Are you wondering how to get to the famous Flamingo Beach in Aruba? Then you are in the right place!
If you are, like me, one of the people who thought the flamingos lived on any random beach in Aruba, you are sadly mistaken. Social Media led you to believe, that Aruba is the “flamingo island” of the Caribbean. But this could not be further from the truth.
Unlike Curacao or Bonaire, flamingos are not native animals to Aruba. This means, there is only one place on the island where you can actually see them: Flamingo Beach at Renaissance Island. It belongs to the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort.
Actually being able to go to the island is pretty hard. Luckily for you, I have just been to Flamingo Island – and know exactly how to get around.
This post is gonna explain all the ways how to visit the flamingos in Aruba, including one guaranteed (!) way for you to see them.
I will also dive into the discussion if it is actually really worth it going and tips and secret hacks for when you do decide to go.
Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
- How to Get to Flamingo Beach in Aruba
- How to Take the Free Shuttle Service to Renaissance Island
- What You Need to Know About the Flamingos in Aruba
- Is it Worth it Seeing the Flamingos in Aruba on Renaissance Island?
- How to Take the Best Photograph with the Flamingos in Aruba?
- Are the Flamingos in Aruba on Renaissance Island Free?
- Conclusion: How to Get to Flamingo Beach in Aruba
- FAQ: Flamingos in Aruba
- About the Author
How to Get to Flamingo Beach in Aruba
As I said before, flamingos are not native to Aruba, so you won’t find them on any random beach. A handful of flamingos live on a small, private island, called Renaissance Island.
It is part of the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, and is located right off the coast of Aruba’s mainland.
Before diving deeper into the specifics of Flamingo beach, it is important to mention that this is not a public beach and not easily accessible to just anyone.
I’ll first give you the gist of it, before diving a bit deeper in the options further below in the post.
There are three ways on how to get to Flamingo Beach in Aruba:
1. staying as a hotel guest at the Renaissance Aruba Resort
2. booking a spa package in the Renaissance Island Cove Spa
3. buying a day pass for Renaissance Island (what we did)
1. Staying at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort
This is definitely the easiest of all three options on how to go to Flamingo Beach. Book your stay in the Renaissance Aruba Resort and you will have free access to Renaissance Island during your stay.
This being said, you should at least stay for two nights, if you want to have a full day at the island.
Hotel rates vary. On average, a night at the Renaissance Aruba Resort will cost around 340 USD. This is not much more expensive than the Renaissance Island Day Passes.
Hotel guests get preferential treatment when it comes to visiting the island. Day passes are only issued in relation to the hotel’s current booking rate. This is the only guaranteed way to visit the pink friends on Flamingo Beach.
There are many upsides to this strategy. The Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort is a very nice resort, located directly in Oranjestad.
This makes it the perfect spot to not only explore Flamingo Beach but also the colorful capital city of Aruba.
2. Book a Spa Package at the Renaissance Island Cove Spa
Another (pretty safe way) to see the flamingos on Renaissance Island is by booking a spa package with the Hotel Island Cove Spa. All spa packages include entry to the island for one day.
There are three different packages with many sub-options to choose from. The price point starts at USD 160 p.p. Couple-packages cost roughly 300 – 450 USD. These packages usually include lunch, use of the spa facilities, treatments, and some of them even a bottle of champagne.
The upside of this is the price. The cheapest spa package for one is only 35 USD more expensive than the day pass but includes a massage and a frozen drink. Also, by booking a treatment you can make sure that you are on the visitor’s list for this specific day.
The downside is, that non-Renaissance guests have to pay 25 USD extra to book with the spa. Also, if there are no treatments available because they are all booked, you will not have a chance to go.
Check out all treatments here.
3. Visit Renaissance Island with a Day Pass
Lastly, you can pray to the ocean gods and hope that there are day passes available during your stay. This is how we did it, but I kinda regret not choosing option 1 instead.
Renaissance Aruba Resort only issues day passes, if the hotel is not fully booked. The spots are very limited and super hard to come by.
You can reserve your day pass three days in advance here. The island day pass costs USD 125 p.p. This includes a transfer to the island, lunch, and a free drink. You may also use all the amenities (besides the spa). You need to bring your own towel.
