Top Things To Do In Aruba
Aruba is definitely not called “One Happy Island” for any reason. This Island is absolutely amazing, and the locals are just as amazing as the Island. Quick fact: natives of Aruba know 4 languages before entering high school; Dutch, English, Spanish, and native language Papiamento. So now back to this amazing island, Aruba sits outside of the Hurricane Belt, so goes to show you the island is pretty chill year round.
The island is not, super huge and probably can be traveled in a day easily. It is pretty made up of 5 sections for travelers. One is the east side of the island, which is home to the Arikok Natural Park. We will talk about that later. The rest is on the west side of the island. You have downtown which is very close to the airport, and contains the Renaissance Hotel connected to the mall, the cruise port, and of course you can’t have a cruise port without the cruise shops. You can also find a local bus depot in this section.
The next two are the low rise and the high-rise hotel zones. The low rise hotels sit across from Eagle Beach, while the high rise hotels sit right on Palm Beach. There is not much distance between the zones, and offer the best opportunity for bar hopping and eating. The last section is just north of the high-rise hotels, and it contains Arashi Beach, California Lighthouse, and some of the biggest houses in Aruba.
This lighthouse sits at the northern side of Aruba. The last time I visited I participated in a tour that took us there. To be honest, I wasn’t too impressed, but the view from the lighthouse is nice. To the lighthouse’s benefit, I was too lazy to walk up the steps to the see the view from the top. Adjacent to the lighthouse is Faro Blanco Restaurant. I heard it is an amazing place to have a sunset dinner at, though it can be quite pricey.
The lighthouse is still to this day one of the most popular tourist locations of Aruba. Believe me it had to be over 20 buses of people touring when I visited it. Now with that said, would I go back? Yes! I definitely have to take in the view at the top of the lighthouse, but with less people.
Arikok Natural Park
Now there is no second-guessing about visiting the Natural Park. It is home to Aruba Ostrich Farm, Natural Bridge Aruba, Dos Playa (Two Beaches), and Natural Pool Aruba. If you were wondering those are in order from North to South.
I don’t have much to say about Aruba Ostrich Farm. I just drove by it. But the Natural Bridge Aruba was pretty cool. The Natural Bridge was formed of limestone and hovered over the ocean waters. It’s unfortunate that it collapsed; BUT there is a smaller bridge still in tack. But please tell me from the picture above I’m not the only one that things that’s a small natural bridge, so I can only image what the original looked like.
Now going farther south is Dos Playa and Natural Pool. I would HIGHLY suggest viewing Dos Playa and Natural Pool the way I did, and that is by horseback! We rode horses up a cliff, that basically viewed the entire island, just to come down one of the best scenic beaches I have ever seen. Keep in mind the ocean waters on the east side of the island are pretty rough, so we didn’t actually swim. But if you don’t believe me, please google Dos Playa. Now on good ocean days, you can definitely swim in the Natural Pool. Unfortunately when I went, it was not a good ocean day.
Beaches of Aruba
Now, I definitely had to save the best for last. Aruba beaches are hands down some of the best in the world. When you think of Aruba you think of white sands and clear blue waters! Aruba’s sand was formed from limestone, so don’t hesitate to kick the flops off and let your toes sink, because the limestone reflects sunlight keeping the sand from being hot like most beaches.
Palm Beach is probably the most crowded beach in Aruba. It is home to the high-rise hotels so of course it will have the most population, but don’t allow that to stop you from visiting because all beaches in Aruba are open to the public. I would highly suggest going for a stroll, and finished with a sunset dinner on Palm Beach. I actually had the opportunity to do the same and ended a great day eating and drinking at a pier restaurant called Bugaloo (definitely look it up; it was amazing and surprisingly my wife learned how to salsa). Crazy thing is the night didn’t stop there, before heading back south we hit a bar on the main rode. Palm Beach is definitely the place to be at night with bars and beach parties.
If you asked the locals, they would definitely say visit Arashi Beach. It is the most northern beach with the fewer amounts of people. If you are looking for a relaxing beach day without the crowd, Arashi Beach is the place to be. But we can’t talk about Aruba without talking about the infamous Eagle Beach. Unlike Palm Beach, it is not crowded with high-rise hotels. Being ranked as one of the top beaches in the world, it’s definitely going to have some people there; but honestly, it was one of the best beaches I stepped foot on. You can see from the picture, that my daughter and I loved it.
Last and not least is one of the most photographed beaches I know of, Flamingo Beach. The picture above does it no justice. Unfortunately, it’s probably the hardest beach to get to in Aruba. There are only two ways to get there. You either have to be staying at the Renaissance Hotel Resort or you can pay $100 per person for a day pass. Flamingo Beach is located on Renaissance’s private island, and you can only get there by a motorboat leaving from the Renaissance Hotel.
I was lucky enough to stay at the Renaissance on my first trip to Aruba, and lucky for you on my second trip (which was a cruise) I ran into someone that had a great idea on the best way to go. During your stay in Aruba, book one night only at the Renaissance! This will give you opportunities in two days to visit the private island. The Renaissance is probably on the higher side compared to the other hotels, but one night for two people is still cheaper than $100 per person for one day visit to the private island. Also even though Flamingo Beach is an amazing photo capture for the trip, one day does it justice and you will get tired of Flamingo’s walking up on you while you are trying to relax at the beach.
As always, feel free to comment below!!! All comments welcomed, whether you want to dido my list, or totally debate me on another destination! And subscribe for more!!!