North Americans fleeing winter make Aruba the most visited island in the southern Caribbean. You’ll find miles of glorious white-sand beaches, plenty of all-inclusive resorts, and a cute, compact capital, Oranjestad, which is well suited for the two-hour strolls favored by cruise-ship passengers. It’s all about sun, fun and spending money.
Venture away from the resorts and you’re in for a real treat. At the island’s extreme ends are rugged, windswept vistas and uncrowded beaches – perfect for hiking and horseback riding. Crystal-clear waters are bursting with sea life and shipwrecks (and an airplane wreck or two), providing incredible opportunities for snorkeling and diving. And nonstop breezes create near-perfect conditions for windsurfing and kite boarding.
The island is 19.6 miles long and 6 miles across, with a total area of 70 square miles. They’re located just below the hurricane belt, and unlike many islands in the Caribbean, the climate is dry, so they rarely have a rainy day. On the south and west coasts of Aruba, you’ll find Oranjestad, the capital city, and miles of beaches that have been named some of the best in the world. There, you’ll find most of the hotels and all-inclusive resorts in Aruba. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on Aruba, visit here. Now view our Aruba travel guide to help plan your next Aruba vacation!
Aruba Weather – When to Visit
Aruba is blessed with clear skies, sunshine (more sunny days than any other island!) and the cooling trade winds practically every day of the year. Except for a few scattered brief showers on some days, the sun does really always shine here! Wonderful Aruba weather is one of the many reasons for the island’s highest return-visitor rate in the Caribbean.
There is no best time to visit Aruba as the weather is consistently warm year-round with a fairly constant temperature of 82°F. The best time to visit all depends on the type of vacation you are looking for. Aruba tends to be more crowded during high season (mid December – mid April), as many visitors are trying to escape from the cold and come to Aruba for some warmth and sunshine. During this period hotel prices are higher than in low season and reservations need to be made well in advance. If you are looking for a less crowded period it is recommended to visit Aruba during low season (mid April – mid December).
Arikok National Park
Aruban rattlesnakes, parakeets and whiptail lizards make their home in the Arikok National Park, as do numerous iguanas, goats, donkeys and migratory birds. So if you don’t like animals, stay clear of Aruba’s southeastern quadrant, which is dominated by this ecological preserve and extremely popular tourist stop. Many who visit Arikok make a day of observing the area’s wildlife, exploring the caves, sand dunes and limestone cliffs that populate the area, or examining the Amerindian art and abandoned gold mines that sit within the park’s limits. Many choose to drive through the park in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, but you can also get out and hike in some spots. Considering the breadth of land and activity in Arikok, it’s best to pick one or two top things to do or perhaps visit the park again on another day.
Some like the beach for swimming, not sporting. If this is you, ditch the “Low-Rise area” at Eagle Beach and try the more tranquil turquoise waters along Palm Beach, located just above Eagle Beach on Aruba’s western coast. You’ll have fewer Jet Skis and wake boarders to avoid as you wade in the Caribbean Sea. Palm Beach, also known as “High-Rise area,” and is open to the public at any time of day, and many of the hotels will allow you to change in their lobby bathrooms or purchase refreshments at their concession stands or beach bars.
Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
Get ready to be overwhelmed with cute: the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is a nonprofit organization devoted to saving the island’s donkeys and educating locals and tourists on their care. Donkeys used to be the main form of transportation on the island; now many of them are sick and injured. The lucky ones receive proper care and shelter in this donkey sanctuary in the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Aruba’s northeast side about 8 miles from Eagle Beach. Visitors find the animals to be sweet, docile creatures eager to interact with people — especially if you bring the right treats.
Located near Aruba’s northwestern tip, just past the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Hadicurari Beach’s strong winds beckon to windsurfers and kite boarders. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see beach shacks dotting a pebbly coastline; the beach here is nicknamed “Fisherman’s Huts” for that very reason. The area’s shallow, iridescent water is also good for snorkeling. Like all of Aruba’s beaches, Hadicurari is free to visit all the time, but it’s an especially popular beach in late June or early July during the Aruba Hi-Winds kite surfing and windsurfing tournament.
