Written by jenandfrank on 31 Jan, 2005
The Natural Bridge - This is probably (sad to say) one of Aruba’s biggest attractions and one of the most photographed areas on the island. It is also the Caribbean’s highest and most dramatic coral structure. The Natural Bridge is a large rock formation created…Read More
The Natural Bridge - This is probably (sad to say) one of Aruba’s biggest attractions and one of the most photographed areas on the island. It is also the Caribbean’s highest and most dramatic coral structure. The Natural Bridge is a large rock formation created after centuries of waves naturally carved out a "bridge" on the coastline. The bridge spans two land masses on the Eastern coast of Aruba. Made completely of coral-limestone and created solely by the water’s movement, this strip is 100 feet wide and 23 feet tall. People refer to the bridge as a natural wonder—to me, it was more of an interesting accident.
The area surrounding the bridge is dark dirt with crater-looking areas and burnt-looking landscapes. You are in the desert, despite the ocean below you. The bridge is surrounded by beautifully crystal-clear turquoise water, which you will find all around the island. You are able to climb down a set of steps (made of stone, of course) that brings you to a beach and gives you sea-level views of the bridge, as well. Swimming here is not a realistic option, as the water is rough and there are said to be sharks in the area. Regardless, you will see idiots swimming around and being pummeled by the waves and the undertow.
Located in Aruba’s "countryside," called Cunucu, there are few paved roads and no traffic lights—just a winding trail that brings you across the desert (which is really what it is) to get there. To reach it, drive inland along Hospitalstraat and then follow the signs, passing Bushiribana. On this island in general, it’s hard to get lost. The Divi Divi trees, which are a native tree that you will see all over the island, are bent by strong winds. Locals say if you follow the direction of the branches/trees, you will always find your way back to the hotel strip without a problem. If driving here isn’t your thing, there are tours you can arrange through your concierge or just pick one up near the cruise-ship docks that will bring you here. This sight offers a lot of photo opportunities (although it’s almost impossible to get any without other people in the shot) and it’s a good area in which to relax or picnic. However, it is a desert, and there is not much around, short of one overpriced tourist store with a limited selection. That said, if you miss it, you really aren’t missing much.
No charge to enter the area or to see the bridge, and it’s always open to visitors. Somewhat recommended.Bushiribana Ruins – These ruins are located on the northern coast of Aruba, near the Natural Bridge. The ruins themselves look like they’re from some ancient medieval fortress, made up of bulky stones that are now mainly crumbling walls and graffiti.
Regarding the ruins’ history, Alonso de Ojeda was a Spanish explorer who made his way to this remote corner of the Caribbean and laid claim to the territory for Queen Isabella. According to tradition, he christened the place "Oro Hubo", which means that there was gold there. The Spanish seemed to believe that the climate was too arid for cultivation, and they found little evidence of the infamous supply of "gold". Over the course of 150 years, Aruba became a hideaway for pirates and buccaneers. Bushiribana is the name of the ruins of an old pirate castle that still stands (barely) today. The year 1824 was when they finally discovered gold near Bushiribana. In 1872, the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company built a large smelting works at Bushiribana, for gold that was being mined at Seroe Plat.
This place is interesting for its historical value, but the site has no guides, signs, or explanatory material. This would be a good place to go with a knowledgeable tour guide, and if you could package in the natural bridge stop, so much the better. There’s no charge to tour the ruins, and it’s always open to visitors. I am going to put "Somewhat Recommended" simply because if you go here without a tour, it’s not very interesting.
Written by jenandfrank on 28 Jan, 2005
Tuscany – Aruba Marriott Resort, L.G. Smith Blvd. 101, Palm Beach, 297-586-9000 Tuscany serves regional Italian food, focusing on specialty dishes from Florence. The very elegant décor includes lots of candles, statues, chandeliers, light woods, etched-glass windows, fresh flowers, and heavy draperies. Soft piano music…Read More
Tuscany – Aruba Marriott Resort, L.G. Smith Blvd. 101, Palm Beach, 297-586-9000 Tuscany serves regional Italian food, focusing on specialty dishes from Florence. The very elegant décor includes lots of candles, statues, chandeliers, light woods, etched-glass windows, fresh flowers, and heavy draperies. Soft piano music in the background and an extensive wine list make for a special evening. The service here was helpful to a fault and top-notch all around. Dressy casual attire and reservations are a must. Although there were plenty of children at the hotel, there were barely any in here. I would imagine that has something to do with the higher-priced meals (as opposed to the beach grill) and the stuffy atmosphere. It’s very conducive to a romantic evening. After being seated, you are served a green-olive-and-focaccia bread platter, which was a nice touch and different than the standard roll you usually get. Their cheesecakes are incredible (and vary), and the restaurant also boasts a very fresh seafood selection. Tuscany accepts all major credit cards if you aren’t a guest of the hotel, and the kitchen is willing to prepare meals off of the menu, so ask if you don’t see something you like. This restaurant only serves dinner. Highly Recommended.
