Aruba, a Caribbean island north of Venezuela, is famed for its beautiful white beaches, wind-sculpted desert landscapes, and some of the world’s best diving. It is a part of the ABC islands in the Caribbean and is a Dutch colony. This country holds a very special place in my heart since it was my 70th country!! A very big milestone.
There are numerous places to visit and things to do in Aruba. Aruba is a dry island with year-round pleasant weather. Because of its location in the far south of the Caribbean, it is immune to most storms, allowing visitors to enjoy the island’s outdoor activities and water sports at any time of year. Aruba is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a Caribbean holiday.
This island nation is one of the top holiday spots, combining the best characteristics of luxury travel, such as a tropical climate, stunning landscape, and a distinct culture that places a strong emphasis on hospitality. We visited the famous Caribbean island in mid-August and had a blast.
It’s famous because it has stunning white-sand beaches, 82-degree days, and some of the world’s friendliest people. That’s why it’s known as One Happy Island.
How to get there: Aruba is a breeze to get through now that direct flights are available to the destination. You can even fly to Aruba from Mumbai via KLM taking a stopover in Amsterdam but the cheapest option is to fly via the US. Aruba is a 5-hour flight from New York City and there are numerous flights. It has a lot of tourists from the USA and the airport also has separate terminals for the USA and non-USA departures. There are some fantastic hotels and resorts, many of which are only steps away from the glistening turquoise water. So if you’re looking for instant bliss, Aruba is a must-visit for you; you can spend anywhere from 5 days to a week.
Now that you’ve made your way to this beautiful island, the next thing to do is to rent a car. Unfortunately, Aruba’s taxis are pricey, and the transit system is practically non-existent. Therefore, renting a car is something I would strongly recommend. Car rentals are available right outside the airport and the process is very seamless and fast. Car rentals can range from 30-50 USD a day. We rented a car for the entire week.
Things to do In Aruba:
1. Stay at the Palm Beach
The world-famous Palm Beach in Aruba is a gorgeous 2-mile-long stretch of the island’s coast lined with luxury hotels, glitzy restaurants, chic beach bars and cafés, and high-end boutiques and shops. This is one of the best Aruba tourist attractions. This famed length of the beach, which is dotted with piers and watersports concessions, is also a paradise for swimmers and snorkelers, thanks to the calm waters and offers beautiful dawn or sunset walks down the sand and that is one of the best things to see in Aruba. Palm Beach comes alive at night with a plethora of lively bars, nightclubs, and casinos, as well as cinemas, bowling alleys, and spa facilities in two of the island’s largest shopping complexes. Most tourists stay here and so did we.
2. Enjoy Eagle Beach’s sands
Eagle Beach, hailed by many Aruban veterans as the island’s most beautiful length of sand, arcs its way along the west coast here, just a stone’s throw from the city of Oranjestad. This is also one of the best things to do in Aruba while you are in the Caribbean.
This location is one of the top Aruba points of interest, is accessible and absolutely gorgeous, with talcum powder sands and calm coastline waters of aquamarine and deep blue.
Visitors may enjoy fantastic snorkelling, as well as a plethora of sea kayak and jet ski rentals, as well as all of the top-notch culinary and cocktail establishments that line the banks of adjacent Divi Divi. Furthermore, Eagle bay is rarely overcrowded because of its extended length. It is on Eagle beach that you will find the world-famous Divi Divi trees on one end of the beach – these unique trees are known to grow only on this island and nowhere else in the world.
You won’t have to leave when you’re hungry, thanks to a variety of eateries and a small refreshment stand selling hotdogs, burgers.
3. Visit Baby Beach and Boracundi beach.
You will be super impressed at Baby Beach! This white-sand beach in San Nicholas is ideal for a day of family fun in the sun! This should be a must on your list of places to visit in Aruba. Do you want to spend a day relaxing by the shore while your kids run around? Baby Beach has shallow waters for tiny swimmers, so you and your kids can have some fun while you relax. Remember to rent or bring an umbrella when the heat is at its hottest, as there isn’t much cover here! If you enjoy water activities, you can also enjoy hassle-free snorkelling at Baby Beach, which is home to various fish and turtles. A 5 mins drive from Baby Beach takes you to another beach, called the Boca Grandi Beach, one of the other amazing things to do in Aruba.
