You have to drive the entire length of this 20-mile long island to get to this spot. The southeast end of Aruba abruptly terminates at a rocky, wave-splashed point called Punta Basora, just past Seroe Colorado. From its heights you can see Boca Grandi to the north, a kite surfer’s dream with endless white rollers attacking the shore. Also on this point is a massive red anchor, perhaps 10-feet high, a lofty memorial to Aruba’s lost seamen and a colorful exclamation point to land’s end. And to the south rising out of the Caribbean Sea is the dramatic 2700-foot Santa Ana Mountain, topping off Venezuela’s Peninsula of Paraguana.
But the immediate treasure is down below at a wonderful spot called Baby Beach. It is the kind of place where time is suspended, where color takes over in the pursuit of tropical bliss. Baby Beach is a tranquil lagoon of warm, clear water where children and adults acting like children play. There is a rip roaring current and white caps just beyond the reef. But remain in the bay and life is sublime and cooled by the constant trade winds.
Baby Beach is a world away from Aruba’s renowned strands, miles and miles of white sand dotted with bustling casinos, hyped-up waters sports of every flavor and flocks of sun burned tourist. Rather, this remote cove beckons small crowds, many who are local, and those who simply seek to lime away the day. Yep, that is my kind of beach.
The cove is perhaps a quarter mile long and is ringed with palapas; those palm branch-shrouded shelters providing sweet shade from the relentless sun. And then there is Big Mama, a beach side grill offering basic lunch fare. I ordered a cheeseburger in paradise with grilled onion. The East Indian waitress was a bit perplexed on the onion request, but once I explained in detail what I wanted, she (or the cook) delivered. The pleasant surprise was the sweet curry flavor to the meat. That went well with my glass of cold orange juice.
Who is Big Mama? I don’t have a clue. But upon departing I asked the bartender, a beautiful woman clothed in a colorful African textile, if I could take her picture. She grabbed an enormous bottle of booze and flashed a smile, “This is my big brother!” We laugh and talk a bit but it is time to go. I look back at the lagoon one last time with its snow white sand and sapphire blue water. South America beckons just 17 miles to the south. Edges like this always make me want to explore further. But then again, I look where I am. The palms bend like a dance with the wind and people just play or sleep. Baby Beach. It brings out the child in everyone.