With it’s cool breeze, beautiful sunrises, relaxing beaches and wonderful allure, many people think of Aruba as a wonderful destination for romance. No wonder it seems to drop off the list when you think about a trip with the fellas. Aruba doesn’t have the tradition of Las Vegas. It doesn’t fit the expectation of that bi-yearly excursion to the slopes. It isn’t the road trip that ends up back at the alma-mater with hours of beers and corn hole in the parking lot.
Aruba is an excursion that mixes a balance of activity, excitement and relaxation. It could be exactly what you think for a guy’s trip. If you want activities, Aruba has those. Want a good bar, it has several. Want a good round of golf, not a problem. Need to hang out at the beach, definitely has that. Want to record it all, stay at the Marriott, which loans free GoPros for the day, and you can even have that.
Familiar with Aruba as a romantic destination, viewing it as an activity-based location presented a different view of the island all together. Kite-boarding was an amazing experience that was exciting and frustrating. The weather was more than perfect to take three lessons in three days. Six hours of lessons off the wonderful Aruba beach is nothing to complain about. But the sport itself is nothing to sleep on. Just outside the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, a stop at the Vela Aruba shack makes getting lessons easy. Grab a kiteboard, and though the first lesson was a lot of rope unwinding, there is still enough effort to make you tired. The necessary prep does take time to learn the first day. By day three, prep time will shrink to minutes. The first lesson does involve getting in the water, so you won’t stand on the beach admiring kiteboarders zooming by the whole two hours. In fact, your jealousy rises as you watch the myriad of boarders whiz by you. By day two you’re body surfing, kiteboarding without the board. On day three you’re working you’re way on the board. At the point fatigue is either setting in or excitement has spiked in an effort to keep up with the seasoned kite boarders. Either way, I’m sure boredom wasn’t something that came across. Doing it will a buddy adds the allure of competition, who’s going to make it onto the board first?
A surprising treat is the DePalm Tours UTV excursion on the island. It’s a healthy mixture of scenic tour, which everybody scoffs at, and off-road adventure. Though you can’t go full Baja 1000, the northeastern side of the island is a rock-filled territory that creates a bumpy ride and let’s your go-cart-like ride just barely scrape over rocks. The lack of windows means you’ll need to wear the provided bandana over your mouth and noise to keep the dirt out. If you want to go full mad max, or just be smart, you can wear goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the dirt that will blow during the whole ride. But outside the drive itself, roughly every 10 you are treated with a stop at another hard-to-reach-by-foot oasis. One stop is a small rock formation that looks across the water, another is a salt water beach that is naturally separated from the ocean, while a third is a natural bridge followed by an old gold smelter, Bushiribana ruins. Some of these are impressive, others the journey may be more fun than the destination, but they all serve nicely at creating a fun excursion.
Perhaps the island’s biggest secret, is Aruba Ray’s Comedy Show at Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino. Ray Ellin, a noted comedian, produces a show that runs for a month, three to four times a year. Comedians you’ve seen everywhere on television but who’s name you may not know, perform a few night runs at 8pm and 10pm in an intimate setting. It’s a perfect set up for good jokes, with comedians who don’t hold back, while away from home. The next run begins November 2015.
Aruba is a small island filled with activities that can make a guy’s trip a good balance of fun and relaxing. The Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino is located in the northwest corner where several activities are available. If you prefer to get away from the tourist spot, a watering hole called Local Store Aruba has tons of craft beers, Zeerover is a local restaurant with good fish and seafood and food trucks populate the island where locals leaving work eat often.
Toss Aruba in your list the next time you think about a guy’s trip. You may surprised at what options you find.