First things first – if you’ve never been to Aruba add it to your list immediately! The desert island is a quick 4 hour flight from NYC and is home to beautiful beaches, amazing food, and lots of rugged island terrain begging to be explored. You have probably seen lots of pictures of Aruba, and I bet some of the most iconic shots include flamingos on the beach. It’s one of the most well-known sites in Aruba, but there are a few things you need to know if you want to see the flamingo beach. I’ll be blogging more about the trip overall next week, but for now, here are 3 things you need to know if you want to see flamingos in Aruba!
They are only on one private beach
‘Flamingo Island” as it is sometimes called, is actually Renaissance Private Island, a private island owned by the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a beautiful private island with 2 strips of beach, a restaurant, bar, spa cove, and private beach front cabanas you can rent for the day. The flamingos, all 6 of them, live on one strip of beach on the island. There are also baby flamingoes that live on the other side, but we were told they like to hide from visitors so we didn’t get to see them.
Access to the island is kind of a pain
If you are determined to see the flamingos, you either need to be a guest of the hotel or purchase a day pass. I was with a group of 8 so we had a villa instead of hotel rooms, but I did debate booking a room for one night just so we could go to the private island. However only one other person wanted to join so it wouldn’t have been as cost-effective. The hotel also sells a limited number of day passes to non-hotel guests. Those will cost you $100, and since they are so limited you will need to be up in line at the crack of dawn to make sure you get one. The hotel staff starts selling them at 7, and they are gone within minutes! The concierge said that typically there is a line wrapped around the lobby, with the first people arriving at 5! Some of you might be early birds, but for me, getting up that early on a vacation is out of the question, especially since you have no real guarantee you will walk away with tickets.
But I did some further digging and found out that the only other way to access the island without being a hotel guest or having a day pass is to book a spa appointment! The hotel operates a full service spa, and a beach front cove on the island that offers a few different massage packages. Me and my friend booked a couples massage with lunch (it was cheaper than doing 2 individuals!) and that was our way to definitely get in without sacrificing sleep! We booked appointments for 11, and rolled up to the hotel to catch the ferry around 9:30. That gave us plenty of time to wander the island, get to know the flamingos and get some great shots, then enjoy a relaxing massage before lunch.
It's pricey but worth it
The spa package set us back about $200 each, which is in line with what you’ll pay for spa treatments at a high end hotel spa, but still was A LOT to spend in one day on a trip. But I do have to say it was worth it! The massage was great, scenery beautiful, and seeing flamingos up close and personal IRL is really a unique experience.
If you go to Aruba, let me know if you visit the island, and how you get in!