Playing with Water Toys
How many different toys will you try out this vacation? Choose from jet skis ($65 single, $75 double per half-hour), banana boat or tube rides (both towed behind a speedboat; $15), Hobie Cat sailboats ($20 per hour), water skis ($50 per 15 min.), paddle boats ($15 per hour), and float beds (sturdier than a raft; $5 per day). Check out any of the watersports operators along Palm Beach such as Frank's Place Watersports (tel. 297/586-0106) under the green-and-yellow striped tent, or contact De Palm Tours (tel. 297/582-4400; www.depalm.com), Pelican Adventures (tel. 297/587-2302; www.pelican-aruba.com), Red Sail Sports 297/586-1603; www.redsailaruba.com), or Unique Sports of Aruba (tel. 297/586-0096; www.visitaruba.com/uniquesports).
With the help of large inflatable kites, about 27m (89 ft.) of flying line, and small surfboards with foot straps, kiteboarders at Malmok Beach and Fisherman's Hut skim across the water at 48kmph (30 mph) and launch themselves 3 to 10m (10-33 ft.) in the air. Kiteboarding has many of the same elements and thrills as snowboarding and windsurfing, though the basics might be a bit more of a challenge to acquire. Aruba's calm, shallow waters and steady winds make the island ideal for giving it a whirl. Kite Surfing Aruba Active Vacations (tel. 297/586-0989 or 741-2991; www.aruba-active-vacations.com) has 2-hour introductory lessons for $100. For the beginner, these lessons normally start with mastering a smaller kite on land before entering the water with a full-size kite, then finally moving to the board in subsequent lessons. Dare2Fly Aruba (tel. 297/586-3735; www.dare2flyaruba.com) offers a 6-hour beginner package, in three sessions, including a kite-control lesson, a body-drag lesson, and a board lesson for $375.
You can ascend 180m (591 ft.) above the sea in a boat-towed parachute after making arrangements with one of the watersports centers along Palm Beach or by calling Caribbean Aquatics (tel. 297/586-0505) or De Palm Tours (tel. 297/582-4400; www.depalm.com). Although flight time is only 10 minutes, the exhilaration lasts all day. Expect to pay about $55 for a single-seater, or about $100 for a parachute built for two. Some operators restrict flights to persons 7 and over years of age weighing between 41 and 109 kilograms (90-240 lb.). If underweight, an option is to pair up. Bring a waterproof camera.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.