Arbua, a windy little island a stone’s throw away from Venezuela is a recent new-comer to the luxury travel game. But that doesn’t mean haute travelers should write it off altogether. Here are six experiences worthy of a first-class trip to the “Happy Island” that feature world-class beaches and a terrain that can only be described as Scotland-meets-Arizona-meets-Mars.
Private Sailing Charter
A private trip aboard the brand new sailing yacht the Monforte, is complete with chef-prepared lunch grilled fresh on the water with flowing bubbly and cocktails. It’ll take you to the best snorkeling spots for world-class fish spotting and let you soak up rays on the bow. pelicanadventures.com
A Round of Golf at Tierra del Sol
We promise there is nothing quite like this anywhere else. Rugged terrain, winds, surf and cacti make golf at Tierra del Sol, Aruba’s only 18-hole championship course, very special. The club features villas and estates for rent and boasts a course designed by Robert Trent Jones II. The links are situated on the scenic northwest point of Aruba, and were actually made for the high winds that blow 360 days a year. Keep an eye out for Burrowing owl nests on the course, an endangered species that has become the country’s symbol. tierradelsol.com
Spa Treatments at the Ritz-Carlton
Aruba’s Ritz-Carlton not only boasts the best spa on the island, but offers services using local ingredients like divi tree oil, which comes from the famous Aruban tree seen all over the island. They also incorporate the island’s famous wishing stones; smooth, flat rocks which are stacked up on the northern shore of the island. A sauna, steam room, salt body scrub bar, wishing rocks and outdoor whirlpool characterize this spa. After your treatment hit their world-class beach, which is nestled between natural mangroves on a quiet stretch of Palm Beach where the sand is white and powdery. ritzcarlton.com
A Swim in Arikok National Park
Just about anything you might do at Arikok National park is secluded and feels like your own private spot for just you and your loves ones – especially if you go early. Aside from dipping in the natural pools and checking out the caves, it is possible to arrange for a private sunrise breakfast under a canopy of divi trees… if you know who to call.
Dinner at Quinta del Carmen
This little restaurant located in a historic home in Aruba is full of charm from both the front and the back. A colonial facade and lush, green lawn hide a quaint garden for outdoor dining in the back. The menu is full of Aruban (read Dutch) items that lean Asian, but also traditional Dutch specials like red wine stew.
Wine Tasting at The Wine Room
Finding a good bottle of Bordeaux can be hard in some Caribbean islands (or the even closer South America) but The Wine Room offers a petit, candlelit cellar and tasting experience. What’s more they offer prix-fixe food pairings that include multiple wines alongside tapas like oven baked ciabattini with 18-year old balsamic, rib-eye infused with blue chess butter topped with caramelized shallots and more. They’ll even pick you up from your hotel or offer these experiences in romantic spots such as at the beach, lighthouse or a yacht.