My good friend JC alerted us to some cheap Delta flights from MSN to AUA via ATL. We were due for a good 'ol vacation, so away we went!
Overall, we had a fantastic time and felt like 3 nights was a near perfect amount of time to spend in Aruba.
The basic itinerary was as follows:
- Friday: 5AM flight MSN > ATL > AUA - arrived at 3PM, taxi to Holiday Inn, toes in the sand, dinner@sunset
- Saturday: coffee and lighte brekkie, run to CA Lighthouse (friends scuba-ed), quick lunch, grab beer, deep sea fishing, fresh fish dinner, check-in Hilton
- Sunday: sleep-in, coffee and fish leftovers, run along the beach, poolside, beachside, surf 'n turf dinner, cigars and nightcaps, moonlit beach walk
- Monday: brunch, last minute beaching, 3PM flight AUA > ATL > MSN, home by 11PM
Assorted Info for Visitors
- Papiamento, English, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese
- You might have heard of all but the first one. It sounds like Portuguese mixed with Spanish. Most people are fluent in English, especially in the places frequented by travelers.
+1 hr to Madison, WI time (basically Atlantic or Eastern Standard Time)
- Doesn't vary much year-round.
~80 °F, slightly humid, windy. Real feel ~85-90 °F.
- Very little rainfall, rarely hit by the hurricanes that menace the Caribbean.
- Powerfully SUNNY!
- ...in other words, very nice beach weather B)
Do it as long as it isn't built into charges (check the receipt).
Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
- Not busy. Pretty close to hotels on the west shore (within 30 min or less by taxi).
- Leaving Aruba to the USA is an odd affair because you have to go through security twice--Aruban and then American TSA.
- Nice perk: rum and cigars available for purchase! As of writing this, you can
take Cuban goods back to the States as long as you don't buy in quantities that imply you're going to re-distribute/sell. Check US Customs webpage here
How does Oranjestad, Aruba compare to Madison, WI, USA?
Well, obviously the weather and fauna/flora are pretty different. This place is what you envision when you think Island Getaway Vacation.
Tourism does make up the majority of Aruba's economy. Everyone I encountered (Arubans and fellow travelers alike) was pretty friendly. Chill.
Less humans live here. Never felt crowded. Architecture outside of the hotels felt a bit dated, as if the current releases at the movie theaters would be off by a few months (I didn't actually check). A great getaway, but I would miss my things in Madison.
- UP -