Aruba and ... Bonaire or Curacao?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by ffitalia, Jan 14, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

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    Hello, in February with my wife we're going to the Caribbean for 15 days (first time in these islands, goal: snorkeling and relax)
    The first destination is Aruba (thanks to your advice in other threads) with a direct flight Amsterdam Aruba. To return, there is no direct flight, KLM make a stop to Bonaire or Curacao.
    I have a doubt, best option is:
    - 2 weeks in Aruba and then "direct" (with stop) return in europe
    - 1 week in Aruba -> transfer -> one week in Bonaire or Curacao
    and in the second case, is better Bonaire or Curacao.
    thanks
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    ffitalia,

    We've been to Aruba many times, and also to Bonaire and Curacao. It's been a few years since we've been there, and most certainly those Milepointers who have just travelled there (i.e., Sweet Willie in Aruba) can give the latest advice. It certainly wouldn't hurt to read the latest guide books (e.g., Lonely Planet series, etc.).

    I agree, Aruba is a no-brainer for a very laid-back vacation. Bonaire and Curacao are very different islands, at least when we visited them. They each have their own charm, and if you've only going to visit one, you should likely base your decision on what type of vacation your family enjoys most.

    Bonaire is very much a nature preserve. You can watch the huge flocks of flamingoes, eat iguana (!), and snorkel/dive in pristine coral reefs literally directly offshore (one of the few places in my experience where you can do that, especially as a diver, getting down to 80 feet or so and back as a quick shore dive). And the Bonaireans pride themselves on their island's status as a nature preserve, it's what brings in the tourists. And it's a scuba diver's paradise, and the beaches/shore entry points are everywhere!

    Curacao is the (quite) commercial island/center for the ABC's (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). The oil refineries are located there for Venezuelan oil (I'm unsure how much is operational today). But, that also means that the best shopping is to be found here, with many stores downtown in Willemstad, at least when we visited there. And, because it has many more residents than either Aruba or Bonaire, there is a considerably larger choice of restaurants. We had the best Indonesian rijstaffel ever in a local restaurant there some years ago. And there is also a nature preserve located in the northern end of Curacao, at Christoffel preserve. There aren't many beaches in Curacao, so you'd also need to see if your hotel has one, or where the nearest one is located.

    Hopefully this is useful. Enjoy your vacation, and keep getting more information until you reach a "tipping point" for your destination decision!

    Newscience
     
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  3. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    I personally think you're better off spending just a week in Aruba and a week in Curacao, with a day trip if anything to Bonaire.

    You can get a lot of good recommendations from Sweet Willie's massive Aruba thread, but IMO two weeks is a long time to spend on that one small island.
     
  4. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Actually there are air shuttles from Aruba to both the islands. It is a 20 minute flight if I recollect correctly.
     
  5. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    here is that thread on Aruba, when I have time I'll have a lot more info added to it: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/aruba-what-to-do-where-to-eat-where-to-stay.73195/

    Having just been to Aruba, I would agree with viguera that 2 weeks would be a long time to spend on the island. A week seemed just about right.
     
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  6. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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    While we didn't partake, a taxi driver told my wife and I that we should try iguana on Aruba. Specifically, there are (at least) two restaurants that server iguana soup. I only remember that one was Old Cunucu House. The other one escapes me; the driver said they only serve it on Saturday nights.
    +1
     
  7. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

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    Thanks, I had already read the thread on aruba (very interesting), based on what you have told me I think we will spend a week in Aruba and one in Bonaire.
    Last question, know a website where you can book air shuttles from Aruba to Bonaire?
     
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  8. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Back already. How was it overall ?
     
  9. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    I'd personally do a week in Aruba and a week in Curacao, but to each their own... :)

    When I was researching Curacao for my summer vacation (before settling on SXM instead), I ran across InselAir and Tiara Air as two possible options for intra-island flights. Not sure how that would work for you as they fly small planes and have weight restrictions, but you could probably just do an open jaw/stopover with whatever major carrier you're using -- if they go to both islands -- or perhaps do some kind of 4-4-4 day approach where you start your vacation in Aruba for a few days, slip away then come back to finish the vacation (and fly out).
     
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