Apart from watching the playful flamingos, you can enjoy the beach for an entire day. Flamingo Beach is a full-service beach (with chairs, towels, bar, restaurant, bathrooms etc). You can pay for everything in both Dollars and local currency – Florin.
Opening hours of the Renaissance Private Island
The island is open from 7 am to 6 pm, but once a week you can also have a romantic dinner starting at 7 pm. You can pre-book the dinner at the reception. And trust me, it’s worth it. Even if you’re not a couple you’re going to have a great time.There is a small vending machine that sells food for the flamingos. The machine takes only US quarters. It’s much easier to tempt the flamingos with food on your hand, but if you arrive too late, they might simply ignore you. In the end, they’re still wild animals that do their own thing as they please. So don’t be disappointed if your pink friends walk away instead of posing for you Disclaimer: Recently every news site has featured my photo with the flamingos, misquoting me and basing entire articles on assumptions that the flamingos are kept captive on the island and die of malnutrition. I wanted to set the record straight. Flamingos living on the Renaissance Private Island came there on their on 15 years ago. One flamingo actually left the island and one died because of his age. The current inhabitants aren’t in captivity. They also live in their natural environment – the mangroves. In fact, last year there were more flamingos on the island because some others came to visit and stayed for some time. While beaches are what the majority of tourists come to Aruba, the island has way more to offer. Aruba is also home to colorful flora & fauna, mysterious caves, a diverse landscape & rich history.
Fortunately for me, because I was staying at the Renaissance Hotel I experience Aruba thanks to the Global Day of Discovery. Every year in May, each Renaissance property arranges a special activity for all their guests to experience ‘business unusual’ trips. This past year Renaissance Aruba took me to Arikok National Park for a morning hike, followed by a delicious local breakfast.
This massive park is 21 square miles, about 18% of the island. Arikok is full of cacti on rough terrain and it’s home to Aruban rattlesnakes, parakeets, whiptail lizards, iguanas, goats, donkeys & migratory birds.
Arikok also gives you a chance to see the island’s earliest inhabitants’ marks left in the Fontein and Gaudirikiri caves. The drawings are at least 1000 years old and some say they resemble an image of Madonna.
A typical hike there lasts for around 2 hours, but I’d say it’s easy enough for everyone. At the end of the hike, you can also see a replica of a traditional Aruban house, as the original has been destroyed by a hurricane.