I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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If you’re coming to Aruba with the expectation you’ll see hundreds of flamingos frolicking about as soon as you step off the plane, you’re going to encounter some disappointment.
While there are flamingos in Aruba, they can only be seen at Flamingo Beach Aruba on the Renaissance Private Island (and now at De Palm Island– but this article will focus on Flamingo Beach on the Renaissance Private Island).
If this venture is on your bucket list, then you’re going to need to plan ahead!
If you find yourself booking a trip to Aruba, you’re probably going to want to add visiting Flamingo Island Beach to your travel itinerary.
I visited flamingos in Aruba while on a solo trip on the island. Flamingo Beach is definitely a must-see. I spent the day there while renting a cabana and getting a full-body massage that was worth every penny.
There are flamingos and even iguanas on the beach. The boat ride to this private beach is super fun as well!
There are many rumors online as to how the flamingos became residents in Aruba. Some even go into depth by saying the flamingos are mistreated, only brought over for tourism, and wings clipped so they can’t escape.
I asked the Aruban locals including a member of the Renaissance who has been employed on the island for almost 20 years (roughly around the time the flamingos were brought to this island).
Some facts I learned by speaking to the locals: while flamingos are not native to the island of Aruba, they are native to Aruba’s neighboring island Bonaire.
The flamingos were brought to the Renaissance Island from Bonaire when many of them were just babies. They were not taken from the wild but rather; they were purchased from a local zoo.
When I asked if their wings were clipped, he said yes but only because if they flew away, the flamingos would not survive in the wild. The wing clipping is done for safety reasons, not to intentionally alter the behavior of the birds.
I asked if he felt the flamingos were mistreated, another common rumor I read online. He said no, the flamingos are taken well care of. The only time the flamingos encounter mistreatment is if visitors pester them and don’t leave them alone.
That is why children under 18 are not allowed on Flamingo Beach. Only one hour between 9 am & 10 am is when children can visit Flamingo Beach, where they can be closely monitored by the flamingo caretakers.
If anyone is noted to be drunk or harassing the flamingos in any way, these individuals are promptly escorted off the island.
The island is divided into two separate beaches. One side is Iguana Beach. This is the “family-friendly” beach where you can swim, snorkel, and partake in water sports.
This side of the island is also where the Papagayo Bar & Grill is located for when you need a bite to eat.
The other side of Renaissance Island is Flamingo Beach. This is the “adults only” side and is where you can see, swim with, and even feed the flamingos.
When you’re crossing the bridge to get to Flamingo Island, there’s a small vending machine where you can buy food to feed them.
I was not planning on doing this, but some gentleman saw me passing by and asked if I would like some food for the flamingos. I, of course, said yes and ended up with a handful of pellets to feed them with.
Guests who stay at the hotel have free access to the private island. You can book your stay here.
The only way to get to Renaissance Island is by boat that picks you up either directly from the hotel (there’s a canal located inside) or if the swell is too high, from a designated spot in the marina. The driver of the boat will scan your access card, and then you’re free to board!
The first boat leaves as early as 7:00 am, with two boats traveling back and forth every 15 minutes throughout the day. The last boat leaves at 6:45 pm.
This is perhaps the easiest way to gain access to the island, as you don’t have to worry about reservation slots being filled up! You can check current prices for the Renaissance Aruba Resort, here.
Another way to see flamingos in Aruba is by purchasing a day pass. A day pass can be pre-booked online 24 hours in advance.
You will not be able to purchase your day passes a few days out; registration is locked until 7 am the day before. The cost of a day pass is $125.
Also, there is a limited number of passes the hotel sells each day and they are usually gone within a few minutes of open registration. I hope you have fast internet!
You can either go to the hotel in person or use their online system for booking day passes. You can book your day pass to Flamingo Beach Aruba online here. Keep in mind you can only buy a ticket for the following day and they go on sale at 7 am the previous day.
This method I have dubbed the “secret” way to get onto the island. Not very many people are aware this is an option or that there is even a spa here to begin with!
The spa on Renaissance Island is named Spa Cove. It is located right between Iguana Beach and Flamingo Beach and is quite literally a little cove haven. This wide-open bungalow overlooks the beautiful turquoise-colored ocean. The spa is private, so you will not be bothered by other island guests.
The cost for a 60-minute massage for one person is $170. This also includes lunch, a floatie rental, and one welcome beverage voucher.
In my opinion, if you’re not staying at the Renaissance Aruba Resort, this is the better option.
For one, I was able to make my reservation a week in advance. I didn’t have to worry about scrambling to get a day pass the morning before.
Also, the price difference between the day pass versus the massage was not much different. For $45 dollars more, I received a 60-minute full-body massage!
You can’t beat that!
I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and plant-based nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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Love it! And how did you take your photo of you and the flamingos? Did you ask one or did you setup the tripod? Hmmmm you’re motivating me to take a solo trip to Aruba – I have visions of me just beaching around….
I took the pictures with my camera and tripod! Although I have to admit, it was really difficult! By the time I set up the shot, the flamingos either moved or someone would walk right into my shot!