Dreaming about flamingos

Flamingos pictures have become in the last few years a real instagram sensation and made Aruba the place where most of us dream to spend their holiday.

The Caribbean island with 362 sunny days per year and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is home of the exotic flamingos, majestic birds that makes Aruba truly unique. Pretty accessible by plane or by boat from any country of Latin America, Aruba it’s actually a Dutch state far away from Europe with the capital in Oranjestad.

Beside Dutch, Spanish and English the islanders have their own native language, papiamento, with strong portughese and creole influences.

How to book your trip to flamingo beach step by step

What used to be just a dream too beautiful to become true, mostly due to its remote location in the Caribbean sea, visiting Aruba became reality after an overnight decision.

1. Yellow fever vaccination

During my holiday in Colombia I decided that it’s now or never and without thinking twice I booked my flight to happiness.

Unfortunately my dream turned out into a nightmare pretty quick when Avianca, due to its ground staff incompetence, denied me boarding as I wasn’t carrying a yellow fever vaccination card. My country is not classified as a high risk zone therefore I do not require a vaccine to enter Aruba. But what I didn’t know was that visiting Colombia for the past 10 days makes the vaccination mandatory.

Check the link bellow for more informations. If you require a vaccine you can have one in the airport’s clinic, free of charge, right before your flight.

Do I need a yellow fever card?

2. Plan your visit to the flamingo beach

Be aware that booking a ticket to Aruba won’t guarantee your encounter with the flamingos, as those exotic birds are not native to the island but brought in by the Renaissance hotel as a touristic attraction. Although the flamingos have been here for more than a decade, only 4 years ago they became insta famous and the numbers of tourists increased considerably.

Renaissance private island

While the hotel offers free access to their guests (booking a room is pricely and difficult to find), you have the option of purchasing a day pass to the island for 125$ including lunch and a drink of your choice. The ticket can be booked online up to 48h in advance and it’s subject to availability.

For more informations regarding available dates click the link below Flamingo island day pass

3. How to reach the Renaissance private island

Every 15 minutes a speed boat is departing from the Renaissance hotel’s lobby towards the private island located near by. The kids access is permitted only from 9-10am to avoid disturbing the flamingo’s population therefore the adults can enjoy a quiet day on the beach. Sit back and enjoy the 10 minutes boat ride with an epic departure from an indoor canal.

4. The best time to visit the island

The best time to visit the island it’s in the morning when flamingos are still full of energy, hungry and they are looking for a treat. You can purchase flamingos’s food for a quarter dollar from the vending machine. Tempting them with special snacks will ensure a better interaction and you may even make a fluffy friend by the end of the day.

5. Playing with the flamingos

Flamingos are quite social and they will pose for you, let themselves fed and even put in a dancing show but please do not chase them on the beach and avoid touching them as those are still considered wild birds and not pets.

In the afternoon the island is more quiet as most of the people are already tired and bored of taking pictures but so are the flamingos who’s siesta shouldn’t be disturbed. Wait quietly for them to wake up.

sssh…flamingos are taking a break

6. What to expect

The island is opened daily from 7am-6pm and offers a 5 star service with friendly staff, excellent chefs, strong cocktails and relaxing atmosphere. All the beach amenities are includes in the fee and you do not have to carry anything with you except your phone, sun screen and a hat for the torrid afternoons.

There are two beaches on the island equipped with umbrellas and sun beds, one of them being dedicated to iguana’s interactions and more family oriented while the other is the real playground of the flamingos and the main attraction of the country.

7. Useful information about flamingos

Do not expect to see flamingos roaming freely everywhere, the island owning just 6 pink residents well fed and cared for. Flamingos are naturally white and to stimulate the beautiful feathers they need a special diet based on shrimps, plankton, algae and crustaceans. The brighter is their color the more respected are in their flocks as it is perceived as a sign of good life.

Flamingos are mostly monogamous and they perform a spectacular courtship dance in order to attract a mate, this dance being the highlight of your visit.

In order to keep them safe on the island, flamingos wings are clipped, a pain free process similar to a hair cut for humans (I regularly clip my parrots’s wings to avoid them hurting themselves while flying inside of the house). With all these precautions one of the flamingos managed to break his leg and needed medical care, reason why the injured leg is tagged with a bracelet. As you can see flamingos are delicate creatures and you need to be very careful when approaching them for a picture.

Given the increased popularity and amount of tourists that the cute birds are bringing to the country every year, another private island “De palm” tried their luck with a flock of flamingos imported from Chile. Being much younger their feathers are not pink just yet and they might need few years to get used to the curious tourists.

I hope you found those informations useful and you will take Aruba into consideration for your future travel plans. Beside the flamboyant flamingos which are the main attraction, the island has so much more to offer, you can find few suggestions in my previous travel story.

Aruba, my home away from home

 

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