Holidays to Aruba 2017 / 2018
The beautiful Caribbean island of Aruba boasts stunning beaches of dazzling white sand and a charming capital, Oranjestad, full of great shops and restaurants. Aruba’s year-round sunshine and balmy temperatures (averages range from the mid to high 20s) have made it a hugely popular all inclusive holiday destination at any time of the year - perfect for 2017 winter sun or your 2018 summer break. Aruba, fortunately, sits outside the main Caribbean hurricane belt, and is very rarely affected by storms. The translucent waters are warm and inviting throughout the year, making Aruba a top destination for snorkelling and diving.
The island – which is just 20 miles long and six miles wide – has been ruled by the Dutch, the Spanish and the British, each of whom left their mark on the island’s culture, architecture and cuisine. About a fifth of the island is covered by the gorgeous Arikok National Park, which has several wild and beautiful beaches, and protects indigenous wildlife and unique landscapes.
Aruba’s heavenly beaches are its biggest draw, long stretches of blazing white sand dipping into an azure sea. Thanks to the year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, you can enjoy the beaches and the water sports at any time of the year. Snorkelling and diving are hugely popular, but you can take your pick from a wide choice of other water sports, including water skiing, kite-surfing and sailing. Other attractions include the delightful capital, Oranjestad, which has fantastic shops and restaurants, as well as some fascinating cultural sights to explore, including Fort Zoutman. Get away from it all in the wonderful Arikok National Park, where you can take a dip in the Natural Pool, go hiking or horse-riding, and admire the indigenous flora and fauna.
Wine and Dine
Aruba, as you’d expect from such a popular tourist hotspot, offers every imaginable cuisine from around the globe. You’ll find everything from the popular international restaurant chains to superb, award-winning restaurants with stellar chefs at the helm. The island has long been a cultural melting pot, and this is nowhere more evident than in the tasty Aruban cuisine. Classic local dishes include fresh fish such as mahi-mahi, red snapper and barracuda which is served blackened, fried, or grilled. There are also seafood soups and rich stews made with goat or chicken. These might be spiced up by the extraordinarily hot Madame Janette pepper – a cousin to the Scotch Bonnet. Other popular dishes that reflect the global extent of the cultural influences on Aruban cuisine include rice and beans or nasi goreng and satay. Johnny cakes (fried biscuits) and pan bati (pancakes) are the traditional accompaniments.
The year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, inviting sea and huge range of water sports make Aruba a very popular destination for families. The island has some outstanding all inclusive hotels, including some which have special amenities for kids such as pools or water slides. Kids can try all kinds of water sports, from tubing and kayaking to body boarding and snorkelling. Other popular attractions include an underwater submarine tour, pirate boat cruises, a karting speedway and a butterfly farm. Active kids will also enjoy trekking, biking and horse-riding in the National Park.
Action and Adventure
Aruba may be tiny, but it’s packed with adventure. You can take your pick from a vast array of water sports on the island – sailing, kayaking, kite-surfing, paddle-boarding, and para-sailing are just some of the options on offer. And of course the island is a mecca for diving and snorkelling, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and fantastic visibility. The Arikok National Park offers plenty for the adrenaline-seeker: you can go mountain biking, hiking or horse-riding, climb to the top of Jamanota, or try the kite-surfing and wind-surfing on the windswept bays. The national park also has some amazing caves to explore: among them are the Guadirikiri, Fontein and Huliba caves, which have stalactites and stalagmites, wall paintings, and are home to several species of bats.
Life's a Beach
Whether you like dreamy swathes of dazzling sand or prefer wild and windswept coves, Aruba’s beaches are some of the finest to be found anywhere. The main resorts, many offering cheap all inclusive deals, are located on the west of the island, where you’ll find the finest sandy beaches with every imaginable amenity. The fine white sands of Eagle Beach in Oranjestad are regularly voted some of the best in the world. Gorgeous Druif Beach is the quintessential Caribbean idyll, boasting white sand, turquoise seas, and palm-thatched parasols. Locals love Arashi Beach in the north, which is just beyond the snorkelling mecca of Malmok Beach. Baby Beach, which is enclosed by a small coral reef, is ideal for kids, thanks to its shallow waters and gently shelving bay. Boca Grandi beach on the east coast and Fisherman Huts on the west coast are among the best for kite-surfing. Aruba’s windward beaches in the Arikok National Park are spectacular, and are also ideal for windsurfing and kite-surfing.
Aruba offers a fantastic range of nightlife. You can chill over a cocktail with your feet in the sand at a beach bar or party the night away at a fancy club. You might want to linger over dinner and then hit the tables or the slot machines at one of the island’s many casinos, which often feature live music or other entertainment. The beach bars are the ideal place to kick back over some of the local rum and watch the sun set. Clubs don’t really get going until gone midnight, and the party regularly carries on until dawn. Most of the nightlife is concentrated in the island capital of Oranjestad and Palm Beach, where you’ll find a huge choice of bars, live music venues, pubs and clubs. Don't forget to check outthe entertainment on offer your all inclusive resort for nights of free drinks, dancing and lots of laughter.
Aruba is a stunningly beautiful Caribbean island which oozes romance. You can stroll along a picture postcard white-sand beach at sunset, then stop for a glass of rum in a relaxed beach bar. Spend the day lazing by the water’s edge, perhaps spending an hour or two with a snorkel or having a beachfront massage. Follow up with dinner and live music at a chic restaurant in Oranjestad or rent a boat and go for a sunset cruise. If you’re active types, you could trek up to the Jamanota Hilltop, the highest point on Aruba, to enjoy the amazing panoramic views. You could take a picnic up to the California Lighthouse, or go for a swim in the wonderful Natural Pool in the Arikok National Park. You could even take a tour out to Renaissance Island and go paddling with the flamingos.
Many of Aruba’s main cultural sights are concentrated in its charming capital, Oranjestad. Here you’ll find historic buildings such as the 18th-century Fort Zoutman and the Willem III Tower, a former lighthouse that now contains the national historical museum. The fascinating archaeological museum, set in a brightly painted 19th-century mansion, displays exhibits that date back to 2500BC. You can get a taste of traditional Aruban culture at the weekly Bon Bini festival, held on Tuesday evenings at Fort Zoutman, which showcases local music, dance and cuisine. Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba, but most people also speak English and Spanish.