When planning my dream vacation to the Caribbean, I made sure to put seeing the pink flamingos in Aruba at the top of my bucket list. However, I was surprised to find out that these animals don’t roam in the wild throughout the island.
In fact, you can only find an Aruba beach with flamingos in one place: the Renaissance Aruba Private Island! Additionally, you can’t just show up to Renaissance Island without prior preparation.
With multiple visits under my belt I’ve prepared this ultimate guide to visiting Flamingo Beach in Aruba. Ideally, it’ll help you avoid making the same first-timer mistakes I made and allow you to fully take advantage of your experience.
First, I’ll explain the process of buying island passes and reaching Flamingo Beach, followed by photo tips, island activities, and maximizing your visit. Finally, I’ll end by discussing whether Renaissance Island is worth visiting. Spoiler alert: I think it 100% lives up to the hype!
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when you purchase a product or book a stay through these links at no extra cost to you.
Where is Flamingo Beach in Aruba?
As previously mentioned, flamingos aren’t native to Aruba. In fact, you can only see these animals in one place: the Private Island owned by Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort (previously named Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino).
Now, it’s important to note that–while guests certainly have access to this 40-acre island–it’s actually located a short distance from the Renaissance hotel. So, for example, even if you stay at the resort, you won’t be able to walk straight from your room to Flamingo Beach.
Instead, arriving at Renaissance Island involves a short eight-minute ride via a water taxi! After your boat docks at the private island, you’ll need to go to the Flamingo Beach section to see the famous pink flamingos.
Remember that the private island has two main areas: Iguana Beach and Flamingo Beach. Moreover, this tropical oasis offers a Spa Cove with world-class spa treatments and two dining options: Papagayo Bar & Grill and Mangrove Beach Bar & Fish Shack.
Fun fact: there are only two private islands in Aruba: Renaissance Island and De Palm Island.
How much is Flamingo Beach Aruba?
You only have to buy an island pass if you’re NOT staying at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort. The total cost for a day pass to visit Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island Aruba is $130 per person.
This price includes a $25.00 food and beverage credit you can use at Papagayo Bar & Grill or Mangrove Beach Bar. Beach towels are also available on the island.
Renaissance Island tickets are $62.50 per child for ages 6-12, and there is no charge for children five and under. Just be aware that children can only visit the Flamingo Beach section of the island from 9-10 a.m. each day.
Flamingo Beach day pass prices do occasionally change. However, you can verify the total cost for your family as you browse day pass availability via the official website.
Before completing my purchase, I always double-check that I’m buying tickets for the correct date! Remember that your Flamingo Beach Aruba day pass will only work on the day you bought it for.
How to get to Flamingo Beach Aruba
Option #1: Stay at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort.
If you book a room at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, access to the private island is included in your stay. Since the Renaissance resort owns the island, the only way to get there is on the property’s private water taxis.
From the adults-only Renaissance Marina Hotel, go down to the lobby (next to the Starbucks) with your key card and wait. Or, for Renaissance Ocean Suites guests, the water taxis stop at a second dock on this side of the resort before continuing to the island.
The complimentary water taxis leave every 15 minutes, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 6:45 p.m. Once a water taxi arrives at the dock area, the driver will ask you to scan your key card to board. Approximately 20 people can board the water taxi for each trip.
In my opinion, the best solution is to stay a night or two at the Renaissance Aruba. I found it to be more affordable than other hotels and resorts after paying for day passes (if they’re even available for your specific date).
Prices for one night at the Renaissance can range from $230 to $500. So, you may want to compare the prices of staying at the hotel versus buying passes and see which option is best for you.
Remember, if you’re a guest at the resort, visiting Renaissance Private Island is free! You can even go for multiple days. This way, I was able to avoid the possible disappointment of day passes not being available.
Option #2: Purchase a Renaissance Island Aruba day pass.
Can anyone visit Flamingo Island Aruba? The answer is yes. However, seeing the private island is a little more complicated if you aren’t a guest at the Renaissance Aruba.
