Aruba is more than just a beach, in fact, it offers so much on one island you will find that a week is hardly enough time to experience it all! Today, we are about to embark upon a rugged Aruba adventure, like no other. Buckle up, it’s about to get scraggy!
Rugged Aruba Adventure
Depending on your ‘adventurer’ level and how much you like to push boundaries, this rugged Aruba adventure may or may not be for you.
Who this rugged Aruba adventure is definitely not for is as follows:
- Those with pre-existing back conditions
- Anyone who is pregnant
- Pre-existing neck conditions
- Kidney Issues
- Young Children (Under 6 but I’d even push that to age 8)
Who Would Love This Rugged Aruba Adventure?
There’s not a particular kind of person that would take this rugged Aruba adventure. It’s open to anyone except the above listed due to the nature of the ‘bounce’ involved during the journey. It’s an open-aired vehicle with plenty of adrenaline rush moments and very little walking involved.
That said, you do disembark the vehicle a few times to enjoy a few spectacular Aruba ‘off-road’ spots. For those that want an outdoor adventure, not a bus, and if you are one who would prefer to let an Aruban local take the wheel, then this is your adventure.
Your guides are fun, helpful, and while adventurous.
Your Rugged Aruba Adventure Will Offer Dips, Bumps, and Discovery
Our stops included:
- The California Lighthouse
- Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
- Blackstone Beach (Trinity National Bridge)
- Alto Vista Chapel
- Natural Pool
Tips For Your Rugged Aruba Adventure. Before and During!
- Drink as little liquid as possible BEFORE boarding (yes there are bathroom stops but…)
- Bring along the bare minimum of personal belongings and use simple clothing, because it’s about to get rough, wet, and dusty!
- Don’t miss your hotel pickup time
- Always buckle your belt as tight as possible.
- Don’t bother with a hat, it will blow off (yep that happened)
- Try to avoid drinking while the driver is driving because it will spill or rock in your mouth.
- Avoid glass bottles
- Keep your kids buckled and between you.
- Unless you LOVE to BUMP (and I don’t mean the kind you are thinking of) AVOID the last row.
- For those that don’t want to get wet and muddy sit in the middle
Exhilarating Rugged Aruba Adventure: A Fun Off-Road Experience
While sitting on the beach every day is perfection, Mike (my husband) and I, always have found the greater good in adventure while vacationing. Honestly, I am so glad we booked this tour for our trip as the weather was not cooperating with our vacation timing in Aruba.
Rather than dealing with the on and off rain, and the wind which was savage, we took a rugged Aruba adventure.
Bounce, jiggle, laugh, bounce again, pop out of your seat, get wet, and repeat. The experience of the terrain beneath your bottom is going to be beyond your imagination unless of course, you’ve done 4×4’ing in a Jeep on those humongous boulders somewhere.
Off-Road Experience + Your Rugged Aruba Adventure
Rain or shine you are going, there’s no stopping this journey, so no worries!
Seating In The Open-Air Safari Vehicle Matters on the Rugged Aruba Adventure
I promise you that your seat choice matters and unless you really want to FLY Out of your seats or feel the biggest of the bumps and dips, don’t sit in the last row. For those that really don’t want to get wet when you go through these massive puddles atop the gigantic rocks, then sit inward in your row. You WILL GET Wet!
Buckle up Betsy Or The Rugged Aruba Adventure will not Move! Scraggy as she goes!
One thing is certain, the outfitter is careful and does due diligence after EACH stop. The staff makes SURE you have buckled.
When you begin your journey to the Natural Pool, you will have a very different affection for a seatbelt. The boulders get bigger, the bounces get harder and the experienced drivers have fun with it. Let’s just say it gets scraggy!
Jagged terrain below is what precipitates the adventure and puts the ‘rugged’ in my title!
Hot Tip + Good Luck! Are You A Photo Person?
Want the best photos? Choose an end seat!
What Should I Bring and Wear?
- Less is more on this trip, plan accordingly.
- Dress in swim attire, and bring a towel. (the Natural Pool )
- I suggest sunscreen before you go, instead of lugging it.
- More importantly, bring money (cash works best). Along the way, you will make stops where you can eat, and purchase souvenirs.
- Cash because…you need a few dollars to use the bathrooms at the Natural Bridge, so shove cash somewhere.
- More cash to TIP your drivers, they are going to give you the adrenaline rush you will crave again!
- Sunglasses are important because of sand, debris, and the sun!
Our Rugged Aruba Adventure Day Started off Dreary and Raining
Yes, it was raining when they picked us up, and it was so cold. So not every day or minute is great, but we countered the yuck with fun! Since it was raining, and the vehicle is ‘open-aired you will get wet.
