For this cruise we took advantage of an opportunity to join a privately organized tour of the "other side of Aruba," with rugged coastline and interesting rock formations that reminded me more of the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland than a deep southern Caribbean island with a dessert climate (except for the cactus). The tour itself was quite interesting and allowed us to see the remains of the Natural Bridge and the Lighthouse, among other sights before we were dropped off in town to do a little shopping before walking back to the ship.
We hired a wonderful company (COSOL) for a private half-day tour for 4 of us that took us along winding mountain roads with beautiful vistas and through fishing villages heavily steeped in poverty as far south as Soufriere. During our many stops along the way we were treated to the "perfect" banana, and samples of perhaps two dozen types of food -- not to mention the beer, rum punch, and water. It was one of the best tours we've had in our many Caribbean port stops over the years.
We took advantage of an opportunity to join a private 4-hour group tour that took us across the island for marvelous views of the sea from Shirley Heights and then to the Nelson's Dockyard complex. It was well worth the time, and following our tour we looked at a couple of shops before returning to the ship.