Eagle Beach, located just north of Aruba’s capital city of Oranjestad, boasts one of the most beautiful beaches to be found anywhere in the Caribbean. This two-kilometre-long swathe of brilliant white sand is regularly voted one of the world’s top beaches, and offers visitors a host of facilities. If you want to relax in paradisiacal surroundings, Eagle Beach is for you. Snorkel and dive in the impossibly blue waters, linger over seafood at a beachfront restaurant, and perhaps take a dander into lively Oranjestad for some shopping and nightlife. If it’s the great outdoors you’re after, head into the stunning Arikok National Park for hiking, natural swimming pools and some fantastic, wild beaches.
The clue is in the name: the main attraction of Eagle Beach is its magnificent beach, an endless stretch of blazing white sand dipping into the turquoise sea. There are plenty of facilities for water sports, plus scores of great places to eat and drink, and yet the resort exudes the relaxed, chilled-out vibe for which the Caribbean is famous. If you’re looking for some shopping and nightlife, pop into Orenjestad, Aruba’s buzzing capital city, or seek out the island’s wilder side and head into the marvellous Arikok National Park to trek over the rugged hills, take a dip in natural pools, or go kite-surfing on one of its unspoilt beaches.
Aruba is one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth, and its cuisine is an equally rich melting pot of cultures. As you’d expect from an island, there’s lots of wonderfully fresh seafood, such as barracuda, mahi-mahi and red snapper, which is served up grilled, fried or blackened. Or go for one of the delicious stews: keri keri is a rich, seafood stew, but you could also try carbi stoba, a slow-cooked beef stew flavoured with local herbs and spices, or the similar dish cabrito stoba, which is made with goat. You could also tuck into Indonesian-style nasi goreng or satay, introduced when the Dutch controlled Aruba. Local cuisine is traditionally accompanied by Johnny cakes (fried biscuits) or pan bati (pancakes).
Most kids will be more than content with the endless opportunities for fun in the sun at Eagle Beach. The blissful beach, with its translucent waters, is ideal for swimming and snorkelling, and there are plenty of family-friendly beach bars and cafés within easy reach. If you’re on an all-inclusive holiday, your hotel will almost certainly have swimming pools and family-friendly entertainment. For older kids, there is a huge range of water sports available, both in Eagle Beach and adjoining Palm Beach. Nearby Oranjestad offers a host of other fun attractions, including a couple of water parks, boat trips (including a pirate cruise and an underwater submarine tour), a butterfly farm, and a go-kart track.
Action & Adventure
Aruba is only 20 miles long and six miles wide, but it offers plenty to get your adrenaline pumping. If you like water sports, you’ll be in heaven: you’ll find everything here, including paddle-boarding, kayaking, kite-surfing, sailing, and para-sailing. Eagle Beach has some facilities for water sports, but the best are found in the adjoining resort of Palm Beach. The island is a superb destination for diving and snorkelling, with several outstanding diving sites (including the SS Antilla wreck), and plenty of suppliers offering courses, diving trips and equipment rental. You could also head to the magnificent Arikok National Park, a wild and rugged landscape that covers almost one fifth of the island, and has everything from hiking, mountain-biking and horse-riding to some fascinating caves to explore. The park also has some of the best kite-surfing and wind-surfing beaches on the island.
Eagle Beach is a Caribbean fantasy made real, complete with dazzling white sands shaded by Aruban divi divi trees and intensely blue waters. You can snorkel around the coral reefs, marvelling at the colourful underwater landscape, or perhaps take a diving trip. There are thatched parasols and sunbeds to rent, plus a sprinkling of beach bars. You’ll also find considerably fewer crowds than at adjoining Palm Beach, which is one of the island’s best beaches for water sports, with masses of facilities. Further afield, you could head to Baby Beach, which has its own sheltered lagoon, making it especially popular with families, or head to the east coast beaches of Boca Grandi and Fisherman Huts for some spectacular kite-surfing.
Eagle Beach is considerably quieter than its bigger, brasher neighbour, Palm Beach, but you’ll still find plenty going on in the evenings. Much of the action takes place around the beach, where there are plenty of inviting seafront cafés and bars that are perfect for watching the sunset with a drink in hand. Although there is a sprinkling of clubs and livelier bars in Eagle Beach, for serious nightlife you could head into Palm Beach or the island capital of Oranjestad, which have a huge choice of bars and clubs to suit all tastes. If you’re in the mood for a flutter, there are a couple of casinos in Eagle Beach (winnings are tax-free in Aruba), with more in nearby Palm Beach.
What could be more romantic than a holiday on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean? You can laze under the divi divi trees, toes in the turquoise waters, or go for a snorkel to see the amazing, multi-hued fish gathering around the coral reefs. Kick back with a drink at a beach bar as the sun sets, then head to a stylish restaurant for a romantic dinner. Eagle Beach is a relaxed and uncrowded resort, perfect for enjoying some peace and quiet with your partner. You could take a sunset cruise, or head into the wilderness of the amazing Arikok National Park for a dip in the wonderful natural swimming pool.
Eagle Beach is located just a 15-minute drive from the charming island capital of Oranjestad, where most of Aruba’s cultural attractions are concentrated. Finest among them is the 19th-century Fort Zoutman and the Willem III Tower, which used to be a lighthouse and now houses the Aruba Historical Museum. If you visit the fortress on a Tuesday evening, you’ll find lots of traditional food stalls, live bands and other cultural events as part of the weekly Bon Bini festival. You can stroll around the elegant town, admiring its fine Dutch colonial architecture. Some of these historic buildings now house museums, including the fascinating archaeological museum, which is set in a charming 19th-century mansion. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak up traditional Aruban culture in the many festivals and special events held around the island.