We drove to pick up more people at other hotels and met up with the other driver of the other vehicle.
Here’s what I am going to say, straight out, “if you don’t like dirt, water, bumping, splashing, and flying out of your seat, DON’T TAKE THIS TOUR!”
Your towel or a light hoodie might be good for the morning tours in January. Remember this, if you have the towel on, once you start moving you need to ‘hold on to that towel!’
What I Never Expected In Rugged Aruba Adventure
Not once during planning did I consider the different terrains in Aruba. My mind was always on the beach, big mistake. The one thing we did right was book this rugged Aruba adventure because I never expected it to be this much fun!
My son smiled from start to finish. I questioned my choice of seating for the entire ride! Bumps are extreme and we definitely flew out of our seats, BUCKLED in! Michael and Niko (husband and son) couldn’t get enough!
Both drivers in each vehicle were amazing. Our driver was ‘less’ punishing with puddles whereas the other group got blasted with mud and water. Never did I imagine that we could off-road like this in Aruba.
The drivers are constantly monitoring the Natural Pool conditions. Expect that you might not be able to swim in the Natural Pool due to rough conditions, it’s for safety reasons. Never expect to have a dull moment.
And, never did I expect to want to do it again!
Don’t expect to STOP at the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, you pass by them!
Well, we saw it and captured some amazing photos (IMO), but we could not swim in it due to the rough waters. We got splashed by it and the timing was perfect for photos of crashing waves over the Natural Pool!
The bouncy and bountiful rocky terrain approach to the Natural pool was crazy fun and the beginning of …more to come!
Blackstone Beach ~ Definitely off The Beaten Path
Blackstone Beach was a really great experience for both scenery and photographs. Pay attention at ALL points in time to the water behind you.
The currents are strong and the waves surge, especially when you are just taking pictures in the cove.
We experienced this first hand. So when I was being photoed’d the water literally pulled me backward so hard, I got knocked on my ‘@#s’ and had ALL I could do to trudge forward and out!
So wicked is as wicked does!
The Natural Bridge is Part of your Aruba Off-Road Experience
I loved this experience and apparently, this lady from another tour group did too, she stepped in front of one of my shots and well, I just left her there, LOL!
Again, great photos, history, and something extraordinary to ogle at. This stop offers restrooms, as well as souvenirs, and food. I suggest keeping cash stashed with you it was $2 a person to use the restrooms here. Hello Tourism! HA ha.
Behind the building is a great place to see crashing waves. Below the natural bridge is also something to really see.
Passing By The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
The beach area along this run is very bumpy, almost more so than the rocky terrain we already covered. When you hit a DIP, you will literally dip and bump high even in a seat belt. We watched a couple of people holding on to their kids because even with a fastened seatbelt there’s just no holding down. WOW!
Blink and you might not see the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins. Make sure you are seated on the end seat (driver side) to get a good photo! You won’t stop here, but you will pass by. There’s not much to stop for anyway, it’s better to snap, and keep on 4×4’ing down the beach.
Watch the wind here as it has been known to take a few ‘hats’ off those wearing them. Bumps along this ride, on the beach, are included, lol! Hold on tight, you are almost at the last stop and then, there are no more bumps, jolts, seat-flying fun as it’s back to civilization.
We Need All The Blessings We Can Get
I always find at least one church at every vacation destination. Stop, and say that prayer, gain a wish. Remember, every time you visit a new church, to make a travel wish.
The Alto Vista Chapel is along the way, and you can walk through the Labyrinth. Stopping here, you might get to experience a small souvenir and beverage stop depending on it if it set up in the parking lot!
California Lighthouse via Rugged Aruba Adventure
What a backdrop, and a view, it’s spectacular, graceful, and the very best of Aruba. The California Lighthouse offers an incredible vantage point for photos.
Stunning. Maybe an understatement. When the Aruba sky is blue and clear, it’s picturesque and gorgeous.
The restaurant is another place you can use the restrooms (and trust me, if you are in the back, and ride via the beach, you will understand WHY you need it!). Getting here, you’ll experience a beach ride with unending off-road fun.
Lively jolts, occasionally offering flight even when locked in the seatbelt occur.
Would I Do This Again?
Yes, and the next time I would opt with the other parts we did not see.
The sand is bumpy, the drivers comply with their group.
As mentioned, ours would ‘miss’ the puddles and we were all too happy.
However, the lead driver in the other vehicle hit the bumps even harder and SPLASHED their group.
We cheered, and they booed us — all in fun!
You will get dirty, and be windblown.
Pull your hair up, wear your swimsuit, and have the best half-day ever! ~ Dana XO