If you are planning to visit Aruba, you’ll be happy to hear it is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean and the most revisited of all Caribbean Islands. Below are the 52 best things to do in Aruba to help you plan an awesome and unforgettable Caribbean vacation.
Discover the best places to visit on this popular Caribbean island with our list of the most fantastic tourist attractions in Aruba. Discover the best places to visit in Aruba including our 52 favorites that make it “one happy island ”!
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52 Fun Things to do in Aruba
Aruba is popular for both honeymooners and families because of its safety, beauty, and gorgeous beaches. There is an abundance of things to in Aruba from relaxing on white-sand beaches, to all kinds of water sports, a butterfly farm, an aloe farm, secret swimming pools, and even a National park.
Aruba is an easy vacation spot for Americans because English is widely spoken and people are very friendly. Because it’s a small island, it is easy to navigate, meaning you don’t need to hire a guide to explore the island. In Aruba, there is no need to exchange currency since the US dollar is accepted all over including taxis and buses. There are excellent dining choices in all price ranges. If you are planning an Aruba vacation, we hope this list will inspire you to see and do more on this gorgeous Caribbean Island! Here is our newly updated 52 best things to do in Aruba for 2022!
Aruba’s Beaches and Water Activities
Aruba is famous throughout the Caribbean for its white sandy beaches and clear blue-green seawater. Aruba has great diving, snorkeling and snuba, kite-surfing and skyboarding, and Catamaran cruises.
1. Visit the famous white sand beaches at Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, Manchebo Beach, Arashi Beach or Baby Beach. If you are looking for the best beach in Aruba, most people agree the Fofoti tree on Eagle Beach is the most picturesque. Eagle Beach is also my personal favorite.
2. Visit Black Stone beach. This is Aruba’s only black sand and is located on the north side of the island near Arikok National Park.
3. Watch newborn sea turtles make their way into the sea from Eagle Beach, which is the widest beach on the island.
4. Snorkel to the Antilla Shipwreck. The best way to see the shipwreck is on a tour and the Pirate Ship Sail is the most fun! The Pirate Ship tour includes 3 stops for snorkeling, rope swing, open bar, and snorkel gear. The start point for the tour is Hadicurari Beach. Check out prices for the Pirate Sail & Shipwreck snorkel.
5. Snorkel at Arashi Beach. Some of the best snorkeling in Aruba for beginners is located on the northern coast of the island. Arashi beach has shallow water and sandy bottoms, and lots of are small and colorful fish. There are no snorkel rental vendors nearby, so make sure to bring your own gear.
6. Hone your water-ski skills with lessons available at Palm, Eagle or Druif Beach. This is one of the great Aruba activities for anyone who loves water sports.
7. Try something new – Aruba offers SNUBA, a combination of Scuba and Snorkeling at DePalm Island. With SNUBA, you can breathe easily underwater without wearing heavy, restrictive dive gear.
8. Visit the Aruba Natural Pool. Also known as the Conchi Natural Pool, it is a swimming hole in the Arikok National Park formed by a cluster of rocks that protects the pool from the rough surf on Aruba’s Northeast coast.
9. Swim through Boca Catalina, a small, secluded bay accessible by steps from Malmok Beach.
10. Have a scuba diving adventure. Aruba offers great scenery for scuba divers including coral reefs, marine life, and shipwrecks. Dive sites stretch along the entire southern, leeward coast. The best snorkeling sites are around Malmok Beach and Boca Catalina.
11. Take a Cruise or a Sail Around the Island. Feel the sea breeze as you recline along the deck of a slick catamaran for an exclusive sailing experience.
Top Things to do in Aruba Outdoors
Some of the best places to visit in Aruba are outdoors. to the wild desert side of the island filled with natural pools, caves, and ruins, Aruba has a wide range of things to do in the outdoors. Some of the best Aruba excursions are to the Northern Coast or what is known as the “Volcanic” Side of the Island.
12. Visit the Natural Bridges.
There are about 7 natural bridges on the northeastern shore of Aruba. The Natural Bridge was the most famous, but it collapsed in 2005, due to Hurricane Katrina. Note, that Aruba is almost always outside of the hurricane belt, so it’s quite rare that hurricanes impact the island.
13. Visit the Tunnel of Love, so-called because of its heart-shaped entrance. A 300-foot long tunnel winds through rock formations and narrow passages.
14. Visit Arikok National Park. The national park is 13.13 mi² and there are several places to hike, explore caves, dunes, and beaches. There are also unique examples of indigenous flora and fauna species found only at the Arikok National Park. It’s best to explore with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, which is easy as there are a lot of jeeps for rent on the island.
