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I had the privilege of visiting Aruba last week for their annual Carnival. I have to admit, it was pretty great to be sitting in the sun while hearing about the snow on the east coast.

Day 1:

Five of our group of eight arrived on Wednesday. It was great to step out of the airport into 69 degree weather. That afternoon was spent relaxing on the beach then watching the sunset. We ate at a local Italian restaurant that night with the group. It’s always a good time when we are all together.

Day 2: 

The rest of our group arrived on Thursday afternoon. Before they arrived, I was able to go wind surfing at a nearby beach. It was crazy fun, I just wish I could have gone back a few more times.

The annual Lighting Parade was that night so we met up with my roommate’s family for dinner before heading over. The place was called Zeerover and is a very popular local hangout. They serve the various fresh fish, fries and plantains potluck style:

aruba zeerover

We then journeyed to San Nicolas for the after-dark lighting parade. It was a late night.

Day 3:

On Friday, we took an Island Jeep Tour with ABC Aruba Tours. It was FANTASTIC. It was an eight-hour tour around the whole island, with a midday stop for lunch included – totally worth it!

Our group, driven by one brave member:

aruba jeep tour

We saw:

California Lighthouse

aruba california lighthouseAlto Vista Chapel

aruba alto vista chapel panorama

Inside the Chapel

aruba inside alto vista chapel

Natural Bridge – I didn’t get any pictures here but my friends did. I’ll post one when they get them sent around.

Abandoned Gold Mines 

aruba abandoned gold minesBlack Stone Beach

aruba black stone beach

Baby Beach – I didn’t get any pictures here but my friends did. I’ll post one when they get them sent around.

Guadirikiri Cave in the Arikok National Park

aruba cave

Natural Pool – I didn’t get any pictures here since it involved a long and rocky hike down a hill and over big rocks and they recommended not carrying anything. But it was really great. I jumped off the ledge into the pool and also enjoyed the hot-tub-like pool adjacent to it.

This was a memorable and incredible day.

Day 4:

Saturday was spent running some errands, taking pics and then ended at a beach club. It was another great day spent in the sun.

aruba beach club panorama

Day 5: 

I woke up early on Sunday to watch the sunrise before the official Carnival Parade.

aruba beach

top left to right: sunrise, sunset, midday beach and morning beach

The Carnival was nothing like I expected – it was better. The Arubans really know how to throw a good party. They seem to have limitless energy. The parade route lasts at least 6 hours and they dance to music, in high heels and costumes, the entire time.

Here is just a taste of the incredible outfits (the bottom right is the Carnival Queen):

aruba carnaval

Then us enjoying the Carnival. Btw, if you ever have a chance to get Sultanas, do it! They are such a treat. I brought 5 packs back with me.

aruba carnaval friends

Day 6:

This is the day we left :(. We did get an hour of beach time in that morning though.

There was so much color, not only in the parade, but everywhere on the Island. I was constantly overwhelmed and fascinated by the bright colors and beautiful hues all around me. It was truly a breathtaking 6 days.

i heart aruba

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