Our Stay at Bucuti & Tara - An Adults-Only Aruba Adventure
We celebrated a milestone birthday on Aruba and stayed at the award-winning Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. This adults only boutique resort is situated on Eagle Beach, which is one of the most celebrated beaches in the Caribbean, if not the world! We split our time between relaxing at the beach and exploring all fun things Aruba has to offer.
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Where to stay
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
An award-winner for adults only, on Aruba’s beautiful Eagle Beach.
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Bucuti & Tara has won so many awards and accolades over the years, and it made it an easy choice for us as we knew we wanted an adults-only resort, and there are only a few on Aruba.
We were greeted very warmly upon arrival and handed glasses of champagne and cold towels as we checked in. When we arrived in our room, there was a tray of goodies and a welcome letter waiting for us.
We stayed in one of the Deluxe Ocean View rooms, and our view of Eagle Beach was perfect. The terrace had a table and chairs as well as two sun-loungers, and I enjoyed practicing yoga each morning as the sun rose. The room had a few features that we really appreciated: a mini-fridge for keeping wine and beer cold, a dehumidifier (which makes a huge difference!) and a really big bathroom with lovely soft robes.
While Aruba is famously breezy because of the trade winds that blow across the island, Eagle Beach is calm, free of seaweed or rocks and is perfect for swimming or floating. While there are no coral formations or reefs, there are still some colorful fish swimming in the water and I even spotted some starfish. It is also a popular nesting and hatching spot for sea turtles that come here every year between March and September.
The resort has five different restaurants, but does not require guests to be all-inclusive. You can opt for different meal plans to suit your preferences, which we really appreciated as we knew there were off-site restaurants we wanted to go to. Breakfast is complimentary in all room rates, for two persons. We enjoyed all of our meals and honestly the service was outstanding. The Bucuti & Tara team are some of the friendliest we've ever encountered and they made each dining experience fun!
I went to an early morning yoga class on the beach and really enjoyed it. The resort has a lot of group classes to choose from, and it felt like there was something for everyone.
We usually like to do a combination of being beach bums and lazing around with getting out and exploring. Here are some the adventures we had on Aruba during our eight-night stay:
We spent the afternoon getting settled into our room, walking around the resort and swimming in the sea. We watched the sunset, hoping to catch the green flash. We then went for dinner nearby at Fusion Restaurant Wine & Piano Bar, which is very close to Bucuti & Tara and offers a tapas-style menu.
After breakfast, we grabbed a taxi and headed to Hadicurari Beach. We love walking along the beach and we basically spent the day walking back towards to Eagle Beach, with stops for swimming and lunch at the Beach Bar on Palm Beach. A lot of the bigger resorts are along Palm Beach, so it definitely had a more lively vibe and there were plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, and watersports to choose from. In the evening we caught a taxi to Pinchos Grill & Bar in Oranjestad and it was fabulous! I would HIGHLY recommend booking a reservation as it was very busy when we went (sunset timing is in high demand). After sunset, lights turn on under the pier and we loved watching all the fish!
We had a lovely breakfast and prepared for our next adventure: a UTV rental from Arubiana. They have a map of the island you can download to your phone, and it highlights things to see around the island. We visited Malmok Beach and the California Lighthouse. We then headed to the Natural Pool hoping to go for a dip, but the sea was a bit too wild for it to be safe (which is a shame because it was HOT outside!). We then headed to the Ayo Rock Formations and went for a walk and then onto Arikok National Park. **Since our trip, the park has banned UTVs, so you will need to make arrangements to see the park another way and would suggest booking a tour, as it is worth seeing!
We grabbed a late lunch at Mangel Halto Beach and went snorkeling. This beach has mangroves all around and there are some nice little secluded spots to relax and have a little rest. We finally headed to Baby Beach and went for a swim. This beach was much busier than Mangel Halto and wasn't great for snorkeling, so we didn't spend as much time here. We headed back to the hotel and decided to have dinner at the hotel as we were worn out from all of our adventures of the day!
We spent a lazy day at the beach at Tara & Bucuti. I love swimming in the sea, and Eagle Beach is so calm and the water is incredibly clear. We went for a walk, but mostly just relaxed, read books, and enjoyed the incredible view. In the evening we had reservations for a chef's table dinner at Fred Restaurant. It was a really fun experience, although I think it has changed owners since we were there. We met some really lovely people and the wine pairing was spot on!
It was my birthday! After breakfast at the hotel, we headed to Moomba Beach to board a catamaran for a snorkeling trip, which visited the wreck of the SS Antilla. It was really good fun and we always love seeing an island from the water at least once on our trips. When we got off the boat we headed to Pelican Pier for a late lunch and some cold Balashi beers.
We had another relaxing day at the beach and later in the day we fancied a change of scenery, so we made our way to happy hour cocktails at Matthew's Beachside Restaurant, which is only a five- minute walk from Bucuti & Tara. We went for dinner at Yemanja, which might have been my favorite meal of the whole trip! The Mediterranean lamb dumplings were to die for!! But you MUST book a table. Don't miss this place if you are a foodie!
We headed to Boca Catalina Beach as it is meant to be the best place for snorkeling on the island. The water was lovely and calm and we had the whole area to ourselves. The beach does not have any restaurants or sunlounge rentals and most people come specifically for snorkeling. We then headed to Palm Beach for late lunch at The Beach Bar and eventually ended up at Bugaloe to enjoy the sunset, some tropical drinks and snacks (bitterballen!).
Our rental car was waiting for us in the parking lot at the resort. We hopped in and headed to Zeerovers. This restaurant serves freshly caught seafood (by weight) and the offering changes according to what the fisherman have brought in. Zeerovers was recommended by several locals and it did not disappoint. But I recommend getting there for when it opens at 11am so you don't end up waiting in a very long line! We were the third people to arrive and we got prime seating out on the little pier. We then headed back to Mangel Halto Beach to do some snorkeling and sunbathing. In the evening we had reservations for Barefoot Restaurant in Oranjestad. We sat right on the beach with our toes in the sand!
We said our goodbyes to the lovely folks at Bucuti & Tara, enjoyed our final Balashis at the airport lounge, and started scheming about how soon we could come back to paradise!
Aruba is one of our favorite Caribbean islands as it was very friendly, safe, easy to get around, offers incredible beaches, and some of the best food we've ever had! There’s a good reason Aruba leads the Caribbean in return visits, with 65 percent of visitors making repeat trips to the island!
Need to Know
When to go:
Aruba is a year round destination thanks to being outside the hurricane belt, but peak season is December through April.
The official language is Dutch but we never encountered any issues as pretty much everyone speaks English. We also encountered a lot of people that could also speak Spanish.
Aruba's currency is the florin, but the US dollar is also widely accepted.
Returning to the USA:
Aruba has US pre-clearance for all passengers traveling to the United States. This means that you will go through passport control in Aruba at the U.S. Customs & Border Protection facility, so when you land back in the USA, you don't have to go through immigration.
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