Things to Do in Aruba
Your Aruba vacations will take you to a jewel of an island with powdery white sand beaches, sparkling aquamarine waters, unique geography, sand dunes, cacti, seaside vegetation, the famous Divi Divi tree, year round warm weather, and pleasant breezes to keep you comfortable under the hot sun.
The breezes are a result of the trade winds coming off the Atlantic Ocean, which keep your Aruba vacations protected from the Caribbean hurricanes.
Enjoy the Powdery White Sand of Palm Beach
The variety of white sand beaches, warm temperatures all year round, daytrips, geographical attractions, world renown chefs and cuisine, rich culture and celebrations, fantastic shopping, and world class golfing make your Aruba vacations a perfect destination anytime of the year.
Geography Landscape of Aruba
Aruba is basically divided into two main regions.
The southwest features white sandy beaches and warm turquoise seas.
The northeast has a rocky coastline, with sand dunes and cacti and although it has some white beaches, most of them are exposed to the rough seas of the Atlantic Ocean and with strong currents, the beaches are not recommended for swimming but better suited for windsurfing.
The Island of Aruba is protected from the dangerous storms of hurricane seasons due to its location and trade winds. It is blessed with almost perfect weather year round and you don’t have to worry about your vacations being ruined by a hurricane.
On Your Island Vacations Visit These Aruba Beaches
One of the best Aruba beaches on the island with crystal clear calm water, soft white sand, palapas (shade huts), and a great paradise for snorkeling where you can observe spectacular sea life and Elkhorn coral.
Arashi Beach is located in the northwest tip of the island and near the Tierra Del Sol Golf Course, the Tierra Del Sol resort and the near California Point and California Lighthouse.
Relax on Baby Beach
At the most south eastern tip of the island, Baby Beach is another great destination, suited for families and young children as the gorgeous aquamarine water is no more than five feet deep at any point and like a giant wading pool.
If you can ignore the looming oil refinery far in the distance, this is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, lounging and for weekend barbeques.
Baby Beach is Tranquil and a Great Family Destination
Here you will find powdery white sand and some of the best snorkeling on the island. Baby Beach provides a refreshment stand, palapas and washrooms.
On the southeast coast of Aruba, this beach is a favourite for windsurfing or snorkeling because of the Atlantic strong trade winds but it is not so good for swimming.
Boca Andicuri and the Natural Bridge
The natural coral limestone rock formation which is often referred to as the Natural Bridge was actually the largest of the 7 Natural Bridges on the island of Aruba.
Unfortunately, the largest Natural Bridge collapsed late in 2005 but a smaller bridge nearby still stands and worth visiting on your Aruba vacations.
The Largest Natural Bridge on Aruba Just Before its Collapse
The Boca Andicuri beach is located at the largest Natural Bridge, but as most of the beaches on the rugged north coast, the strong currents and huge waves are better suited for advanced surfers and not for swimming.
The stunning scenery is great for enjoying picnics and you can relax and catch a few rays while listening to the waves crashing.
This sandy white beach does have some pebbles but the gentle shallow waters have lots of fish and are a good place to snorkel on your Aruba vacations.
From the secluded and tranquil beach, you can watch sailboats and catamarans visiting the nearby coral reef or take a guided snorkel tour to the Antilla Shipwreck to see the remains of a 400 foot German cargo ship anchored off the shore of Aruba during the Second World War.
Boca Catalina is only a few minutes south of Arashi Beach and near the California Lighthouse.
A short drive north of Baby Beach, the deserted expanse of sand dunes, sea grapes and sea grasses, and gorgeous aqua, azure, and sapphire waters is best suited for strong swimmers and windsurfers for adventurous Aruba vacations as the ocean currents are strong.
The Boca Grandi beach is ideal for those who enjoy extreme sports or tanning in a unique setting without the crowds.
Located near some low rise hotels and not far from Orangestad is this white sand beach with calm waters, excellent for swimming. This beach is a wonderfully quiet spot great for relaxing, sunning and socializing with friends.
Farther east along the coast, Druif Beach meets up with Manchebo Beach where the water currents become a bit stronger.
