love it. It takes a little longer to get to the bus station in Curaçao vs Aruba. The walk takes about fifteen minutes, but there are many fantastic photo opportunities along the way. 

 

We walked along the designated walking path from the terminal to the fort (a shopping area). We walked through the fort, along the water to the swinging bridge. We crossed the bridge & walked along the water, around the corner to the Ronde Markt - a round open market building in which locals sell their wares. The bus station is on the other side of the market. 

 

The buses in Curaçao do not look like regular city buses like here in the States. They are small white mini vans with wooden signs listing stops.

 

There is a small ticket booth, but they pointed us to the vans. Multiple vans were waiting. We asked the first van if he was going to Mambo & he pointed us to the correct van. The driver happily let us in & off we went.

 

There were only locals on the bus & they were dropped off directly in front of their homes. It took approximately 10-15 minutes to get to Mambo. $2 per person, one way. 

 

The bus picks you up in the same location as you are dropped off. 

 

Please note that the taxi guys at Mambo are relentless. On our very first trip, while waiting for the bus, a taxi guy aggressively approached me & said the bus was not coming, blah, blah, blah. He loudly went on & on, essentially demanding that we take a cab. Although I was secretly very intimidated & my stomach was doing backflips, I looked him right in the eye & loudly told him that I’ve been coming to Mambo for years & always take the bus (it was actually my first time there ever). We loudly argued for a few minutes & then he pointed to the bus that had just arrived & said “there’s your bus” & then walked away. The bus driver told me that the taxi drivers hate the bus drivers. I now tell the bus driver this story on the way to Mambo & he always confirms he’ll be back & shows me where to wait. 

 

The bus back to town drops you off at the same location. Instead of walking along the water, we cut across the town to Queen Wilhelmina Park, to take pictures at the famous Curaçao & Dushi signs. Then we walked towards the swinging bridge & back to the ship. 

 

I love to take the bus in Curaçao. The walk is so scenic. It’s really very simple & also cost effective. 

 

So there you go. Don’t hesitate to take the bus in Aruba or Curaçao! You can do it! Save a few bucks & spend the money on some local food - eat a few “bitterballen” for me or drink a cold local beer for my old mom. 

 

By the way, none of us had any difficulty with the walks to the bus stops. My husband is super fit & it was no problem for him. My super awesome & fit old mom is 70 & it was no problem for her. Our son is 8 & great & also super fit & he had no problem. “But they are all fit”, you say ... no worries ... my “bitterballen” eating self is NOT super fit & I had no problem. But I am super at eating bitterballen & taking the bus!

 

Safe travels!

Edited by Fishbone
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Great info & details, thanks for sharing. I much prefer buses to taxis and have been looking for info on both but especially on Curacao since most info online suggests bus schedule is not convenient & to take a taxi instead (but prices are so expensive that it starts to make excursions look cheap).

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Thank you Fishbone! You have reassured me about Aruba and given me hope for Curacao. 

We are looking to take the bus in Curacao to do the factory/distillery tour.  I could see on the map where the bus stop was but wasn't sure how walkable it really was from the ship....  

Thanks!

 

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The bus in Aruba looks so easy! Although I want to go to San Nicolas and my husband wants. Snorkeling tour so we may not have time for both. 

 

Is the bus bus in Curaçao so easy? Having a harder time finding info on it. I want to go to shete boka but it seems like it might be too far on the bus?

 

thanks. 

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Thank you Fishbone!  We have vacationed in Aruba, as well as had it as a ship port, and used the bus many times.  But, you gave such detailed and useful information.  Really good.

 

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Great tip on private van trip down to Mambo Beach. We went last month (Sept 2019) $2 each way, taxis at the port wanted $25.

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THANK YOU!!! This is amazing information, I am a big public transportation enthusiast so I enjoyed reading this, and definitely plan to employ a bust in one or both of these ports when I go in January depending on what we decide to do.

 

While I have your attention, you mentioned Arashi Beach. I looked up pictures and it looks absolutely gorgeous! We have never been to Aruba, but given how it's A) very touristy and B) very expensive, we were just thinking of making this our beach day and finding us a nice beach club. Does Arashi have any beach clubs? We don't need advanced beach clubs, but we do enjoy when they have wifi and chairs/umbrellas to rent. It's also nice if they have drinks and food to buy as well. Does Arashi have these, and you do have a favorite? If not, do you know of any good ones? Thank you in advance for your help!

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On 10/12/2019 at 11:44 PM, OceansOfTravels said:

THANK YOU!!! This is amazing information, I am a big public transportation enthusiast so I enjoyed reading this, and definitely plan to employ a bust in one or both of these ports when I go in January depending on what we decide to do.

