Thursday, August 16, 2018

Flamingo Beach

When I was looking into options for where to go on our honeymoon, I came across a photo of a girl chillin with flamingos on the beach & I immediately had to know where this place was. I think the only time I had even heard of Aruba was because that's where Rachel was supposed to go on her honeymoon in the first season of Friends. But it ended up being the perfect destination for the time of year of our wedding, since it's below the hurricane belt and doesn't get hit by those kinds of storms.

I did a lot of research on Flamingo Beach beforehand so we wouldn't miss out on a fun opportunity but there were a few things I wish I had known that I hadn't found online. So I'm going to share all of my knowledge from our experience with you!

Flamingo Beach is actually located on a private island (Renaissance Island) owned by the Renaissance Hotel in Oranjestad, Aruba. If you're a guest of the hotel, you have full access to the island during your stay. But if you're not a guest there, you can purchase day passes which include a lunch & drink ticket for the island per pass. They only sell them based on hotel occupancy (generally under 80%), so it's best to call ahead early that morning to see if they will be selling them for that day.

Day passes are $100 per person (as of October 2017) & are sold at the front desk of the hotel. It's best to go super early, aka 7am. We literally left our hotel at 6am to walk the 2 miles into town to make it there on time! The lady at the desk told us if you come later in the morning or afternoon, they're usually sold out.

How To Get There:
There's a small boat shuttle that leaves every 15 minutes or so on the dock right by the Maruhba restauraunt across the street from the Renaissance Hotel. I highly suggest heading over there early in the morning, as soon as the shuttle starts running. They say it starts at 8am but our driver let us go over pretty much right after we bought our tickets at 7am. We were able to have some quality time with the flamingos before it started getting crowded with more people as the day went on. Lighting for pictures is better earlier too:)

On the Island:
You can buy food pellets to feed the flamingos at a little machine that takes quarters (one quarter per handful) on the bridge on the flamingo side of the island. This is another reason to go early (if I haven't suggested that tip enough already haha) because the flamingos are more likely to be interested in the food in your hand before everyone else has been giving them food too. 

Along with the flamingos, the island has a lot of other appeal to it. The flamingo side is adults only (children can come over only from 9-10am) but there is a family friendly beach on the other side called Iguana Beach. It has the most beautiful stretch of warm, calm water. It's pretty windy in Aruba so it was nice to enjoy some calmer ocean water. This is where we ended up actually swimming during the day since the flamingo side has a lot of rocks in the water. We also saw a bunch of iguanas and crazy colorful lizards. The scenery on both sides is absolutely breathtaking & there are hammocks strategically placed throughout the island to give you the best views. 

If I were to go again, I think I would book a night or two at the Renaissance & then book the rest of our stay wherever else we wanted to go. That way you're guaranteed a chance to get on the island, instead of having to call each day to check if it'll be available. The price would most likely even out either way.

Anyway! It was a pretty magical experience & I'm SO glad we were able to do this on our trip. Flamingos are very fascinating creatures. I was both captivated & a little scared of them at the same time but it was amazing.

If there is anything I failed to cover that you would still like to know please let me know in the comments!



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