Gasparito Restaurant and Art Gallery – Gasparito 3, Noord, 297-586-7044 Gasparito offers Caribbean fare in a casual setting, serving lots of local specialties. They boast a very friendly, knowledgeable, and family-run staff with a relaxed attitude. Seating is either inside the air-conditioned "gallery" or outside on the terrace. I think it is interesting to note that their terrace isn’t your run-of-the-mill terrace—it’s basically a porch in someone’s backyard. They are famous for their Gasparito chicken, which includes seven special ingredients passed down through the family (it was delicious). My husband had the goat stew—it doesn’t get more authentic than that! Some of the highlights here include the Keshi-Yena casserole with Newburg sauce (which comes with either chicken or seafood), baked in gouda cheese, and the Keri-Keri appetizer, which is barracuda ravioli in a red-pepper sauce. The Pan Bati is a flat cord bread and is excellent—a perfect way to start the meal. The baked banana dessert is not too shabby, either. They have an art "gallery" inside, which was nice but small and far from a typical gallery, showing local art pieces on softly lit walls. I guess if a few pieces hanging make it a gallery, then this qualifies. It was interesting enough while we waited for a cab. Note: they add a service charge to the bill, so be aware of it before you tip twice. Closed for lunch and on Sundays. Highly Recommended.
Papiamento – Washington 61, Noord, 297-586-4544 Papiamento is housed in a 175-year-old manor that was transformed into a small bistro with an unbelievably romantic setting, serving Caribbean-continental fare. Set around a small pool with lots of white lights, torches, candles, tropical plants, enormous trees, and Dutch antiques, it’s a perfect evening for just the two of you.. For larger groups, there is private garden seating in almost an alcove-like area that offers privacy and blocks some of the sound from the rest of the restaurant. Papiamento’s signature dish is the clay-pot seafood, which receives mixed reviews, so I decided to pass. They specialize in stone cooking, which basically means your food is either raw or slightly cooked, and it is brought to the table for you to take care of. This is another item that received mixed reviews, because some people get annoyed that they pay high prices to cook their own food. On the flip side, my husband enjoyed it because he was able to get the steak the exact way he likes it—to each his own. The espresso is also said to be the best on the island, and my husband thoroughly enjoyed a shot with the Dutch apple pie for dessert. A few downsides here would be that the chairs are basically plastic, covered in linens, and after awhile, it starts to hurt the tush; there is a cat roaming; and the pool needs a good skimming because it looks dirty. Indoor seating is available. Pricey, Caribbean-dressy attire, and reservations a must. Closed for lunch and on Mondays. Recommended.
Le Dome – Juan E. Irausquin Blvd. 224 Oranjestad, 297-787-1517, www.ledomearuba.comThis restaurant opened in 1997, serving Belgian and French cuisine in a dark setting with heavy draperies, dark woods, and an authentic staff. It’s been rated the best on the island for 3 years running. The staff is well-trained, helpful, and attentive, and we did not want for anything. The restaurant has four very separate dining rooms with different settings in each: L’Orangerie (Mediterranean), the Old World (filled with antiques), the Salvador Dali Room (filled with lithographs) and La Galarie (sea-view terrace). We sat on the terrace and enjoyed a very romantic evening. Their menu is extensive, offering everything from ostrich to veal sweetbreads, from filet mignon to sea wolf, with 250 wines to match and a wide selection of Belgian beers and cigars. Hot and cold appetizers, pastas, salads, etc.—all are large portions, right down to my lobster bisque, which was delicious, and a choice of 25 desserts! Are you kidding me?! There is a harpist and guitarist who add to the atmosphere, which was really nice. Your check is delivered with fantastic truffles from… where else… Brussels. The only downside would be that smoking is allowed inside, and its very European clientele takes advantage of that. Casual-elegant attire, with reservations a must. Serves a Sunday champagne brunch from 11am to 3pm. Recommended.
