Fancy taking a dip with a flamingo? Renaissance Island in Aruba is where you can do just that. Instagrammers have been flocking there to get a #flamingobeach snap, and it’s quickly become the new photo craze. Here’s how you can see them for yourself…
You might feel like you’re seeing flamingos just about everywhere at the moment. Like the humble pineapple, they are the current fad, cropping up on phone cases, fashion accessories and stationary across the globe. You name it – it’s got a pink bird on it.
And, the obsession has reached Instagram, too. The swimming pigs of the Bahamas might have hogged the limelight (excuse the pun) previously, but the beach-loving birds of Renaissance Island have now stepped into the spotlight.
The friendly flock live on Renaissance Island, which is a small private islet 10 minutes from Aruba’s coastline near the capital city Oranjestad. The island is connected to the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino hotel, and you can book a day trip there for around £75, which includes boat transfers, lunch and a drink. Or, you can book your stay at the impressive resort and enjoy free access to the private island, plus a stylish infinity pool, casino and designer shops to boot. Monaco’s royal family are reportedly fans of the hotel – so one will be in good company.
A maximum of 30 non-hotel guests per day are permitted to the island, so it’ll never be too crowded. The gorgeous birds can be seen all year round, and are really tame too – they don’t mind you taking a dip in the sea nearby and will even eat kibble from the palm of your hand. Here are some of the enviable IG snaps that have sparked the photo craze, plus some more places where you can spot the brightly-coloured birds if you can’t hot foot it all the way to Aruba…
This lively resort on Spain’s west coast is perfect for a family holiday, with theme parks, waterparks and Blue Flag beaches to keep everyone busy. And, if you visit Ebro Delta, one of Europe’s biggest wetlands, you’ll be able to spot flamingos too. This nature reserve is on Costa Dorada’s southern border and is chockfull of marshes, reeds and salt pans attracting all kinds of wildlife. Herons, kestals and larks are regular attendees here, and flamingos add a splash of colour to the striking lagoons.
On their way to Africa, flamingos will stop mid-migration in Estany Pudent, which is a pair of salt lakes on Formentera’s north coast – an island anchored of the south coast of Ibiza in the Balearics. This area is protected by conservationists, but you can cycle through it along marked routes to spot the pink birds in their natural habitat. Or, if you want to get a closer look, head to Estany de Peix next door where you can kayak right onto the salt lakes.
Thousands of flamingos flock to the many lagoons on this Italian island, and there are so many that the pink birds have become a symbol of the place. You’ll find them in the lagoons and wetlands of the Sinis Peninsula in the west of the island, near the Medieval city of Oristano, and in the San Teodoro lagoon with is 20 minutes from Olbia. If you’re staying in Corsica, you can take a day trip to Sardinia, to explore the Emerald Coast, Olbia’s first-rate beaches and flamingo-filled lakes.
Obsessed with all things flamingo?
Some of our top hotels and resorts are in on the act too, and actually share a name with our feathery friends. There’s the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa in Costa Rica which has the famous Flamingo Beach conveniently on its doorstep. You’re unlikely to find any flamingos on this Blue Flag number, despite its name, but the protected white sands, cocooned by lush greenery, are still worth a visit
There’s also the Hotel Flamingo Oasis in Benidorm which boasts fuchsia décor throughout, a lagoon-like pool and four bars to choose from. And, TUI FAMILY LIFE Flamingo Beach, formally a Holiday Villages resort, boasts three outdoor pools, a nearby beach, and three restaurants including a Spanish-style Tgaverna.