Along the rugged north shore of Aruba, you will find some of the finest sand on the island, in a snowy landscape of rolling hills. This desert like environment offers a great day trip opportunity from your villa in Aruba, as although you can’t drive on the dunes, they can fully be explored on foot.
The dunes are known as the Californian Dunes, named after the ship ‘California’, whose wreck lies just off of the shore. Further along the shore, you will find the beautiful dines of Wariruri and Arikok National Park. Expect to find Aloe, Cacti and Divi Divi trees scattered across the environment creating a truly desert like scene.
If you are up for a trek, then this part of the island is definitely worth a visit, regardless of whether or not your villa rental is nearby. For a good vantage point, head to the California Lighthouse, situated at the northern tip of Aruba. The lighthouse is one of the island’s premier landmarks, and is a great place to visit day or night to take in the 360 degree views that it offers.
If you don’t fancy making the trip yourself, there are many tour companies that offer a guided tour of California Lighthouse from you Aruba house rental. With a tour, you will get the added benefit of a complete historic description by an informative guide.
For a full day out, why not finish of your day trip with a visit to the restaurant of La Trattoria El Faro Blanco, located at the base of the lighthouse? It is here you can tuck in to some delicious Italian fare. Alternatively, head to Simply Fish, where you can try some delicious Arubian dishes and enjoy the culture of the island before heading back to your Caribbean vacation home.
There is no question that the waters around the island of Barbados are simply teeming with life, bringing people form all over the world to get a Caribbean vacation rental and enjoy the waters, either by snorkelling or scuba diving. There are two hot spots for seeing the life beneath the waves.
Carlisle Bay Marine Park
This marine park is located in St. Micheal, so likely to be just a short drive from your Barbados holiday rental. With calm waters, a sunken shipwreck and the chance of seeing turtles in their natural habitat, it is a very popular snorkelling spot. Ruined boats are strewn across the sea floor, so it is not uncommon to see rusting cannonballs and old anchors resting on the sea bed. If you opt to take a guided snorkelling tour, you may also get the chance to feed the fish, and have them flock around you while you swim. Guided tours also come with the benefit of transport to and from your Barbados accommodation.
Folkestone Marine Park
At Folkestone Marine Park, located in St James, you can explore an artificial reef that is simply teeming with a variety of sea life. The reef has been created by the sinking of the Stavronikita ship, which now rests in 120 ft of water less than half a mile out to sea, which is best seen by an organised scuba tour. Again, you can be picked up from your holiday rental and taken directly to the dive site.
If you fancy staying a little closer to shore, then simply put on a snorkel and swim around the inshore reef, about one third of a mile from the coast, and home to fish, anemones, sea lilies, corals and sponges.
Once you have seen all there is to see in the water, then be sure to take a walk around the informative museum which is full of information about all the creatures that you may have just witnessed under the water.
Although Gustavia may be the most populated part of the island, then second most popular tourist area on the island is St. Jean. Located in St Barts heart, it is a town simply full of amazing dining opportunities, large and uncrowded shopping plazas, and a range of tiny, unique boutique establishments. It is also nearby the islands only airport, making transport links to your villa in Barbados easy.
Once you have filled your days with shopping, wandering down the picturesque streets and having a bite to eat in one of the many pavement cafes or upscale restaurants, it is time to hit the beach. The beach of St. Jean is actually two beaches, split by the Eden Rock which sits proudly on the coastline, with a hotel perched on the top.
The bay is a beautiful crescent of powder soft, white sands, and is home to a natural coral reef which helps to make it a swimming hot spot. People come from vacation rentals all over the island to dive beneath the waves and see the huge array of marine life that thrive just below the surface.
If water sports are your thing, then there are a number of water sport centres around the town and bay that offer the rental of sporting equipment such as snorkel gear,snorkel gear, windsurfers and much more, as well as an array of other beach toys.
Due to the stunning bay, St. Jean is also home to the St. Barts Fun Cup in February, which is three days of Regattas. The lively atmosphere, excitable crowd and festival atmosphere make it a great time to have accommodation in Barbados.