Written by pva on 18 Jan, 2004
We stayed at Tamarijn Resort from August 10 to August 15, 2002. Overall, we had a great vacation. Tamarijn Resort exceeded our expectations -- we expected less from the two-star resort. This is not a luxury hotel, but it was absolutely adequate for us and…Read More
We stayed at Tamarijn Resort from August 10 to August 15, 2002. Overall, we had a great vacation. Tamarijn Resort exceeded our expectations -- we expected less from the two-star resort. This is not a luxury hotel, but it was absolutely adequate for us and definitely worth the money we paid. We stayed in 1900 block and we liked it a lot.
Pros: We liked to live in small buildings right on the beach rather than in the big hotel. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The staff was very friendly. Every evening there were some entertainments, and they were good. The food was good, although pretty much the same every day. The restaurants were very good. Since we had mega pack, we could use Divi restaurants and buffet as well, which were even better than in Tamarijn. The beach was great, just a few meters from our door. Tap water was absolutely safe to drink, like everywhere in Aruba. There were not many people, so sometimes we were almost alone on the beach.
Cons: Although the food was good, it was nothing comparing to, for instance, Puerto Vallarta. We've never had such an excellent fresh food and fresh-squeezed juices like in Mexico. Aruba is mostly a desert. Nothing really grows there (some coconut palms, mango trees -- that's all). Even in the hotel, most flowers were artificial. All fruits and vegetables are imported from South America or Netherlands, and they’re not that fresh. Another minor problem: there were many rocks on the bottom in Tamarijn Beach, which made sometimes quite difficult to enter into the water. However, if you walk just five minutes to the beach in Divi, you can find an excellent beach and sandy sea bottom.
Weather: The weather was great -- hot, but not humid. Constant wind makes it easier to stand. There was only one short rain at night. The sun was very strong, so take lots of sunscreen.
Snorkeling: Snorkeling was great, especially in the northern part of the island and in the natural pool. It's a good idea to have a car to go to these places.
Car Rental: It is not necessary to rent a car to have a great vacation in Aruba. However, if you want to have a freedom, explore the island on your own, and save a lot of money on tours, we would highly recommend to do it. We reserved a car in advance for $180 for three days and picked up our Chevrolet Tracker at the Dollar car rental at the airport. The car was pretty much a wreck; even the speedometer didn't work. However, it handled Arubian roads pretty well, so we didn't complain. When we came to the hotel, we realized that we made a mistake by making reservation in advance. There was a Hertz car rental at Tamarijn, which had plenty of cars in much better shape and cheaper. We could rent a Suzuki Jimney for $55 a day. After three days, we returned our car to the Dollar car rental near the hotel and rented another car in Tamarijn. Since we've been done with off-road driving, we rented small Daihatsu Cuore for $35 a day (no taxes or surcharges in Aruba), which we returned later at the airport.
Driving: The driving in Aruba is different, but not difficult. The drivers are generally very polite. The only problem was to find the place you want to go, especially in the countryside. The road signs show only major towns. We used everything -- maps, compass, and asked local people. Even if they didn't speak English, they usually could point us to the right direction. The places we would recommend to visit (besides Oranjestad) are: Natural Bridge, Natural Pool and Arikok National Park. You must have a 4WD to go to Natural Pool and to drive some back roads in Arikok. The driving is mostly on the rocks through the desert. The desert is beautiful; the landscape looks surrealistic. You can also have a great swimming and snorkeling in the Natural Pool.
Shopping: We haven't spent much time shopping, but generally we were not impressed. There is a big mall in the downtown Oranjestad, which has many familiar stores like Guess, Tommy, etc. The prices are the same or even higher than in the US. As always, there is a lot of tourist junk. The regular department stores are much cheaper, but there is not much to buy there. My wife bought a lot of European cosmetics, which are usually not available (or very expensive) in the US. The US dollar is accepted everywhere.
Crime: Never had any problems, and never heard about any incidents. Aruba doesn't seem to be a very poor country. There are no slums like in some parts of Mexico or some other Caribbean islands.