15. Visit Quadirikiri Cave
Located in Arikok National Park, the caves are accessible to the public during the day between national park hours of (8:00 – 4:00 pm). Ask park rangers at the entrance of the caves for a tour inside, so they can point out rock drawings, stalagmites, and stalactites. This is one of the most unique things to do in Aruba’s national park.
16. Explore the ruins of the Bushiribana Gold Mill on the north coast. This is one of the best historical Aruba things to do.
17. Plan a visit to the “California Dunes” at Hudishibana. Popularly named for the offshore wreck of the famous ship “”California,”” the isolated northwestern tip of the island features some of the most spectacular scenery.
18. Hike through the Ayo rock formations and Casibari Boulders and explore the island’s ancient site. This is a top Aruba things to do for anyone who loves nature.
19. Explore the island on horseback. There are several operators offering horseback riding tours. One of the most popular Aruba sightseeing tour on horseback is to the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, and Baby Natural Bridge, and throughout Arikok National Park.
20. Golf with the pros at Tierra del Sol This 18-hole, par 71 course, was designed by Robert Trent Jones II and is situated on the northwest point of Aruba, providing breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. This course is a favorite amongst avid golfers due to its rugged natural surroundings.
Aruba Tourist Attractions
Aruba tourist attractions range from lighthouses to museums and of course amazing outdoor attractions which I covered above.
21. Visit the Alto Vista Chapel.
The first Catholic church was built in Aruba in 1750 by a Spanish missionary. The Alto Vista Chapel was built in 1952 on the site of the original Catholic church. Services are still conducted in this little yellow chapel.
22. Take a tour through the state-of-the-art Aruba Aloe Factory and learn all about the aloe plant, introduced to the island in 1840, at the Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory. This is one of the top Aruba things to do!
23. Visit the California Lighthouse.
Constructed in 1910, its located on Aruba’s most northwesterly point and has amazing views. This is one of the best things to do in Aruba for anyone who loves photography. For a really special experience, visit the lighthouse at sunset.
24. A Jeep Tour is a great way to make sure you are aware of the most important things to see in Aruba. An island guide is a great way to learn about the island, it’s history, flora, fauna and culture.
Aruba has animals everyone loves. Not to mention the Iguanas roaming the island.
25. Get a bit exotic and visit the Aruba Ostrich Farm. The farm offers guided tours every 30 mins from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM every day. Tours include a visit to the incubator, hatchery, and the special pens for young ostriches and emus.
26. Donkey Sanctuary Aruba.
This is one of the top things to do in Aruba if you love animals. The sanctuary is a safe haven for injured or abused wild donkeys. For any donation amount, you can cuddle & hug one of the friendly donkeys for 15-30 minutes. They are open every day from 9:00 until 4:00 (closed only on January 1st).
27. Visit Bushiri Karting Speedway. The only go-kart track on the island; Bushiri Karting Speedway, offers Honda GX270CC 9 horsepower carts. If you are traveling with teenagers, this will be a hit!
Things to do in Oranjestad Aruba
Oranjestad is the capital of Aruba and is both a port and the downtown area of Aruba. It is easily walkable and L.G. Smith Boulevard is the main drag. This and it’s adjacent streets are filled with restaurants, shopping, and small bars. The buildings in Aruba are brightly painted and reflect their European heritage.
28. Ride the Aruba Streetcar. It’s a great way to get a feel for downtown Oranjestad. It’s free and you can hop on and off whenever you like.
29. Check out the famous flamingos!
One of the most popular photos on Instagram when you search for “Aruba” is the flamingos, but oddly enough you can only find them on one specific beach on the island which is Flamingo beach at Renaissance Aruba Resort in Oranjestad. The pink flamingos in Aruba inhabit a private island part of the Renaissance Hotel and access is very limited. Guests of the Renaissance Aruba Resort have free access to the island, but you can buy a day pass for $125 and visit the island as a non-guest.
30. Visit the National Archaeological Museum Aruba. Located in Oranjestad, the museum collections cover from 2500 BCE to the 19th century. Come learn about Aruba’s Amerindian cultural heritage and see the oldest museum attraction; a cunucu house built in 1870.
31. Visit the Butterfly Farm, a nature sanctuary to hundreds of butterflies in a lush tropical rain forest amidst flowers and trees, ponds and a trickling waterfall. The butterflies fly overhead and all around. It’s quite an experience for anyone who loves butterflies.
32. Exploring the boulevards of Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, and admiring the historical Dutch downtown area. This is one of the best things to do in Aruba if you love architecture or shopping!
33. Dance with the locals at the Bon Bini Festival every Tuesday. “Bon Bini” means “welcome” in Papiamento. Come to the folkloric Aruban festival any Tuesday at 6:30 pm in Oranjestad to see Aruba’s culture and cuisine.
