Aruba is a beautiful Caribbean island known for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and warm tropical climate. As a travel destination, it offers a range of activities and attractions perfect for beach vacations, adventurous explorations, cultural experiences, and more.
Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, family trip, solo adventure, or group vacation, this guide covers the best things to do in Aruba in 2023.
Plan Your Aruba Vacation
The first step is planning your ideal Aruba trip. Here are some tips:
Choose your travel dates - Aruba enjoys mostly dry, sunny weather year-round. High season runs from December to April when prices are higher. Savings can be found in the quieter months of May to November.
Pick your location - Aruba's main hotel areas are Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, and Oranjestad. Palm Beach offers luxury resorts and dining while Eagle Beach is more peaceful. Oranjestad puts you near shopping and restaurants.
Book flights and hotels - Look for deals on flights and all-inclusive resorts. Be sure to check hotel reviews and amenities to find the right fit.
Consider a package - Booking flights, hotels, and activities as a package can save money. Many deals include resort credits for dining and excursions.
Get travel insurance - Protect your vacation investment with comprehensive travel insurance. Coverage for trip interruptions, cancellations, and medical emergencies provides invaluable peace of mind.
Top Things To Do in Aruba
Once you've booked your Aruba vacation, it's time to start planning activities. Here are the top things to experience on the island:
Relax on Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach frequently ranks as one of the Caribbean's best beaches. The soft, white sand shoreline is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, beach walks, and enjoying spectacular sunsets. Shaded huts and beach chairs line the beach. Grab a drink at one of the casual beach bars nearby.
Snorkel at Arashi Beach
Aruba's rugged northern coast boasts some of the island's best snorkeling. At Arashi Beach, spot colorful tropical fish and sea turtles swimming in calm, clear waters sheltered by offshore reefs. Rent snorkel gear on-site and explore shallow reefs running parallel to shore.
Off-Road Adventure in Arikok National Park
Covering 20% of Aruba, Arikok National Park provides protection for the island's wildlife, cacti, and natural features. Book a guided UTV, dirt buggy, or 4x4 off-road tour to traverse rough roads through the park's desert landscape to landmarks like the Natural Pool, Fontein Cave, and more.
Scenic Sail to De Palm Island
De Palm Island makes a perfect day trip while in Aruba. Sail on a catamaran or yacht to this picturesque offshore destination. Enjoy activities like snorkeling, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, beach lounging, and an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet.
For a unique underwater experience, take a ride in a real submarine down to depths of up to 150 feet below the Caribbean Sea. Atlantis Submarines offers this exciting underwater excursion to see shipwrecks, coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine life through viewports.
Ostrich Farm Tour
At the Aruba Ostrich Farm, get up close with these fascinating flightless birds on a guided tour. Learn about ostriches and feed them by hand. Kids can sit on an ostrich or giant egg for a unique photo op! Tours run daily and reservations are recommended.
Savory Culinary Experiences
Foodies will love the diverse dining scene in Aruba influenced by over 100 nationalities. For local Aruban specialties, don't miss dishes like keshi yena (stuffed cheese), pan bati (cornmeal pancakes), and fresh seafood. International cuisine abounds, from upscale eateries to food trucks.
City Sightseeing in Oranjestad
Aruba's charming capital Oranjestad offers pastel-hued Dutch Colonial architecture along with open-air malls for shopping. Visit the maple walkway lined with restored historical buildings. Other top attractions include the Aruba Aloe factory/museum, Numismatic Museum, and outdoor art galleries.
Booking a watersports adventure makes the most of Aruba's ocean playground. Choices include wreck diving, kitesurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, jet skiing, kayaking through mangroves, deep sea fishing, parasailing, and more. Most resorts and operators offer equipment rentals and guided tours.
Arikok National Park Hiking
Lace up your hiking shoes to explore Arikok's rocky arid landscape and hidden treasures. Follow well-marked trails of varying difficulties past unique rock formations, caves, desert plants, and old gold mines. Guided hikes often include interesting historical and geological commentary.
With so many gorgeous beaches to discover, spend a day beach-hopping to find your perfect spot. Eagle Beach and Palm Beach are most popular, but visit hidden gems like Boca Prins, Rodgers Beach, Baby Beach, and Gravel Beach for more seclusion. Don't miss picturesque vistas along the California Lighthouse scenic drive.
Shopping and Casinos
For retail therapy or trying your luck, shop and play at nearby resort malls and casinos. Palm Beach Plaza offers high-end stores like Louis Vuitton along with tax-free shopping. Exciting casinos allow adults to enjoy poker, slots, and table games into the night.
Getting Around Aruba
Aruba's small size makes getting around easy without a rental car. Here are the best transportation options:
Taxis - Readily available taxis offer an affordable way to get around. Set rates apply to most destinations.
Bus - Brightly painted buses travel fixed routes from Oranjestad to major hotels for only a few dollars.
Private Transfers - Many resorts offer private shuttle services to the airport and around the island for a hassle-free vacation.
Walk or Bike - Downtown Oranjestad and resort areas are compact enough to explore on foot or by rental bike.
Rental Car - For maximum flexibility, rent a car to access more secluded beaches, restaurants, and attractions at your own pace.
Plan an Unforgettable Aruba Vacation
With its welcoming spirit, natural beauty, and endless ways to play, Aruba promises an idyllic Caribbean getaway. Follow this guide to plan your perfect trip, pick the best activities for your interests, and make the most of your time exploring this island paradise. Let the white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and sun-filled days relax you into true vacation mode in Aruba.