Aruba Airlines A319 A4-AAE Lands at Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport

Aruba Airlines A319 A4-AAE lands at Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport – Click photo to enlarge

Greetings from Aruba! Visiting the “one happy island” (as they market it) has been on my to-do list since Southwest started service here a few years back via integration of AirTran’s ops into their own. As luck would have it, my newly minted AvGeek wife was amenable to a honeymoon visit. SXM, the AvGeek Mecca, would have been our first choice, but that island is still in repair mode from extensive damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

PlaneSpotting in Aruba: Hotel private island south of Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport. - Image:

PlaneSpotting in Aruba: Hotel private island south of Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport – Image:

While researching PlaneSpotting in Aruba, I was delighted to learn that two local hotels share a private island which runs alongside Aruba’s airport – Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport. While no #MahoBeach, this would certainly fit the bill for running away from the already cold (and falling) Kansas City temps to enjoy some tropical weather, and allowing us to check out some planes. Bonus points for wild iguanas, pelicans, and an occasional flamingo as well.

The island is only accessible via 10-minute boat ride, and is exclusive to guests of one of two Renaissance properties in Aruba. As a sort of deterrent to outsiders, the boat captains ask each passenger for their keycard and insert it into what is almost certainly a phony offline card reader. In any case, should you plan to visit, stay at one of the two properties or call ahead to make other arrangements. We heard twice that non-customers can purchase a day pass to the island depending on availability. Being that this was our honeymoon and I recently achieved lifetime Marriott platinum status, it seemed appropriate to stay at one of the upscale properties.

We spent most of the day on the island, hopping in and out of the ocean between active and inactive arrival periods. For any other relationship or honeymoon, this wouldn’t be tolerated, but thankfully my AvGeek wife was fully on board with my desire to strike a balance between unwinding while on Caribbean vacation and maintaining a healthy dose of plane spotting in Aruba. Click through to see the day’s catch…

Ok, not a plane, but still pretty darn cool, right? Points for it being something that can fly?

Ok, not a plane, but still pretty darn cool, right? Points for it being something that can fly?

PlaneSpotting in Aruba: The Fun Stuff

PlaneSpotting in Aruba: The Everyday American Carriers

Planes and airlines most domestic (U.S.) plane spotters can see at any given airport. What makes PlaneSpotting in Aruba special is that these aren’t the dominant carriers. Bonus points for the occasional boat in the frame as well.

PlaneSpotting in Aruba: Conclusion

Our trip to Aruba provided for a great honeymoon with the added perk of convenient and diverse PlaneSpotting. It takes a good bit of effort to find a balance, but keeping an eye on your favorite flight tracker (we use FlightRadar24 mostly) is sure to help. Happy spotting!

A green Iguana, because after all, this is a story about Aruba.

A Green Iguana spots the PlaneSpotter, because after all, this is a story about Aruba

Managing Correspondent - Lee's Summit, MO. JL joined AirlineReporter in 2012 and has since become one of our most tenured and prolific writers. He enjoys catalyzing AvGeek excitement in others, and semi-frequent travel. While he's always looking for the next big adventure, home is with his growing AvGeek family in Lee's Summit, MO, a suburb of Kansas City. Find JL on MastodonEmail:
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Steven Zwerin

Congrats on the wedding! Thanks as well for a cool trip report.

Andrew Taylor

Congrats! You lucky dog! Looks like it was a great place to vacation.


Welcome to the family, my son in law! Great article and love the pictures! Love…your mother in law and papa Mahk!

The AV plane caption should read Bogota not Bogata.

Nice catch. Will correct. Thank you for the feedback!

Hensley Garcia

I am very happy and proud to read about this Report. As a local aviation spotter there is more location where u can spot and click airplanes much closer while the aircraft approaches to RWY 11

You”re welcome. Great article. Y”all do great reporting.

Very nice. Thanks. I like it. My island Aruba❤

Nice report! Having been to Aruba in September, I found a very reasonable spotting location for the non-Renaissance people. It is on Surfside Beach, which is on the opposite side of the runway than You were. Light is not really an issue, because the sun stands high above you almost the whole day, but getting better during the afternoon. Very good accommodation thanks to Reflections Bar or Surfside Beach Bar. You can even go the airport fence, but due to construction work and a high and small gridded fence taking photos is a little bit tricky. As a tourist you normally do not carry a multi-step ladder with you….

JL Johnson

Good info. We are planning a return trip in which I do not expect we will stay at the Ren properties the entire time. I look forward to exploring your spot and possibly others upon our return. Comments like yours make AR that much stronger. Thanks for being here, Thomas!

– JL / AirlineReporter

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