There did not seem to be a lot to do here. We aren't "beach people". We selected the Kayaking and Eco Safari. We enjoyed it a lot and will do it again if we go back but we were annoyed that they picked us up late (we were in the second group 11:30-2:30) and we got back late (2:45 -- when we were supposed to be on-board at 2:30) -- it didn't matter because there was a long line getting back on board, but annoying all the same.
I would highly recommend this excursion, but if there is an early and late time, get the early time (the early time was sold out a month before our cruise). The kayaking was among the hardest I've done, it was in a salt water river and there was wind and currants. We were shown native vegetation and animals and most notably we were able to handle live conch's. Don't forget to put sunscreen on!!!
I heard a fair amount of negative publicity about this port so we stuck to a sightseeing tour. We were driven though a tourist compound, we had a nice boat ride on the river. There was not a lot of wildlife to be seen and then we went to the Altos de Chavon art village. This appeared to be an artist village built for tourists. I wasn't impressed. I'd rather not come back to this port but if I do I think I'll try to go see the fishing village.
We had a pleasant time on this excursion but I felt it wasn't "the real Dominican Republic" -- I'm pretty sure we were on private property the whole trip. The boat ride was nice but there was not a lot of wildlife. We thought we were going to have about 1 Â½ hours at the village but the driver gave us 2 Â½ and most of us were bored. The art village had virtually no activity. Some in our group tried to get lunch and left without getting their food. We were there from about 11:30 to 2 -- one store closed for lunch about the time we got there and said he was reopening around 2?? If you want to sightsee this is fine but next time I would pick a different excursion.
The staff rushed the tour and took us through the factory and into the store -- we were told that there were videos in the downstairs and if there was no production, it probably would have been more interesting to see the videos.
Butterfly Farm Rating:
We started at a butterfly farm. The people there were great! We've been to other butterfly farms but the staff here were great "storytellers" and kept the group entertained
Island Tour Rating:
We didn't quite know what to do, again we don't like beaches and we wanted to see the island. We selected the Natural Wonders tour. We started at a butterfly farm. The people there were great! We've been to other butterfly farms but the staff here were great "storytellers" and kept the group entertained. We went on to an aloe factory. The staff rushed the tour and took us through the factory and into the store -- we were told that there were videos in the downstairs and if there was no production, it probably would have been more interesting to see the videos. Finally we went to the side of an old stone bridge. It was pretty and it was amazing to see how much of a desert island Aruba is. After the excursion we walked around town for a while. We had a bit of a map but the sites were not well labeled. The stores near the port were typical.
This was mort of a shopping stop than a tour - it was interesting and if you want to purchase I suggest buying the liquor here.
The main sites I wanted to see were the Kura Hulanda museum and the synagogue. It wasn't easy but we did find a walking tour map prior to the cruise. We did decide to take the Curacao Highlight tour first. We went to the Curacao museum which was interesting, then we stopped at a liquor factory -- if you want to buy this liquor, but it here, it was half the price of other places on the island and then we drove to an overlook which was pretty but our tour guide really didn't tell us much about it. We did have plenty of time when we got back to town to see the museums and they were both worth it!!. We also saw the pontoon bridge open and close -- that was a unique site. I believe that there were books with the walking tour available when you first get off the ship.