Things to do in Aruba

The Aruba

Aruba

Aruba is a small island situated in the Southern Caribbean Sea. It is also a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The country has a small population of 120,000 but that does not limit the things that Aruba has on offer for their tourists.

In Aruba, you will find paradise-like beaches filled with warm and wonderful marine life.

The beaches are filled with coral reefs which makes it perfect for scuba diving or snorkeling.

The fun doesn’t stop there as the nightlife scene will keep you on your toes with its Caribbean flair.

Boasting with various nightspots and casinos you will not be short of entertainment.

But have a more in-depth look at all the attractions. Go through our list of best places to visit while on this majestic island.

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Surfing on Eagle Beach

In Aruba, the weather is always sunny and the waves are perfect. Surfers spend most of their time in the water waiting for that perfect wave. If you are not into surfing there are other activities to occupy your time with, windsurfing, kite surfing or just bake in the hot sun.

See a video about the surfers on Eagle Beach

  • Bake in the hot sun as you nest your feet in the water.
  • Take on the sand sculpture challenge and create your own Dawid.
  • Find the perfect wave as you enjoy your day at Eagle Beach.

Free Cheap Nature Food Family Solo couple

Explore Rancho loco Ranch via horseback

Rancho Loco was established in 2012 after a group of horse enthusiast saw the potential of a broken-down ranch. They rode with the idea and today the horses roam free on the premises in a wild herd style manner.

They offer various activities relating to the horses, riding lessons for beginners, feeding, and horseback riding tours around the ranch.

They are not just horsing friendly at Rancho Loco but they environmental conscious too. On the ranch, there are various vegetation planted tomatoes, papayas, passion fruit, squash, and peppers. They also went green with electricity incorporating solar panels as an energy source.

  • Go on a horseback tour around the Rancho Loco Ranch.
  • Watch the horses roam across the grounds.
  • Be part of training juvenile horses.
  • Choose one of the many tours they have on offer.

Cheap Medium Adventure Nature Local experiences Family Solo couple

Spa del So at Manchebo Resort

Manchebo is your all-in-one wellness center that has a guarantee to make you feel better than when you came in. The Resort has a Bali themed spa that will cater to your needs be it, body scrubs, manicure & pedicure, steam room or a whirlpool.

The most booked treatments on the resort are the hot stone and shiatsu massage therapies.

They also offer Yoga & Pilate classes. However, if relaxation is not your thing then you can hit the fully stocked gym that is open early mornings till late at night.

Book your room and stay at the Manchebo Resort for a rejuvenation experience unlike any other.

  • Enjoy a full spa treatment that will leave you feeling good as new.
  • Try out the gym to burn all those unnecessary calories.
  • Try your hand at yoga or pilates.
  • Book your stay at Manchebo Resort while you explore the rest of Aruba.

Medium Expensive Local experiences Food Family Solo couple

The road less traveled by Glass-Bottom Kayak

Tired of the usual Aruba tours, then you should head out on this journey, far away from the buzz of people. On this excursion, you will travel on a Glass-Bottom Kayak to the Mangrove Forest.

While traveling to Mangrove Forest you will be able to see coral reefs, tropical fish and other amazing marine life without getting wet. You won’t need to pack lunch because they offer fresh fruit on your journey.

There is also a stop at a secluded beach Isla di Oro where you will get to swim.

  • Navigate the waters on-board a Glass-Bottom Kayak.
  • Get valuable information from the guide about local locations.
  • Watch the tropical fish swim underneath your kayak.

Medium Adventure Nature Solo couple

Hike around Arikok National Park

Going on an adventure is always a good activity whenever you travel to unknown places. The hike around Arikok Park is both exciting and daunting at the same time. When going to the park be sure to let the driver drop you off at the visitor center.

The visitor center was constructed in 2008 and they offer valuable information regarding the hike, the plants, and animals in the park, as well as a much-needed air conditioning break – it can get very hot so be sure to be well hydrated.

Along the sandy paths, you will experience desert-like conditions, spiky cactuses, giant boulders, and cave paintings.

  • Take a hike around the desert-like terrain and explore the park.
  • View the age-old cave paintings.
  • Explore the fauna and flora and learn valuable information from the guide.

Medium Adventure Nature Family Solo couple

Atlantis Submarine Dive

The Atlantis Submarine fleet is the largest passenger fleet in the world. On the submarine dive, you will go to 130 feet below the Caribbean Sea. On the sub, you will get to explore many shipwrecks in air-conditioned rooms.

  • See hundreds of tropical fish and coral formations.
  • Learn from the friendly guide all about the WWII shipwrecks and Arashi Reef.
  • Dive in the largest passenger submarines in the world.

Medium Expensive Adventure Nature Family Solo couple

Cycle to California Lighthouse

This lighthouse is a landmarked in Aruba as it warned nearby ships of their close proximity to the coastline. The lighthouse name came from a vessel (S.S California) who sunk just before it was about to depart of the shore in 1910.