My opinion on this: We only found out very late about how hard it is to go to the island. Therefore we had to pray to get a day pass and luckily we did. In hindsight, I would suggest staying at the hotel in the first place, this saves a lot of money and trouble. For booking click here.
How to Take the Free Shuttle Service to Renaissance Island
If you have managed to book any of the three aforementioned methods – you are clear to go see the flamingos at Renaissance Island. There is only one way to reach Renaissance Island, and that is by boat.
The Renaissance Resort Aruba offers a free shuttle service with speed boats for everyone that is authorised to visit the island.
The boats leave from the pier behind the Renaissance convention center. Make sure to walk all the way through until you reach the last dock. There is a small hut with a Renaissance employee who will check your pass.
The boats leave every 15 minutes. The island is open from 07:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m.
What You Need to Know About the Flamingos in Aruba
Renaissance Island is a small tropical paradise island right off the coast of Aruba. There are two main beaches on Renaissance Island, Flamingo Beach and Iguana Beach.
Renaissance Island also has a Spa, a small shop for all beach necessities, and two restaurants.
On both sides of the beaches, there are several hiking trails that you can explore.
Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island
Flamingo Beach is the more famous beach on Renaissance Island, because a handful of beautiful flamingos live close by the beach. The former Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is the only place where you can see flamingos in Aruba (not even in the Arikok National Park).
On the right-hand side of the beach, you can find private cabanas that you can rent beforehand for more privacy. On the left side of the beach and in the center are many beach chairs up for grabs. I suggest arriving early to snatch up a great spot.
Now, this is something very important to know if you arrive at Renaissance Island with children. Flamingo beach is an adult-only beach! However, there is one hour per day, where your little ones can meet and greet the flamingos: from 09:00 am to 10:00 am. Make sure to be respectful of this.
The smaller of the two restaurants, the seafood shack, is located on Flamingo Beach. If you are planning on eating on your beach bed, your personal waiter for the day will bring you anything you want from both restaurants.
If you walk toward the ocean on the left side, you will find a nice hammock. This is an amazing Instagram-worthy spot.
The flamingos live on the left side of the beach. You can buy some food there (bring coins!) and feed the pink friends. If you are lucky, you will meet them at a swim in the ocean.
Iguana Beach on Renaissance Island
The second and less famous beach on Renaissance Island is called Iguana beach.
The equally beautiful Iguana beach is a more family-friendly beach. The layout of the beach is the same as on Flamingo beach. There are cabanas on the right side and tanning beds on the rest of the beach.
Papagayo restaurant is located on Iguana beach. It is open until five and serves a wide array of food. There are lots of healthy choices, seafood, and vegetarian options. Make sure to try out the special cocktails.
There are no iguanas on Iguana beach. The green little sweethearts live right by the pier, where the shuttle boat docks. They are not dangerous at all and you can watch them eat a salad during the day. Maybe you will be lucky and spot them on a swim in the ocean (pretty cute).
In my opinion, Iguana Beach is the most beautiful beach of the two. The sun beds are further apart from each other and there is a lot more space. However, it can also get pretty noisy there, since it is family-friendly.
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What Else is There to Do on Renaissance Island (Besides Flamingos)?
Explore the hiking trails on both sides of the beaches. You will walk alongside a small river where you can see many beautiful exotic fish without a snorkel. We were lucky enough to even see baby sharks there.
You can also borrow a float for free and have a relaxed time in the water. On both beaches, you can have a great snorkel experience.
You can also book a spa treatment in advance and spoil yourself in the beautiful Cove Spa. As you can see, there are many more things to see on Renaissance Island than the flamingos of Aruba.
Is it Worth it Seeing the Flamingos in Aruba on Renaissance Island?
In my opinion, taking a trip to Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island is worth the money. I know it is expensive – but everything in Aruba is. You won’t find a better way to spend your money in my opinion.
Personally, we did not go there for the Flamingos alone and I suggest you don’t either. We enjoyed the hospitality, the luxurious environment, and the amazing upkeep of the facilities and the beach.
My husband and I are people who shy away from crowds. So for us, this was an ideal beach day with great food, fun drinks, and plenty of amazing animals to see.
The flamingos were, for me personally, the least impressive animal we encountered there. I preferred the tropical fish, the baby sharks, and the Iguanas.
We made amazing memories on this day and we think this is the most beautiful beach on the whole island of Aruba. This is definitely a great reason to go!