Communications: There are four languages in Aruba: Dutch, Papiamento (language of local people of Netherlands Antilles -- Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire), Spanish (due to proximity of Venezuela), and English. In the tourist areas, most people speak English; in the other areas, they may not.
Again, we had a great and pretty quiet vacation. If you want to party, you probably could do it as well -- there are many casinos, big hotels, restaurants, and other places in Aruba. I think everyone can find something for himself. We hope to be back some day.
Written by golfntennis on 13 Feb, 2004
Is the Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus worth $55? Absolutely! I had one of the greatest evenings of fun that I have ever had.
While my wife and I were waiting at our hotel, we wondered if we would recognize the transportation vehicle. If you look…Read More
Is the Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus worth $55? Absolutely! I had one of the greatest evenings of fun that I have ever had.
While my wife and I were waiting at our hotel, we wondered if we would recognize the transportation vehicle. If you look at the picture of the bus, you understand why you cannot miss it. I only wished I had my video camera to take pictures of all of the witty sayings painted in the interior. The craziness of the bus was indicative of the entire night.
At the beginning, most people are reserved, with only some people singing along with the blaring music and shaking a maraca. The driver makes stops at the major hotels and then drives to the lighthouse area. At this point, most people are now more festive and singing more as the hosts pour champagne. You toast to the evening (as you watch the sunset). The hosts (two drivers and two other persons with the company) explain the evening. In a nutshell, we are told that we will go to a restaurant for dinner (and a free drink) followed by four separate, but quite different, bars for some singing and dancing, entertainment, lots of fun, and a free drink at each bar. They also sell some T-shirts to remember the evening (and for some, remembering may be impossible at the end after more than five drinks!). The hosts also sell a portable plastic cup for cheap drink refills. We may have been the only people who kept to only the five drinks!
Top five reasons I would sign up for the party bus next time:
I laughed and laughed and laughed all night.
Everyone was singing (even the tone-deaf people) and shaking the maracas.
I want to take a video of my wife dancing on the bar! (Which would have been better than the attached picture.) Can you believe that just about every woman was up there?
I want to participate more in the festivities, such as dressing up in the carnival costumes instead of just watching others dress up. The picture shows some of the colorful costumes!
The hosts were very personable and their happiness was infectious. They made the evening a night to remember. They really were party facilitators. The last picture is of two of the hosts at the last bar (Carlos 'n' Charlie’s).
We have recommended this "attraction" to our friends and told them it is a "must do" event.
One of the happy times at Aruba was our quick evening stop at various bars on the island. Almost every bar we visited was conveniently located right on the beach. After a day of relaxing and before heading out to dinner, we would select a…Read More
One of the happy times at Aruba was our quick evening stop at various bars on the island. Almost every bar we visited was conveniently located right on the beach. After a day of relaxing and before heading out to dinner, we would select a bar to visit. Each bar had a large menu of specialty frozen drinks as well as the old standards.
The bar we visited the most – Sandbar
This beach bar was conveniently located for us (two "hotels" away at Bucuti’s), and we stopped at least three times. Happy Hour was from 4 to 6pm, and the frozen drinks were ½ off (approximately $4.00 each during Happy Hour). I sampled several, including mudslide, banana colada, and my favorite, Anne Bonny! Most everyone loved the friendly atmosphere of the bar, and most evenings, the bar had more patrons than other beach bars in the area. Each evening, we enjoyed listening to the steel drums entertainment. Management also provided free munchies. What more can you ask for?
The most unusual bar - Charlie’s
A friend of mine had told me that if I went to Aruba, I had to visit Charlie’s. This bar was not convenient to where we were staying (it is outside San Nichols), but on one of our sightseeing trips, we made a slight detour to find the bar. Unusual is one word to describe the bar. While we were sipping our beers, we had plenty of stuff hanging from the ceiling to look at. I have never seen so much memorabilia in a bar! Every spot of the walls, ceiling, bar, windows, etc., is covered with something. Lots of signs are prominently displayed and they are funny. Even the signs outside the bar are hysterical. I took a few pictures of the interior and exterior because only a picture can truly describe the uniqueness of the place. One final note - the jukebox is very old.