Another beautiful beach, Coco Beach is a popular place for lounging and swimming.
Discover Beautiful Coco Beach on Your Aruba Vacations
The pristine turquoise waters and soft white stretch of sandy beach is a located near Rodger’s Beach and Baby Beach.
Relax at Aruba’s Coco Beach Restaurant Grill
For great food and fantastic ocean views, visit the popular Coco Beach Bar and Restaurant.
Eagle Beach – One of the Best Beaches for Your Aruba Vacations
Just south of Palm Beach, this sugary-white stretch of soft sand is sometimes considered to be one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
An outcrop of limestone separates Eagle Beach from Palm Beach and the gentle waters are ideal for swimming. The quiet atmosphere is perfect for relaxing and the wide beach stretches for as far as you can see.
There are a number of wonderful bars, palapas and lounge chairs which are maintained by the hotels along the stretch. The best sandy beach is located in front of the Amsterdam Manor.
South of Malmok Beach and north of Palm Beach, and also known as Fisherman’s Huts, this is a famous beach for windsurfing.
A Great Pier to Hang Out on North of Palm Beach Near Hadikurari Beach Aruba
The beautiful white sandy beach and shallow waters are excellent for swimming and snorkelling on your Aruba vacations.
The great facilities including shade huts and picnic tables make this a great place for adventure, rest and relaxation for your Aruba vacations.
Manchebo Beach, also known as Punto Brabo, is directly south of Eagle Beach. This is a spectacular long white beach, open space and sheer tranquility and one of Aruba’s most coveted locations.
The water currents are a bit brisk, but as there are no water sports in this area, the ambience is quiet and relaxing. The best spots are located at the Manchebo Beach and the Bucuti Beach resorts.
A small secluded bay north of Palm Beach and near a community of luxury mansions with white sand, tiny coves, shallow waters and an abundance of fish.
This Catamaran Featured a Formal Evening Ocean Dinner Party
It’s a great spot for a private swim or watching sailboats and catamarans, windsurfing, or for snorkelling adventures to the nearby reefs and sunken wrecks.
Located near Arashi Beach and California Lighthouse.
Palm Beach – Most Popular Spot for Your Aruba Vacations
Discover this beautiful white powdery beach located south of Hadicurari beach and north of Eagle Beach.
Palm Beach Aruba – A Place to See and Be Seen
Here a great venue for people-watching and has excellent swimming conditions with its calm waters and soft white sand.
Ocean Views of Palm Beach Aruba
There are fantastic beach resorts and the beaches are public allowing guests to walk for hours and discover lovely inlets and coves, beach huts, bars and patios.
As you walk along the beach, you will discover several fun beach clubs on piers and see spectacular sailboats, catamarans and yachts.
Admire the Natural Beauty of Flora At Palm Beach on Your Aruba Vacations
Also take the time to wander around the beautiful gardens in front of the beachside resorts where you will see coconut and date palms, divi divi trees, eponymous trees, colourful birds and curious iguanas.
Aruba is Famous for its Wind-Blown Divi Divi Tree
This is a great place to go shopping at local boutiques and vendors.
If You Love Gardening – You Will Enjoy the Flora in Aruba
Also discover off resort restaurants, bars and patios and spend leisure time with your friends while discovering the beauty of the island of Aruba.
Read a Book or Relax Under an Eponymous Tree in Aruba
Palm Beach offers a variety of relaxing or adventurous experiences, whether it’s hanging out at the beach, exploring the gardens, shops and patios in front of the resorts, or perhaps enjoying the solitude of the Bubali Bird Sanctuary between Palm Beach and Eagle Beach.
Visit the Gardens and Waterfalls of Palm Beach Aruba
You can easily get to Palm Beach by car, taxi or bus.
Located south of San Nicolas and north of Baby Beach, Rodger’s Beach is a charming spot with idyllically beautiful aquamarine waters, but just like Baby Beach, this beach is also somewhat distracted by the oil refinery.
In a way, the refinery is a conversation piece. Otherwise, the gentle shallow waters are great for swimming where you can easily see the multi-coloured fish and coral, and the soft, white powdery sand is wonderful for walking in and provides a tranquil ambience for rest and relaxation for your Aruba vacations.
