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Old Thursday, April 29th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Question Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

I know the island of Aruba is ONLY 20 miles long, and you can navigate it easily. I have read some posts that said, they saw the tours, or safaris, along the way. They looked hot and bored, as the dust kicked up all over them in this long chain of jeeps.

As a result, I figured I could make my own jeep tour and explore Aruba's outback. 9 AM -Start off at the California Lighthouse, and then to the quaint Alto Vista Chapel. From Alto Vista Chapel, navigate the coastal route to the Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins, and then see the ocean-carved Natural Bridge. From the Natural Bridge, I was told I will pass an ostrich farm, while heading towards Santa Cruz to get to the Natural Pool. Apparently, the Natural Pool is not easy to find. Many people have suggested asking the guards at the Arikok National Park entrance for directions to the pool at this point. Evidently, the last two-three miles to the Natural Pool offers some of the roughest terrain. Definitely no place for a mini-van. After jumping off of the rocks into the Natural Pool, it should be time for lunch at one of Aruba's most spectacular snorkel sites - Baby Beach. I was told we can rent snorkel gear for $8/hr at Baby Beach. More importantly, I have also read that some rental places will rent 4x4's on there last legs (it has 4 different types of tires on the 4 wheels). We might want to spend the extra $20 for a "real" Jeep. Therefore, I just wanted to know which rental company I should use and the expected price to rent a 4X4? Please feel free to add and additional information that will make this tour better or even directions to the Natural Pool. Please expel any myths I may have mentioned, since I am only using what others have told me. I want a clear picture of the Aruban outback. Thanks in advance!
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Old Thursday, April 29th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Red face Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

If you rent a jeep be sure to test it well before you actually take of for your day tour. Try to see if the 4x4 actually works. That is a problem a lot of those cars have. However if you are planning on (tyring) going to the Natural Pool, I would suggest to rent something bigger than a suzuki jeep. Go for a Jeep Wrangler. They are usually newer and better and have no trouble getting to the natural pool. But check the car and the gear well before going on any tour.

I think that exploring by yourself is better than a tour. You get to do it at your own time and you can even cut the tour up in two days and really take your time and enjoy the scenery. The fun of going of by yourself is not sticking to any pre-determined route and the exploring (and getting lost ) itself is a lot of fun.

Just one last word of advice. Stay of the beaches and dunes with the car. It is not allowed to drive there. I know it is tempting to go cruising through the nice white sand, especially at the California dunes, however these dunes are at the point of disappearing because of that.

Last but not least drive carefully because with these roads accidents can easily happen.
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Old Thursday, April 29th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Your itinerary looks good, and is doable, especially with a 9:00am start time. You will see jeep tours out there, so it won't be hard to locate the hot spots.

We rented a Suzuki Jimmy from Budget for the day. It ended up being about $70.00 for 24 hours. The Jimmy itself was brand new. It's probably the most common 4X4 you'll see on the island. It use to be called the Samauri. It hesitated once or twice, but it made it out to the Natural Pool.

For about $220.00 you can rent a Land Rover from ABC Tours for 24 hours. That'll get you anywhere you want to go, and it holds 8 people. If you can find 3 couples to go with you then it could be worth it.

One idea, since you'll probably be hungry by the time you get to Baby Beach, is stop at Charlie's Bar in San Nicolas for lunch before hitting the beach.

Once you get to the island, look around for a copy of a map published by Berndtson & Berndtson. It's light blue with Aruba in orange letters. It is the best map of the island I've found. Plus, it's actually cheaper on Aruba than it is in the US.

If I can remember correctly, after you leave the Natural Bridge and the Ostrich Farm you should end up on Rte 4A headed towards Santa Cruz.

Just before you reach a set of lights you should see a blue sign pointing to Arikok National Park to your left. Take that turn. If you miss it, you can turn left at the lights as well. Both roads connect.

Down the road you should see a huge ship's anchor on your left. There may be a small pond there. You want to bear to the right.

Soon you should see two blue signs. One points straight ahead towards Arikok and the second points to the left to Daimari.

If you go straight the road dead-ends at the park and the rangers can give you directions. What they'll say is to take that left towards Daimari. It's a windy, dirt road. At the end you'll come to a paved intersection.

From there take a right. The road will start to get rough. A short ride up that road there should be a little wooden signs pointing towards the Natural Pool. Bear to the left at that sign and you head up a hill. There should be a small house to your right that offers Pool information. Keep going up tha hill, following the trail. At that point the road will start to get rough.

When you reach the top it smoothes out a little and you can stop at the top for an excellent panoramic view of the island. Below you on the coast you can see a second area to park and below that the pool.

