Excursion Focus: Kukoo Kunuku Palm Beach Tour in Aruba
The island of Aruba is well known for its perfect weather and even prettier beaches. For many Royal Caribbean guests, visiting Aruba might be a one-time opportunity, and for those that want to see some of the cultural and natural highlights of the island, while cruising in an over-the-top fun bus, then the Kukoo Kunuku Palm Beach Tour might be just right for you.
While in Aruba on port stop onboard Navigator of the Seas, we tried out this colorful tour of Aruba to see what it is like to explore Aruba while singing at the top of your lungs.
Kukoo Kunuku is a local tour company that provides bus tours of Aruba that visit some of the island's best known spots. While bus tours tend to be very similar experiences (pile in, go to a spot, pile out, take photos and pile back in, repeat), the folks at Kukoo Kunuku wanted to really change it up. They took old school buses, painted them all sorts of colors, plastered a ton of funny sayings and metaphors all over the bus, added maracas and blast classic sing-along songs to enjoy as you explore Aruba.
Guests climb aboard the bus (there were three in our tour), and are quickly indoctrinated into the Kukoo Kunuku culture of singing, being loud, and trying to "scare" any bicyclist or person on the street you pass by with hoot and hollering. The tour is as much about the experience onboard the bus as it is the places you visit.
The Kukoo Kunuku tour visits three spots, but begins with a general tour of Aruba that includes back story of the island and many opportunities to see what life is like in Aruba.
The first stop is at Alto Vista Chapel, which is a small Catholic chapel that stands on the hills above the north shore of the sea. It is a beautiful spot that provides some lovely views all around.
Back in the bus, the next stop is the California Lighthouse. The lighthouse was named for a ship that wrecked nearby Aruba in the 19th century. Guests may not climb to the top of the lighthouse, but like the chapel, the spot provides an excellent vantage point of the surroundings.
The final stop, and bulk of your time in the excursion, is a stop at Palm Beach.
Palm Beach is one of the two most popular beaches in Aruba (along with Eagle Beach) and the excursion includes the use of a complimentary beach chair. There is food and drink service provided at the beach for an additional fee.
The tour concludes with a fun trip back to the port area, with a good look at the beaches along the way.
Kukoo Kunuku is one of those excursions you have to experience for yourself to truly understand what it offers. It is more than a typical bus tour, and the fact we were traveling with many friends in a large group made for an even better time onboard. The tour's approach to encouraging everyone to sing along to classic rock songs set the tone a very fun day.
The driver of each bus serves as your guide, and will talk about various sights you will see along the way. The tour takes you through the interior of Aruba to begin with, and then concludes with a ride down the coast on the way back.
The tour culminates with a beach stop at one part of Palm Beach. Unfortunately during our visit, the beach was quite packed by the time we arrived. Personally, I prefer a spot on the beach with shade (my days of seeking a bronzed look are well past me), and there just was nothing to be found. There were umbrellas for rent, but they were sold out. We ended up sitting at a picnic table underneath a few trees and that served the purpose just fine (plus I had great bar service). I definitely would have preferred either a less crowded part of the beach, or a beach with more shade options. All that being said, we ended up having a nice time once we got settled in.
I was skeptical about the zany nature of the tour, but by the end of the 4 hour excursion, I was wanting more. From singing along to great songs to speeding around traffic circles multiple times, the tour ended up being a lot of fun.
Ultimately, what sets Kukoo Kunuku apart from other tours is the fun you have onboard the bus. From the moment you sit down, you will notice this is not your typical tour. Groups, families and anyone who kind of knows a few people on the tour will really enjoy this opportunity to explore Aruba while having a great time. The low cost of the tour (just $34 per adult) made getting a taste of Aruba just what we needed.
Cost: $34.00 per adult or $19.00 per child. Infants are free.