Food, Beer & Happy Hour & Nightlife in Aruba
34. Take the Balashi Brewery Tour. Brouwerij Nacional Balashi is a full-scale production brewery, and one of the most modern breweries in the Caribbean. Tours are scheduled to start again in early 2022. The brewery’s first beer, Balashi (which means “water” in the local Papiamento language), was named after the area of the island—also known as Balashi—where the brewery is located.
35. If you can’t make the tour, you’ve got to try the locally brewed Balashi beers; Balashi, Chill, or Magic Mango.
36. Enjoy traditional Aruban food. Gasparito Traditional Aruban Restaurant is a small family-run Aruban Restaurant that has been serving local traditional Aruban food on the island of Aruba since 1989.
37. Unwind at the Dutch Café Rembrandt and enjoy live music and delicious food.
38. Enjoy happy hour with live steel-drum play at the Pirate’s Nest Restaurant from 4-6 p.m. daily.
39. Treat yourself to dinner at Atardi, a pop-up, toes-in-the-sand restaurant located feet from the ocean at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. This is perfect for a special night on your Aruba vacation.
40. Indulge in an exclusive dining experience at the Papiamento Restaurant. The restaurant is inside a 175-year-old authentic Aruban manor house. Don’t miss the impressive tour of the wine cellar.
41. Hang out at Charlie’s Bar in St Nicolas, a famous bar since the 1940s, when scuba divers began to hang their underwater discoveries on the walls. This is one of the best places to visit in Aruba to meet locals.
42. Visit Mr. Jazz restaurant. Live music and top-quality cuisine make it a perfect night on the town and one of the best things to do in Aruba at night.
43. Dance the night away at the annual Soul Beach Music Festival – a star-studded line-up with guaranteed fun every year.
44. Visit the MooMba Beach Bar. This is a super popular spot with a restaurant and two bars located on the beach between the Marriott and the Holiday Inn. The large outdoor bar features live music and DJs.
45. Visit one of the Casinos. Yes, Aruba has casinos and they are regarded as the best in the Caribbean. There are 12 casinos on the island. Stellaris Casino at the Aruba Marriott Resort, The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, and Crystal Casino at the Renaissance Marina Hotel are open 24 hours a day. Aruba’s largest casino is Stellaris Casino.
46. Shop ‘til you drop at Paseo Herencia Mall: the shopping & entertainment center is a new “old style” plaza surrounded by shopping, dining, and a state-of-the-art movie theater.
47. Plan the perfect dinner at one of the restaurants at the South Beach Centre. Choices include Hard Rock Cafe, South Beach Lounge, Buster’s Garage, and Café Rembrandt.
48. Shopping spree in Aruba? The Renaissance Marketplace at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino offers plenty of boutique retail and specialty shops to satisfy your shopping urge.
Planning a trip to Aruba? Read reviews for Aruba hotels on TripAdvisor
49. Help keep Aruba clean by volunteering in the annual Reef Care Project (July 3-4), Aruba’s most ambitious environmental initiative with about 800 participants every year.
50. Discover the undiscovered in San Nicolas, Aruba’s second-largest city.
51. Find value in a trip to Aruba with the “One Cool Family” program that gives kids discounts each summer from June 1st to September 30th.
52 Bride and grooms-to-be can also save in Aruba with the “One Cool Honeymoon” program, which includes discounts and specials but most importantly a free night upon their return to the island. In fact, many couples honeymoon in Aruba. Who can blame them?
Other activities you can enjoy here are stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and many other fun options.
It’s a small island, but there are many Aruba attractions for every type of vacationer! We hope this list is an inspiration for your trip to Aruba! Below we have a few more Aruba travel tips.
A Few Hotel Recommendations
Adults-only luxury boutique hotel: Get a feel for the local culture at the Cunucu Arubiano, which features stays in individual “casitas,” each designed to reflect the old-Aruban and Dutch-influenced architecture of the early 19th century.
4 Star Palm- Eagle Beach Resort: Go green at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, which recently received its Green Globe certification, recognizing the resort’s dedication to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards.
Hotel with Flamingos in Aruba: Choose our newly renovated adults-only Renaissance Marina Hotel or the family-friendly yet secluded Renaissance Ocean Suites. Their water taxi can deliver you to the 40-acre private island where wild flamingos roam freely and where relaxing treatments at our world-class Spa Cove are available with authentic indigenous Aruban Aloe in all of its treatments.
Palm Beach Boutique Hotel: Check out the Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa, a boutique hotel offering 100 rooms and suites in the charm of the Dutch Caribbean. Complimentary breakfast day included in all rates, spa on property, freshwater pool, and beach service with free huts.
Eagle Beach Boutique Hotel: Admire the Dutch colonial architecture of the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort and stay at one of their 72 spacious fully-equipped studios and suites. A small hideaway with the luxuries of a large resort, located on the world’s most beautiful beach, Eagle Beach.
