Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Is there a better way to explore Aruba’s beautiful and diverse landscape then by driving your very own UTV?! If you’re reading this then you can probably guess that my Basic Answer will be No! 🙂 We teamed up with Around Aruba Tours for this Basic Travel Win! Getting to Aruba and figuring out an itinerary is the first step. Second step is to figure out WHAT to do and with WHAT Company. So lets dive into exploring Aruba with UTV’s!
What is a UTV?
Before we get into the details of driving UTV’s around Aruba, I want to take a moment to clarify what exactly a UTV is. Honestly, before doing this tour, I didn’t even know what a UTV was. So I feel it is necessary to offer a breakdown in case I’m not the only one! UTV’s or “Utility Task Vehicles” are Basically souped-up golf carts where the driver sits side-by-side next to the passenger. They are larger than their ATV “All-terrain vehicle” counterparts and much safer when navigating over challenging terrain. ATVs are typically meant to carry only one rider; while the UTV’s are designed more like an automobile and can safely carry two to four riders.
Around Aruba Tours
Around Aruba guided UTV tour came HIGHLY recommended. A lot of our friends and family recommended this tour as an activity to do in Aruba. After some careful research of reviews, we knew we were in the right hands! While we did many great things in Aruba, including an amazing Sunset Sail Tour with Octopus Aruba, this tour was a highlight of our trip!
Around Aruba Tours was founded in 2011 by Philip Merryweather and offers a handful of different variations of tours using ATV’s, UTV’s, Jeeps, and Hummers. What we love about Phil and his company is the emphasis on personalized service and overall professionalism. Around Aruba prides itself on giving back to the community through various efforts including using their UTV’s for organized beach cleanups, providing educational tours to local students, and sponsoring youth sports clubs in Aruba. In addition, the home base of Around Aruba is located at Philip’s Animal Garden which is an organization that rescues and rehabilitates exotic animals from around the region on Aruba!
We wish that we had more time in Aruba to go on all of the tours provided by Around Aruba. But, given that our time was limited we went with the highly recommended UTV guided 4-Hour Tour. All tours include complimentary hotel transportation, entrance to Arikok National Park, and non-alcoholic beverages. Depending on how many people are in your group, you have a few options to rent a UTV. There are ones that fit 4 people for $360, 3 people for $270, and a UTV that fits 2 people for $180. Luckily I had 18,000 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card leftover from the welcome bonus to use as a travel statement credit. This essentially got us this tour for free! After confirming our booking on the Around Aruba Tour’s website we were anxiously counting down the seconds for this bucket-list-worthy experience.
5 Reasons why we Loved Riding UTV’s with Around Aruba Tours
5. Feeding the Ostriches at Phillips Animal Garden
The day begins at Phillip’s Animal Garden with some time set aside to feed the different exotic animals. Lisa LOVED feeding the Ostriches. You can also find peacocks, monkeys, pigs, ponies, and many more friends throughout the garden!
Feeding the animals was a part of the adventure with Around Aruba Tours. When you signed in, you were given a bag of a variety of foods to feed the assortment of animals. I had never actually seen an ostrich that close in person. They are HUGE and have quite the peck when they eat out of your hands!
4. Our UTV for the Day
After finishing your time in the Animal Garden you get to choose your UTV for the day! Phil and his team then review the itinerary along with safety precautions. When everyone is comfortable with their new ride; Phil gives the green light and you and your new UTV gang are off to the races!
Basic Pro Tip: We opted to purchase goggles while at Phillips Animal Garden for $15 per person. These certainly came in handy once we took off on the sandy backroads of Aruba. To save a few dollars you can purchase some goggles ahead of time through Amazon.
3. All of the unique sights
The first stop by UTV was the Alto Vista Chapel. Alto Vista Chapel was built in 1952 on the site of the original and first catholic church built in Aruba dating back to 1750!
The second stop led us to the “Baby Bridge” which is a natural bridge formed out of coral limestone. The remains of the “Natural Bridge” which collapsed in 2005 are also viewable from this stop.
The third stop was to visit the Bushiribana ruins. This is the site of an old gold mill used by the dutch in the 19th century. We love old historical sites like this!
The fourth stop Around Aruba Tours took us into Arikok National Park. Inside the park we took a long and bumpy trail to the Conchi Natural Pool. The pool was created by rock and volcanic stone circles and is primarily only accessible via an all-terrain vehicle. There are paved steps leading down to the pool from the trail. However, the views are 100% worth the extra exercise to get down there!
The final stop provided some much needed R&R on Andicuri Beach! The water was quite rough that day at the Conchi Natural Pool. Our group decided to go swimming and relax at the beach instead for our safety.
Basic Pro Tip: Don’t forget your towel! We love these Microfiber quick-dry travel towels and never leave home without a pair.
2. Top-Notch Guides
Phil and his Around Aruba Tours team were fantastic! From arrival to departure they were very responsive and were readily checking in on us. Throughout the day, Phil checked in to make sure that we were hydrated. He was always double-checking that we were drinking water. That Aruban sun and perfect Caribbean breeze can be a dangerous combo without water! The guides also provided some interesting background information on each of the places that we visited. From experience doing guided tours in other countries; that is not always the case and sometimes you end up with more of a chauffeur than a guide.
1. A Thrilling Experience that we will remember forever!
I can still remember exactly how exhilarating it was to drive the UTV’s with Around Aruba Tours around that day! Pushing the pedal down in the sand and gravel back roads of Aruba while kicking up dust behind my tread. The experience was uniquely satisfying. The sights, sounds, and feelings. They will certainly be a lasting memory for many years to come.
If you are considering a UTV tour in Aruba, then look no further then Phil and his team at Around Aruba Tours! I know that you will leave with a fantastic experience. Be sure to tell Phil that the Basic Travel Couple said hi! 🙂
For more fun in Aruba please check out more of our Aruba Articles!
- Basic Guide to Aruba’s Top Things to do and a 5 day sample Itinerary
- 6 days in Aruba for only $502
- Basic Guide to Renaissance Island & Flamingo Beach!
- Guys Telling Stories PODCAST Featuring our Trip to Aruba!
- 7 Reasons why we love Octopus Arubas Sunset Sail
- 5 Reasons to ride UTV’s with Around Aruba’s Tours
Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.