Bocagrandi beach, according to me, is definitely one of the best things to see in Aruba. Waves and good times. Pristine and breathtaking! What more do you need? This beach is famed for kitesurfing/windsurfing since it has big waves, you can also relax and read a book while soaking up the rays. It’s off the beaten route and not at all crowded. You can also enjoy watching the kitesurfers & windsurfers which is amazing. If it isn’t already, this should be a must on your list of things to do in Aruba.
4. Go hiking in Arikok National Park & visit the Natural Pool.
Hiking is similar to taking a walk, but it takes it to the next level. This place is one of the top Aruba points of interest. A trip to Aruba’s Arikok National Park may surpass all of your prior hiking experiences. This is one of the most adventurous things to do in Aruba. It’s a fantastic spot to roam about and engage your senses. Arikok National Park covers little under a fourth of Aruba, making it impossible to avoid. But why would you want to escape such a spectacular scene, complete with cliffs, tunnels, and other natural wonders? Whatever your feelings are on trekking, you won’t be able to duplicate this experience anyplace else. If you’re planning a trip to Aruba, Arikok National Park should be at the top of your list.
One of my favourites in this park was visiting the Natural pool which was fantastic. We trekked almost 18 km that day and visited some gorgeous beaches, beautiful sand dunes, the natural pool itself was breathtaking and we watched one of the most spectacular sunsets over here.
Don’t let the fact that you won’t be able to see everything, at least not in one day, discourage you. Instead, get up early to enjoy a hike without the sun beating down too hard on you. You can also rent the UTV /ATV which is easier to go offroad in and visit more areas of this park.
5. Explore the Natural Bridge.
A rare and beautiful geological feature perched 25 feet above the harsh sea can be seen on Aruba’s rustic northern shore. Natural bridges at Arikok National Park once served as the apex of an ancient cave. These formations, made of coral limestone, were sculpted throughout time by the processes of erosion. The baby bridge still survives, even though the old, more giant natural bridge collapsed in 2005. Take a walk along the route to take in the breathtaking vistas, observe the crashing waves, and photograph this beautiful natural spot in Aruba.
Close to the natural bridge you can visit the sea caves and the ruins.
6. Visit the Aruba Aloe vera factory
Aruba is one of the biggest exporters of Aloe Vera and hence a visit to the Aloe Vera factory is very interesting. Take a tour of the Aruba Aloe Museum, Factory, and Store, which is one of the best free things to do in Aruba and of the best Aruba tourist attractions. You’ll discover everything you ever wanted to know about aloe plants on this fascinating tour.
Watch a short film about Aruba’s aloe production history, then watch your guide “fillet”, an aloe leaf, to extract the sticky flesh, observe the plants flourishing in the sandy soil, and hear about the health benefits of aloe. A stroll around the plant is also included in the tour, so you can see how the items are created and packed. After your tour, stop by the gift shop to pick up some aloe products to cure your sunburn or to take them home as souvenirs – I picked up a lot of stuff. Self-guided tours are also available. Tours depart every 15 minutes.
7. From the iconic California Lighthouse, enjoy the best 360-degree views of the island.
In the area known as “Hudishibana,” near the island’s northern tip, an old stone California lighthouse remains like a quiet watchman. It invites tourists to take in some of the island’s most breathtaking sights. This is one of the most amazing and thrilling Aruba tourist attractions.
The S.S. California, which sank before the lighthouse was built in 1910, was named after it. The lighthouse has become one of Aruba’s spectacular trademarks, perched on a high seashore elevation and providing a picture-perfect perspective over the island’s western coastline of beaches and coral shorelines. This is one of the top Aruba tourist places to visit.
Anytime between 7:00 am. and 7:00 p.m. is an excellent time to visit the lighthouse for a 360-degree view, but the sunset is unquestionably the best time to be there, as the giant orange ball of fire softly drops into the Caribbean Sea. So keep your eyes peeled; you could catch a glimpse of the green flare. There is also a food truck here that serves the best fresh coconut smoothies.
8. Visit the beautiful underrated beaches.
Other than the touristy beaches – here are a few of my favourites which aren’t very crowded. All the beaches mentioned below are just a 5-10 minutes drive from each other.
- Malmok Beach is a narrow ribbon of beach that runs down the shore of Malmok, interrupting the limestone and stony terrace. It’s a popular snorkelling area in Aruba because of its shallow, beautiful Caribbean seas. Opposite to the beach you can also see some of the most beautiful villas.
