Say What?!? Natural Bridge To Become The New Natural Pool

I’m sure the title grabbed your attention, especially if you are a frequent visitor to the island of Aruba. If you are not familiar with the story, here’s a quick recap.

Aruba’s number one tourist attraction, by far, was the world famous Natural Bridge, also known locally as Cura di Turtuga (freely translated to Turtles Cove). This bridge was made of limestone and was the largest of its kind in the Caribbean.

Fallen Natural Bridge
Recent image of Natural Bridge

Throughout the years it attracted millions of people who fell in love with this massive natural structure, including the relentless punishing it received from the waves. Usually people walked across and the more adventurous ones swam underneath, fighting the waves.

Unfortunately the Natural Bridge succumbed under its massive weight and collapsed on September 2, 2005. The same natural elements that created this bridge, proved to be equally lethal. The bridge didn’t stand a chance. Above image depicts how the situation is currently. Thousands of people still visit the bridge on a yearly basis. Despite the presence of another, smaller bridge, the magic is gone and will never be the same again.

Numerous people have asked me if I thought it was going to rebuild and fixed in its original form, which I answered with a resounding no. However earlier this week I read an article in a local paper  which suggested that there are plans in the works to revive the area. More specifically they want to create a natural pool-like structure.

To make this a reality is not that hard, I reckon. Just remove some rocks in the middle to let some water pass through and voilà. The question is, do we need and want a Natural Pool there? It still attracts a lot of people as is and if you build something where people will stay longer, perhaps it’ll change the whole scene there. I’m not sold on the whole idea, but I don’t hate it either.

I’m sure everyone has an opinion about this but take this into consideration: when Baby Beach was created and rocks were piled there to shut of the water I don’t remember reading about people complaining back then. Now, decades later, Baby Beach is one the most popular beaches in Aruba.

Police helicopter near Natural Pool
Helicopter hovering over Natural Pool

Umbrellas Make Appearance

Some service providers started to work within the rules and offer removable umbrellas to customers. In below pictures you’ll see some of the ideas that are out there with some being nicer than others.

One thing I like about this effort is that they didn’t overdo it. There are just a few out at that specific spot at Eagle Beach. They rent them out for $25 a day, unlimited use which includes two beach chairs. They accept credit card, FYI.

Eagle Beach shade
New umbrellas side by side with palapas, with cords to prevent the wind blowing them away

The one thing I don’t like about this is, I could see it become a bit stale, perhaps they blend too much with the white surroundings (although colorful umbrellas might be an eye soar). Someone commented in the past that these things could become a chaos when there are too many. A wind gust could also be tricky. I hope they figure things out.

Eagle Beach shade
It has a cord to prevent the wind from blowing it off

Eagle Beach shade
Looks nice

Eagle Beach shade
Don’t plant it just put it; not the best looking palapa

Eagle Beach shade
This is ugly, but I understand the effort

Nikky Beach Assets Removed

On October 4th I wrote a piece about the renovation and expansion of defunct Havana Beach Club into Nikky Beach Restaurant. Nikky Beach Restaurant is a full service beach restaurant with beach chairs and showers as additional service.

In the ensuing weeks after the soft opening I read a report in the media that the Department of Public Works removed all structures on the beach put there by Nikki Beach Restaurant. I guess officials started to apply the rule there.

Nikky Beach
“Permanent” assets removed by Department of Public Works

Not all is lost. Nikky Beach Remains open and continues to offer service to its customers. Not only that, I’ve been told they are going to host a massive party on Christmas. One thing’s for sure, officials have set the tone. Do not build (or annex) illegally in the public space.

Beaches Quickly Cleaned After November Rains

After being hit hard by late October and early November storms, popular beaches frequented by mostly tourists were quickly cleaned up by local officials, hotel staff and even some tourists.

The viciousness of this storm was not even the amount of rainfall – which was abnormally high – but was more the currents that changed direction completely, causing the beaches to be hit hard from the west. This resulted in beaches severely hit for hours on end, especially near Casa del Mar and Tamarijn.

Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach

We are not in the clear yet as the rain seems to continue on the island. What appears to happen this time is that the rainfall does not come accompanied by a change in currents, sparing the beaches for now.

Pics: Aruba Beaches Clobbered

Last week’s storm and ensuing change in climate were devastating for our beaches. Unlike popular believe it wasn’t the storms themselves that caused the this but rather the change in wind and currents. Add to the equation the rise in water level and the perfect situation was created for this hit.

Affected beaches in Aruba are Baby Beach, Druif Beach and some of Palm Beach. The entrance towards Baby Beach went completely under water. The beach itself suffered from higher water levels leaving puddles of water on the beaches. Palm Beach also has water puddles on the sand making it muddy. Furthermore there are a lot of washed up seaweed.

Aruba Beach Hit
Palm Beach hit hard during storm

I think the hardest hit was Druif Beach. This beach is where Tamarijn, Divi All Inclusive, Casa del Mar and Aruba Beach Club are located. Near these hotels big parts of the beaches were washed away. Thanks to coral and other rocks underneath the sand there is still some beach left. It’s going to take nature way too long to fix this up so I’m guessing people will need to step up and offer nature a hand and on these beaches.

Aruba Beach Hit
Water and mud at Palm Beach

Aruba Beach Hit
Bad weather on its way

Aruba Beach Hit
Piers suffered

Aruba Beach Hit
Piers closed until further notice

Aruba Beach Hit
Water damage at some De Palm Pier

Aruba Beach Hit
Rain coming

Aruba Beach Hit
No swimmers at Palm Beach

Aruba Beach Hit
A lot of water on Palm Beach, near Occidental

Aruba Beach Hit
Boats were taken out of the water as precaution

Aruba Beach Hit
People still tried to enjoy the sun at Palm Beach

Update: New pictures added from VisitAruba.com.


Druif Beach near Aruba Beach Club [image by VisitAruba]


Druif Beach hit near Aruba Beach [image by VisitAruba]

Nikky Beach Restaurant in Aruba

The area around Surfside beach (located on the outskirts of Oranjestad, near the airport and Talk of the Town) has been through several owners in the last decade. I remember the time it was Havana Beach Club which was a night club.

The latest project to appear here is Nikky Beach Restaurant. They are in the process of renovating the area and it should become a full service restaurant. Currently they are already offering beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and drinks.

Nikky Beach
Nicky Beach Restaurant

What grabbed my attention, however, was the name. A quick search online reveals that there a similar project called Nikki Beach [spelled by a “i”] based in Miami, Florida with several locations around the world.

Nikky Beach
Nikky titles on the side of the main road

Nikky Beach
Renovations

Nikky Beach
Service available

Nikky Beach
Pool renovations

Arashi Beach Cactus

Drive past the last resort on Palm Beach, headed towards the lighthouse, your bound come across Arashi Beach. One of Aruba’s popular beaches and one of my personal favorites.

The water here is clear, calm and the sea floor is sandy. If you move a bit north you will finds some waves and if you move a bit south you find a rocky sea floor, which is good for minor snorkeling.

Arashi Beach
Cactus on a Arashi Beach

Something I noticed the other day is the big cactus on the beach, beside the hut (above picture). It seems completely out of place, but it isn’t. Aruba is a desert island, filled with cactus. In fact across the street of above picture, it’s completely filled cacti. The beach is natural, the cactus is natural. Mother nature, unpredictable.

Arashi Beach
Arashi Beach on a tranquil and cloudy day