Known as “Low-Rise area” for its low-to-the-ground hotels and timeshares, northwestern Eagle Beach is one of the island’s top shores by default – you’re probably staying nearby. Eagle Beach truly is one of the best places to spend a day in Aruba. The beach is magnificent with gorgeous white sand and the bluest water. There are high winds, so plan to wear a hat to protect from any flying sand.
Aruba Tours & Activities
Aruba ATV Tour with Natural Pool Swim
Get ready for a thrilling ride — solo or double — aboard an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) along Aruba’s north coast. You’ll kick up plenty of dirt on this half-day tour along rugged back roads to seaside bluffs and beaches, including the Natural Pool — accessible only by 4×4. Your informative guide stops at notable landmarks including Alto Vista Chapel, Baby Natural Bridge and a stone wish garden before you have free time to refresh with a leisurely swim. Pickup and drop-off from most Aruba hotels included. Read more about Aruba ATV Island Tour
Aruba Champagne Breakfast and Lunch Cruise with Snorkeling
Enjoy free-flowing Champagne with breakfast and lunch while sailing across the turquoise waters of Aruba. This snorkeling cruise aboard a custom-built catamaran includes three stops where you can explore marine life in the crystal-clear waters. Be charmed by Caribbean music and sea breezes as you sip your mimosa while lounging on the boat — it’s perfection in paradise! Read more about Aruba Champagne Breakfast and Lunch Cruise with Snorkeling
UTV Offroad Experience Natural Pool & Caves
Drive your own utility vehicle off-road in Aruba, which allows you to get far off the beaten path. With a guide in the lead, access rugged parts of the island that traditional tours can’t reach, including secluded corners of National Park Arikok and the Indian Caves. Climb to the island’s highest point for panoramic views and visit the Conchi Natural Pool to go swimming and snorkeling. Along the journey, learn about Aruba’s history and cultural through guided commentary. Read more about UTV Offroad Experience Natural Pool & Caves
Natural Pool & Indian Cave Jeep Safari
Take off in a caravan of open-air 4WD vehicles over bumpy terrain to Aruba’s east coast, where the Natural Pool sits pretty in Arikok National Park. Enjoy time to swim and snorkel around the volcanic rock and coral, plus stop at other island attractions like the Gold Mill Ruins and Natural Bridge. This half-day tour departs in the morning or afternoon. Hot lunch (morning only), cold beverages, and round-trip hotel transport are included. Read more about Arikok National Park 4×4 Tour, Natural Pool Snorkeling, Lunch
Aruba Full Island Tour
Go on an island excursion, and see some of the most popular spots in Aruba on this tour taking off from Oranjestad. Travel the whole island, and see the California Lighthouse, the Ayo Rock Formation, and the Casibari Rock Formations. Visit one of the world’s oldest aloe-vera factories, as well as a 75-year-old, family-run bar. Learn about Aruba’s gold-rush era at the Bushiribana gold mill ruins, and swim in a man-made lagoon at Baby Beach. Read more about Aruba Full-Island Tour
Island Ultimate Jeep Safari
Visit Aruba’s Natural Pool and Baby Beach on a unique off-road 4WD adventure to the island’s top natural attractions. Take the driver’s seat or ride as a passenger in a 4×4 Land Rover, specially designed to traverse the rugged terrain of Arikok National Park. Stop by landmarks like the California Lighthouse and Natural Bridge, with free time to snorkel and swim at the Natural Pool and Baby Beach. A barbecue lunch, cold beverages, and round-trip hotel transport are included in your full-day tour. Read more about Aruba Off-Road Island Tour: Arikok National Park, Baby Beach
Best Aruba Restaurants
2 Fool & A Bull $31 – 60
2 Fools and a Bull offers guests a unique dining experience previously unknown to Aruba. The 2 Fools, Fred Wanders and Paul Faas have created a unique atmosphere in a restored Old Cunucu House guaranteeing that guests at 2 Fools and a Bull, feel they are entering a private home. Taking center stage, is a fully restored, authentic French firewall, the only one of its kind in the Caribbean! A comfortable “dining bar” seating a maximum of 18 faces the French firewall inviting diners to observe the open kitchen where food becomes art for the senses. For more information call 297-586-7177, or visit them on the web at 2 Fools & A Bull.
