Aruba Essentials

27 cheapest direct flights aruba zs
No. 7 Aruba Miami to Aruba 2 hours, 40 minutes $350 American Airlines http://www.kayak.com/flights#/MIA-AUA/weekend/Thu-SunZach Stovall

ARUBA HOTELS

J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 252 Eagle Beach

800-969-2310; amsterdammanor.com

From $159 in low season ($249 high), plus 19 percent tax and service

L.G. Smith Blvd. 462 Malmok

800-320-9998; arubabeachvillas.com

From $78 in low season ($168 high), plus 17 percent tax and service

Bakval 20,Basiruti

297-586-6654; arubaboardwalk.com

From $131 in low season ($231 high), plus 19 percent tax and service

J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 240, Eagle Beach

297-587-0110; mvceaglebeach.com

From $85 in low season ($130 high), plus 19 percent tax and service

Paradera 203, Paradera

297-582-3289; paraderapark-aruba.com

From $85 in low season ($115 high), plus 17½ percent tax and service

*per person in low season ($167 high), based on double occupancy and excluding airfare, car rental, airport transfers, tax and service charges. (US$1 = 1.80 AWG)

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WORTH A SPLURGE

Just across the street from Eagle Beach, Amsterdam Manor occupies a clutch of charming, Dutch-style two- and three-story buildings and attracts a cosmopolitan clientele. Most of the least-expensive rooms don't have sea views but are just 100 feet from the sand. All 72 rooms have a kitchenette, free Wi-Fi, and a balcony or patio; one- and two-bedroom suites are also available. One of the hotel's two restaurants is right on the beach. A fall special (valid through December 19) offers either a 20 percent discount on standard room rates or a free upgrade to the next-highest room category.

BREAKFAST

Amici
$7 for a veggie omelet
J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 382, Palm Beach
297-586-5153

LUNCH

Cuba's Cookin'
$15 for a three-course lunch
Willamena St. #27, Oranjestad
297-588-0627

DINNER

Tulip
$16 for keshi yena, the traditional Antillean dish of stuffed Gouda cheese
J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 240, Eagle Beach
297-587-0110

ACTIVITY

Red Sail Sports
$49 per person for a three-hour sailing and snorkeling trip.
297-586-1603; redsailaruba.com

GETTING THERE

Air Canada flies to Aruba from Toronto. American flies from Miami and New York-JFK; Continental from Houston and Newark, New Jersey; Delta from Atlanta and New York-JFK; JetBlue from Boston and New York-JFK; United from Chicago and Washington D.C.; USAirways from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Philadelphia.

TAXI

From airport to:
- Paradera Park $20
- Amsterdam Manor, MVC Eagle Beach $22
- Boardwalk Vacation Retreat $25
- Aruba Beach Villas $30

RENTAL CAR

Amigo Rent-a-Car from $35 per day, 011-297-583-8833; amigocar.com

TAXES

Room tax and service charges range up to 19 percent; departure tax is $36.75 (usually included in cost of airline ticket).

INFO

800-862-7822; aruba.com

OUT + ABOUT

During World War II, the captain of the German freighter Antilla scuttled the vessel to keep her out of the hands of Dutch marines. The ensuing blast split the 400-foot vessel in two, inadvertently creating a star tourist attraction just a few hundred yards off the coast. The wreck has been underwater long enough to evolve into a giant apartment complex for fish, with brain coral, tube sponges and fan worms adorning the walls. It's a popular dive site, but with the bow and mast almost touching the surface, snorkelers can get in on the fun too, and several operators run daily trips to the wreck.

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