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How to visit the flamingo beach in Aruba was at the very top of my pre-vacation research while planning my first trip to Aruba last year. Flamingos have always been one of my favorite animals so the chance to see them up close was a must-do for me, and it should be for you, too!
The famous flamingos live on a private island known as Renaissance Island, located just offshore from mainland Aruba. While Renaissance Island is technically only open to guests staying at the Renaissance Hotel, you can also purchase a day pass so that you can have the opportunity to see the pretty pink flamingos.
What Does a Day Pass to Renaissance Island Get You?
A day pass to Renaissance Island does not come cheaply at $125 per person. There is enough to do on the island, however, that I think the cost is worth it. The tricky part is that the day passes for any given day go on sale the prior day at 7:00am and frequently sell out immediately. So if you are planning your trip in advance, it puts you in a bind. An easier way to plan ahead would probably be to just stay at the Renaissance Hotel for at least one night, that way you’re guaranteed access to the island at no extra cost.
The flamingos congregate in an area of the island known simply as Flamingo Beach — a full-service beach with chairs, towels, and a beverage service. The beach opens at 9:00am and I recommend getting there as early as possible in order to snag a beach chair. The beach is simply gorgeous — crystal clear Caribbean water, white sand, and bright pink flamingos.
In addition to the opportunity to hang out at Flamingo Beach, Renaissance Island features a second beach known as Iguana Beach. There are tons of cool-looking iguanas hanging out all over the island, not just at this beach. Iguana Beach features plenty of sandy space and has a large swimming area. You can rent a large floatie from a stand near the beach and float in the ocean to your heart’s content.
The island also features a restaurant called Papagayo Bar & Grill where you can pop in for a yummy island lunch. They offer salads, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches along with cocktails from their full bar. When I ate at Papagayo, I had one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had. It had seafood and fresh basil that was so flavorful, I’m still thinking about it a year later! Prices are reasonable at about $10-20 per dish.
How to Visit Flamingo Beach in Aruba
We took a taxi from our hotel near Eagle Beach to the Renaissance Hotel lobby. Inside the ground floor of the lobby, you will see a small river near the Starbucks stand. This is where the boat will pick you up and drop you off. The boat transfer arrives every 15 minutes and does not need to be booked in advance. To get on the boat, you do have to have your day pass to Renaissance Island with you to show the driver.
Once on the boat, you will enjoy a quick and fun 15 minute ride over to Renaissance Island. Cruising through the blue Caribbean waters is such a nice way to start what is sure to be a fun and memorable day! When you’re ready to leave the island, just wait for the boat on the dock where you were dropped off in the morning. Easy peasy!
Accessing Flamingo Beach via a Spa Package
The final, lesser known way to visit Flamingo Beach and Renaissance Island is by booking a spa package with the Renaissance Hotel’s spa, Okeanos Spa. This is actually what I did and I was really pleased with how everything turned out! Keep in mind that this is technically the most expensive way to gain access to Renaissance Island, but I thought the value we received outweighed the costs.
All spa packages booked with Okeanos Spa include access to Renaissance Island for one full day. We took complete advantage of this by arriving first thing in the morning (around 9am — my idea of first thing!) and staying until late afternoon. We booked the Seascapes Package for $405, which included a 75 minute open-air massage for two, free water floaties for the beach, lunch for two, and two cocktails. If you want to book this package as a single, it’s just $225. Considering just a day pass (if you’re lucky enough to grab one) is $125, it’s totally worth it to pay $100 more for a massage, lunch, and a drink!
The massage I had in the Renaissance Island Spa Cove was unlike any spa experience I’ve ever had. The Spa Cove is a peaceful, open-air hut (but nice, lol) located at the edge of the island in complete solitude. As I enjoyed my massage with sounds of waves crashing on the beach in the background, I was easily the most peaceful I have ever been.
This is me standing in the Spa Cove just outside of where my massage took place – so gorgeous!
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