The closest bar for us – Tortuga (at Aruba Beach Club)
One nice element of this bar is that it is Happy Hour all the time! I sampled quite a few of the frozen drinks, including a pina colada, Nutty Monkey, and strawberry daiquiri. The bartender, Andre, was very friendly, and I especially appreciated that he turned the TV channel to the President’s Cup (golf) so I could continue watching the sudden-death playoff. After several holes, the captains agreed to end as a tie!
Written by Suzie1969 on 08 Nov, 2003
To sum it up!, I loved Aruba - if you like to snorkel, this is your dream. The island is very arid, taking on a southwest US atmosphere. The contrast of the beautiful Caribbean waters and the desert landscape is incredible. Local…Read More
To sum it up!, I loved Aruba - if you like to snorkel, this is your dream. The island is very arid, taking on a southwest US atmosphere. The contrast of the beautiful Caribbean waters and the desert landscape is incredible. Local boat rentals and snorkeling trips are available. You can depart at different times of the day, and most of them include your meals. For the romantics out there, they have sunset cruises, which include dinner and music. This is a must-do and so worth it. We went on a submarine through Atlantis Tours, they leave at various times of the day. We saw beautiful schools of fish, the reef and coral - I highly recommend this adventure. Aruba also has many natural wonders to explore. The native language there is Papamiento, but many if not all Arubians speak English, Spanish, and Dutch. The beach at the Aruba Beach Club is so close, we were spoiled when we saw the other timeshares around the island. I brought my water shoes, which you will use if you have sensitive feet. If you do go...don't overpack; I of course did, so heed this waringing...bathing suits, sundresses, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops. Guys can wear shorts, Hawaiian shirts, polos, etc. The restaurants there have no dress code, so you can go casual (no swimsuits, though)...but you don't have to get really dressed up...
Well, if you're planning on going...go...at least once...you will fall in love with this place!
Written by Cantin2 on 23 May, 2003
There are two famous beaches in Aruba - Eagle Beach with low rise hotels and Palm Beach with high rise hotels.
Palm Beach is our particular favorite. We call it "Poor Man's Hawaii". Reminds…Read More
There are two famous beaches in Aruba - Eagle Beach with low rise hotels and Palm Beach with high rise hotels.
Palm Beach is our particular favorite. We call it "Poor Man's Hawaii". Reminds one of the Kaanapali area with the hotels facing the ocean and a boardwalk between the hotels and the sandy beach.
This mile long beach is very calm, has fine tan sand and is the home to about 11 hotels - three Marriotts, a Hyatt, a Wyndham, a Radisson, a Holiday Inn, a couple of all-inclusives and some time-share properties - something to appeal to everyone.
The sand itself is easy to walk on but there is a nice windy landscaped cement walkway between the beach and the hotels. At night it is subtly lit making it pleasurable and safe to walk from hotel to hotel.
As you leisurely walk along you hear sonds of music coming from a restaurant, a casino, an outdoor cafe, or a beach barbecue.
It seems to beckon you to stop for a drink here, dinner there, gambling elsewhere, or just sit on the beach and look at the moon and stars.
There are seven casinos in these hotels. Specials are offered on different nights such as free coins for the ladies, blackjack tournaments, free bingo, slot tournaments, and free drinks and sometimes even snacks. Slot machines can be played for a penny, $2 for blackjack, 50 cent roulette chips - you may not win much but your money can last a while.
DiPalm - the main tour operator on Aruba- has a pier midway on this beach. From here you can arrange tours on party boats ( day and night) sunset cruises, sailing cruises, snorkeling, parate boats, scuba diving, banaboat rides, parasailing, or jet skiing.
Happy hour starts at noon and seems to rotate every couple of hours from hotel to hotel. Many times there is accompanying music and discounted food offerings.
Dining around Palm Beach runs the gamut from Mcdonald's and Sbarros to patisseries and gourmet delis, to beach barbecues, themed buffets, brunches, and romantic dining under the stars or by a pond with black swans.
I highly recommend choosing this area for all that it has to offer, for being on the best beach, and for not needing a car. Bus service is frequent and dependable - only a ten minute ride into Orangestaad in case you need to shop for more than is offered in the hotels and small shops across the street.
