Quadding through Aruba
There are a lot of different ways to explore the desert of Aruba. Tour companies will influence you to quad, horseback ride, go on a jeep tour, and more. I have visited Aruba many times and have tried all three of these options. All three are great for different reasons. Renting quads gives you the freedom to go to the spots you want and to skip the places you aren't interested in. Horseback riding is a different experience and super fun, but I would recommend it as a one-time thing. The jeep tours are also great, you don't have the freedom to go wherever you want, but you get to see every part of the island you could think of, and you will have great tour guides. Honestly, it's up to you on which one you would prefer, but in this post, I'm going to cover what renting quads entails. We've rented quads twice when visiting Aruba and both times we rented from George's which is affordable and gives you a map to follow. You can choose whether you would like to go for half the day (4 hours) and $95 per quad or all-day (8 hours) and $125 per quad. We chose to go for half of the day, but we honestly could have spent the whole day exploring. The half-day map covers the California Lighthouse, The Alto Vista Chapel, The Gold Mill Ruins, and The Natural Bridge. If you continue into the all-day tour, you get to visit the national park. One draw back to the quads is you are never able to visit The Natural Pool because of the rough terrain. Based on your preference you can decide what destinations you're most interested in, but they're all amazing to see. The quad ride gives you beautiful views along the cost line with crashing water and amazing rock formations. The quads are quite bumpy, so if you are not in the mood for a rough ride, I would not recommend choosing quads. The jeep tour is slightly less bumpy and a bit more comfortable.
The California Lighthouse is one of the most popular of Aruba's landmarks. It is the easiest landmark to visit because you are able to drive right up to it where the other landmarks are on the rocky back roads. It is also probably the most visited because there is a restaurant next to the lighthouse. The restaurant is Italian food and gives you a feel of Italy with amazing views of the coast. The lighthouse itself is surrounded by the rough desert terrain that is on the local side of the island. There are also beautiful cactus plants throughout the area. This was a photo Nick took of me before we had dinner at the lighthouse. This is the side of the lighthouse that has the rough terrain of the island, but as you can see behind me, there is a parking lot for the cars. There are also a few food trucks where you can grab something to eat if you are on one of the tours.
The Alto Vista Chapel
The Alto Vista Chapel is the second stop on most of the tours. It's a fairly quick ride from the lighthouse and a quick stop on the tour. When you're there, you can take a walk through the outdoor benches of the chapel and then take a walk inside the chapel. Like most of the stops on the tours, there's a truck where you can get souvenirs and also a place for food. Here you can get freshly cut pineapple, watermelon, or a coconut. Nick took this photo of me eating the fresh pineapple in front of the chapel. It was delicious and an awesome experience being in the outdoors eating freshly cut pineapple while on a quad tour of Aruba. In my next post, I will finish my description of the tour with the Gold Mill Ruins and The Natural Bridge. Would anyone be interested in a post about the different restaurant from Aruba?
All photos take by nkoehlerphotography