First, as a non-guest, you’ll need to secure an island day pass. These passes cost approximately $130 per person, and you can purchase a maximum of five at a time. However, securing day passes can often be challenging.
After all, the property limits the number of passes offered each day based on the occupancy rate. If the hotel is above 80% occupancy, it may choose not to offer passes at all for that particular day.
While the exact daily availability is unknown, we’ve heard it typically ranges between 20-30 passes. So, make sure to be proactive.
The current process is to book Flamingo Beach tickets online at https://renaissancearuba.idaypass.com/. Passes become available every Saturday at 9 a.m. for the following week (Monday through Sunday).
You’ll need to go to the website, click “island passes,” choose an open date, and click “continue.” From there, you can add the number of adults, children 0-5, and children 6-12 in your party.
You can have a maximum of five guests in your party. The only way for a non-guest of the resort to receive access to the Renaissance water taxis is to have a valid day pass.
Remember that each visitor’s pass includes a $25 food and beverage credit to be used at Papagayo Bar & Grill or Mangrove Beach Bar. You cannot bring your own food or beverages, big radios, trolleys, or other large pieces of luggage onto the private island.
Option #3: Book a spa package at Okeanos Spa on Renaissance Island.
Many people don’t realize that there’s actually a Spa Cove on Renaissance Island, which offers services like Swedish massages, deep tissue massages, and reflexology. Plus, each spa package includes entry and one day of access to Renaissance Island.
So, if you’re unable to secure a Flamingo island day pass, this is another way for you to visit! Unfortunately, booking a treatment at Okeanos Spa is the most expensive way to access Flamingo Beach.
For example, you’re looking at a minimum of $295 for a couple plus an additional charge of $25 per person for non-Renaissance guests. To book any of the services at the Spa Cove, you can call 011-297-583-6000, ext. 6176, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The spa facility and experiences are available only to guests aged 18 and above. Indoor treatments such as body treatments, hair services, massages, facials, nails, waxing, and reflexology do not grant access to the Renaissance Private Island facilities.
Are kids allowed on Flamingo Beach?
Like the Renaissance Aruba Resort, Renaissance Private Island is also divided into two zones: family-friendly and one for adults only. Upon exiting the water taxis, “Flamingo Beach” for adults is on the left, while the family-oriented “Iguana Beach” is on the right.
If you’re wondering how to see flamingos in Aruba with kids, be aware that children are only allowed on Renaissance Aruba Flamingo Beach from 9-10 in the morning. An adult must supervise them at all times.
How do I take a picture with the flamingos?
Once you walk onto Flamingo Beach, you should immediately spot the flamingos Aruba has made so famous. But how do you get them to come to you for photos? The secret is simple: give them a snack!
Remember to bring U.S. quarters to use at the island flamingo food dispensers. You can find these machines at the pier right before you step onto the beach.
This dry food is the “trick” to getting the birds to come to you. However, please refrain from feeding the flamingos any other food items. It’s also important that visitors do NOT chase after these animals.
Instead, if you spot a flamingo by the beach, let it approach you. I had to wait and try a few times before a flamingo on the beach was willing to come to me–patience is key!
Do not try to act aggressively or push the flamingos into interacting with you. They will eventually approach you if you’re calm, patient, quiet, and have snacks.
The best way to take photos with the Aruba pink flamingos is to arrive early in the morning. For instance, I boarded a boat at 8:15 a.m. and took some photos before the crowds came. Plus, the lighting for pictures is better in the morning anyway!
In the afternoons, the flamingos seemed sleepy and would take naps. By comparison, I thought they seemed a lot more active in the morning. Since the island closes at 7 p.m., another ideal time for photos is around 6 in the evening.
I recommend planning for the Renaissance Hotel Aruba Flamingo Beach like it’s an entire day trip. This allows you to retry seeing the beach flamingos throughout the day if you miss them in the morning. Remember also to be respectful of others waiting to take their Instagram photos, too!
Other things to do on Renaissance Private Island
Even if you’re not interested in the flamingos, I found there to still be plenty to do on Renaissance Private Island. After all, your visit includes complimentary beach towels as well as access to chaise lounge chairs.