Written by sheisdesign on 22 Aug, 2002
When we went to Aruba, we had no intention of purchasing a timeshare. Though on our first night there, we were beckoned by a lovely lady on Eagle Beach, across from La Cabana (where we were staying) and she asked us if we were interested…Read More
When we went to Aruba, we had no intention of purchasing a timeshare. Though on our first night there, we were beckoned by a lovely lady on Eagle Beach, across from La Cabana (where we were staying) and she asked us if we were interested in taking a tour of the Aruba Phoenix. We politely said "No Thank You" and then of course she told us, we would get free tee-shirts, free breakfast or lunch and a $100 voucher for entertainment. Okay, what could be so bad!!!We got up early on Tuesday morning and met Ingrid in the parking lot of La Cabana, we decided we would follow her and take our own vehicle, in case we wanted a quick escape.We were greeted by the lovely Joyce, who would be our tour guide for the Aruba Phoenix. It was love at first sight for us! She was truly wonderful and warm.She took us for a walk by the pools, perfect for us! Two small free-formed pools, shaded by palm trees. Though she did inform us, they were in the process of building two more pools on the other side, this would be great for our two boys!
The Beach was just beautiful, quiet and peaceful with the palm huts for shading, should you desire. On one side of the beach, where you don't swim are the quaintest purple and pink adirondack chairs, for sunset viewing... Already we were sold, but certainly didn't give it away...
Then she took us to the Penthouse, which was a one bedroom, kitchen and living room, but the view from our ocean front room, truly took our breath away. Now this is what Aruba was all about!!! We were sold! She took us back to where the food was and beckoned her Sales Manager, Albert - Now this was an experience we shall never forget!
I will not go into how much we paid, the points we received or anything of the such - But I will tell you, we did purchase the Penthouse and for two weeks! We are absolutely thrilled with our decision in purchasing at the Aruba Phoenix. We did look at other timeshares, but were really turned off by their large size! We want intimacy where we stay... And this resort offers it! We did eat dinner at the Sunset Bistro; however, I will save that review for dining experiences... DELIGHTFUL!
Written by lawyerjay on 28 Jul, 2003
Personally, no trip to Aruba is complete without a tour of the east side of the island. This is the undeveloped, natural part of the island where paved roads will not be found. Pick up a map and drive the dirt roads along the coast…Read More
Personally, no trip to Aruba is complete without a tour of the east side of the island. This is the undeveloped, natural part of the island where paved roads will not be found. Pick up a map and drive the dirt roads along the coast from the California Lighthouse to the Natural Bridge. The scenery is spectacular with the ocean cutting into the rocks and the waves sending sprays high into the air on one side and the dry, cactus filled, uninhabited land on the other side.
Along the route, stop at the Alto Vista Chapel, a quaint, colorful chapel overlooking the ocean, and then continue along the dirt road to the Natural Bridge. Along the way I stopped often to photograph the different secluded beaches.
The Ayo Rock formation is another marvel of nature that can be appreciated by following the path around the park for 15 minutes.
If you are still up for more exploring, drive through the Arikok National Park where you may see wild goats running off the road and stop at Boca Prins, yet another isolated beautiful beach and a short distance from the Fontein Cave, which has Indian drawings on the ceilings. Further down the road is the Guadirikiri Cave which has two chambers where sunlight shines through a hole from above illuminating the cave to provide a breathtaking experience.
Written by JC Francis on 27 Jun, 2004
Spent week at Aruba Phoenix, perfect for a relaxing family vacation. If you want nightlife, casinos, floor shows, etc., stay elsewhere, but go to Aruba anyway. If you want quiet, relaxed, family/kid friendly, go to the Aruba Phoenix, and you can walk to the casinos…Read More
Spent week at Aruba Phoenix, perfect for a relaxing family vacation. If you want nightlife, casinos, floor shows, etc., stay elsewhere, but go to Aruba anyway. If you want quiet, relaxed, family/kid friendly, go to the Aruba Phoenix, and you can walk to the casinos and fancier resorts. You can go to the grocery store for lunch and breakfast food, and you can always go to Wendy's, Taco Bell, or Pizza Hut if you're inclined. But you should really go out somewhere to eat at night.
There's plenty to do to keep the family amused. Recommend the De Palm all day safari with Snuba or Sea Trekking in the afternoon. You can take the bus downtown (round trip $2 per person) and walk all over town with little effort.
There's a wide variety of bars and places to eat, take your time to walk around and people watch.
The family preferred Aruba to Hawaii.