You may see a horse tour while you are out there.
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Old Thursday, April 29th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Actually I tried to inquire about renting such a Land Rover from ABC Tours for about $220.00 for 24 hours. I attached the owners response, as well, as my original question to him:

Hi Micheal,
We are not in Rental business, however when we have 1 or 2 Land Rover available, we would rent them.

The cost per day is US$200, however my advice is: if you rent 2 small jeep is will maybe not even come close to US$100.

I only have big Land Rovers.

Marvin M. Kelly
Managing Director/Owner
ABC Tours & Attractions, Inc.
Ponton 72
Oranjestad, ARUBA
Tel: 297 5825600
Fax: 297 5839878
E-mail: info@abc-aruba.com
Website: www.abc-aruba.com

-----Original Message-----
From: mike
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 10:15 AM
To: Marvin M. Kelly
Subject: Rent 4x4 Land Rovers for the day????


Marvin,
On a separate topic, I have heard that your company, ABC Tours, rents 4x4 Land Rovers for the day. I was curious of what the final cost is exactly to rent one of these 4x4's, which eligibly can hold 6 to 8 passengers? I assume I have to pay for a full tank of gas and insurance, as well. I was planning on renting a 4x4 to explore Aruba's outback on Sunday, during the week of my trip. I chose Sunday, since many things in town are closed on that day. Maybe we could combine the transfers and 4x4 rental into one packaged deal, if that is at all possible.

Thanks again,
Michael
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Old Thursday, April 29th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Hmmm, when my cousin rented from ABC she called them on Monday afternoon for a Tuesday rental. When they dropped it off they did say they needed to pick it up by 8:30am on Wednesday because they had a large tour heading out.

Sounds like it's hit-or-miss with them. Their flyers say to call about 24 hour rentals. That explains why.

On my next trip I'll take more detailed directions about getting to the pool. When I get a chance I'll try to post some pictures.
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Old Thursday, April 29th, 2004, 02:21 PM
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Default Do it yourself

Rental for a jeep wrangler for a week was about $315, if I remember right. We rented from Econo, jeep was a hardtop with A/C. We got a flat after a day of hard driving/natural pooling, and they replaced for us at no charge.

Be careful diving into the natural pool, it's a bit irregular in it's formation and depth. Bring a snorkel and mask - speaking of which, if you bring gear with you on your trip, you don't have to worry about the cost or convenience or cleanliness of rental gear. Well worth the cost to buy ahead of time.

I'll second the comment about not driving on the beach/dunes. Plenty to explore out there, find yourself a beach and claim it!
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Old Friday, August 13th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Taking a guided jeep tour you will see all the sites and now the history ,you will not waste valued time looking for the sites,unless you want to go adventure
on youre own

www.wixtours.com
www.abc.com
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

All of this sounds great and doable! Each year before I go, I rent a car through Alamo on the web for my wife and another couple who travels with us for the week. The reason I tell you this is because each year we pick one day to explore, and Alamo comes to my Condo (usually rent at Playa Linda) in the A.M. and picks up my car for the day and gives me a Jeep Wrangler. The following morning I call them and they make the swap back to the same car again. Course you could call them, drive to the rental office and save time and swap there. The beauty of this is they dont charge me anymore for the jeep than the original contract on the car. So you get the best of both worlds. Be sure when you pick up your car at the airport that you tell them you want a jeep for one day. If they balk tell them exactly what I'm telling you and you'll have no problem. Hope this helps, have a great trip!
Jack
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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Smile Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Hi,

We are headed to Aruba in 10 days and are trying to tour on our own this time. Rented a jeep 4x4 from budget. Hopefully the hotel can give us good directions. Lots of people I know that go, say that natural bridge is a waste of time as is the natural pool, but we want to judge for ourselves.

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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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Smile Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Hi Janice,
All hotels have booklets w/info for all you need, some of the better ones have Concierges that will do the legwork for you. Natural Bridge and accompaning "Hotel/building/store" is a tourist stop w/scenic views and worth the stop just to say you did it. We always take a ride out there after stopping at the Lighthouse,restaurant etc. The Natural pool on the other hand while worth going to on your own, be prepared for deep ruts and steep incline, declines, definetly better traversed in a Jeep wrangler with the wider wheelbase, though I have seen the smaller jeeps there. Always like to stop in Charlies bar in San Nicholas on the way back to hotel for a nice cold beer, and to see if anyone on the wall I know. Go early morning for trip as it can take most of the day,bring bathing suit plus roundabout clothes for driving as it can get quite dusty sometimes dirty. You are on a desert isle remember and you are going to their outback. Good luck and have fun, eveyday is sunshine in Aruba!
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

HI Janice,

Good thinking to be your own judge. We hit all the sites on our last visit including the Natural Bridge and Natural Pool.

If you have never visted the Natural Bridge or Natural Pool - I think its a good idea to see them aleast once.