So, grab a spot by the beach and spend the day relaxing under the swaying palm trees. There are lots of places to sit down or lay out on the island, including a few more secluded spots!
If you’d like to be more active, Red Sail Sports provides complimentary snorkeling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, and floats. Floats and snorkel equipment are available for rental from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., while paddle boards and kayaks can be used on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 8:30 a.m.
If you’re traveling with a big group, you may want to consider renting an oceanfront cabana for the day. Each cabana comes with water, sparkling wine, snacks, butler service, water floats, and snorkeling masks. Cabana 4001 on Iguana Beach even has a waterslide!
The price per day for a cabana starts at $425, and you can make your reservation at https://renaissancearuba.ipoolside.com/. There are a total of 20 cabanas available, which are divided between the two island beaches.
Remember that the cabanas on Flamingo Beach are for adults only! Regular cabanas accommodate a maximum of four guests, while the deluxe cabanas can hold up to six guests.
For a romantic experience, make an appointment at the Spa Cove–imagine a couples massage by the ocean! Couples may also want to consider booking a “Dinner Under the Stars” experience. At this four-course dinner, guests will be treated to live music and a shoreside table with a beautiful view.
What are my options for food on the island?
Please note that you cannot bring your own food or drinks onto the private island. However, there are two great restaurant options available on Renaissance Island: Papagayo Bar & Grill and the Mangrove Beach Bar.
Papagayo Bar & Grill (Iguana Beach) is the best option for a full, sit-down meal and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. I ordered the Margherita Pizza and my husband chose the Dorado Arubiano. View the full menu here.
If you’d like a quick snack or a cocktail while you lounge by the flamingos, you’ll want to check out Mangrove Beach Bar & Fish Shack. This spot is open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can either sit on one of the stools pictured above or wait to be served from your lounge chair.
How can I best spend my time on the island?
As I mentioned previously, the earlier you arrive at Renaissance Private Island, the better. The complimentary water taxis start running at 7 a.m. With this in mind, I recommend getting to the island between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning for the best experience.
This way, you can see the flamingos and secure a lounge chair before the crowds arrive. I personally prefer claiming a chair for the day on Iguana Beach, since it offers more shady areas.
If you’re traveling with your kids, remember that children are only allowed on Flamingo Beach from 9-10 in the morning. You will want to plan your day accordingly!
Flamingo Beach visiting hours
The Renaissance Aruba Private Island is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The first water taxi leaves at 7 a.m. from the resort, and the last taxi from the island back to the resort leaves at 6:45 p.m. Children can visit the Flamingo Beach section of the private island from 9-10 a.m. each day.
Is Flamingo Island worth it?
Was it worth the money? I think so! While it’s a pricey experience, I felt like seeing flamingos on a beach is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I highly recommend visiting the Renaissance Private Island, especially if it’s your first trip to Aruba.
Plus, Flamingo Beach makes for a unique and fun destination for honeymoons, bachelorettes, and really any celebration. After all, Renaissance Island offers some of the only private beaches in the entire country of Aruba.
When is the best time to visit Flamingo Beach Aruba?
The weather in Aruba is warm and perfect for a vacation at any time of the year. However, its high season typically spans from mid-December to mid-April. This time of year coincides with winter in the Northern Hemisphere–when vacationers often try to escape the cold.
Furthermore, Aruba has become a popular destination during spring break in the United States for the last few years. If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, we suggest visiting during Aruba’s low season, which runs from mid-April to mid-December.
It’s also worth noting that Aruba–along with Bonaire and Curaçao–is located in the Dutch Caribbean, which sits outside of the hurricane belt. Therefore, hurricane season shouldn’t affect your trip to One Happy Island.
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The Renaissance Aruba gave me two day passes to visit the private island during my trip to Aruba. However, they did not ask me to write this article. I wrote it because many readers have asked how to take pictures with the flamingos. All opinions are my own.
An earlier version of this article was published in April 2019 and has since been updated.