Eagle Beach provides a leisurely escape from the clamor of Palm Beach's bustling high-rise resorts and nightclubs just a few miles north.
This quiet stretch of white sand, the widest in Aruba, is actually connected to Palm Beach, only separated by a rough outcropping of limestone. But the two atmospheres are worlds apart. Here in Eagle Beach, there are no massive parasailing operations or glass-bottomed boat tours crowding the shoreline. Instead, you'll find a slice of the real Aruba, where you're likely to share the sand with as many locals as tourists. In fact, islanders love this beach so much that many of them spend the entirety of their Easter Holy Week vacation camped out in tents right on the sand!
It's not hard to see why everyone's drawn here, from honeymooners and photographers to ecotourists and beach tennis enthusiasts. These shores are brimming with the island's trademark natural beauty, including the famous divi-divi trees, which look like overgrown bonsai, twisted and bent permanently southward by the island's famed trade winds. And it's not just human travelers who can appreciate this scenery. The calm shores attract a chirrupy flock of green parakeets as well as four species of nesting sea turtles. Local beach officials work hard to protect the safety and privacy of their nests and endangered hatchlings. It seems in Eagle Beach the comfort of visitors is the top priority — even if you're a turtle!
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Every year from March through September, a small population of leatherback sea turtles arrives on Aruba's shores to lay their eggs by moonlight. These endangered creatures favor the calm sands of Eagle Beach, and their nests are fiercely protected by local authorities. The Turtugaruba Foundation, created by a local husband and wife team, is dedicated to turtle conservation throughout the Caribbean. Their frequently updated Facebook page includes up-to-date information on nesting sites and hatching times and is an invaluable source for visiting ecotourists.
Simply walking down Eagle Beach creates an immediate sense of calm and tranquility. So just imagine the potential bliss found within one of its beachfront boutique spas! Take a break from the sun and book a signature treatment at the aptly named Spa del Sol at the Manchebo Beach Resort, where full-service massages, manicures, and aromatherapy treatments are all performed in seaside cabanas. The spacious gazebos are the perfect setting for a romantic couples massage overlooking the sun setting over the Caribbean.
Think you've tried every beach sport under the sun? The newest athletic craze sweeping Aruba is beach tennis. The game is deceptively simple: Two teams square off on a regulation-sized beach volleyball court and use paddle rackets to keep the ball in the air. Beginners can try their hand at the sport every weekend at Eagle Beach. Though the sport may seem laid-back and carefree, it still inspires a competitive streak among players, who come to Eagle Beach each November for the Aruba International Beach Tennis Event. An added bonus? Beach tennis tournaments always mean lots of locals, open-air BBQs, and lively after-parties.
Beachside bars may be local staples, but that doesn't mean you need to spend every meal under a thatched roof sipping a tropical cocktail. Visiting foodies should make a point of escaping the well-worn scene for an evening of elevated, chef-inspired cooking at Eagle Beach's Carte Blanche. As the restaurant's name implies, Chef Dennis van Daatselaar has complete control over what you'll be eating during your one-of-a-kind, five-course tasting dinner — that means no menus and no ordering! The only thing better than the food is the exclusivity: This chic eatery only seats 16 diners per evening, so plan to make reservations weeks or even months ahead of time.