Aruba has some of the best beaches in the world. All of Aruba’s beaches are public, but chairs and palapas (shade huts) provided by resorts are the property of the hotels and for guest use only. If you use them at a hotel other than your own, expect to be charged. Few of the smaller beaches have facilities other than a shade hut or two, so if you venture afar for privacy, bring your own food, water, and gear.
POINTS OF INTEREST
DRUIF AND MANCHEBO BEACH
The low-rise hotel district runs from Druif Beach to Manchebo Beach. These beaches are impressively wide and inviting for beach activities of all types. The white-sand shoreline is often the backdrop for numerous yoga classes.
Eagle Beach is where the locals camp during Holy Week each year. There are no resorts directly on this stretch of beach, but several can be found across the street, including La Cabana Beach & Resort as well as Amsterdam Manor and smaller boutique and time-share resorts. Eagle Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean; the white-sand carpet here seems to stretch on forever. The water is great for swimming, and there are numerous refreshment spots along the beach. Although it can get busy during the day, there’s never a problem finding a spot.
Palm Beach is home to the high-rise hotel zone. This is where you’ll find the most activities from cinemas to restaurants and casinos. This area is always buzzing with activity.
Fisherman’s Huts Beach marks the end of the high-rise zone and the beginning of a shallow area that is a windsurfer’s and kiteboarder’s paradise. This is the place to take lessons and the area is always awash with students, experts, and board hobbyists. It’s a gorgeous spot to just sit and watch the sails and snap awesome photos at sunset. There are no amenities here.
On the northwestern shore, Malmok Beach borders shallow waters that stretch 300 yards from shore. There are no snack or refreshment stands here, but shade can be had under the thatched umbrellas. Right off the coast here is a favorite haunt for divers and snorkelers — the wreck of the German ship Antilla, scuttled in 1940. All the snorkel boat tours stop here for a dip as well. Another great spot for snorkeling right off the shore is at Tres Trapi (three steps in Papiamento). Ask any local for directions. Nearby Boca Catalina also offers great snorkeling right off the shore.
Arashi Beach is a local favorite, a ½-mile stretch of gleaming white sand with a rolling surf and good snorkeling. It can get busy on weekends, especially Sundays with local families bringing their own picnics, but during the week it is typically quiet, though Tierra del Sol Resort now provides transportation to it for their guests. Amenities: some shade palapas. Best for: swimming; walking.
Mangel Halto Beach is located in the middle of the island on the south side. This beach is a local favorite but many visitors come here for the amazing crystal-clear water and fantastic snorkeling. This area is great for swimming, kayaking, and scuba diving. Nearby Zeerovers Restaurant is a local favorite for fresh seafood. And don’t forget to stop by Ritz for the best fresh-made soft-serve ice cream.
On the eastern tip of the island is another favorite beach for both locals and visitors. Baby Beach is a beautiful lagoon with shallow water ideal for kids. A small coral reef basin at the eastern edge of the lagoon offers superb snorkeling. But do not pass the barriers as the current is extremely strong outside the rocks. There is a restaurant on the beach as well as restroom facilities. The JADS Dive Center, located on the western side of the lagoon offers snorkel and dive gear rentals, and the full-service bar/restaurant also offers a shower and washrooms as well as an infinity pool overlooking the lagoon.
Rogers Beach is not far from Baby Beach. Not often frequented by visitors, you might have the beach all to yourself if you’re game. The beach is within walking distance to the JADS Dive Center.