Today I’m sharing my final post about Aruba for this cruise and there is still a lot to cover so its gonna be long. 🙂
After leaving Arikok National Park, it was time to plug my phone into the radio so we could follow along with the app I had purchased and listen to descriptions of places to drive by or stop at. We have used the GyPSy Guide app before while traveling and loved it. However they don’t have one for Aruba, so after some research we decided on the Action Tour Guide Aruba (The Full tour). For this tour it was absolutely imperative that it wouldn’t require cell service or wifi, because we don’t have an international plan on our phones. I’ll talk more about that app at the end.
We drove by and stopped for a couple shots of the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins. Here you’ll see remnants of a once-thriving 19th-century gold mill, accessible by foot with expansive sea views.
Next stop out was the Natural Bridge, which sadly collapsed in 2005.
This is Baby Bridge that located right near where the Natural Bridge was.
Here are the remains of the Natural Bridge – right side where you see the cracked pieces of earth.
The Natural Bridge area has a souvenir shop and snack bar with refreshments. Loved that they had these signs to help with Papiamento lingo.
Ayo Rock Formations
Another quick stop was Ayo Rock formations, which are monolithic rock boulders located near Ayo village, about 3.2 km (~2 miles) from the natural bridge towards Casibari. Rob and I hopped out of the car real quick to grab a few pics and see if the restroom was open. It wasn’t.
We saw a lot of goats that day, most of them stayed on the sides of the road eating grass…these not so much. Still so cute.
Casibari Rock Formations
We drove another about 3.2 km (~2 miles) to the Casibari Rock formations where we decided to stop. Both of these rock formations actually reminded me of the Vedauwoo Recreational Area in Wyoming. The Casibari Rock Formation is located towards the center of the island north of the Hooiberg. The rocks are composed of quartz diorite.
Anyone need to use the “Poop house”? Look at the plant ‘pots’ next to it! haha There is an actual bathroom that I think Alice ended up using while we hiked up to the top.
We decided to hike up to the top to get the views.
There is an area where you can climb between boulders as you see me about to go through following Rob. I could just climb stairs on the other side, but what’s the fun in that. We actually went down the stairs on the way back.
Gorgeous views and there’s our cruise ship! It was quite windy up top. I really thought I was going to get blown over.
This area has a the Casibari Music Café and Grill and Mi Dushi Casibari Restaurant, as well a place to get coconut water and snow cones. We didn’t spend time exploring that touristy part. David got a couple snow cones and I think they were pretty pricey.
Alto Vista Chapel
From there it was off an icon of the Aruba island, the Alto Vista Chapel. This is a small Catholic chapel also known as “Pilgrims Church” that stands on the hills above the north shore of the sea and to the northeast of the town of Noord.
As you drive down the road to the chapel, you see stations of the cross. The very last cross is at the back of the chapel.
This cacti behind the chapel was huge!
On the Northwestern tip of Aruba is another icon of the island, the California lighthouse stands.
And of course there’s a spot to buy stuff and snacks right near the lighthouse.
We didn’t go inside the lighthouse, but even the views from ground level are great.
As we looked out the views from in front of the lighthouse, when we turned around to get back in the jeep I spotted this lizard hanging out in the bush.
After leaving the lighthouse we drove along the coast towards Eagle Beach and went passed the resort area.
Divi Tree at Eagle Beach
We parked and got out to walk along Eagle Beach. We found the infamous Divi Tree.
Rob walking along the beach as we checked out the restaurants there. All seemed to require reservations and were going to be pricey.
After that we decided to head towards Santa Cruz to find something to eat. We started to run out of time for us to eat and get back in time to turn in our rental car by 8pm. We ended up at Urataka Center for pizza. Super inexpensive and huge pizzas. We could have shared. This was my pizza. Rob got the seafood pizza, which I didn’t take a picture of until it was almost all gone.
The sunset as we waited for Rob to pay.
We got back to the rental car place with time to spare. We didn’t have to be back on the ship until 9:30 so we did some shopping, which was just around the corner from where we turned in our keys. Then ended up walking over to the I heart Aruba sign and the convenient store so Rob could look for more Aruban sodas.
I ended up with an beer from Aruba. Really good.
Then, it was back to the ship for ice cream and bed. 🙂
As I mentioned earlier, the app Action Tour Guide Aruba (The Full tour) mainly covers the Northern part of the island. All of the stops I’ve highlight here were narrated in the app. They also talk about random things like El Nino/El Nina, pirates, lizards, etc. All of this part of the app was great, not really any complaints there.
Screenshots from the app
However, I have 2 major issues with the app that I’m sharing here in case you ever decide to use this app or any other app like it.
One issue was that I had apparently not registered after downloading the paid part ($8) of the app so we had to find wifi so that I could register before using it. Otherwise it wouldn’t work.
The second issue that we later figured out was this app isn’t versatile enough for you to go backwards, which ended up being quite frustrating since it gives you the directions opposite of what you’re supposed to do. So I highly recommend that if you use this app, that you drive to the starting point, which is the S.S. California and follow it from there. We had to turn around probably 20 times because it got so confusing.
The information that was shared for each place was interesting and made it worth the $8.
We really loved Aruba and look forward to going back some day.
All the pics from our day in Aruba >>> Cruise Day 4
Look for my next Cruise post, where I share about our day in Bonaire.
Other posts from this cruise listed here: Carnival Horizon::March 2022