The lighthouse has become a tourist attraction because it offers its visitors a 360 view of ARUBA from the top. The Tierra del Sol golf course can also be observed from above.

  • Get a panoramic 360-degree view of the coastline and sandy beaches.
  • Visit the sand dunes with the family or take a stroll along the coastline.
  • Witness the sunset on top of the lighthouse.

Cheap Adventure Nature Local experiences Family Solo couple

Archaeological Museum

The complex was bought by the Aruba government in 1997 to establish the Archaeological Museum project. It took over a decade to complete the design of the museum. In July 2009 the museum finally opened its doors for the very first time.

In the museum, you can view the origins of the first inhabitants on the island. The exhibit is aimed at showing the viewers the cultures of the inhabitants of the pre and early historical times.

There are also various workshops and temporary exhibits held at the museum. The museum is open Mon-Tues 10 am to 5 pm and Sat-Sun from 10 am to 2 pm.

  • Get a deeper look at the pre and early historical times of the original inhabitants of the island.
  • Attend workshops held at the museum.
  • See the buildings and Dutch architecture.

Free Cheap Culture History Family Solo couple

Nightlife in Aruba

We all know the Caribbean is known for its wild parties and buzzing nightlife and Aruba does not fall short in any aspect. The island has a night scene full of casinos, beachfront lounges, trendy clubs and lots and lots of cocktails.


Free Cheap Medium Expensive Local experiences Food Solo couple

Bushiribana and Balashi

Bushiribana was built in 1825 by the Aruba Gold Mining Company to melt gold from a mine on the nearby hillside of Ceru Plat. The mine only operated for 10 years and today it is a nice pit-stop for tourist on their way to see the National Bridge of Aruba who coincidentally collapsed in 2005.

The other Gold smelter worth visiting is the Balashi smelter that was built in 1899 by the Aruba Gold Concessions Company, unfortunately, it closed in 1916 due to lack of materials during the First World War.

  • Visit the Bushiribana smelter that closed in 1825.
  • Go and see the collapsed National Bridge of Aruba that fell in 2005.
  • See the impact of the First World War at the Balashi smelter.

Free Cheap Nature Local experiences Family Solo couple

Ayo Rock Formations

The Ayo Rock Formations was once considered a sacred site by the Arawak Indians the islands first inhabitants. The rock formations will amaze and leave you in awe as it has an unusual design and close proximity to one another. This is due to the volcanic forces in Aruba. Once on top of these Rock Formations, you can get a 360 view of Aruba. Around the area, you can see various cacti plants woven into the rock formations.

  • Experience the power that volcanic activity can have on the environment.
  • Witness the amazing rock formations and the way they are naturally laid out.
  • See the cacti and the rock formations intertwined.

Free Cheap Nature Local experiences Family Solo couple

Quadiriki Caves

Venture to the Arikok National Park where you will find the Quadirki Caves. There are three main caves that you can view and all of them are filled with Amerindian petroglyphs.

The longest cave has two holes at the top that lets light through for better visualization of the cave. The third cave is dark and damped and is filled with bat dung. The caves also have stalactites and stalagmites.

  • Explore the three caves at the Arikok National Park.
  • The caves are packed with Amerindian petroglyphs.
  • In the caves, you will find stalactites and stalagmites.

Free Cheap Nature Local experiences Family

Aruba Donkey Sanctuary

If you feel like making a difference while you on holiday then you should check out Aruba Donkey Sanctuary. The sanctuary was established in 1997 as a non-profit to save all the donkeys in Aruba. In the 1970s a deadly disease nearly wiped out the whole donkey population to where only 20 of them remained.

At the sanctuary, you can help out with feeding and upkeep of the Donkey Sanctuary, or just sit back and grab a coffee while the volunteers do their thing.

  • Get to feed and pet the donkeys.
  • Help with the upkeep of the facility.
  • Take the family to explore the sanctuary where are the donkeys are named.

Cheap Medium Nature Local experiences Food Family

Kayaking in the Spanish Lagoon

The Spanish Lagoon is filled with secret hideouts and rich in history. This tour will take you through the Spanish Lagoon to the hiding places of the famous Caribbean Pirates. While kayaking on the lagoon you will get to see various marine life and the coral reef.

  • Snorkel through the barrier reef and see all the aquatic wonders.
  • The guide will show you all of the hiding spots of the Caribbean Pirates.
  • Explore the marine life while you move through the waters on your kayak.
  • Training is provided before you start your journey.

Medium Adventure Nature Family

San Nicolas Community Museum

The object-based museum is full of history and culture this is why many tourists visit this museum. It was once a store situated in the heart of downtown Aruba. The museum has only recently opened in 2017; the 2 story building has a terrace that offers a 360 view of the city.

  • Explore the history of Aruba.
  • See one of the oldest towns in Aruba.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views of San Nicolas from the terrace.

