If you’re going to Aruba to see flamingos, there’s one thing you should know up front. Don’t expect to see them roaming around on every beach. In fact, the famous flamingos actually only live on Renaissance Hotel’s private island. I know, I was surprised too! So if this is one main reasons you are heading to Aruba, here are some things you need to know.
To get there, you can buy a day pass for $99 USD at the front desk of the hotel or if you are staying at the Renaissance Hotel your visit is included in your stay. The day passes are not guaranteed to be available for non-guests, depending on the hotel’s occupancy. You also cannot pre-book tickets ahead of time, so I’d suggest trying early in the morning. The island is a quick 8-minute boat ride towards the airport. The boats run all day from 7am-7pm, every 15 minutes (last boat leaving the island at 6:45pm). The pick up locations are in the Hotel Lobby or across the street from the Renaissance Hotel, right behind Lucy’s Restaurant.
Where to go Upon Arrival
Once you arrive to the island you can either go to Flamingo Beach on your right or head over to the Iguana Beach on the left. The Flamingo Beach is an adults only beach where the famous flamingos live. Even though they state that it’s an adults only beach, I did see a few kids pop in once and a while to get some photos with the flamingos. The Iguana Beach is a family-friendly beach with a full Bar & Grill and tons of Iguanas and lizards running around. Some of the Iguanas were the size of a small puppy! We actually saw some guy petting one like it was his pet.
Interacting with the Flamingos
When we finally decided to head over to the Flamingo Beach, it was a little surprising to see that there were only 5 flamingos on the island! There may be more or less depending on the time you would be visiting. Don’t get me wrong, although I was expecting way more flamingos, they were still really beautiful and fun to see up close. If you want get even closer to the birds, there’s a small vending machine with food. It’s only a few cents for a hand full of pellets, so make sure you bring US quarters with you. The flamingos didn’t really have much of an appetite when people were trying to feed them and that was around 2pm. I’m assuming they were full already from previous visitors. So if you are looking forward to feeding them, maybe arriving earlier in the morning will help.
Dining and Cocktails
On Iguana Beach you can grab a bite and fancy drinks at the Papagayo Bar & Grill. You can also get served food on Flamingo Beach, but it will be a more limited menu than the Papagayo Grill. There’s a small bar on Flamingo Beach called the Mangrove Beach Bar and a cocktail waitress that will serve you drinks right to your beach chair.
- You can hear airplanes taking off and landing since the island is right by the airport. So it can be a little loud at times.
- Flamingo Beach is not really that big, so as long as it’s not crowded you’ll be fine.
- The beaches have jetties so the water will be calm, but this will also block your view into the open ocean.
Other Things to Do on the Island
- Rent a private cabana for the day
- Get a spa treatment at Spa Cove
- Relax on the hammocks
- Swim in the ocean
- Tan on the beach chairs / beds
- Water sport activities (snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking)
- Play Tennis
- Workout at the Fitness Center
- Walk on the Nature Trail
- Have a romantic dinner after 7pm
- Have a wedding on your own private island!
For more photos from my trip visit my Instagram page!
*All photos are mine, unless otherwise stated