Well I did it! I went to Aruba, Flamingo Beach, about a week ago and got to see the flamingos! Was it everything that I had hoped it would be? Absolutely! It was definitely the highlight of the trip that I took with my husband to celebrate our thirty-five years together. Okay, it was the highlight of my trip not really my husband’s. He was there for all the other birds there (that’s another story) and of course the beautiful scenery and sunshine. You can’t beat 80 degree temperatures when it is snowing back home.
It is not really called Flamingo Beach you know, although that is what many people call it. It is actually called Renaissance Beach as it is a part of the Renaissance Hotel and Casino in Aruba. You have to take an 8 minute water taxi out to their private island to see the pink beauties. The taxi comes every 15 minutes both ways to and from the island. The flamingos are on one side of the island which is an adult only beach. Children are allowed to visit between nine and ten in the morning. Although they do tend to linger.
On the other side of the island is Iguana Beach which is geared towards families and is really only a boardwalk away from the flamingos. It has you guessed it….Iguanas. Honestly, I saw more iguanas at the hotel than I did at the island. There are plenty on the island don’t get me wrong but there were a LOT more back around the hotel (Ocean Suites side). You could see them on top of shrubs, in the grass, on the rocks by the ocean, and even around the pool. Don’t worry, they are more intimidating than anything else as they run from you if you get too close. But they are very cool to see anywhere!
Both beaches on the private island are gorgeous with crystal, aqua blue water and soft white sand to put your feet in. Very enticing for hotel guests who want to just relax and soak up the sun while drinking a frozen adult drink, swim, or even do some snorkeling out along the rocks. There are definitely lots of good fish to see for sure!
An added bonus at the private island is the bar, restaurant, beach chairs, towels, restrooms, and snorkel and kayak rental place. Guaranteed that you will want to stay there all day. AND… if you want to have your own Tiki Hut you can rent one for the day for about $99 U.S. They’re really nice if you want to have a little bit of privacy.
HERE’S A TIP: The best time to see the flamingos is first thing in the morning. We took the very first taxi at 7AM and were the only ones there (besides the workers). We had a good twenty minutes, just us, to be able to take videos and photos without anyone else around. Plus there is a vending machine that you can get flamingo food for 25 cents U.S. and get to feed the flamingos. So much Fun! Once a lot of people show up, and they do, it is not as much fun because everyone is trying to get to the flamingos for photo ops.
Notice I said hotel guests earlier? Yes, you have to be a guest of the Renaissance Hotel to be able to visit the island for free which is from 7AM to 7PM daily. If you are a non-guest you have to be at the hotel bright and early in the morning to get a pass which costs $125.00 U.S. for the day. They do not allow pre-booking so it is not always a guarantee to get to go to the island if someone beats you to it. Plus if the hotel is totally booked that day they will not open it up to non-guests.
The best way is to stay at the Renaissance for your entire stay (approx. $197/day) or for a day or two and then go somewhere else if you so desire.
Just and FYI. You will find that there are two options at the Renaissance Hotel. You can either stay at the adult only Renaissance Marina which is situated above an upscale mall and closer to the casino, or you can stay at the Renaissance Ocean Suites geared towards families, which is where my husband and I were. The hotels are across the street from one another with the marina and some shops and restaurants in between. Honestly, I preferred the Ocean Suites as the rooms all had balconies (which the Marina does not) and the swimming pools were much better with the ocean just a few steps away.
We had a fabulous time in Aruba. Sunny days, 80 degree temperatures, ocean breezes, great seafood, and some great snorkeling. Not only on Renaissance Island but there were other beaches that you could go to on the island to snorkel (we rented a car for 3 days). Then there was the Butterfly Sanctuary which was excellent and Arikok National Park was great for hiking, going through a cave or two, and relaxing at an outdoor restaurant surrounded by the ocean. Very pretty!
My most favorite part (really the entire trip was wonderful) was sitting on the beach chairs at Renaissance Island, enjoying the beautiful pink flamingos right in front of me with the aqua blue ocean as a backdrop. It was very peaceful and as you can imagine a gorgeous setting.
Have you ever been to Aruba or anywhere else to see flamingos (besides the zoo)? I would love to hear about it. Please feel free to make your comments below.
Happy Birding! Cheers!