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Hil, dolls! Jeremy and I recently returned from a whopping 11-night southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic. We booked the trip pretty spontaneously, within a few weeks of departure, so we didn’t have a chance to plan much of anything at the ten ports we were visiting. All I knew was (thanks to Instagram) I HAD to visit Aruba’s famous Flamingo Beach. I mean, c’mon, the closest I’d ever been to a flamingo was at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
I took to the internet to figure out how to get to this beautiful place and came across a ton of contradicting info. So today, I thought I would share everything you need to know about Flamingo Beach in one concise place to make it easy for you to make this dream a reality.
HOW TO GET TO FLAMINGO BEACH
First things first, it’s important to know that Flamingo Beach is part of Renaissance Island that is privately owned by the hotel, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. The easiest way to the island is to stay at the hotel. Access to the island is included in the price of your stay and its operating hours are from 7am-6pm. But if you are visiting Aruba via cruise ship, that obviously isn’t an option. Luckily, Renaissance Aruba provides a limited number of day passes to non guests.
HERE IS THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE TO PURCHASE DAY PASSES
Every day at 7am local time, Renaissance Aruba will make their website available to purchase day passes FOR THE NEXT DAY. Each pass will cost you $125. If you show up to the hotel the day of looking to purchase a pass, you’ll likely be out of luck. The amount of day passes is based upon hotel occupancy, so you need to make sure you’re on the website right when the next day’s passes go live. The upside of limiting capacity, though, is that it provides you with plenty of privacy, not to mention time with the flamingos.
Renaissance Resort & Casino is a quick 5-10 minute walk from the port. Head right towards the Renaissance Mall (you’ll see luxury stores like Louis Vuitton), swing a left into the resort and the ferry will pick you up inside the hotel right in front of Starbucks.
The ride to Renaissance Island takes about 10 minutes and there are multiple ferries that go to and from the island about every 15 minutes. These ferries are prompt, so you won’t have to worry about making it back to the ship on time.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR DAY PASS
Of course island access and your ferry rides are included in the price of admission, but you get a free meal and drink with your day pass. There is one restaurant on the island and OMG the food is delicious! We were so pleasantly surprised. Your comped meal can be anything on the menu – I went with the shrimp tacos.
Keep in mind that your comped drink MUST come with your meal. Let me suggest ordering “The Angry Bird”. It’s actually a kid’s cocktail that comes in an inflatable flamingo with SPRINKLES, but you can add any liquor of your choice. ADORABLE!
There is also a hut located right by where the ferry arrives where you can rent snorkel gear, floats, stand-up paddle boards, and more FOR FREE. There is great snorkeling throughout the mangroves.
TIPS FOR VISITING FLAMINGO BEACH:
- Make sure to get to Flamingo Beach as soon as it opens. The island doesn’t get that crowded, but there will be enough people swarming the flamingos as the day goes on that your best shot for a photo is early in the day.
- Renaissance Island is open to all ages, but Flamingo Beach is specifically ADULTS ONLY. There is another beach on the island where kids can play.
- Take the steps down into the mangroves and relax on the hammocks. Waiters will wade into the water to serve you, plus the water is crystal clear and there’s great fish peeping.
- There is a flamingo food dispenser (which requires a quarter) that is located on the bridge that leads out to Flamingo Beach. Don’t leave your flamingo food unattended because there are a TON of other birds that will grab it!
- Watch out for the iguanas. THEY ARE HUGE and seem to emerge later in the day. I heard people screaming left and right when they snuck up on sunbathers.
MY REVIEW OF FLAMINGO BEACH… IS IT WORTH IT?
YES YES YES. It is worth every penny of $125 to visit Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island. Jeremy and I had an amazing time at every port on our cruise, but our time on Aruba can’t be topped. When we get the opportunity to travel again, Aruba is at the top of our list. From the flamingos, to the food, to the adults-only beach, and more… Flamingo Beach should top your travel bucket list!