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Aruba All Inclusive Or Not-- Aruba's Eagle Beach Or Palm Beach?

Your biggest considerations in choosing a resort in Aruba is going to be whether or not you wish to stay at an all inclusive resort, or not; and which beach you would like to stay on.

All-inclusive has its purpose and on some islands and, is the only way to go. Aruba is not like Jamaica where you do not venture off property at night. It is different on Aruba in that you can travel freely and safely, even at night. Taxis are plentiful and fairly inexpensive so it is very easy to get around.

One of Aruba's many attractions is its restaurants. There are all kinds of restaurants in every price range. You will get to see first hand the delicious food and varied culture of the island. If you love to dine out and taste different things then AI is not for you.

Our recent trips we have switched to all inclusive. Our teenager likes the convenience of picking snacks instead of a full meal at a set time. We also found staying at the Radisson that lunches were becoming extremely expensive at about $50+ for the three of us with just a few sodas. If you drink a lot, this would probably be the only way that would make an all inclusive cheaper than paying as you go. That said dining out in Aruba does not have to be expensive. It all depends upon your tastes and expectations.

With the money we save staying at a 3 star all inclusive (the Tamarijn) vs. staying at the 4 star Radisson, we save enough money to do some extra excursions or dine off property a few nights.

The high rise resorts are located on Palm Beach. The low rise resorts are located on Eagle/Manchebo/Druif Beaches. There are some pretty drastic differences between the areas.

Eagle/Manchebo/Druif Beaches can have some waves, at other times it will be dead calm and lake like. Water all over the island is blue, warm and refreshing. From Eagle Beach to Druif Beach, you will find wide, long and very white beaches. Because of its width and length it will be less crowded than Palm Beach. There is less boat activity, so the water is clearer. Thought admittedly, there are other islands such as the Bahamas which do have clearer water. The water clarity in Aruba varies from day to day but as divers I can say it is rarely "perfect". The only other negative about Eagle Beach is that there are some Jet Ski operators at the north end of the Amsterdam Manor property.

Aruba is a windy island with average tradewinds of 17 mph. A positive of Palm Beach is that it is less windy here because the wind is blocked by most of the resort's buildings. Palm Beach is also long and white, but narrower and the resorts are larger. The beach here is more crowded, but in my mind, crowding is relative. If you grew up at the Jersey shore like I did, Palm Beach will not be that bad. Overall the area is much more congested in comparison to Eagle Beach. Street side along Palm Beach there is a number of restaurants, shops and bars. If activities are a must have within walking distance you will have everything you need right in the Palm Beach area. Within walking distance on Palm Beach you will also find seven casinos at the following resorts- Ritz Carlton, Marriott Stellaris, Holiday Inn Resort Aruba, Hyatt, Occidental, Radisson, Riu Palace and Riu Antillas.

Palm Beach also is the only location for four star resorts. Four star resorts include the Marriott Stellaris, Hyatt Regency, Radisson, Riu Palace and Riu Antillas. The 5 star Ritz Carlton opened in late 2013 at the northern end of Palm beach.

For quiet, less crowds, wider beaches then Eagle/ Manchebo/Druif Beaches would be your choice. If you were staying here without an all inclusive package, a rental car would most likely be a good idea. This will give you transportation to dinner each evening as well as shopping trips into downtown Oranjestad and a day of driving around the island and doing some sightseeing.

Each has its trade-offs, you would just need to decide what your priorities are- beach or accommodations.

No matter where you stay, for relaxation, blue waters, great beaches and perfect weather, Aruba is a great choice.

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