How to Visit Flamingos in Aruba: Renaissance Private Island

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Flamingos have been living in Aruba for years. Approximately 15 years ago a flamboyance of flamingos (it’s really called like that) made their home on the Renaissance Private Island, living on the beach and mingling with visitors. It wasn’t until around 3 years ago when the island became popular and its pink inhabitants started rocking Instagram. So here’s how to visit the flamingo beach in Aruba.

How to Visit Flamingo Beach in Aruba on the Renaissance Island

How to Visit Flamingos in Aruba: Renaissance Private Island

Let’s make something very clear to avoid disappointments. If you’re coming to Aruba for the flamingos remember that it’s not like you step your foot on the island and you can see flamingos everywhere. The flamingos you keep seeing on Instagram aren’t actually an attraction open to the public and if you want to see them, you need to plan ahead.

Day Pass for the Renaissance Island

The place you want to see the famous flamingos is the Renaissance Island, a privately owned island by Renaissance Aruba Resort in Oranjestad. Guests of the Renaissance Aruba Resort have free access to the island, but you can buy a day pass for $100 and visit the island as a non-guest.

However, I don’t actually recommend counting on getting the day pass. You can’t pre-book day passes and you need to come to the reception in the morning to find out about availability. Renaissance Hotel doesn’t always sell the passes in order not to make the island too overcrowded. So if the hotel is fully booked, non-guests aren’t able to buy the passes.

This is why if you care to see the flamingo beach, spend at least one night of your stay at the Renaissance Resort & Casino, to avoid a disappointment.

Flamingos in Aruba

flamingo beach aruba

Are kids allowed on the island?

While kids are allowed to come to the island, unfortunately, they aren’t allowed at the Flamingo Beach. The hotel wanted to minimize the disturbance of the flamingo population. What makes the beach a perfect spot for couples and those who enjoy quiet spaces.

How to get to the flamingos in Aruba

The only way to get to the Renaissance Island is by boat. The boat leaves from the lobby of the hotel every 15 minutes, so it’s impossible not to spot it.

renaissance island aruba 

Check current prices for Renaissance Aruba Resort: | Agoda | TripAdvisor | HotelsCombined


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What to do at the flamingo beach?

Apart from watching the playful flamingos, you can enjoy the beach for an entire day. Flamingo Beach is a full-service beach (with chairs, towels, bar, restaurant, bathrooms etc). You can pay for everything in both Dollars and local currency – Florin.

Opening hours of the Renaissance Private Island

The island is open from 7 am to 6 pm, but once a week you can also have a romantic dinner starting at 7 pm. You can pre-book the dinner at the reception. And trust me, it’s worth it. Even if you’re not a couple you’re going to have a great time.

Flamingo Beach in Aruba

My Tip:

There is a small vending machine that sells food for the flamingos. The machine takes only US quarters. It’s much easier to tempt the flamingos with food on your hand, but if you arrive too late, they might simply ignore you. In the end, they’re still wild animals that do their own thing as they please. So don’t be disappointed if your pink friends walk away instead of posing for you 🙂

Disclaimer: Recently every news site has featured my photo with the flamingos, misquoting me and basing entire articles on assumptions that the flamingos are kept captive on the island and die of malnutrition. I wanted to set the record straight. Flamingos living on the Renaissance Private Island came there on their on 15 years ago. One flamingo actually left the island and one died because of his age. The current inhabitants aren’t in captivity. They also live in their natural environment – the mangroves. In fact, last year there were more flamingos on the island because some others came to visit and stayed for some time. 


What else is there to do and see in Aruba?

Arikok National Park

Arikok National Park – Global Day of Discovery at Renaissance Hotels

While beaches are what the majority of tourists come to Aruba, the island has way more to offer. Aruba is also home to colorful flora & fauna, mysterious caves, a diverse landscape & rich history.

Fortunately for me, because I was staying at the Renaissance Hotel I experience Aruba thanks to the Global Day of Discovery. Every year in May, each Renaissance property arranges a special activity for all their guests to experience ‘business unusual’ trips. This past year Renaissance Aruba took me to Arikok National Park for a morning hike, followed by a delicious local breakfast.

This massive park is 21 square miles, about 18% of the island. Arikok is full of cacti on rough terrain and it’s home to Aruban rattlesnakes, parakeets, whiptail lizards, iguanas, goats, donkeys & migratory birds.

Arikok also gives you a chance to see the island’s earliest inhabitants’ marks left in the Fontein and Gaudirikiri caves. The drawings are at least 1000 years old and some say they resemble an image of Madonna.

A typical hike there lasts for around 2 hours, but I’d say it’s easy enough for everyone. At the end of the hike, you can also see a replica of a traditional Aruban house, as the original has been destroyed by a hurricane.

cactus aruba
global day of discovery


The capital of the Dutch Aruba obviously has a Dutch name. You might fall in love with Oranjestad if you like colorful houses and Creole cuisine. It’s a nice place to have a stroll in the afternoon.Oranjestad Aruba

For more activities and organized tours in Aruba check Viator here.

Arrange your travel insurance

Don’t forget to arrange a health insurance before heading to Aruba. The easiest and the most reliable travel insurance is World Nomads Travel Insurance. Get it before your trip to avoid unnecessary troubles that might ruin your holidays!

Have you been to Aruba? Do you have any questions? Let me know!

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  1. Jen
    Jun 18, 2017 / 6:01 am

    Love that place! It’s not easy to get a selfie with a flamingo, you go girl!

