Aruba is one of the most loved islands within the Caribbean and a great choice if you are looking for an exciting Caribbean holiday, year-round sunny weather, natural beauty and a warm local welcome unlike any other.
Aruba is a place that everyone can enjoy, whether you’re seeking privacy and relaxation or admiring the culture and history, seeking water sport activities or nightlife. No matter where your interests lie, you will find a variety of things to do in this beautiful place.
This Caribbean Island is famous for its gorgeous expanse of white sandy beaches and a year-round blessing of hot and dry weather, ensuring that Aruba’s attractions are extremely rewarding for sand and sea lovers. The island offers two contrasting coastlines, with a rocky, rough north east coast exposed to the Atlantic waters and the south west coast boasting white sand, turquoise sea and warm seas. The former provides some great water sports opportunities, while the latter serves the traditional beach bum looking to catch rays over waves. There are so many things to do in Aruba, beginning as you enter through the island’s capital Oranjestad. Home to informative museums and great water-based activities, the city provides a perfect base for your holiday.
Wine and Dine
Freshly caught seafood will adorn many a plate on the island of Aruba, and you won’t get bored of it either. One of the best seafood restaurants on the island is The Flying Fishbone, which is situated in the quaint coastal city of Savaneta. Those with fussy eaters won’t be left out, either. You can expect to encounter the odd Burger King, Pizza Hut or Subway on your travels. If you prefer a local flavour, you’ll be interested in the presence of ostrich steaks and burgers on many of Aruba’s restaurant menu – head to Yemanja Woodfired Grill in the capital to sample Ostrich meat.
There are up to 20 family-friendly beaches dotted around the island, one of the best Aruba attractions for parents and their kids. The beaches come in various shapes and sizes, with some perfect for swimming and paddling and others great for water sports and activities on the sand. Kids will love a visit to the island’s Butterfly Farm, set in a tropical environment that serves as an educational platform to learn more about the insect’s habitats and habits through informative tour guides. Kids with an affection for four-legged friends will love visiting the Donkey Sanctuary on the island, where for a small donation you can feed the donkeys and pet them.
Action and Adventure
If sitting on a beach isn’t for you, you’ll be pleased to know that the island caters well for those that like to get active. There are many things to do in Aruba that will allow you to get your sweat on and boost your adrenaline, with much of it taking place in the water. With the likes of snorkelling, diving and windsurfing across the island, you need never get bored. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry will enjoy the many hiking and cycling trails, with most found in the Arikok National Park. If you fancy rock climbing, the Casibari Rock Formation is an exhilarating and challenging opportunity not to be missed.
Life's a Beach
You may as well make the most of the beaches while you’re here, and with the many options that lay before you, you’ll always discover the perfect spot just for you. Explore the beaches a little more extensively with horse riding trips or take to the water on a yacht as you sail around this beautiful island. The cool sea breeze and gentle bobbing of the tiny waves will transport you into a euphoric state of relaxation. If you still find yourself with some excess stress, finishing your holiday with a massage at a spa resort may be the best way to send you home 100% revitalised – head to Nafanny Spa in the Noord area for fantastic massages.
Spectacular white sand borders the southwest coastline, where the water shimmers in a turquoise blue. The majority of hotels are nestled on the award-winning Eagle or Palm Beach, offering an excellent place to unwind. If you are travelling with children, head to Baby Beach for its shallow clear waters and lagoon feel. Arashi and Malmok beaches are quieter and offer great opportunities for snorkelling. Scuba-diving and snorkelling is a must on the island of Aruba, due to its underwater sea life and fabulous wrecks, but if you’re not feeling adventurous, try a relaxing cruise on a glass-bottomed boat. Jet skiing, water-skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, kite-surfing and paddle-boarding are all top sports to be enjoyed on holidays in Aruba, with lessons offered by hotels or water sport providers. Deep-sea fishing, snorkel cruises and sunset sails are also available.
From golf to all-terrain vehicles, cruises to shopping, holidays in Aruba offer the ideal mix. Foodies will enjoy the array of offerings from all over the globe. Make sure you take advantage of the amazing local seafood dishes and the Latino spice that infuses much of Aruba’s cuisine. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll never go hungry on your island getaway. Seeking nightlife? If you like the sound of a barbecue and cocktail on the beach, you’re in the right place. Those looking for luxurious evenings will enjoy the excellent casinos around the island that are sure to entertain, with plenty of nightclubs on hand for those looking to put on their dancing shoes. If you’re looking for more inspiration on things to do in Aruba, check out our guide.
The island has a rich history, attributed to its ties with the Dutch. Off the coast you’ll be able to dive on the remains of a 400-foot German ship, which was blown up and sunk by its own German captain! There are some fascinating things to do in Aruba if you are hoping to learn about the history of the island, well documented through a series of great museums. The Historical Museum contains artefacts from early Aruba to the present day, while the Archaeological Museum exhibits ceramics and shells believed to be from the first cultures that inhabited the island.
Aruba has lots of festivals and events with food, music and sport and featuring traditional as well as international themes. Aruba has a multicultural make-up and the festivals of the area reflect this. Every year, Aruba holds a carnival which means, as well as the carnival procession itself, a whole month of music and festivities. Carnival is usually in Jan/Feb .
March 18th is Aruba’s National day, with celebrations including sporting events and local food markets. At the end of May, music lovers can head to the Soul Beach Music Festival, a weekend of high-profile soul acts, previous headliners being Mary J Bilge, Alicia Keys and Toni Braxton. June 24th is harvest festival which has become a traditional cultural even of its own and where you will find traditional song and dance.