 

While I have your attention, you mentioned Arashi Beach. I looked up pictures and it looks absolutely gorgeous! We have never been to Aruba, but given how it's A) very touristy and B) very expensive, we were just thinking of making this our beach day and finding us a nice beach club. Does Arashi have any beach clubs? We don't need advanced beach clubs, but we do enjoy when they have wifi and chairs/umbrellas to rent. It's also nice if they have drinks and food to buy as well. Does Arashi have these, and you do have a favorite? If not, do you know of any good ones? Thank you in advance for your help!

 

Greetings OceansOfTravels! I love Arashi Beach, but most people seem to prefer Eagle and/or Palm Beaches. I am not like most people & would probably choose Arashi Beach over & over again. That said, I live in Florida & we go to the beach often, so I'm quite particular. Whereas many people would pick Daytona Beach, Clearwater Beach, Miami Beach, etc, my first choice is always Gulf Islands National Seashore up in the Panhandle between Pensacola Beach & Navarre. Why? For the same reason I would pick Arashi. 

 

Essentially, all I really want in a beach day is me & the beach. And waves. A bathroom & a snack shack is a bonus. A chair & an umbrella is nice, but not essential. 

 

Eagle Beach was not for me. It had a very small roped off area for swimming, lots of beach chairs & umbrellas to rent. And people. Oh the people. There were so many people. And loud jet skies ... with screaming people. It did have a nice restaurant on the beach with great food & there were also bathrooms. And there was shopping, lots of shopping. But I hate shopping (I know, I'm really weird).

 

Arashi Beach was totally my vibe ... a little out of the way, with way less people. Great waves. Beach chairs & umbrellas to rent. A snack shack which served beverages & snacks (pretty sure it has a bathroom too). I don't drink, but I know my old German mom had a beer or two, or maybe even three! Arashi also had beautiful scenery (California lighthouse in the distance & miles of cacti). Gorgeous. Not sure about wifi, although they may have had it at the snack shack. Note that there are large boulders embedded in the surf/water on one side of the beach, but there were none on the far side. 

 

We bring inflatable tubes with us on our cruises. I sat in my inflatable tube on Eagle Beach & said to myself "Self, this is terrible. Why did you pick this beach. This was a bad decision". I sat in my inflatable tube riding the waves on Arashi Beach & said to myself "Hallelujah!"

 

That said, every cruise is different, every person is different, every beach is different. Eagle Beach was not terrible, just not for me. Safe travels & enjoy your cruise!

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All, my apologies - this is why I almost never post - I'm not very good at this. In my post above, I referred to Eagle Beach, when I meant to refer to Palm Beach. Regardless, my preference is Arashi. :)

 

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We just took the bus. Thanks for all of the info! Our minds were sluggish and kept looking for the booth. Remembered that all we needed to do was get on the bus. I think is was $2.75 a person.  Coming home we took one of the old, run-down mini vans. All worked great. 

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On 10/28/2019 at 9:28 PM, Fishbone said:

 

Greetings OceansOfTravels! I love Arashi Beach, but most people seem to prefer Eagle and/or Palm Beaches. I am not like most people & would probably choose Arashi Beach over & over again. That said, I live in Florida & we go to the beach often, so I'm quite particular. Whereas many people would pick Daytona Beach, Clearwater Beach, Miami Beach, etc, my first choice is always Gulf Islands National Seashore up in the Panhandle between Pensacola Beach & Navarre. Why? For the same reason I would pick Arashi. 

 

Essentially, all I really want in a beach day is me & the beach. And waves. A bathroom & a snack shack is a bonus. A chair & an umbrella is nice, but not essential. 

 

Eagle Beach was not for me. It had a very small roped off area for swimming, lots of beach chairs & umbrellas to rent. And people. Oh the people. There were so many people. And loud jet skies ... with screaming people. It did have a nice restaurant on the beach with great food & there were also bathrooms. And there was shopping, lots of shopping. But I hate shopping (I know, I'm really weird).

 

Arashi Beach was totally my vibe ... a little out of the way, with way less people. Great waves. Beach chairs & umbrellas to rent. A snack shack which served beverages & snacks (pretty sure it has a bathroom too). I don't drink, but I know my old German mom had a beer or two, or maybe even three! Arashi also had beautiful scenery (California lighthouse in the distance & miles of cacti). Gorgeous. Not sure about wifi, although they may have had it at the snack shack. Note that there are large boulders embedded in the surf/water on one side of the beach, but there were none on the far side. 

 

We bring inflatable tubes with us on our cruises. I sat in my inflatable tube on Eagle Beach & said to myself "Self, this is terrible. Why did you pick this beach. This was a bad decision". I sat in my inflatable tube riding the waves on Arashi Beach & said to myself "Hallelujah!"

 

That said, every cruise is different, every person is different, every beach is different. Eagle Beach was not terrible, just not for me. Safe travels & enjoy your cruise!

 

This is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear! I am going to write this down in our cruise plan right now, and that is how we'll spend the day in Aruba in January. Thank you so much for your help! 😄

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