- Tres Trapi is a lovely beach. The water is crystal clear. It’s called Tres Trapi since it has 3 steps that take you into the sea. If you are lucky, you can snorkel here and see a lot of turtles.The vistas are breathtaking. Enjoy the sun in this peaceful bay, which offers convenient ocean access as well as swimming and snorkelling opportunities for people of all ages.
- The stunningly clear, quiet waters of Boca Catalina make it the ideal spot for a private swim and snorkelling in Aruba. In the Malmok Beach district of Aruba, Boca Catalina is a small, quiet bay. The white sand beach is only a few metres away from a large parking lot alongside the road.
- Even though Arashi Beach is on the island’s northernmost tip, getting to this popular sunbathing and snorkelling site isn’t difficult. If you drive, there is plenty of parking, and the bus will stop just in front of the beach if you take it. The turquoise ocean is peaceful, the white sand is soft, the snorkelling is superb, and the beach is sheltered by several palapa huts, so a visit here is well worth it. Shell collectors can stroll along Arashi’s calm strip for unusual finds such as sea urchins, sand dollars, and possibly even a starfish. A short cliff top trek to the adjacent California Lighthouse is an option for active travellers. Again, the breathtaking views of the shore and islands are well worth the effort.
9. Stay at Holiday Inn Resort Aruba
The Holiday Inn Resort Aruba is a great location to stay when seeking a tropical break in one of the world’s sunniest vacation destinations, with a quarter-mile of gorgeous white beaches and crystal blue waters! It’s kid-friendly and has a lot of things to do for kids too.
Their lodgings selection ensures the most idyllic stay possible, with over 590 guest rooms divided throughout three towers. Hyatt Place is a fantastic alternative if you need to stay near the airport when transiting to Curacao/Bonair.
Places to eat: You can eat at Dushi bagels & burgers, Smoky Joes, Tandoor Indian, Eduardo beach shack (famous for their smoothies and acai bowls), Bugaloe etc.
10. Visit Downtown (Oranjestad)
Downtown is lovely. Given Aruba is a Dutch colony, it’s really nice to stroll around downtown and see all the colourful houses all around.
The ability to see pink Flamingos is also one of the main reasons to stay near downtown. In addition, there are many beautiful photographs of flamingos in Aruba. Still, the truth is that these birds are not native to Aruba and can only be found on one specific beach on a private island owned by the Renaissance Hotel, with minimal access. The only way to get there is to use the hotel’s shuttle boat. Access is free for Renaissance Aruba Resort guests, or you can pay $125 for a day pass to explore the island as a non-guest. It’s also worth noting that youngsters can only see the flamingos at Flamingo Beach between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. This is one of the best Aruba points of interest.
Driftwood is a great seafood-focused restaurant situated behind Oranjestad’s main street. The proprietors catch their seafood every day, so expect traditional preparations and super-fresh seafood. Broiled Caribbean lobster is usually a good choice, but the fresh catch of the day, cooked to your liking, is the real winner. The corn cakes with cream cheese, coconut shrimp and their fresh catch of the day are a must.
Whether you choose Aruban style (pan-fried with a Creole sauce), a la Meuniere (dipped in egg batter and cooked with white wine and lemon), or deep-fried, your meal will be served with rice or potato, fresh steamed vegetables, pan bati, the actual local pancakes, and fried ploughman’s pie.
That’s all from me on Aruba, please do let me know if there is anything else you want to know.
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Where in Aruba can you find the best nightlife?
Palm Beach is Aruba’s primary nightlife district, with the island’s most popular nightclubs, pubs, and lounges.
Where can I find luxury brand items in Aruba?
Renaissance Mall, Palm Beach Plaza, and Paseo Herencia Mall are the main shopping centres where you may find luxury brand retailers. Aside from that, you may visit the Luxury Brands website to learn more about individual brands and locations, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hugo Boss.
How is Aruba’s weather?
With a median temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit, Aruba’s weather is tropical but not extreme (28 degrees Celsius). The average annual rainfall is roughly eighteen inches, with October, November, December, and January accounting for most of it. Rainfall is sporadic and occurs in brief showers. It’s worth noting that Aruba is located south of the main storm pathways and hence only sees the effects of adjacent tropical weather on a sporadic basis.
What is the Aruba language?
Aruba’s mother tongue is Papiamento. It is a language that, like most languages today, emerged from numerous previous languages. However, being a part of the Dutch kingdom means that Dutch is the official language and is extensively spoken, with Papiamento being the most generally spoken language among natives.