The 6 Most Exciting Activities For Animal-Lovers in ArubA
Fondly nicknamed “One Happy Island,” Aruba is a tropical desert paradise with beautiful beaches, crystal-clear water, and exciting, rugged terrain. Aruba is also home to diverse animal life.
If you’re an animal-lover planning a getaway to Aruba, you’re in luck because Aruba offers fantastic activities for animal-loving travelers!
Below are my picks for the six best activities for animal-lovers in Aruba.
Table of Contents
1. The Butterfly Farm
Flit on over to Aruba’s magical little Butterfly Farm, where you can see a wide array of butterflies, cocoons, and even a couple of parakeets. If you wear bright colors and citrus-scented perfume or cologne, the butterflies may even land on you!
Take a Guided Tour (and See a Butterfly Pub Crawl)
The Butterfly Farm offers a fascinating 20-minute guided tour where you can learn interesting facts about butterflies. For example, did you know that butterflies can get drunk? That’s right. When butterflies eat fermenting fruit, they consume ethanol created from the sugar in the fruit. And the result is a drunk butterfly! So, you can basically witness a butterfly pub crawl as the butterflies tipsily flutter between the various fruit trays set up throughout The Butterfly Farm. Cheers!
And, as if that isn’t enough of a reason to visit, The Butterfly Farm is also a fantastic place to take Instagram-worthy pictures!
Where is The Butterfly Farm Located?
The Butterfly Farm is located on J.E. Irausquin Boulevard, between the Palm Beach and Eagle Beach areas.
How Much Does Visiting The Butterfly Farm Cost?
When I visited The Butterfly Farm in 2020, the admission price was $16 per person. The Butterfly Farm also gave me a free return pass. The pass allowed me to return to the farm for free as many times as I wanted during my vacation. Check The Butterfly Farm’s website for the most up-to-date information on the admission cost and return pass.
2. Explore "Under the Sea"
Aruba’s crystal clear water, fantastic visibility, and thriving marine life make it a top destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Don your scuba or snorkel gear—or hop on a SEABOB underwater scooter—and go swimming with tropical fish, stingrays, and turtles. While you’re underwater, you can also explore incredible shipwrecks, some of which are just below the surface!
How Much Do Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, and SEABOB Tours Cost in Aruba?
Cost of Scuba Diving in Aruba ($100 and up)
Scuba diving tour costs vary depending on the company, the tour duration, and the number of dives and tanks. Prices generally begin at about $100 and increase from there.
Companies also offer scuba diving courses, which typically range from about $100 to $500, depending on the course.
Cost of Snorkeling Tours in Aruba ($50 and up)
Several companies offer sailing and snorkeling tours on which you sail to various snorkeling sites and enjoy drinks and snacks along the way. It’s a fun, relaxing way to spend a few hours or the entire day. Tour prices typically range from about $50 and up, depending on the company and the tour duration.
When I visited Aruba, I went on a fantastic sailing and snorkeling cruise with the Aruba Watersports Center. The cruise lasted for two and a half hours and cost $50 per person.
You can also rent snorkeling equipment (or bring your own from home) and snorkel for free at off-the-beach snorkeling sites. Popular off-the-beach snorkeling spots include Boca Catalina Beach, Tres Trapi, and Malmok Beach.
Cost of SEABOB Tours in Aruba ($100 to $150)
SEABOB tours in Aruba typically cost between $100 and $150.
Popular Scuba, Snorkeling, and SEABOB Tour Operators
3. Flamingo Beach
Feed a Flock of Flamingos at Flamingo Beach
If you love flamingos, hop over to Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island (a private island owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino).
At Flamingo Beach, you can actually feed a flock of flamingos! Just buy a cup of flamingo food, and then wade out into the shallow, crystal-clear water. In no time, the flamingos will come to you. Feeding the flamingos and relaxing in the water as the flamingos strut around you is so incredibly fun!
Flamingo Beach is also a fantastic place to take pictures (and chuckle as everyone does their mini Instagram photoshoots).
I spent several hours at Flamingo Beach, just feeding the flamingos and relaxing in the water. And, let me tell you, sipping piña coladas and champagne while surrounded by half a dozen flamingos is absolutely magical! Visiting Flamingo Beach was, without a doubt, one of the best things I did in Aruba!
The flamingos at Flamingo Beach are very chill. But, they’re still wild animals. So, remember to respect their space when feeding them and taking photos.
Flamingo Beach is an adults-only beach. However, children are allowed to visit between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to feed and take pictures with the flamingos.
The other beach on Renaissance Island, Iguana Beach, is open to all visitors though.
Spend the Rest of the Day Relaxing
In addition to being the place where your flamingo-related dreams come true, Renaissance Island is also a luxurious place to relax. Kiss your cares goodbye as you sway in a hammock or enjoy a massage in a private oceanfront cabana. After chillin’ with the flamingos at Flamingo Beach, I treated myself to a massage in an oceanfront cabana, and it was heavenly!