We are glad we did and although it was nice to see them one visit is enough for us and next time we will spend more time relaxing.

Have Fun!
Ang
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim & Ang
We are glad we did and although it was nice to see them one visit is enough for us and next time we will spend more time relaxing.
That's the standard evolutionary process with Aruba - scramble to see a bunch of sights your first trip (or 2), then gradually evolve into beach veggies !

I would agree that every visitor should see the bridge and pool at least once, they're the most notable attractions and worth the journey. It's a day well spent, I like Jack's comment:
Quote:
You are on a desert isle remember and you are going to their outback.
Outback indeed - have fun!
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin d
That's the standard evolutionary process with Aruba - scramble to see a bunch of sights your first trip (or 2), then gradually evolve into beach veggies
Yes, that’s exactly what we did in our short 7-day's. We visited every thing there was to see and then some (we got lost & saw the wonderful other side of Aruba – out of the tourist area).

We were so busy getting to see as much as possible that we missed our BB Party and on our last day we spent the morning out and came back to our hotel room to find our key cards demagnetized because it was past check-out time. The fun stopped there because we knew we needed to get serious in order to make our plane to get home.

Beach Veggies – yep – that will be us in January for sure.

Ang
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

We would have been veggies this year, except we brought along a couple who had never been to Aruba before, so it was like being there the first time all over again...and next year, it looks like we're bringing the in-laws with us
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Old Thursday, October 14th, 2004, 06:43 PM
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Red face Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

thank you all for your responces. Does it really take all day to see the bridge and the natural pool?.
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Old Friday, October 15th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Hi Janice, not if you just went to the two, but there is the chapel, the caves , the park and the natural scanery that most people get caught up in. Remember even at home all things thought to take an hour always become an all day affair. Take your time and have fun leave early allows all the time you need , if all goes as planned you'll have plenty of time to get back for some sun and dinner. Isle is only twenty miles long but at times you'll be travelling on the desert at 5mph!
Have fun!
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Old Friday, October 15th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

What Jack said - also, the natural pool quest should include an hour or 2 of floundering time itself, because it's not so easy to find.

The north coast is beautiful, plan on stopping a few times to enjoy the different scenery. Very volcanic looking in some spots, deserted beaches, countless photo ops. IMO all best seen on your own, not with a tour. If you get lost, enjoy getting found again! After the day's adventure, a nice meal and soft furniture will have never felt so good
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Old Friday, October 15th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

[QUOTE=kevin d]That's the standard evolutionary process with Aruba - scramble to see a bunch of sights your first trip (or 2), then gradually evolve into beach veggies ! QUOTE]

Well said! We did like Tim and Ang - ran around like nuts our first trip for 7 days. One thing about not doing a jeep tour - the roads have no names!!!!! Got lost with no one but the wild goats for a while. Also some cliffs were awfully steep, esp. with the 20 year old Suzuki Jimmy we had (have since learned to check out jeep rental companies ahead of time).

Have fun Janice!
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Old Friday, October 15th, 2004, 09:17 PM
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Cool Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

We have rented a jeep wrangler from budget for three days, and will just chill and veg for the other 7. Hope we see alot. Afriend of mine just got back and said the natural pool is 87 stairs to climb down, and not worth it, but we will check it out anyway.

thanks again
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Old Wednesday, November 10th, 2004, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

WE think the area around the Southern tip of Seroe Colorado and up the beach past Rincon is super to explore. There are huge waves, blow holes,etc. And of course the great swimming beach that has some little fun waves, Boca Grandi. Go to the big anchor, and isntead of turning right toward Baby Beach, go left.
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Old Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Excellent suggestion - some of the nicest areas and still mainly deserted.
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Old Sunday, January 16th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

We are going in May for 8 days and have rented a Jeep Wrangler 4x4 from more4less (www.more4less-aruba.com) for all 8 days at a cost of $320 approx. We rented from them two years ago also and found them to be wonderful! Their jeeps are really nice. We had a soft top with a/c. Didn't use the a/c though because the top was off the whole time. But either way, the wrangler was the way to go. People who had rented the Suzuki rentals were asking us where we got a Jeep because they hated what they'd gotten. The Jeeps are bigger too for carrying more stuff or people. Hope this helps!
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Old Monday, January 24th, 2005, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Nice price for a Jeep! We had one for a week for $315, but that was 2 yrs ago - last year we rented a Nissan Xterra for $350.
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Old Monday, January 24th, 2005, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Explore Aruba on your own OR a guided half-day jeep safari?

Have you ever driven a Jeep on the island? Just wondering how the Xterra would perform in comparison to the Jeep?

Husband loves the jeep though! Last time we were there....he just had to go jump the sand dunes near the lighthouse. What a nut, I tell ya!!!!
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