Aruba has so much to offer — it stands apart from other Caribbean islands with its unique desert landscapes; all beaches are public & to be enjoyed by all people; and its Arikok National Park offers alluring coastal hikes.
There are some moments from Aruba that stick in my mind like salty ocean air. The sun bleeding over the horizon during a Mount Hooiberg sunrise. Discovering starfish, sea urchins, & endless tropical fish while snorkeling shallow waters. But many of my favorite moments had to have been wading through clear waters with the flamingo flock of Aruba’s private island on Flamingo Beach.
(Read about my Top 7 favorite Things To Do in Aruba here!)
Flamingo Beach Logistics
Flamingo Beach is located on Renaissance Island — a 40-acre private island owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, which can be found in Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad. The island itself is a mini paradise, but it’s known primarily for the flamingos that call it home.
New members of the flock are brought over from nearby Bonaire, where they are celebrated as the national bird. They arrive as fledglings, to grow up in their new home. There are about five fledglings and five adults at any given time on Flamingo Beach, where they are well cared for and respected.
These flamingos have made such a name for themselves among Aruba’s tourists that day passes to Flamingo Beach have become coveted!
The island is first and foremost for guests at the Renaissance Aruba. A daily boat ferries guests back and forth from the island (every 15 min), starting right in the open-air hotel lobby — there is a man-made canal leading right up to a Starbuck’s. It could not be more convenient.
For those that aren’t staying at the Renaissance but are still wanting to mingle with the flamingos, it’s possible to snag a day pass. Day passes to Flamingo Beach cannot be reserved & are first-come-first-serve, if available. When the hotel is not at capacity, you can show up early in the morning and request one at the front desk; they’re a steep $125, but at least include lunch & a cocktail.
Most people prefer to just reserve a night or two at the hotel for a hassle-free guarantee. (Or if you’re a travel agent… schedule a site inspection & snag a pass for free ;))
Overall it’s great that the Renaissance limits visitors to Flamingo Beach — once you make it to the island, it is refreshingly uncrowded — no troubles finding an open chaise lounge or hammock.
The Flamingos Themselves
I admired them for some time, their movements slow and demure. After a few fruitless attempts to feed them pellets (which you can buy for a quarter, and they were way too shy to eat), I moved on to the adult side to find the grownups. (Sidenote: Children are allowed over to the adults-only side for an hour or two each morning to see the grown-up flamingos.)
Once I found the adult flamingo flock — they’re impossible to miss — I was entranced! They are the goofiest birds. I can and did watch them for hours. They do everything together as a flock — from grooming, to ruffling their feathers, to this sort of mating dance.
More To See & Do
The flamingos may be the stars of the show, but Renaissance Island has even more wildlife in store. Like I mentioned before, Aruba itself has a desert landscape. But Renaissance Island is lush with jungle animals & plants.
You can wander along mangroves to find tropical fish and sea urchins. You can hike down forest paths along with countless lizards and the occasional hermit crab; there are maintained nature trails that immerse you in the jungle. You can laugh at the clumsy, endearing pelicans dotting the water’s edge.
And of course between explorations, there is no shortage of sunny spots to relax. Try the sand, lounge chairs, a cabana, or the floating dock out in the middle of the sea. Sit at one of two beachside bars to grab a flashy cocktail. Or my personal favorite: wade out to these overwater hammocks.
I hope you make it to Aruba, and I hope you snag a pass to visit Flamingo Beach; it was one of my favorite parts of this trip. During my site inspection, I took a guided tour of the entire resort and got all of the inside travel agent scoops — so reach out to me when you’re ready to plan.
Beyond Flamingo Beach, I have a lot of other Aruba favorites too, and a million more pictures, so be sure to check out another Aruba blog post here!