Soak in the Sun or Relax in One of the Shaded Palapas at Roger’s Beach
On the beach is a small bar and grill, and here you can watch the colourful fishing boats while lounging under the Palapas which provide shade. The beach facilities include showers and snorkelling gear for rent.
Santo Largo is a secluded beach located three quarter miles northwest of Savaneta, Aruba. The shallow waters and beautiful sandy beach make it perfect for swimming, snorkelling and picnics. This beach is easily accessible by car or taxi.
The convenience of its close proximity just south of Orangestad, and the white sandy beach with calm water makes Surfside Beach a popular swimming destination.
There is a beach club nearby, the “Talk of the Town Hotel Beach Club”, which operates a bar and various amenities for its visitors.
Top Things to Do in Aruba Day Trips
- Oranjestad – the Capital City
- Aruba Aloe Factory
- Aruba Ostrich Farm
- Arikok National Park
- Bushiribban Gold Mill – Smelting Station
- Butterfly Farm
- California Lighthouse
- Casibari Rock Ayo Rock Formations
- De Oude Molen/ Windmill
- Dos Playa
- De Palm Island – Waterpark on an Island offshore Auba
- Quadiriki Caves and the Fontein Cave
- Hooiberg (Haystack Mountain)
- Morgan’s Island, J.E. – Waterpark on Aruba
- Natural Pool (Conchi)
- Alto Visto Chapel
Explore Oranjestad on Your Aruba Vacation
Oranjestad is the capital city of Aruba and a great place to head for a day trip or two.
Orangestad is the Capital City of Aruba
It is easy to reach Orangestad even without a rental vehicle as the local transit on the island is user friendly and inexpensive.
Unique Architecture in Orangestad Aruba
The city is lovely with ornate colonial architecture and brilliantly coloured buildings.
Down at the wharf you can purchase fresh fish, while the downtown area provides great shopping malls and charming boutiques.
Downtown Shopping District in Orangestad Aruba
On your Aruba vacations, wander around the city and explore the nooks and crannies for shopping bargains and intriguing restaurants and bars, or head down to the harbour front and enjoy a relaxing meal on the patio at the Renaissance Marina Hotel where you can observe the cruise ships and sailboats and spectacular views of the ocean.
The Renaissance Shopping Mall and Resort in Orangestad Aruba
Aruba Aloe Factory
The Aloe Vera plant is well known for its healing properties. The climate and heat of the sun add to the Aloe Vera gel’s natural healing qualities here in Aruba.
A visit to the Aruba Aloe Factory will provide you with some interesting facts about aloe farming, production and uses.
Aruba Ostrich Farm
A visit to the Ostrich Farm is a lot of fun for all ages. The location is unique and these wonderful creatures will enjoy being fed by you.
Visit the Aruba Ostrich Farm and Look Out for Ostrich Crossings
You can even ride the ostriches. The farm also has a great bar and restaurant.
Visit Arikok National Park on Your Aruba Vacations
Plan a trip to Arikok National Park, which covers an area from the center of the island to the north-eastern coast of Aruba where you will see sand dunes, caves, cacti and hardy seaside vegetation.
While you are driving around, you may even see some wild goats that Aruba is known for.
Watch for Wild Goats Crossing the Street in Arikok National Park
The north-eastern coastline is not suitable for the average swimmer as the waters are rough and the coast is rocky with lava formations of quartz diorite and limestone.
If You Plan to Visit Rugged Terrain – Rent a Jeep or All Terrain Vehicle
The best way to reach Arikok National Park is by renting a car, a jeep or an all-terrain vehicle to get around on the rugged dirt roads, but the drive there is exciting.
See the Wild Goats on Top of the Limestone Cliffs
Once you get there, make sure to check out the limestone cliffs, have a picnic on the dunes or on the rocks, or eat at Boca Prins friendly cafe and bar.
Bushiribban Gold Mill – Smelting Station
On route to the Natural Bridge you can visit the ruins of the gold smelting station and see great views of the coastline.
