I never really knew a whole lot about Aruba, to be honest. There are so many islands in the Caribbean that I hold with some sort of intrigue and a lust to experience all that it has to offer. But unfortunately for me, I was robbed the last time I visited the Caribbean, and so I chose Aruba, out of my other options that I could have chosen instead – like that of Jamaica, Puerto Rico, USVi, etc – based on the fact that it has quite a bit better track record than other islands in the region (as far as safety goes).
The weather was quite warm, toasty even, yet unlike a lot of the northern Caribbean islands, it was hot, but there wasn't a lot of humidity. The heat was dry and comfortable, mainly because of the lovely breeze that was quite consistent around the entire island. The worst part was that the sun beamed down on you, instantly burning your skin – it felt close to what I experienced in Marrakech, Morocco.
I teamed up with a local family who owns the Cunucu Arubiano in the middle of the island, set deep in the desert next to the Arikok National Park. There maybe wasn't anything glam and glitzy about the place, but it was as authentic as you can get on Aruba. Each resident of the Cunucu Arubiano had their own villas – each building was restored for comfort, but they were still original in style and structure, each being over one hundred years old. I had a brilliant time staying here – it was quiet and private, with several lovely perks, like a pool and a full-service kitchen in my villa, BUT it was also attached to the Donkey Sanctuary, which was pretty darn neat! Throughout the day, the donkey's would walk around my villa, and sniff at my window – which was really interesting and cute.
If I could do Aruba all over again, I would still choose to stay at the Cunucu Arubiano – it's brilliant! Plus, the folks who own the accommodation are some of the nicest that I've ever met.
The worst part, however, was that I woke up the next day with a helluva sunburn – haha, *smacks forehead*.
On my way back to Oranjestad, I stopped near San Nicolaas at the infamous Zeerover restaurant. It sits atop a beach, built up like a large dock topped with a roof, where fisherman boats straight up tie themselves to the building and deliver the freshest fish you can find on the island. You order at the front of the building, through a small window; they tell you what they have fresh that day, and you simple ask them to stop while they're weighing out how much you want for your meal. You proceed inside the covered building, where you stop at another window, which is essentially a bar; so you grab your drinks and take a seat. Within minutes, your meal is brought out to you, cooked in some sort of an oil, which keeps it healthy, yet tasting amazing. All in all, THE BEST fish I've ever had – well worth a stop if you find yourself in Aruba sometime in the near future!
Overall, Aruba was a lovely experience. It was warm, with a nice breeze, sunny and beautiful – you really couldn't ask for better weather! The attractions around the island are well worth a minimum of a week-long visit. I'll be sure to come back again – maybe next time I'll actually try to relax and have a real vacation – haha. Although, perhaps my adventurous spirit simply has an unquenchable lust.