Screaming Eagle $31 – 60
The Screaming Eagle is a unique restaurant with Miami-style lounge bar atmosphere – edgy interior design, comfortable and chic lounge area, trendy French-Fusion cuisine and a wine and cocktail list to create the mixture for those who dare now a days lifestyle. For more information call 297-587-8021, or visit them on the web at Screaming Eagle.
Passions On The Beach $31 – 60
Experience the most romantic dinner on the island at Passions on the Beach Restaurant. Exquisite dishes, the soft light of torches all around you, sugary white sand between your toes, the soft sound of waves caressing the shore, and the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen… For more information call 297-527-1100, or visit them on the web at Passions On The Beach.
Amuse Sunset Restaurant $31 – 50
Amuse Sunset Restaurant Aruba serves international cuisine prepared with only the freshest and finest ingredients. From International classics done with an Aruban flair, to unique gourmet creations. There is no rush. Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine paired with each of your plates. Allow our friendly and attentive staff to make your visit an enjoyable experience, no matter the occasion. Amuse Sunset Restaurant Aruba is the place where your taste buds will be delighted. For more information call 297-586-9949, or visit them on the web at Amuse Sunset Restaurant.
Chalet Suisse $31 – 60
Since 1988, the highly regarded Chalet Suisse Restaurant has been enjoyed by visitors and locals alike who relish the consistency of the finest quality ingredients, the congeniality and efficiency of the all-Aruban service staff, the care given in the preparation of each dish, and the well-balanced menu options to please everyone’s palate. For more information call 297-587-5054, or visit them on the web at Chalet Suisse.
Best Aruba Bars & Nightlife
Serene and stylish in blue and white, the Renaissance Resort’s lobby bar is ideal for drinks and conversation from the time it opens up to the time it closes down. The staff are infectiously friendly, the cocktails are well-mixed and the overall vibe is simultaneously upbeat and relaxed. A great place to make some new friends, get in a little people-watching, or catch up on your vacation alcohol allowance! Plus, there’s a nice variety of tapas and light meals if you’ve got the munchies. Casual walk-in tourists, local and international business professionals, all enjoy the surroundings of this sophisticated open-air lobby bar in one of Aruba’s most prestigious resorts. Telephone: 1-844-631-0595 Web: Blue.
Ready to shake those Hipsz? This is your chance! Learn how to dance the Salsa or simply improve your dancing skills at Aruba Salsa. The young and professional duo, Reggie and Sabine would love to share their great passion for Latin dances with everyone – locals, tourists, newbies… If having fun is your way of life, then get some fancy moves to show off at Reggie and Sabine’s brand new nightclub Hipsz. With the largest wooden dance floors on the island, top quality sound equipment, the best local bands, reasonable drink prices and the friendliest staff ever, there is no excuse left to dress up and grab your dancing shoes. Telephone: 297-585-7939 Web: Club Hipsz.
The Sopranos Piano Bar
This trendy piano bar is nestled amongst the high rise hotels, right in the center of the lively Palm Beach scene. Just look for Aruba’s Arawak Garden and visit one of the coolest piano bars in the world. Try a Bikini Martini and kick back with a Cuban cigar while the multi-talented piano players entertain you. Things get hopping when patrons sing along with the musicians who take requests for everything from Frank Sinatra to Elton John. Open-aired and relaxed, this is the place classy enough to wear the stylish dress you packed, “just in case,” or come casual as you like. The only requirement is to obey the motto: “Let’s have fun!” Telephone: 297-586-8622 Web: The Sopranos Piano Bar.
