Through a series of events too complicated to explain here, I'm getting the wonderful opportunity to experience Aruba almost for free. Sadly it will only be for 24 hours, and no, this is not a cruise stop.
My airfare is covered and I'm getting a modest sum to help with the cost of my hotel. Even better, I got to choose the property. Based on availability, price, and the limited resources granted to me, I choose the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. I think I'll still end up paying close to $150 for the hotel (once the taxes, fees, and service charges totaling almost 25% are added in ), but considering that is the only cost associated with the trip (other than food, "meds," and fun), I couldn't pass this up.
This is a very short, solo trip taking place near the end of February. Having never been to Aruba, I thought some Insiders might have a few recommendations. I'll be arriving on a Saturday afternoon around 2:30 and leaving the following evening around 5:30. Allowing enough time to check in for the flight back to the U.S. means I'll have almost exactly 24 to explore. Not enough time by a long-shot. I have no doubt I'll love the place and want to return for a longer stay, but if not, this is a great way to find that out. I just couldn't say not to what is almost a free trip to Caribbean despite the extremely limited duration.
With all that in mind, I'm open to suggestions for dining or activities (snorkeling, maybe) that I can fit into a very tight schedule.