The gold smelter was built in 1825 of natural stone and is now a unique ruin with crumbling walls and a 90 year historical site which had produced around three million pounds of gold.
If you like butterflies and need a break from the beach, you will find the tour at this quaint Butterfly Farm relaxing, informative and entertaining.
This is a great activity for families as children under 2 years old get in for free.
Located high in the area known as “Hudishibana” near the island’s north-western tip, this stone lighthouse provides spectacular views of stunning sunsets and Aruba beaches.
This is one of Aruba’s scenic landmarks with panoramas of the western coastline and sandy beaches.
From here you can also see the rolling sand dunes and the rocky coral reefs. The lighthouse was named after the U.S ship, the California, which sunk about two years before the construction of the lighthouse in 1910 and to this day the ship is a popular diving site as well as the rocky coral reef.
Try dune surfing at the California White Sand Dunes which is very popular with kids. Make sure to bring your jeans for this activity.
Casibari Rock Ayo Rock Formations
Aruba has unusual hills, geological formations and huge monolithic boulders that dot the countryside.
Plan a Hike on the Casibari Rock Ayo Rock Formations
There are walking trails that you can hike on and enjoy these rocks and the spectacular views of the island and Aruba beaches.
Include De Oude Molen – Dutch Windmill on Your Aruba Vacations
As Dutch is the official language of Aruba, it seemed fitting to have a landmark represent this thriving culture on the island.
The De Oude Molen windmill was originally built in 1804, and was transported to the Island piece by piece and resurrected on Aruba in 1960.
Visit the Classic De Oude Molen – Dutch Windmill
It is a popular place and features a quaint restaurant, which is famous for its Coconut Grouper and Seafood Paella and specializes in continental dining.
Dos Playa is a white beach surrounded by an area of picturesque, rugged coast with rough waves crashing on the lava rocks.
The big waves and strong currents make it unsuitable for swimming but is an excellent spot for picnics and to enjoy the scenery, and can be reached by car.
On the other hand, if you are an advanced surfer, this is a great spot for you.
Near Dos Playa – A Surfer’s Paradise
This coastal adventure is only a 15 minute walk west along the coast from Boca Prins so you can either have a picnic or enjoy a meal at the Boca Prins cafe and bar apres sunning or surfing.
De Palm Island – Waterpark on an Island
This off-shore island has a variety of tiny beaches with shallow water and a tanning area and is especially geared for family fun with great activities for children on your Aruba vacations.
It includes a water park, guided snorkelling tour, blue parrot fish, banana boat rides, water slides, and many other activities.
The water park and beach areas are protected and great for young children as parents can easily supervise while relaxing in the many lounge chairs.
Quadiriki Caves and the Fontein Cave
Explore caves on your Aruba vacations featuring ancient cave paintings, Arawak Indian petroglyphs, on its limestone walls.
The most accessible are the Quadiriki caves and the Fontein Cave. Cave drawings can be found on other parts of the island but the Quadiriki caves and the Fontein Cave have some natural light flowing into them making it possible for visitors to take pictures of these unique paintings.
Make sure to bring a good flashlight (or you can rent them from the concession at the entrance) as there are many deep, dark and damp passages and chambers for you to explore.
Hooiberg (Haystack Mountain)
Rising 168 metres (541 feet) above sea level, this volcanic formation is located in the center of the island of Aruba.
For fantastic views of the island, Aruba beaches, and the coast of Venezuela to the south on a clear day, take a walk up the 561 steps to the top of Hooiberg (Haystack Mountain).
Morgan’s Island, J.E. – Waterpark in Aruba
If you don’t feel like venturing off-shore to the water park on De Palm Island, plan to spend time on the extremely adventurous and colourful water slides at Morgan’s Island of Aruba.
The slides were designed in rainbow colours and there are varying sizes to accommodate children of all ages making this water park suitable for the whole family on your island vacations.
The park provides wave pools, sun and shade, plenty of lounge chairs and a bar where you can relax and have a leisure meal.
Natural Pool (Conchi)
The Natural Pool, also called Conchi or Cura di Tortuga, is a natural water hole tucked away within unique geological rock formations on the northern coast of Aruba which jut into the ocean.