How to make a happening on a tropical island? Easy! Take a gorgeous sandy beach, add huge palapas (shade huts) and a lot of lounge chairs and tables. Bring in plenty of Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, Tequila and Peach Schnapps, plus a friendly bartender or three who know how to mix them up, while shaking to the rhythm of the island’s beat. Include breakfast, lunch and a tasty menu of Caribbean seafood and grilled meat to accompany the breathtaking sunset and dance or sing all night to live music. Voila! There you have one of the best beach bars in the world. Call your creation MooMba Beach Bar & Restaurant – it doesn’t sound too difficult. Telephone: 297-586-5365 Web : Moomba Beach.
Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus
No need to designate a driver when you take this dinner and barhopping tour. A wildly painted 1957 Chevy bus picks you up at your hotel and transports you to Arashi Beach for a glass of champagne and a Caribbean sunset. Throughout the course of the evening, you will visit three local bars and have dinner at a traditional Aruban home or restaurant. The cost of an evening includes hotel pick up and drop off, dinner, and one drink at each stop. For the Pub Crawlers there is a Happy Hour tour, including specialized Kukoo Shot Glasses and a free shot at every stop! Telephone: 297- 586-2010 Web: Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus.
Best Aruba Hotels
Bucuti & Tara Boutique Beach Resort – Adults Only
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Set on the white sands of Eagle Beach, this adults-only (18+) boutique resort features an ocean-front restaurant with spectacular views and healthy dining options. Free breakfast and free WiFi are provided. The SandBar has a happy hour every evening, twice a week there is a free Movie Night on the beach, and Carte Blanche restaurant boasts gourmet-style cuisine at a chef’s table. Romantic dining on the beach in a private palapa can be reserved. An air-conditioned fitness center has a beautiful view of the courtyard garden and nearby beach. An outdoor pool and concierge services are also available. Guests can relax with a massage or treatment in the Purun Spa.
Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa – Top Rated by Couples
Ideally situated on Manchebo Beach along the Caribbean Sea, this Aruba luxury resort boasts an outdoor spa, 3 restaurants with live entertainment and spacious rooms with a private balcony. Spa del Sol has a steam room and massages and nail services are offered in the tropical outdoor gazebos. Guests can also relax by the outdoor pool or workout in the gym. Manchebo Beach Resort offers concierge services as well as on-site car rental. Multiple beach cabanas including lounge chairs and towels are available. This property is a yoga retreat destination. Beach Resort Manchebo’s Pega-Pega Café and Beach Bar features sandwiches and Caribbean cocktails. Live music is performed at the French Steakhouse, while Ike’s Bistro – Mediterranean & Caribbean serves a breakfast buffet and offers fine dining in a tropical poolside setting.
Playa Linda Beach Resort
This beachfront resort features an outdoor pool, health spa and a fitness center. Playa Linda Beach Resort is in Palm Beach and has tennis courts and a kids club. At Playa Linda Beach Resort there are a variety of restaurant and bars, and business center. Other facilities at the complex include convenience store, tour desk and free parking.
Ocean Z Boutique Hotel
They are a 13 suite boutique hotel with the best personalized service you will find in the island. A la Carte breakfast is included and you will find a great selections of dishes to choose from. They offer transportation to the beach. They provide you chairs, towels, umbrella and a cooler full of ice . If you would like to have lunch at the beach , their staff will bring you your beach lunch or snacks.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
This adults-only, romance and wellness resort, located on Aruba’s spacious and beautiful Eagle Beach, is award-winning and owner-operated. The 4-star and 4-diamond resort receives high satisfaction ratings and recognition that includes #1 Hotel for Romance in the Caribbean 2017, Top 3 Beach Destinations in the World, Conde Nast Gold List, and Green Globe High Achievement Award. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is eco-friendly and offers a tranquil boutique experience with friendly service. The intimate atmosphere is exclusive and relaxing to couples seeking tranquility and romantic experiences.