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From the moment we started planning our Aruba trip, the Natural Pool was one of two locations I wanted to see (the other being Flamingo Beach). Turns out it isn’t that easy to get to, but it is so worth it!
What is the Natural Pool in Aruba?
The Natural Pool in Aruba is a protected little pool created by rocks. When the tide comes in, waves crash over the walls. Bring your snorkel mask to view the small fish. This is probably one of the top sightseeing locations in Aruba so you need to plan how to get there. Our original plan was to take a tour. As I mentioned in our post about sightseeing, it wasn’t really feasible to go to all the places we wanted on one tour. Unfortunately, the only way to get to the Natural Pool is to take a 4 x 4 vehicle. What this means is that no tour bus will get you there. ATV tours won’t get you there, either. You either take a 4 x 4 or you hike. What?!? Yes, I said it – and it was worth the hike!
After my initial sadness over how I hadn’t done enough research so that we could have properly planned, Allan took over! By looking through various blogs, Allan found several posts from people who had hiked the trail to the Natural Pool. So we set about doing just that.
Taking a Tour of the Natural Pool in Aruba:
The first option is to take a tour. Lots of tours come this way. The drawback of going on a tour is that you only spend a limited amount of time in the pool. While we were there, we saw more than three groups go through while we got to stay as long as we wanted!
Rent a 4×4
The second option is to rent a 4×4. Since you can only get there on a 4×4, renting a jeep sounds great. But the rental rate of $150 a day was a little steep for a Common Traveler budget!
The third option is to hike in from the main gate. The easiest way to do this is to drive to the Arikok National Park office, get a pass (about $12 per person), leave the car in the parking lot, and hike the trail. We’ve been told this takes about 45 minutes. We couldn’t do this because the Natural Pool was officially closed due to the difficult tides from Hurricane Irma.
The fourth option is to hike in from a side road. To do this, you would park near the Rancho Daimari (a horse farm). One word of warning – you need to be really brave (or really stupid!) to drive down to the parking lot there – but we did it! My knuckles are still white several months later! Most locals recommend parking at the top of the hill, and I can understand why!
The Hike to The Natural Pool in Aruba:
Depending on the weather, plan ahead with lots of sunscreen, protective clothing (like Allan’s long sleeve lightweight shirt), and plenty of water. Aruba’s winds make it easy to forget how close you are to the equator and how quickly you can burn! Both of us wore water shoes but the drawback was that we both got sand and pebbles stuck on our feet at various points. We walked at a normal pace and it took us about 45 minutes each way from the Horse Farm.
Most of the way is completely arid and reminiscent of the lunar landscape (or at least my imagined version of it). But every 10 minutes or so we passed a beautiful beach. Signs warned us not to swim because the tide was too dangerous on this side of the island. We saw the carcass of a car by the side of the trail. I’m not sure how long it takes a car to deteriorate like this but proves the harshness of this environment! The only other people we saw on the trail were a small group on horseback on our way in and a couple on our way out. They must have parked at the top of the hill, adding at least another 30 minutes each way! Oh, to be young!
And just at the point where I was going to ask, “Are we there yet?” I saw the handrail of the 92 steps leading from the 4×4 parking area to the Natural Pool. We made it! As you can see from Allan climbing around, I don’t think that this sight is safe for those with mobility issues. I saw a woman in her 80s sit on her rump and slide into the water but her guide helped her.
We stayed for over an hour since we didn’t have any restrictions on our day. Groups came and went while we lounged. This was a refreshing break in our day before we explored other beaches by car.
The Natural Pool in Aruba is worth going to visit if you are in the area and should be at the top of your sights to see.
Interested in more things to do in Aruba? Check out these other posts:
- What to see and do in Aruba
- Aruba’s Flamingo Beach
- Guide to Aruba’s famous beaches
- Aruba’s best souvenirs
- Where to eat in Aruba
- Review of the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
- Review of the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Annick, The Common Traveler