Aruba is rugged and vibrant – decadent in some places and quiet when it needs to be. There’s the healing sun, sand and sea and there’s also cacti-strewn terrain and wind-aged rock formations – lifetimes in the making -- where only four-wheelers can canvas. There’s a meshing of cultures and tongues; of palates and palettes; of past and present. It’s an island of delightful contrasts that flow into complements – the perfect backdrop, a natural gym and spa if you will, for a wellness-inspired jaunt.
DAY ONE | Theme: Adventure Fuel up: At Eduardo’s Beach Shack on Palm Beach, keep it light with smoothies, wheatgrass shots, pitaya and acai bowls with plenty of protein and hardy, healthy goodness to go the long-haul. You’ll need it. At Pura Vita Kitchen, which offers portion-controlled, nutritious but tasty fare, the tagline is “eat clean, train dirty.” No ambiguity here.
Move it: Get limber and stretch first with SUP Pilates on paddleboards at Vela Sports Aruba. Buoyed by the sea, achieving balance is the confidence boost you’ll need to brave the contours of the Aruba interior. Private UTV Tour with ABC Tours takes thrill seekers to Aruba’s natural monuments: Breathing Rocks, Black Stone Beach, Andicuri Beach, Natural Bridge and California Lighthouse and everything in between.
Zone out: Aloe Spa Treatments at Eforea Spa at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Spa have all the answers and antidotes to day-long exertion. Emerge buffed and polished for the posh dining at White Modern Cuisine – where the food looks as good as it tastes because Chef-Owner Urvin Croes and his team ensure that the art of cooking and presentation take center stage. Indulge a little.
DAY TWO | Theme: Zen
Clear Your Mind: Tucked away along the western coast in the Pos Chikito district near the Spanish Lagoon, Mangel Halto is beloved for its beauty and seclusion. Start your day with clear eyes and full hearts during a beach-side meditation session before a healthy breakfast under the mangrove trees.
Art Therapy: The Art for the Soul workshop by Vanessa Paulina at Cosecha San Nicolas promises a blend of meditation, yoga, and art to grant access to the deep places of our consciousness that inspire creative ideas. While your creation dries and sets, stroll through San Nicolas’s mural-covered corridors and stop to grab a bite to eat at Mundi Health Café. Here, learn about all things Aruba’s Dutch, Spanish and African history, Papiamento, and Wekulcha, over healthy wraps, salads, sandwiches or fresh juice.
Hunt and Gather: Foraging for wild plants is the most ancient of human subsistence patterns, say Frank Kelly, of Taki Tours Aruba. Every day, taste and tinker your way through a selection of flowers including moringa which starts sweets and ends peppery and can be used to make a super-food; and learn about the salt energy of the ubiquitous seaweed. “I like to stay close to nature, to go barefoot and just have enough for the day.”
Sunset For Supper: Sunset dinner at Elements Restaurant with the purples and pinks and oranges of the horizon is the perfect pairing for the art-infused lessons of the day. End your day feeling light with its Vegan and Vegetarian menu as a choice and as Vanessa Paulina would say: “Be Light.”
DAY THREE | Theme: Flow
Mood: Sunset salutations are better seaside – and with resident flamingos setting the intention: Unbothered. The private Yoga session at Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island with Maria Pucci is both intense and revitalizing.
Out at Sea: Soak up more sun and water sailing on the Catamaran with Tranquilo Charters Aruba. Like scuba diving or snorkeling? Aruba boasts intriguing shipwrecks (Second World War wrecks SS Antilla and SS Pedernales draw the bulk of the attention) and exciting reefs with great visibility.
Grand Finale: Passions on the Beach Restaurant – toes in sand, white table cloths, fresh catches of the day: The ultimate al fresco experience keeps you in the elements until the blissful end.
Stay Here: Following extensive 2016 renovations, this upscale Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Spa stands as an icon of modernist architecture on Aruba’s popular Palm Beach. Its 357 rooms are spacious, comfortable, and handsomely appointed, with furnished balconies or patios and a choice of views, immaculate tropical garden grounds (complete with caged Macaws), a top-notch spa and fitness center, and beachfront dining.
This article was originally published in Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, February 2019 Issue.
This press trip was curated and crafted by the Aruba Tourism Authority.