Save Big on Your Dream Trip to Aruba
Read Reviews of the Best Hotels in Aruba on TripAdvisor
Aruba Travel Guide
Start planning your trip to Aruba
Aruba is one of the top places in the world to visit. There are so many fun things to do in Aruba. It’s one of the best beach vacation spots due to the mild weather, lack of hurricanes, fun water activities and beautiful scenery. Anyone looking for destinations that are great for sightseeing and unique things to see should come to Aruba. There are so many things to see in Aruba. All of the unique things to do in Aruba can help you to feel more well-rounded. All the fun things to do in Aruba could end up in your top 10 or 20 most enjoyable vacation experiences. Going to Aruba is a must for anyone who loves tropical vacations.
Map of Aruba
Aruba is one of the Lesser Antilles islands located in the southern Caribbean Sea. It is about 15 miles off the north coast of Venezuela (South America). The closest Caribbean islands are Curaçao, which is about 50 miles east of Aruba, and Bonaire which is another 30 miles east of Curaçao.
Seeing Aruba on a world map allows you to see how close it is to South America. The Aruba location on a map also shows it’s really only close to two of the Caribbean islands. If fact, if you Google ‘maps Aruba” it’s a great way to see an interactive map of all the islands.
Aruba Visitors Insurance
Aruba Visitor’s Insurance is mandatory for entry for all foreign nationals with the exception of visitors who arrive and leave on the same day.
Cheapest Time to Go to Aruba
Aruba is a bit different than many Caribbean islands because the temperatures stay steady year-round. So, there really isn’t the best month to visit Aruba for the weather. On the other hand, the best month to visit Aruba for finding reasonable hotel rates is April through August. The most expensive time to visit Aruba is November through March.
Best Time to Visit Aruba
Since Aruba sits well outside the hurricane belt, there’s very little threat of tropical storms at any time of year. Aruba receives about 18 inches of rain per year and most rainfall happens in October, November, December, and January.
Weather in Aruba by Month
Aruba in January: Average temperatures in Aruba in January are a high of 86°F and a low of 76°F. The average amount of rainfall in January is about 1.5 inches.
Aruba in February: Average temperatures in Aruba in February are a high of 87°F and a low of 76°F. The average amount of rainfall in February is about 0.8 inches.
Aruba in March: Average temperatures in Aruba in March are a high of 88°F and a low of 77°F. The average amount of rainfall in March is about 0.3 inches.
Aruba in April: Average temperatures in Aruba in April are a high of 89°F and a low of 78°F. The average amount of rainfall in April is about 0.5 inches.
Aruba in May: Average temperatures in Aruba in May are a high of 90°F and a low of 80°F. The average amount of rainfall in May is about 0.6 inches.
Aruba in June: Average temperatures in Aruba in June are a high of 90°F and a low of 80°F. The average amount of rainfall in June is about 0.7 inches.
Aruba in July: Average temperatures in Aruba in July are a high of 90°F and a low of 80°F. The average amount of rainfall in July is about 1.3 inches.
Aruba in August: Average temperatures in Aruba in August are a high of 91°F and a low of 80°F. The average amount of rainfall in August is about 1 inch.
Aruba in September: Average temperatures in Aruba in September are a high of 91°F and a low of 80°F. The average amount of rainfall in September is about 1.8 inches.
Aruba in October: Average temperatures in Aruba in October are a high of 90°F and a low of 80°F. The average amount of rainfall in October is about 3.1 inches.
Aruba in November: Average temperatures in Aruba in November are a high of 89°F and a low of 79°F. The average amount of rainfall in November is about 3.7 inches.
Aruba in December: Average temperatures in Aruba in December are a high of 87°F and a low of 77°F. The average amount of rainfall in December is about 3.1 inches.
9 Fun Facts about Aruba
- On a clear day, you can see Venezuela from Aruba. You can also see Venezuela from some of the highest points on the island; Seroe, Jamanota, and Arikok.
- Weather is never a worry in Aruba, it’s 82 degrees and sunny year-round.
- Aruba sits outside of the hurricane belt (hurricanes are very rare on the island).
- The Alto Vista Chapel originally built by Spanish missionaries in 1750 is considered to be the first church established in the Caribbean.
- The Basics of Aruban Cuisine include Coecoei & Ponche Crema Liquors, the Balashi Cocktail, Bolo, Coconut Water, Cos Dushi, Fish Creole, Funchi and Pan Bati.
- Papiamento is the native language in Aruba.
- Aruba was claimed by Spain in 1499. In 1636 it was taken by the Dutch and occupied by the Dutch West India Company. As part of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba came briefly under British rule during the Napoleonic Wars but was returned to the Netherlands in 1816.
- Aruba gained independence in 1986.
- Aruba’s slogan is “one happy island”.
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