  2. Magda
    Jun 22, 2017 / 9:29 am

    Hey Anna, can you give me the source of this information in a disclaimer? I was doing a research on the internet regarding flamingos, but actually all I could find was info rather proving that it *IS* an animal cruelty as flamingos have their wings clipped…

    • Jun 24, 2017 / 6:51 pm

      An actual press release about it is coming out soon. Yes, there were a lot of articles recently saying that the flamingos are maltreated, and as I said some even misquoted me about it and the rest just reprinted it (because no journalist will actually check facts with sources these days). These articles were based on assumptions and they even said it themselves unfortunately.

  3. Jul 6, 2017 / 3:05 am

    Thank for the tips! Definitely adding to the bucketlist. 🙂

  4. Jul 30, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    Thank you so much for your great information! This was a big help.
    Love from amandaforzlow @instagram

  5. Laura
    Aug 2, 2017 / 3:43 am

    No kids?
    So sad my son has 10 years old

    • Aug 2, 2017 / 4:06 am

      Yep, no kids for the safety of flamingos.

      • leanne
        Sep 5, 2017 / 3:04 pm

        how about a baby?

        • Sep 5, 2017 / 6:23 pm

          No babies allowed either. It’s for the safety of flamingos. You can enjoy the other beach on the island with babies and kids and walk over to see the flamingos while someone watches your child.

  6. Aug 3, 2017 / 1:34 am

    Wow! I never knew this existed. Cant wait to go see the flamingos.

  7. Annick
    Aug 31, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    If we only book for one night, would we go to the private island upon check in or check out?

    • Sep 1, 2017 / 1:24 am

      You could do both. Check-in is at 4pm, so you have time until 7pm to go to the island. The first boat to the island leaves at 7:30am, and check out is at 12pm.

  8. Nicole
    Sep 16, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    If you’re lucky enough to get a day pass for $100, is it all-inclusive, or do you also have to pay for any food/beverages throughout the day as well?

    • Sep 16, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      It’s not all-inclusive. It’s just to go to the island, but sun loungers on both beaches are included.

      • Sep 17, 2017 / 12:14 am

        Depending on how many of you are going, consider booking a room for the night. You can check in any time and the front desk will hold your luggage if the room isn’t ready. The beach is accessible 7am to 7pm. If you stay in the hotel, you can go back to the beach on your checkout date. Stay as long as you want since the front desk will hold your luggage as long as you checkout. Even if you don’t spend the night at the hotel, if there are more than 2 of you, it may be cheaper and you don’t run the risk of tickets selling out. We were there last week and that’s what we did.

      • Nicole
        Sep 17, 2017 / 1:58 pm

        thanks for your help!

  9. Cindy Chesnulevich
    Sep 30, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    If we are at another resort I stead of taking a taxi to find out there are no day passes that day can we call to find out so it’s not a wasted trip

    • Sep 30, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      It’s first come first serve, but you can call once you arrive and ask if they’re even planning on selling some day passes upcoming days. When I was there I remember there were no day passes for a week because the hotel was sold out.

  10. Tena
    Oct 10, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    For he cruise ships that come to Aruba do you have any kindness of excursion to see the flamingos ?

    • Oct 11, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Once you leave a cruise ship you can go to the lobby at 9 am and inquire about a day pass. There’s no such thing as flamingo excursion for cruise ship passengers as the island would be way too crowded.

    • Oct 12, 2017 / 12:15 am

      I would check out the room rates and book a room for the night you’re in port. You would then check in when you disembark and take the shuttle to Flamingo Beach. When we were there, the room rate was cheaper than getting two day passes and we were guaranteed admission. Of course, you don’t end up spending the night at the hotel.

      • Rizzo
        Oct 30, 2017 / 2:14 pm

        Great advice, Annick! We plan to do just that and book one night in January 2018. We plan to head to the resort after our cruise disembarks. Will they let you check in before 4pm if you are not interested in the room and just want to take the shuttle to Flamingo Beach ?

        • Oct 30, 2017 / 7:04 pm

          Good question. I’ve no clue as I arrived late.

        • Oct 30, 2017 / 8:41 pm

          Yes. We arrived around 11am. We were told that our room might not be available but that we could go ahead to the beach (and they gave us the key). Same thing when we checked out, they asked us if we wanted to keep the key to go back to Flamingo Beach even though we had already vacated the room. Enjoy it!

    • Heena Webb
      Nov 8, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      We plan on arriving in Aruba early morning, I have a excursion booked through the cruise already that I will most likely cancel and get my refund. If we end up buying a night’s stay are we able to check in early and get the key, go the beach and then check out as soon as we are done at the beach? I am weary that the hotel might be aware of this loophole and charge us some kind of fee for checking out right away. Plus we will not have our luggage in hand it will on the ship. Any recommendations on what we could do to not cancel our excursion and be disappointed with no day passes or receive a penalty charge at the hotel?

      • Nov 11, 2017 / 6:11 pm

        I don’t see why they’d charge you some extra fee. Tons of frequent travelers book a room for hotels for a few hours (paying for the night) because they just want to shower and rest before the next flight.

  11. Daniel
    Nov 16, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    Hi, two of my friends and I want to visit the flamingos. If were were to book a room for the night, would the free access be for one guest or for all of us? (It would save us a ton since 3 day passes are $300) Thanks in advance!

    • Nov 17, 2017 / 12:40 am

      If you book a double room, then you’d receive 2 keycards and therefore access to the island for 2 people 🙂

  12. Nov 25, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Never knew such a beautiful place existed where one can interact with such amazing creatures. Thanks for sharing a well detailed article. This is definitely a place to visit and it goes right onto my bucket list. Also nice pictures Anna, keep sharing.

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