How to Get to Renaissance Island
To get to Renaissance Island, you take a short ride in a water taxi. The water taxi departs from the Renaissance Marina in Oranjestad every 15 minutes, beginning at 7:00 a.m. The last water taxi back to the marina leaves Renaissance Island at 6:45 p.m.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Renaissance Island?
Free Access for Guests Staying at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
If you’re staying at one of the two hotels in Oranjestad owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, you can visit Renaissance Island for free! This is a great deal. Even if you plan to stay at another hotel during your trip, consider spending one night at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino so you can visit Renaissance Island without paying extra. The water taxi is also complimentary for hotel guests.
Non-Hotel-Guests Have to Pay to Visit Renaissance Island
You can still visit Renaissance Island even if you aren’t staying at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. However, you’ll have to pay. There are two payment options.
Option 1: Buy a Day-Pass
The first option is to buy a day-pass for $125 per person. The day-pass includes one lunch and one cocktail at Papagayo Bar & Grill or Mangrove Beach Bar on Renaissance Island and access to the water taxi. You can purchase a Renaissance Island day-pass online. However, be aware that Renaissance Island offers only a limited number of day-passes, and the day-passes sell out quickly.
Option 2: Book a Spa Treatment
The second option is to book a spa treatment on Renaissance Island. With this option, you pay for your spa treatment and the water taxi to the island instead of buying a day-pass. There are a variety of spa packages available. If you choose the spa treatment option, make sure to book your appointment well in advance.
When I visited Renaissance Island, I chose the spa treatment option because it gave me access to the island and a massage.
My 50-minute massage cost $160 (plus a tip for my masseuse), and the roundtrip water taxi cost $25. I also bought lunch (a $14 burger) and drinks at the Mangrove Beach Bar.
4. The Aruba Ostrich Farm
Touring the Aruba Ostrich Farm
Get up close and personal with ostriches and emus at the Aruba Ostrich Farm. There’s a great guided tour, which lasts about 20 minutes. Without a doubt, the highlight of the tour is getting to feed an actual ostrich yourself! You also get to hold the massive ostrich and emu eggs in your hands.
Eating at the Aruba Ostrich Farm
If you’re hungry, you can order an ostrich egg omelet or a boiled ostrich egg to eat. Bring your appetite though, because one ostrich egg is the equivalent of 24 chicken eggs!
Where is the Aruba Ostrich Farm Located?
The Aruba Ostrich Farm is located on Aruba’s eastern coast, approximately 1.5 miles away from the Ayo Rock Formation. The address for the Aruba Ostrich Farm is Matividiri 57, Paradera, Aruba.
How Much Does Touring the Aruba Ostrich Farm Cost?
When I visited the Aruba Ostrich Farm in 2020, the guided tour cost $14 per person for adults. For up-to-date information regarding the tour cost, visit the Aruba Ostrich Farm’s website.
5. Horseback Riding in Aruba
Animal-lovers will also enjoy exploring Aruba’s rugged terrain on horseback! Several ranches offer horseback riding tours, and the itinerary varies depending on the tour. Some horseback riding tours explore Arikok National Park and the natural pool. Other horseback riding tours visit beaches, sand dunes, the gold mine ruins, and the hidden lagoon. Sunset horseback riding tours are available as well.
How Much Does Horseback Riding in Aruba Cost?
Horseback riding tours in Aruba typically cost between $80 and $200 per person, depending on the tour duration and whether it’s a private or group tour.
Find a Horseback Riding Tour in Aruba
For more details and to find your perfect horseback riding tour, check out these Top Aruba Horseback Riding Tours on Viator (my go-to site for finding awesome tours)!
6. The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary
Another animal-related attraction is the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary. If you love donkeys and have a little extra free time, then consider stopping by the Donkey Sanctuary to pet and feed the donkeys.
Where is the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary Located?
The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is located near Santa Cruz, Aruba. For detailed directions, use Google Maps or refer to the “Directions” section at the bottom of the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary homepage.
How Much Does Visiting the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary Cost?
Admission to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is free, but donations are appreciated.
If getting up close and personal with ostriches, emus, butterflies, flamingos, donkeys, horses, and exotic fish is your idea of the perfect vacation, then you’ll love the activities Aruba has to offer.
Plus, several of the activities described above (like The Butterfly Farm, the Aruba Ostrich Farm, and the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary) could take as little as 30 minutes or an hour to do. So they’re fantastic, short activities to add to your itinerary as you beach-hop your way around this “One Happy (Animal-Loving) Island!”
All six of the animal-related activities discussed above are worth doing if you have enough time during your Aruban getaway. However, if your Aruba itinerary is tight, you may need to pick just a couple animal-related activities to enjoy. With that in mind, here is my personal ranking of the above-listed activities, with #1 being my top pick:
1. Explore “under the sea” while scuba diving or snorkeling
2. Flamingo Beach
3. The Aruba Ostrich Farm
4. The Butterfly Farm
5. Horseback Riding
6. The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary
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