When planning a dream vacation to Aruba, many people include seeing the pink flamingos at the top of their bucket list. However, it may come as a surprise 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. To help you avoid making any first-timer mistakes, we’ve prepared this ultimate guide to visiting Flamingo Beach in Aruba. In this post, we’ll detail the exact steps to take to visit Renaissance Island and see the Aruba flamingos.
First, we’ll start with how to purchase island passes and how to get to Flamingo Beach. Then, we’ll cover tips on how to take photos with the flamingos, things to do on the private island, and how to make the most of your time there. Finally, we’ll end by discussing whether Renaissance Island is worth visiting. Spoiler alert: we think it 100% lives up to the hype!
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Table of Contents
Where is Flamingo Beach in Aruba?
As previously mentioned, flamingos are not native to Aruba, and you won’t find multiple Aruba beaches with flamingos. In fact, you can only see these animals in one place: the Private Island at 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 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 flamingos. Remember that there are two main areas: Iguana Beach and Flamingo Beach. Moreover, the island offers a Spa Cove with world-class spa treatments and two dining options: Papagayo Bar & Grill and Mangrove Beach Bar.
How much is Flamingo Beach Aruba?
The total cost for a day pass to visit Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island Aruba is $125 per person. This price includes one meal and one drink of your choice at Papagayo Bar & Grill or Mangrove Beach Bar. Beach towels are also available on the island.
For children ages 5-12, Renaissance Island tickets are $62.50 per child. Additionally, for children four and under, there is no charge. Just be aware that children are only allowed to 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’ll be able to verify the total cost for your family as you browse day pass availability. Before completing your purchase, we suggest double-checking that you’re 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 decide to 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 one of the property’s private water taxis. Luckily, as a guest at the hotel, you can hop onto one of these boats quite easily.
If you’re staying at the adults-only Renaissance Marina Hotel, all you have to do is go down to the lobby (next to the Starbucks) with your key card and wait. For those staying at the Renaissance Ocean Suites, the water taxis stop at a second dock on this side of the resort before continuing on 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.
If you have your heart set on seeing the flamingos in Aruba, the best solution is to stay a night or two at the Renaissance Aruba. Depending on the number of people in your group, after paying for day passes (if they’re even available for your specific date), you might as well have paid to stay at the hotel.
Prices for one night at the Renaissance can range anywhere from $230-$500, depending on the season. So, you may want to sit down and calculate 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. Plus, this way, you avoid the possible disappointment of day passes not being available during your vacation dates. Moreover, this resort is in a central location for you to reach other popular activities in Aruba, like Arikok National Park and The Natural Pool (“Conchi”).
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 of all, as a non-guest, you’ll need to secure an island day pass. These passes cost approximately $125 per person, and you can purchase a maximum of five at a time.
Secondly, securing day passes can be challenging as 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. Although there’s no way to know exactly how many passes are available each day, we’ve heard that the maximum is between 20-30. So, make sure to be proactive.
The current process is to book Flamingo Beach tickets online at https://renaissancearuba.idaypass.com/. Passes become available a few days in advance and sell out quickly. 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 0-4, and children 5-12 in your party.
The only way for a non-guest to receive access to the Renaissance water taxis is to have a valid day pass. Furthermore, you’ll need to ensure everyone in your party is present and boards simultaneously because your QR code will only work once.
Remember that each visitor’s pass includes one meal and one drink at Papagayo Bar & Grill or Mangrove Beach Bar. Furthermore, be aware that 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 an island day pass, this is another way for you to visit!
Unfortunately, booking a treatment at Okeanos Spa is the most expensive way to gain access to 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 297-583-6000, ext. 6176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are kids allowed on Flamingo Beach?
Like the Renaissance Aruba Resort, Renaissance Private Island is also divided into two zones: one that is family-friendly and one that is for adults only. Once you exit the water taxis, “Flamingo Beach,” reserved for adults, is to the left. “Iguana Beach,” to the right, is the family side and does not have flamingos.
If your kids want to see the flamingos, 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. Additionally, attempting to touch, chase, hold, or scare the flamingos in any way is prohibited.
How do I take a picture with the flamingos?
Once you walk onto Flamingo Beach, you should immediately see the flamingos. However, capturing a picture-perfect moment with one of them can be difficult. The real secret to taking great photos with the flamingos is simple: give them a snack!
Remember to bring U.S. quarters to use at the 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 the flamingos. Instead, let them approach you.
You may have to wait or try a few times before a flamingo on the beach is willing to come to you–that is o.k.! 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 flamingos is to arrive early in the morning. We got on a boat at 8:15 a.m., and we were able to snap a few photos before the crowds came. Plus, the lighting for pictures is better in the morning anyway!
In the afternoons, we noticed that the flamingos were sleepy and would take naps. However, they seemed pretty active in the morning. As the island closes at 7 p.m., another ideal time for photos is around 6 in the evening.
We recommend spending a full day on the island to leave plenty of time for the perfect photo. That way, if you miss your chance to get a picture with the flamingos in the morning, you’ll be able to try again throughout the day. Please also remember to be respectful of others on the beach as they wait to take their own photos.
Other things to do on Renaissance Private Island
Even if you’re not interested in seeing the flamingos, there’s still plenty to do on Renaissance Private Island. 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 plenty 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, the Red Sail Sports store offers snorkeling equipment, paddle boards, kayaks, and floats at no extra cost. Floats and snorkel equipment rental behind at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. Additionally, paddle boards and kayaks are available first on a first-come, first-serve basis for hourly use beginning 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! The 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, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to return to the hotel for meals. In fact, there are two great restaurant options available on Renaissance Island: Papagayo Bar & Grill and the Mangrove Beach Bar.
You can find the former at Iguana Beach, while the latter is next to Flamingo Beach. Papagayo Bar & Grill is the best option for a full, sit-down meal and is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It offers specialty pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven and sandwiches, desserts, and cocktails.
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 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, we recommend getting to the island between 7:30-9:30 in the morning for the best experience.
That way, you’ll be able to both see the flamingos and grab a chair in the shade before the crowd pours in. It may also be helpful to know that the island’s Iguana Beach section has more shady areas. So, after checking out the flamingos at Flamingo Beach, we suggest claiming a chaise lounge chair on Iguana Beach.
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?
Alright, let’s get real: was it worth the money? For us, we’d say 100% yes. Sure, it’s an expensive experience, but where else are you going to see flamingos on a beach? Visiting the Renaissance Private Island is an activity that we’d recommend everyone do at least once–especially if this is your first trip to Aruba.
Plus, Flamingo Beach makes for a unique and fun destination for honeymoons, bachelorettes, and really any celebration. Renaissance Island also offers some of the only private beaches in the 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 is a popular destination during spring break in the United States. 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.