How to Take the Best Photograph with the Flamingos in Aruba?
To get the amazing, iconic flamingo shots you can see all over Instagram, you have to keep a lot of things in mind. However, it is not impossible.
There are a few things you need to think about when you want to take amazing shots with the flamingos on Renaissance Island.
- The flamingos on Aruba beach are, surprise surprise, living animals of their own free will. You have to be cautious and respectful around them in order to even be able to get close. They do have a beak and they can use it if you disrespect their sphere.
- A good way to interact with them is to buy some flamingo food from the dispenser on the island. Please do not feed them with anything else, since it might not be good for them. Make sure to bring some coins with you.
- The flamingos do not stand in the water at all times. Some people try to lure them there but I do not recommend this, simply because they are not some toy to play with. There will be plenty of times throughout the day when they go to the water by themselves.
- The island staff has told us that the best chance of seeing them in the water is usually in the morning when it is less crowded in general.
- In order to not have any harsh shadows on your face, try to take your pictures not in the middle of the day. Opt for morning or evening light. See on my picture below what happens when you shoot in direct daylight ( harsh shadows all over my face and body).
- While the island in general gets less busy in the evening, many more people are trying to snatch a pic with them. So either try to go in the morning or follow my next pieces of advice:
- Just be kind to one another and let everyone take their turn. Don’t take a huge amount of shots and block the view for everybody. People were extremely nice and everyone was happy to step away for a second so you can get a shot if you ask nicely. In the evening, however, we encountered a group of girls that shot for over 2 hours and did not let anyone else take a shot. Be a good example and do not do this!
- Offer to take photos of one another. Plenty of travelers were happy to take a shot of me in exchange for me taking a shot of them. Kindness goes a long way.
- You will never be able to get a shot with absolutely no one in the background. Work your magic in a photo editing app if you want a clear shot, but do not waste your day on trying to get the flamingos for yourself. If you have trouble with editing, send me your pic on Instagram and I can help (:
- If you are shooting on an iPhone, make sure the live option is turned on. You can later select the best shot out of a three-second time frame. This can be very helpful when shooting with animals.
Are the Flamingos in Aruba on Renaissance Island Free?
The flamingos in Aruba may roam around freely, they are not in any way caged.
The resort encourages a respectful way of interaction with them and as far as we could tell people were sticking to it.
Keep in mind that the wings of the flamingos are clipped, so they can not fly away and for safety reasons. This is of course the downside of this whole thing.
The flamingos on Renaissance Island, are as far as I can tell, imported or bought from a zoo. Flamingos are not native to Aruba, So this is the only explanation. If you are very big on animal rights, I suggest skipping this day trip as it might bother you.
Personally, I was happy that they were treated well by the resort staff and the guests so I can live with the fact that they did not get there naturally. In general, I would prefer it if hotels did not import animals as an attraction.
Conclusion: How to Get to Flamingo Beach in Aruba
This brings us to the end of my ultimate flamingos in Aruba guide and you have learned my 3 foolproof ways on how to get to Flamingo Beach in Aruba.
I hope these three ways to see the flamingos in Aruba were helpful to you and you will have a great day at Renaissance island.
Lastly: Be sure to be respectful towards the flamingos on your trip.
Looking for more things to do in Aruba? Why not book a super romantic Sunset Sail! For more information about how to spend your time in Aruba, check out my 10 Days in Aruba itinerary and the most amazing beachfront restaurants in Aruba.
Wondering if Aruba is part of South America? Check out my geographical Aruba info.
FAQ: Flamingos in Aruba
Yes, you can see flamingos in Aruba. However, they can only be seen on Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island, which is part of a private resort. Make sure to book you day pass in advance, unless you stay at the resort.
Flamingo beach on Renaissance Island is the only beach in Aruba that has flamingos. It is part of the Renaissance by Marriott Resort, so make sure to book a day pass ahead of time, if you do not stay at the resort.
There is only one way to see flamingos for free in Aruba. Entrance to Renaissance Island is free for guests of the Renaissance Hotel by Marriott in Oranjestad.
The resort protects the flamingos very strictly against people that try to touch them. Since children do not always follow these rules, they are only allowed for a limited time slot between 09:00 am until 10:00 am.
About the Author
Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.
She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.