Retreat to The Seclusion of Aruba’s Natural Pool
This natural pool of salt ocean water is surrounded by rugged rocky terrain, great for diving off the cliffs, and can only be reached by all-terrain vehicles.
Make sure the vehicle you rent is in good shape with a spare tire. The stunning views, high rocky cliffs and secluded location make this an ideal spot for a day of adventure, rest and relaxation.
See the Alto Vista Chapel on Your Aruba Vacations
This charming yellow chapel is located on the northern side of Aruba on the hills above the town of Noord.
The Alto Vista Chapel was built on the same spot as the original Catholic church of Aruba, originally built by Doming Sivestre in 1750, and holds significant historical memories of the island of Aruba.
Visit the Tiny Chapel of Alto Vista for a Memorable Experience
This simple and tiny chapel draws many visitors to learn about its history, being the first church established in the Caribbean, and also to view its unique architecture, interesting coloured pews and unusual setting in the sand, cacti and shrubbery.
A winding dirt road leads to the Alto Vista Chapel, and on route you can include other sites as part of your day trip. The Aruba Ostrich Farm, Arikok National Park and the Alto Vista Rum Shop are along the way.
Golfing at Tierra del Sol Golf Course on Your Aruba Vacations
This world renowned golf course overlooks Aruba’s stunning northwest coastline.
Treat Yourself to a Spectacular Golfing Vacation at Tierra Del Sol Golf Course
Tierra Del Sol provides a level of luxury that exceeds a golfer’s dream.
Ideally located near the California Lighthouse and the Tierra Del Sol resort, there are many activities available nearby for the whole family including children.
The Tierra Del Sol Resort in Aruba
This is the only championship golf course in Aruba and was created by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. For a unique blend of island vacations and exotic golfing adventures, include the Tierra del Sol Golf Course in your Aruba vacations.
Weather on Your Aruba Vacation
The climate of Aruba is tropical and dry and there is little variation in the temperature regardless of the season.
Sailing in Aruba
Rain generally will not last for very long and sometimes there will be rain showers with the sun reappearing in between.
Although the Caribbean sun is very strong, the trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean provide a constant light breeze which helps keep the temperature pleasant.
Giant Organ Pipe Cactus in Aruba
That is one reason why many visitors keep returning for their Aruba vacation, as they find the gentle breezes make their holiday experience very comfortable.
Tips for Your Aruba Vacations
- Aruba’s currency is the Florin usually denoted by the letters AWG or AFL but U.S. Dollars are widely accepted.
- Major Credit cards are widely accepted.
- Debit and credit cards are accepted by most ATMs and ATM instructions are provided in Dutch, English, Spanis and Papiamento.
- Cash is dispensed in either local currency or in U.S. dollars if requested.
- Electrical outlets are generally the North American grounded outlets. Occasionally, you may find outlets without the 3rd ground wire and an adapter may be required for use.
- Be aware that many trendy restaurants do not allow jeans for dinner attire.
- If you are driving around Aruba, the most important thing to remember is that there are no right hand turns on a red light.
Travelling To and Around Aruba
Getting to Your Aruba Vacations by Air
All international air traffic arrives to Aruba at Reina Beatrix International Airport. You can rent a car or take a taxi to your resort.
Ports in Aruba
There are two ports in Aruba; Barcadera and Playa and it is the Port of Playa which accommodates the large cruise ships such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Disney Cruise Ships and many more.
Public Transportation on Your Aruba Vacations
Aruba has a great bus service, Arubus, which operates 365 days a year from 3:30 am until 12:30 am. In certain Hotel areas, small private vans are also available to provide transportation and you can check with your hotel to get the details.
If you plan to visit parts of the island with rugged terrain and sand dunes, make sure to choose a jeep or an all terrain vehicle.
Nearby Isands to Visit on Your Aruba Vacations
If you want to explore other nearby islands while in Aruba, consider Bonaire and Curaçao which are located to the east of Aruba. Sometimes this group of islands is referred to as the ABC islands.
Palm Beach in Aruba
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