The ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao –
are three neighbouring Dutch Caribbean gems guaranteeing plenty of fun
in the sun and sand for families year-round. Each island also has unique
attractions that set them apart for excellent adventures.
Ultimate Family Vacations | FALL 2018
By Sue Campbell
UNIQUE FAMILY FUN IN THE
When I first brought my daughter to Aruba, I took her to
De Palm Island because that’s the only place you can
snorkel with gigantic neon blue parrotfish that seriously look
like animated characters! The island has all kinds of family
fun activities – zip lines, air jumpers, banana boat rides,
waterparks; and extra cost activities such as Sea Trek, an
underwater helmet walk for ages eight and up. But for me,
seeing the unique ever-smiling parrotfish is worth the day
pass all on its own. Snorkel equipment is included.
Aruba also has cool creature experiences beyond the beaches.
The Butterfly Farm is one of them – multiple species of
subtropical winged delights flitting free around a tropical
garden will thrill all ages. Philip’s Animal Garden, a rescue
haven for unwanted animals, also has some unexpected
critters like kangaroos, camels, monkeys, deer, even caimans.
Also unexpected is Aruba’s Ostrich Farm. Though non-native to
Aruba, these African birds are right at home in the island’s arid
interior. Children will also enjoy interacting with four-legged
friends at The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba, a refuge for these
animals that run wild on this island.
Well known among the scuba world as one of the best shore
diving places in the world, Bonaire is also a snorkeller’s haven for
all ages. There is also the Bon Sea, a little red semi-submarine
that looks like something out of a storybook, so that you need
not even swim to see the vast array of colourful tropical fish.
Few people realize that Bonaire is also one the best
places on the planet to learn to windsurf due to the ideal
conditions at Lac Bay. I can testify to that fact since I was
shamed into getting up on my very first try since two
toddlers went whizzing by me on their little boards while still
wearing diapers! This island has produced world champion
windsurfers and Jibe City instructors are very well-equipped
to work with children, while older kids will also enjoy exciting
kite boarding lessons there.
FALL 2018 | Ultimate Family Vacations
DONKEY SANCTUARY ©SUE CAMPBELL
LEARNING TO WINDSURF ©SUE CAMPBELL
PORT OF BONAIRE
BON SEA, SEMI-SUBMARINE ©SUE CAMPBELL