Aruba is an ideal but too often overlooked destination for travelers looking for a Caribbean vacation. But Aruba has unique attributes that set it apart from other Caribbean islands.
A typical day in Aruba usually consists of a lot of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit. With the least amount of rainfall in the Caribbean and located just outside the hurricane belt, Aruba’s climate is consistent and ideal for any vacation.
Aruba has one of the most diverse populations in the world. Locals speak Papiamento at home but are also fluent in English, Dutch, and Spanish. Arubans are widely known to be among the friendliest people in the Caribbean and are always happy to point visitors to their destinations.
An ethnically diverse population means a diverse range of cuisines inspired by Caribbean, African and European flavors. From gourmet dining to food trucks, your Aruba dining experience is only limited by your palate. Enjoy some Balashi beer and a croquette or pasteechi at one of the local snack bars on your way to the beach. And don’t be afraid to drink the tap water! Aruba boasts one of the largest desalination plants in the Caribbean and tap water is just as good as bottled water.
Did you know that Aruba is the wreck diving capital of the Caribbean? When not leisurely gazing at the colorful coral reefs and marine, visitors can explore the wrecks of World War II ships SS Antilla and SS Pedernales.
Endless Excursion Opportunities
While it is tempting to spend the entirety of your vacation in the comfort of your luxury resort, Aruba features too many options to simply settle for lounging poolside. Many resorts are actually a short distance away from local food markets, restaurants, shopping areas and other popular activities. You can go horseback riding, kayaking at Mangel Halto, windsurfing at the Fishermen’s Huts, or even climb the Hooiberg and the boulders at Ayo and Casibari.
Aruba is a great destination for animal-lovers. Iguanas, tropical birds, wild donkeys and goats can be found throughout the island. Aruba is also home to the Cascabel rattlesnake. If you see one, please leave it alone. It is a highly endangered species and indigenous to the island. Aruba also has indigenous lizards and owls who make their homes in the sand dunes. So, please enjoy the dunes by foot but never with a motorized vehicle.
Aruba has something for everyone, from kid-friendly attractions for families to romantic nightlife for honeymooning couples to exploration for adventurous tourists.
Arikok is Aruba’s national park and makes up nearly 20 percent of the island. The park boasts some of the island’s most beautiful features including a natural pool called Conchi as well as splendid caves at Fontein and Guadirikiri. The park is also home to the beaches of Dos Playa and Boca Prins. Visitors who would like to enjoy a hike through Rooi Fluit, be sure to arrange a guided tour with a park ranger as this is a challenging but rewarding excursion.
From March to September leatherback, loggerhead, green and hawskbill turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Aruba. TurtugAruba, an organization dedicated to sea turtle conservation in Aruba, places barricades around known turtle nests. Please keep your distance from these areas. Sea turtle eggs incubate for about two months and hatch between May and November, and locals and visitors alike enjoy this spectacle of nature.
We saved the best for last. The beaches of Aruba are unrivaled in the Caribbean. Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are located in the hotel area and typically the beaches featured in Aruba advertisements. Baby Beach is located on the eastern most tip of the island, about a 30-minute drive from the hotel zone. It is a shallow lagoon and perfect for families with small children. Aruba natives tend to go to Mangel Halto and Andicuri.
The point is — there is not a bad beach on the island. Rent a car and drive around. Enjoy the sights, eat the local foods, and immerse yourself in the culture. Aruba is such a small island, it’s nearly impossible to get lost. Aruba is truly One Happy Island!