If you’re here, I’m assuming that you want to know if it’s worth it. Duh! Lots of tourists who visit the beautiful island of Aruba choose not to stay at Renaissance Hotel. For hotel guests, there is no additional fee to tour the private island. Outsiders require a day pass and the process of getting to Flamingo and Iguana Beaches is a bit more tedious.
Firstly, shoutout to my best friend for figuring all of this out. Although the planning wasn’t terrible, it was the most annoying part of this whole experience. The day pass includes transportation from Renaissance Hotel to the private island and vice versa, one meal from Papagayo Beach Bar, and a drink (yes, singular).
Thankfully, we took one of the first boats out. As a result, we were the first set of people to feed the flamingos and take uninterrupted Insta-worthy shots. I’ve seen these birds move about freely in their natural habitats numerous times in numerous locations, but never so close. And never would I have thought that I would feed them, but I did!
Aruba is known for Flamingo Beach. Visiting the island without making your way there would be a waste. Most of these pretty pink birds were friendly and just wanted some food. HOWEVER, I can comfortably say we were all attacked at one point by the same few bird bullies. Getting into the water with them is something that stays in your memory forever. If you’re short like me, kneeling and posing with them to take pictures is a tad bit scary. Watching their yellow eyes as their long necks bend to accommodate your height while pecking at your hands for food is…daunting. But don’t let that stop you from getting your pic!
We first visited Iguana Beach to eat, as the sole restaurant is on that side of the island. The food at Papagayo Beach Bar was great but couldn’t be savored the way it should have due to the countless, persistent flies. Usually, when a day pass includes a meal, it’s something cheap, or the options are super limited. I was decently surprised.
I was just as excited to see the iguanas. Before lunchtime, they hid. But when the staff put out that salad? Hunny. Most of them didn’t move much further than where their lunch was. As a fellow mangette? Mwe comprendre.
Renaissance Island is phenomenal. A must-do for everyone visiting Aruba. In my very professional opinion, the visit to the private island is worth every dime.