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Imagine lounging on a beach chair on a white sandy beach, a refreshing drink in your hand. A cool breeze blows the leaves of a palm tree. In front of you, in the clear blue water, flamingos frolic. That is the magic of Flamingo Beach. While Aruba enjoys many beautiful beaches, Flamingo Beach will make your trip memorable. The beach is home to a resident flamboyance of approximately six flamingos, although some friends from neighboring Curaçao and Bonaire join them occasionally. But you may be wondering, what is it about and is it really worth the splurge?
When planning an Aruba vacation, many visitors want to see two things: Flamingo Beach and the Natural Pool. Flamingo Beach’s price of admission was higher than what The Common Traveler usually pays on vacation and there was a chance we couldn’t even get an admission ticket. But we found the NO-FAIL TIP that guarantees admission!
Where is Flamingo Beach Aruba?
The Renaissance hotel owns a private island, Renaissance Island, featuring two beaches: Flamingo Beach and Iguana Beach. Flamingo Beach is for adults only, while Iguana Beach is for all ages. You can only get to this island by taking a short boat ride from the Renaissance hotels – either from inside the lobby of the Renaissance Marina hotel or at a dock at the Renaissance Oceanside hotel. The boats leave every 15 minutes throughout the day from 7 am to 6 pm.
Getting to Flamingo Beach
Flamingo Beach and Iguana Beach are reserved for the enjoyment of Renaissance hotel guests. The Renaissance Marina is an adult-only resort. Across the street, the Renaissance Oceanside accepts families. Hotel guests automatically receive guest passes to Renaissance Island for the duration of their stay, including the entire day of their check-in and check-out.
If you are not a guest of one of the two hotels, you will need to purchase a day pass. A day pass costs $125 per person. Day passes are available for purchase online the day before starting at 7 am. Day passes will only be made available if hotel occupancy dips below a certain percentage (we’ve heard eighty). Because of high demand and limited stock, tickets usually sell out within minutes. Set an alarm and give yourself plenty of flexibility if this is your strategy.
PRO TIP: Book a room at the hotel, preferably on your arrival or departure. The price of one hotel night will likely be about the same as the cost of the passes plus you will enjoy the hotel amenities without the stress of the online booking process.
What is included in your admission to Flamingo Beach in Aruba:
Each beach provides lounge chairs for your enjoyment. There are even a few swings or three-person loungers available. Each guest can also pick up a towel upon arrival. These are all included in the admission. Floats, snorkeling equipment, and kayaks may be rented for an additional fee.
Hotel guests can also treat themselves by booking one of five cabanas. Starting at $300, these oceanfront cabanas offer more privacy. Included in the price are two bottles of Voss still water, two bottles of Voss sparkling water, a bottle of sparkling wine, a refreshing food treat, butler service, towels, two water floats, and two full-sized snorkeling masks. [Cabanas at Iguana Beach include kid-sized snorkeling masks.]
If you would like to feed the flamingos (one of the more popular photo ops), make sure you bring some US quarters with you. You can buy food from a machine that only takes quarters (similar to what you find at zoos). But get there early — the flamingos will gladly eat all the food visitors give them in the morning but they’re too full as the day progresses to care much to keep eating.
These birds are not at all shy and are used to all the fanfare and attention. If you get too close to one, they will let you know by squawking until you back off! And then they and their buddies will walk away from you and you’ll be persona non grata!
There is very little shade out on Flamingo Beach, with slightly more shade on Iguana Beach, so make sure you pack your sunscreen.
Food and drinks at Flamingo Beach in Aruba
Order a refreshing drink from the bar or place an order from the menu at the Papagayo Bar & Grill. Take the opportunity to take a break from the sun and enjoy breakfast or lunch. Enjoy a delicious burger or healthy grilled options. They even have an open-air wood-fired pizza oven.
Every Wednesday, you can enjoy a romantic sunset dinner on Flamingo Beach. But reserve ahead of time.
Flamingo Beach in Aruba is an Adult-Only Beach
There are absolutely NO children on Flamingo Beach except from 9 am to 10 am. This means no babies or teenagers either. The regulation protects the flamingos from children who may not follow the no-touching rules and to keep the flamingos calm. If you choose to go with children, realize that you will need to get there early or leave them on Iguana Beach if you want to visit Flamingo Beach. Because who doesn’t want a photo op with the flamingos?
As an adults-only beach, guests are free to go topless or even nude. If you don’t want exposure to either of these things, reconsider the visit or plan on mostly enjoying Iguana Beach. We saw no one nude, but other guests told us that they had on prior occasions had a surprising experience while snorkeling!
Other Things to do on Renaissance Island
The island boasts other amenities as well. Feel free to meander through the trails and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. A fully loaded fitness center offers a beautiful backdrop for your sweat session. Or book some time on tennis courts at which both professional coaches and equipment can be reserved. Or book a spa treatment at Spa Cove, a full-service secluded spa retreat.
Red Sail Sports rents out water equipment. In addition to floats, the stand also has available for rent ocean kayaks and paddle boats. Or enjoy some stand-up paddleboarding around the island.
Flamingo Beach HOT TIP: Book a Hotel Room!
My top tip to visit Flamingo Beach in Aruba? Book a room – it doesn’t matter if you are staying at a different resort, staying with family or at a B&B, or enjoying a day’s excursion on a cruise. The cost will likely be equal to or cheaper than buying a day pass, especially for a family. And you won’t risk getting turned away because the beach is too crowded! As a member of the Marriott Bonvoy program, we received a 10% discount on the price of the room and an upgrade – sign up for those free memberships!
Another advantage of booking a room is that you have access to the beach starting at 7 am on the day that you check in until 6 pm on the day that you check out. Even if your room is not ready when you check-in, you can leave your luggage with the concierge until you return from the beach. The same thing happens on your day of check out – the concierge will hold your luggage.
Visiting Aruba on a cruise? The same tip applies to you – if you reserve a room, you can access Flamingo Beach when you check-in, no matter when your ship docks. Don’t lose face in front of your family by risking that passes for the day are sold out. The hotel is just steps away from the cruise terminal, making this the perfect excursion for your Aruba port day.
Even though we travel affordably, we kept our room at the Manchebo Beach Resort while staying one night away at the Renaissance. I recommend planning your visit to Flamingo Beach either at the beginning or end of your trip to avoid paying for two hotel rooms at once.
Is Flamingo Beach in Aruba Worth Visiting?
Would I spend this kind of money again? Absolutely! Visiting Flamingo Beach was even better than I expected. The beach was crowded but clean and beautiful, plus you can’t compete with the uniqueness of sharing a beach with a half dozen flamingos!
You can find out more about enjoying your time on the One Happy Island here:
- Aruba’s Beaches
- Aruba Sightseeing
- Getting to Aruba’s Natural Pool
- Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
- Renaissance Aruba
Annick, The Common Traveler