Good Morning! As promised, I’m spilling all the info on Flamingo Island in Aruba-.aka the Renaissance Hotel’s private island. If you’re wondering how to get there, when to go, and how to get the perfect shot for the ‘gram, I’ve got all the details!
Where is Flamingo Island?
Flamingo Island aka the Renaissance Hotel’s private island, is a private beach for the guests of the Renaissance hotel. As a guest you get access to the beach as part of your stay, which includes the boat transfer to and from the island. There is a boat pickup point right in the lobby of the hotel as well as across the street on the boat docks. The boats run every 15 minutes. If you’re not a guest of the hotel, they do sell day passes (which are around $100 each) for beach access for the day. If you choose to NOT stay at the Renaissance but still want to go see the flamingos, I would advise going first thing in the morning to try to get the limited passes. I can imagine that pass sales are not a guarantee depending on if the hotel is fully booked, busy season, as to not overbook the island.
My advice: if the flamingos are a mus for you, stay either your first or last day in Aruba at the Renaissance hotel so you get the access to the beach as part of your stay. Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of the Renaissance hotel and think $100 per person to enjoy the island is a bit much. The Renaissance hotel is the only hotel that is “downtown” Aruba. The rest of the hotels (Ritz, Marriott, Hilton, etc) are all further in to the island on a beach strip-very walkable and the most action on the island. For me, this beach area is definitely preferable over the town. You can read my hotel and restaurant reviews from Aruba in this post.
What is Flamingo Island like?
After about a 15 minute boat ride, you pull up to a docking area and can go to a couple different beaches. The adult only area is where the flamingos hang out. This side of the island is definitely less crowded and more quiet, but when we went there were no empty lounge chairs. The other side of the island has a larger beach area as well as a restaurant/bar right off the beach. There are huts for rental, plenty of drinks flowing, and an overall pretty cool vibe with hidden hammocks, walking paths, and little coves tucked around the island.
How to get the Perfect Flamingo Shot?
Two things: flamingo food and patience. The flamingos were surprisingly active the day we went to the island. There are 7 flamingos total. They were all active, interested in eating and strutting around after people, which I hear isn’t necessarily the norm. There is a vending machine with flamingo food for a quarter on the beach. They ate right out of my hand, which is what got this great shot! Obviously, there are a lot of other people trying to take pictures with the flamingos so patience with other people and the birds is definitely necessary!
Is it Worth the Trip?
Overall, I was impressed with the island itself and thought it was a cool experience but not one that I would want to spend my whole vacation. I absolutely love my annual trip to Aruba and can’t imagine giving it up. For my family and I, it is a great time to get away from the winter and refresh/relax. The weather is perfect, the restaurants are great, and overall it’s a really fun and relaxing time. However, now that I’ve checked the flamingos off the list, I’ve had my fill! If you’re going to Aruba for more than just the flamingos, it’s definitely worth spending a night at the Renaissance to get access to the beach and check it out. At the end of the day, the flamingos were a unique experience that am happy I did, but don’t feel the pressing need to do it again!
I hope this answered all your questions about the Flamingos in Aruba! It’s definitely not the easiest place to find out information about, so I hope this broke down the secretive wall. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional Aruba travel advice!