Peter Greenberg is the
winning travel editor
for CBS News and host
of The Travel Detective
on public television
MORE IN ARCHIVES
search “Travel Connection.”
THE COSTCO CONNECTION
Costco Travel offers packages
to many popular Caribbean
islands, including Aruba,
Antigua, the Bahamas, the
Dominican Republic, Grand
Cayman, Jamaica, Puerto
Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten/
St. Martin, Turks and Caicos,
and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Costco Travel offers packages,
cruises, rental cars, theme
park packages, guided vacations and more for many
of the world’s most scenic
TO LEARN MORE, CLICK
TRAVEL AT COSTCO.COM
OR CALL 1-877-849-2730.
WHEN I CONSIDER Aruba, I’m o;en reminded
of an old joke. “Where’d you go on your vacation?”
a couple is asked by a friend. “Aruba,” they reply.
“Where’s that?” ;e couple pauses. “We don’t know
... we ;ew.”
;ere’s an element of truth in that joke. Many
people have no idea where Aruba is located (very
much south in the Caribbean, close to Venezuela),
its size (only 75 square miles), how manageable it is
(only 112,000 people live there—very manageable)
or what it is really like.
Aruba is a Caribbean island like no other. Since
it is only 21 miles from end to end, all you have to
do is hop aboard a 4x4 to explore the inland. Perhaps
Aruba’s best attractions are its water sports and
beach activities, which go beyond those in other
Caribbean destinations. And to access most of the
beaches, just rent a quad, and then you can four-wheel all over the island, going coast to coast.
One of the island’s treasures is Arikok National
Park. A trip to Arikok will show you a side of Aruba
not everyone sees. ;e national park takes up about
18 percent of the entire country. And once you get up
to the top of Arikok, you’ll ;nd a desert landscape
complete with cacti—and your own private beaches,
as well as caves covered in ancient paintings.
Another spot you shouldn’t miss is Conchi, the
park’s natural pool. Protected from the rough sea by
surrounding rocks, this peaceful pool is a great place
to swim, snorkel or just relax.
The key in Aruba is to head where the locals go.
There is Dos Playa, accessible only by ATV. Local
families like to play at Baby Beach, where the water
is calm and shallow. Or aim for the uncrowded
waters of Malmok Beach, Arashi Beach or Boca
Catalina Beach for a great adventure. Once there,
you can swim, snorkel or hop aboard a Seabob, an
underwater scooter that jets you in and around the
fish and the coral.
Many ;rst-time visitors book a tour and sail
along the Aruba coastline on Jolly Pirates’ 85-foot
teak schooner. ;e half-day tours include snorkel-
ing, scuba diving and barbecues.
Hadicurari Centro di Pesca is a gathering place
for the local ;shermen on the island, and a great way
to meet the real harvesters of the sea. Once you get
talking to the locals, the real fun begins, because you
can hop onboard a working ;shing boat—and catch
your own. And then (a great option), you can either
immediately make sushi or barbecue the ;sh back
on the beach.
If you want to try a new sport, you can’t beat
kitesur;ng lessons taught by local pros along the
western shore, right on Hadicurari Beach.
One place I head for is ;e Old Cunucu House,
where they serve family recipes that go back
generations. It’s not just about the sauce they
put on the dish; it’s about the way they source the
ingredients. ;is is true farm-to-table fare, brought
in by the chef himself. Try the stewed goat, or the
keeshi yena: Gouda cheese and chicken baked with
onions, peppers, celery, green olives, raisins and
Because Aruba was a Dutch territory, its inhabitants were introduced to another Dutch colonial
cuisine: Indonesian food. ;e bami goreng, a ;avorful and spicy fried noodle dish, and the nasi goreng,
a combination of ingredients such as egg, chicken
and prawns with fried rice, are authentic and delicious in the town of Noord. And check out Zeerovers
for local seafood, right on the water.
Go to Aruba and discover how much you didn’t
know about this island gem. ;ere is so much to
experience—and that’s no joke. C
Aruba’s manageable size
makes navigating the island
easy by land or by sea.
Small island is big on adventure