14 Exciting Things to Do in Aruba

Pontoon as seen from above – Aruba for first timers

Planning a vacation and wondering what to do in Aruba? Then this post might just be perfect for you!

Located in the Southern Caribbean region, Aruba is a Dutch Caribbean island that is a renowned tourist destination. With beautiful white sand beaches with blue turquoise waters, we are certain that you will have an awesome trip.

Aruba is situated outside the hurricane belt which drastically reduces the risk of tropical storms. Furthermore, the level of rainfall is less compared to its other Caribbean counterparts. Consequently, there is a greater chance for sunny warm weather during your stay.

In this guide, we cover a few extraordinary experiences guaranteed to make your stay in Aruba unforgettable.

Let’s get ready for a memorable vacation with our list of unmissable things to do in Aruba!

1. Relax on the beach

Pack your swimwear and head to Eagle Beach which is one of the favorite beaches of visitors and locals.

It is the widest beach on the island and is known for its pristine white sand and calm turquoise waters. Amenities such as jet skis, umbrellas, and beach chair rentals are available. 

If you are interested in taking pictures with the iconic pink flamingos which are often seen on social media, a visit to Renaissance Island is a must. This is a private island that is accessible via a day pass from The Renaissance Hotel which provides boat transportation to and from the location.

Alternatively, you can consider booking a room for a day which gives you access to the beach for two days.

Another amazing option is Baby Beach. It is also known as Klein Lagoen which is a manmade beach that is excellent for children. Beach chairs and water sporting activities are available for rent. There is a stall where you can purchase light refreshments.

2. Taste the local cuisine

If unique culinary experiences are your top priority, you will not be disappointed in Aruba. 

The national dish, Keshi Yena which is a traditional meal made by Arubans with cheese as the principal ingredient is a must-try. Awa di lamunchi is an Antillean beverage that is made with lime and is the most popular drink consumed by locals. This drink is also widely consumed in Curaçao and Bonaire.

The Dutch cuisine also features snack items such as Frikandel and Bitterballen which are unique to the Dutch Caribbean. These will be great to sample during your stay.

3. Visit Arikok National Park

Did you know that the topography of Aruba is rugged, arid, and desert-like in terms of look and feel? Well, that’s the truth and the perfect spot to enjoy these unique features is at the Arikok National Park.

It comprises a landmass of about 8,000 acres which is approximately 20% of the island. The highest peaks of elevation Jamanota Hill and Arikok Hill are in this park. They are 617 feet and 577 feet respectively. The park was officially designated as a protected area in the year 2000 and there are a number of spots of historic significance.

4. Tour the Aruba aloe factory

Enjoy a relaxing tour at The Aruba Aloe Factory in Hato. Guided tours are available in 15-minute intervals where you will gain knowledge on the cultivation and uses of aloe.

On top of Dutch, tours are also available in English, Spanish, and Papiamento.  This activity is excellent for both adults and children.

5. Enjoy a bit of golfing

Aruba is a perfect destination to consider for a golf getaway as the island usually has consistent sunny weather. Therefore, it is unlikely that rain will disturb your game. There are two golf courses in Aruba. One is located at The Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf while the other is at The Links At Divi Aruba.

The Tierra Del Sol Resort has a PGA-approved course with 18 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones II. Alternatively, The Links at Divi Aruba is a 9 holes course designed by Litten & Viola.

6. Visit the butterfly farm

Looking for an activity that every member of the family can enjoy? Then visit the Butterfly farm opposite the Divi Aruba Resort. Tours there explain the metamorphosis of the creature from the egg stage to the butterfly. They are about 15 to 20 minutes long and you are able to handle the butterflies with the help of your tour guide.

The mornings are suitable for seeing the butterflies as they are active. Nevertheless, if you want to get amazing pictures of them, the afternoons are more convenient as they are tired from their morning activities. The location is wheelchair-accessible and light refreshments are available for purchase.

7. Go skydiving

Explore the island from the sky with a reputed company on a Cessna 182.

Aruba Sky Dive complies with The United States Parachute Association standards. Planes carry only two persons per trip and the company provides video services and takes pictures of your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

8. Go shopping

Are you seeking some retail therapy? Well, Aruba is one of the best Caribbean destinations for shopping due to the retail presence of numerous high-end and luxury brands. Fashion and designer retailers such as Cartier, Adidas, Michael Kors, and Carolina Herrera all have retail stores at the Renaissance Mall.

This shopping complex is located in Oranjestad. The best currency for Aruba is the Aruban Florins. Nonetheless, US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted by businesses there.

9. Swim in the Conchi natural pool

Ready to view one of the natural wonders on the island? The Conchi Natural Pool is a group of boulders that is approximately 20 feet long. The pool provides a unique opportunity to swim and float while enjoying a view of the ocean.

It is truly a natural wonder and a magical sight to behold.

10. Stop by the Alto Vista Chapel

Another activity that is perfect for the entire family is a visit to The Alto Vista Chapel. 

Constructed in 1750, this chapel is believed to be the first church in the Caribbean. It is small, peaceful and a great location to stop to reflect and pray. You are also free to light a candle. The surrounding area gives visitors a great appreciation of the desert landscape of Aruba.

11. See the glorious natural bridges

Want to see a breathtaking site in the Northern region of the island? Then visit the natural bridges which were formed by waves beating against rocks.

These bridges are one of the most photographed spots in Aruba.

There is a souvenir shop where you can purchase your trinkets and also a small snack bar where light refreshments are sold.

12. Hike Mount Hooiberg

For outdoor enthusiasts, climbing Mount Hooiberg is an amazing activity. 

Mount Hooiberg which means haystack in English is a peak that is 165 meters tall. The location is iconic as it is situated in the center of the island.

The summit provides magnificent views of Aruba. On a clear day, one can also get a glimpse of Venezuela. A staircase was initially built by Mr. Eduardo Tromp in 1951 to the top of the mountain. Renovations were later completed in 1991. 

There are a total of 587 steps and this is a popular hike completed by visitors.

13. Stop by the Donkey Sanctuary

If you are an animal lover, a visit to the donkey sanctuary is highly recommended. Located in Bringamosa, tours are available where you can see, feed and pet the donkeys.

Previously used as a mode of transportation, the sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization. There is a shop on site where you can purchase gifts and souvenirs. Individuals can contribute to the sanctuary through the organization’s adoption program.

14. Climb the California lighthouse

For 360 breathtaking views of the island, a visit to the California Lighthouse is a must. Located in the Northwestern region of the island, the site opens every day from 9 am to 7 pm.

Aruba is truly an amazing Caribbean island to visit due to its predictable sunny weather and the friendliness of its inhabitants. All the amenities and things to do on the island discussed above, as well as the many flights from large international cities heading there, make it a wonderful Caribbean destination for families, a digital nomadism dream, and the perfect destination for a workcation.

Your Aruba vacation awaits, enjoy!

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