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Timmay77

Renting a Jeep and driving to the Natural Pool .

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I've read web pages, reviews, and topics, most are very old and outdated.

 

Who has done it?

 

Who did you rent from?

 

Any up to date tips/tricks/info?

 

Our cruise ship is docking at 9am, after most tours leave for the early visit. I do not want to do the 2pm trip because it is in the middle of the day. Thinking of renting the jeep so we can do our own thing, hit some beaches, and see the island ourselves........ 

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Me three...

 

I know we did it 20 years ago when we spent a week in Aruba but obviously would like to know about it from the aspect of a cruise passenger, who's done it recently.

 

My 20 year old 2 cents is that it was a highlight of our week and the way I would like to spend our 1 day on the island!

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We didn't do this on a cruise stop but we did rent a jeep and drive to the natural pool from our hotel in the Palm Beach area.  I made a jeep reservation thru More4Less.  They deliver the jeep right to the hotel.  Unfortunately, I'm an idiot and booked the jeep for the following month!!  I was able to call them but they were out of 4x4s.  However, he made a quick phone call to another company for me and was able to arrange a jeep for the same price, also dropped off (and picked up) at our hotel.  They were there within 40 minutes!!

 

The drive to the natural pools is a bit harrowing, if you're not accustomed to driving off road.  There is a "trail" but it is full of rocks and other obstacles.  Our friend, who is an experienced off road driver, did all of the driving (which was fine with me) and he was having a ball!!  Us passengers got bounced around.  Once you get to the national park, it's fairly straight forward to get to the natural pool; just follow the other jeeps and ATVs.  Once you get in the area, all of the "trails" lead to the parking area.  When we got there, there were a bunch of large trucks full of passengers arriving.  We hiked down to the pool but it was already packed with people.  We climbed up to take a look but didn't go in the water.  This was in September, the "low season", but some of the locals said that we got there at the peak time of the day (2PM).  If you're going to be there longer, it won't be as crowded later in the day.  If you're adventurous, go for it!!  If you're not experienced, just take your time.  It's challenging but not impossible.

 

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Thank you for the detailed reply!

 

After researching and reading a ton of reviews, I actually decided to rent a UTV from Roadrunner ATV Rentals. I chatted back and forth with them about maps/difficulty, etc, making the trip. They where very confident I would have no problem in an ATV making the trip. I rented the UTV for a full 8hrs so we can take our time. Going to start the trip at 9am, so hopefully we can make it there well before the big crowds.....

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We just got back from our cruise yesterday. We rented a UTV from Justin's. They were the only ones I could find who had availability for a 6-passenger. It cost a bit more than a Jeep, but the kids thought it was fun! They picked us up from a spot near the port and took us to their location at one of the hotels. From there we got the UTV and were on our way. It was an 8 hr rental, but we pulled out at 10am and had to return it at 5pm. We went up to one of the northern beaches first and snorkeled a bit, then drove down the east coast, visiting the lighthouse, church, and mill ruins on the way to the Natural bridge. After that we headed to the Natural pool, making a wrong turn along the way to add some extra excitement. When we got back on the right path and entered the national park (it was $11 for adults and kids were free, even our 17 yr old!) I was a little surprised that the "official" path was as bad and worse in places than off roading to the bridge and even the wrong path we took. 😳 I started second guessing my planning, and was praying we'd make it! Thankfully we did, but it's not for everyone. If we had managed our time a little better, I would have liked to use another hour to go to the caves.

 

There are quite a few steps down to the natural pool. We saw some older people there (with tours) who had to wait at the top. Then I was surprised how many people were just swimming without snorkel gear. IMO, you're missing half the experience if you're only seeing what's out of the water. The snorkeling is just average, but still pretty cool. We saw a lot of fish and crabs, as well as an eel. The water was also average wrt roughness, so we didn't get any amazing pictures of the waves crashing over the rocks. But when it is rough, it is more dangerous too, so that was fine with me. (It is still very slippery and you need to be careful getting in and out.)

 

Oh, one thing that was different...we passed several homemade signs deriding ATV/UTV renters for 'contributing to the destruction of Aruba's nature'. I'm not really sure why the locals feel that way? We were respectful of the countryside. The only places I saw ATVs/UTVs/Jeeps driving was on the rocky paths, and I don't see how that hurts anything. Certainly not like the idiot we saw in Bonaire walking on the coral reef. 😖🤦‍♀️ Idk!

 

Overall, it was fun and I don't regret it, but if we get the opportunity to go back to Aruba on another cruise, we will probably opt to do some of the beaches and experience the western half of the island as opposed to the wild side!

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