Free Culture History Local experiences Family Solo couple

Visit the Aruba Aloe Factory

Many people don’t know that Aruba was one of the major exporters of aloe in the world, and the island used to be full of aloe trees. There is a complimentary tour that takes you through the Aloe factory and the tour guide will teach you more about the factory and how the aloe plant has contributed to the island.

The tours are daily from Mon-Fri 8 am to 4:30 pm, Sat 9 am 5 pm and Sun 9 am 1 pm.

  • See the retro products that are showcased at the factory.
  • Get a guided tour of the premises through a knowledgeable guide.
  • Experience what goes on in the making of aloe-based skin care products.

Free Cheap Nature History Local experiences Family

Tierra del Sol Resort, Spa & Country Club

One of the A list destinations in Aruba is the Tierra del Sol Resort it is an all-in-one resort that caters to all your needs. They have a fitness center, a spa and tennis court on a 600-acre property.

There is also a golf course located on the premises designed by Robert Trent Jones II.

  • Enhance your golf swing on the champions gold course in Palm Beach.
  • Relax at the spa center or bulk up at the fitness center.
  • Have the dinner at one of the hottest restaurants in Aruba

Expensive Local experiences Food Family

Dine al fresco in Papiamento

Visit the family-run (Ellis family) restaurant for a taste experience worthy of fame. Papiamento was once located in Oranjestad before it moved location to the countryside.

The Papiamento is a family run business and that mainly why the owner chose to relocate to the countryside because his children grew up there.

There are a pool and garden at the restaurant for al fresco dining.

  • Go for a swim in the pool at Papiamento.
  • Indulge in the best cuisine in Aruba.
  • Try the tenderloin steak with gorgonzola au gratin.

Medium Local experiences Food Family Solo couple

The Flamingos on Renaissance Island

The Aruba renaissance island is full of flamingos they arrived about 15 years ago, and it was only up until three years ago that the beach became super famous because of the flamingos. Because it is a private beach you will have to stay at the resort to have access to the flamingos.

The only way to get to the island is via boat, there is a boat that departs every 15 min from the resort.

The resort has many amenities including a pool, spa, and bar.

  • Get to view the flamingos on a private beach.
  • Stay a luxurious resort that has pools and a 5-star restaurant.
  • They a boat to the flamingo island and have a 360 view of Aruba.

Medium Nature Local experiences Food Family Solo couple

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

The oldest building in Oranjestad is the Fort Zoutman building it is worth the visit. It was constructed in 1796 and named after Dutch Admiral Johan Arnold Zoutman.

Every Tuesday tourist is invited to join the Bon Bini Festival, it is a festival hosted for the newcomers to the island. At the festival, you will get your first glimpse at the culture and history and of course a massive welcome party.

Next to the fort is the Willem III tower that served as a lighthouse and clock tower, however, the lighthouse flame was extinguished in 1963 after 95 years of being in operation.

Inside the courtyard, you will find a replica kitchen that reveals how cooking was done in Aruba’s early years.

  • Join the Bon Bini Festival that is dedicated to the new visitors of the island.
  • Explore the Fort Zoutman and look at the old lighthouse and clock tower.
  • Learn about the yesteryears of the Aruba people and how they lived at the festival.

Free Cheap Culture History Local experiences Food Family Solo couple

Bubali Bird Sanctuary

Bird watching is a passive activity and requires a lot of quiet. At the sanctuary, you will be exposed to a diverse bird species that either migrated or stays on the island.

Some of the birds that you can see on the island are the Blue Tailed Emeralds, Black Faced Grassquits, Aruban Brown Throated Parakeets and the Blue Winged Teal just to mention a few.

It is the perfect place to bring the whole family for a picnic while bird-watching.

Watch a short video of the birds that can be found in the Bubali Bird Sanctuary.

  • Explore the wetlands of Aruba and discover all of the bird species.
  • Have a picnic at the sanctuary with your whole family.
  • Jot down what birds you see and send that info through to us.

Cheap Nature Family Solo couple

Baby Beach, Aruba

Baby beach is one of the best beaches in Aruba with its Caribbean flair. The beach is situated within a lagoon making it ideal for small children.

There are various spots on the beach if you want to try snorkeling. There are allotted refreshments stands for a quick meal but if you want something with more substance than you can also check out Big Mama’s Grill.

  • Baby beach is ideal for small children as the water is really shallow.
  • Try some of the snorkeling locations if you want to get up and close with the marine life.
  • Grab a snack or meal at the refreshment stands or Big Mama’s Grill.

Free Cheap Nature Local experiences Food Family Solo couple

General info Aruba

Country Kingdom of the Netherlands
Capital Oranjestad
Language Papiamento & Dutch
Timezone  (GMT-4)
Currency Aruban florin
International dialing code +297
Electricity The standard voltage is 127 V and the frequency is 60 Hz.
City population of Aruba 102,484