The white sand of Palm Beach on the island of Aruba is the quintessential Caribbean. Warm breezes, gentle surf, bright blue sky, and turquoise water: these were exactly what I had expected and what I wanted. And as an added bonus for me, it is ideal for a calm paddleboard jaunt.
This coast faces west and is calm and soothing in the very best way.
And then after a peaceful day on the west coast, I hopped in a Jeep and went off-roading on the east coast – the windward coast.
It could not have been more different. Eroded outcrops, waves crashing violently on craggy rocks, tide pools disappearing with the undertow. Brambles and cacti replaced palm trees that are so common on the other side of the island. I had left the calm Caribbean and somehow found myself on the Pacific coast of California.
The island of Aruba seems to have a split personality. There is something interesting going on here. It’s not just palapas and sand.