2014.4.2~3Less than two weeks after we came back from Polynesia, we were on our way to Aruba again. It was to attend my wife’s company event. We flew a red eye to get to Atlanta in the early morning, then from there, it took only 4 hours to reach this Southern Caribbean island.

This our first time flying over the Caribbean. The color of the sea was mesmerizing.

Flying over the Caribbean
Blue sea and sand dune, flying over the Caribbean
Flying over the Caribbean
Small island in the Caribbean

The bus took us to Ritz-Carlton Hotel, one of the newest and best hotels in Aruba. The organizer explained to us the schedule and all activities and dinner options. We checked into our room at 3pm. There were no activities on the arriving day. We waited in the room for the dinner party.

Our room in Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Aruba
Our room at Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Aruba

Aruba is located at the southern rim of Caribbean Sea. Only 18 mile orth of the coast of Venezuela, it is out of the hurricane zone across most of Caribbean region. Days in Aruba are always dry, warm and clear throughout all seasons. It’s sometimes windy because of trade winds from the Atlantic, but the Southwestern coastlines are mostly sheltered by the island. The party started at 6:30pm. There was nice view of the sunset from the Palm Beach.

Sunset, Aruba
Sunset, Aruba

In the morning, I had a walk along the beach. Ritz-Carlton Hotel is located at the north end of Palm Beach, the 4-mile-long beach and high-rise hotel district of the island. There were several boat floating on the shallow water, some good object for photography, but the wave and direction of the light were not perfect.

Boats near Palm Beach, Aruba
Boats near Palm Beach, Aruba

I spotted a small stingray swimming at the shallow water.

Returning to the hotel, our room had a view of the northern side of the beach. Sea water near the coast are in different shades of blue. There are many water sport related small shops along the beach.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Aruba
Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the morning, Aruba
Palm Beach, Aruba
Palm Beach, Aruba

At the time when my wife had the company meeting in the morning, I went to the Hertz office at the first floor to rent a car. The agent tried to persuade me to rent a SUV. According to her, normal cars are not allowed to enter the Arikok National Park and some off-road places. My research before the trip told me that Aruba’s landscape is not that exciting, so I still decided to rent a normal car.

It’s free time after the lunch. We drove to the down, Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, to do some shopping. Oranjestad is a busy town, tourists are everywhere and traffic is jammed. Aruba’s port is also right next to the town.

Flee market, Oranjestad, Aruba
Flee market, Oranjestad, Aruba
Oranjestad, Aruba
The port of Oranjestad, Aruba

After shopping, we thought that we should go to see that other end of the island. We kept on driving to the south. On our way near the south end, we passed a town called San Nicolas, There were some deserted industrial facilities around the town. San Nicolas use to be a bustling town but now is running down.

The very south end of the island is semi-arid, covered by low bushes and dotted with tall cactus. The winding road led to a nice lagoon called Baby Beach. The water is calm and it’s good place for snorkeling.

Baby Beach, Aruba
Baby Beach, Aruba
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