The 5 Best Things You Can’t Miss in Aruba

Top 5 Things You Can't Miss In Aruba

Aruba is a Caribbean island that is known for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and year-round sunshine. This small island nation is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, and for good reason. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, Aruba has something to offer everyone.

Aruba Flag

In this article, I’ll be sharing the top 5 things you can’t miss in Aruba. From the alluring beaches to the natural wonders, historical and cultural highlights, and the unique cuisine, Aruba has a lot to offer. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this list will help you make the most of your time on the island. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the top 5 things you can’t miss in Aruba.

Key Takeaways

  • Aruba’s alluring beaches are a must-visit for any traveler, with Eagle Beach and Palm Beach being two of the most popular.
  • Adventurous activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and hiking in Arikok National Park are great ways to explore the island’s natural wonders.
  • Aruba’s unique cuisine, historical and cultural highlights, and nightlife and entertainment options offer something for everyone.

The Alluring Beaches of Aruba

Aruba’s white-sand beaches are one of the main reasons why it’s a popular tourist destination. With 40 beaches to choose from, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking to relax or have an adventure. Here are my top 5 beaches in Aruba that you can’t miss:

Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach is a long stretch of white sand that’s regularly ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. It’s located in the Aruba Resort Area and is fronted by a line of low-rise resorts. The beach has shade trees in some areas, and you can obtain every service you need, from a lounger to a cold drink. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and taking long walks.


Palm Beach

Palm Beach is another popular beach in Aruba, known for its crystal-clear water and soft sand. It’s located in the northwest of the island and is home to many high-rise hotels, restaurants, and water sports activities. The beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and jet skiing.

Palm Beach Aruba

Baby Beach

Baby Beach is a secluded beach located in the southern part of Aruba. It’s a shallow, calm lagoon that’s perfect for families with young children. The water is crystal clear and turquoise, and the sand is soft and white. You can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and snorkeling gear at the beach.

Baby Beach Aruba

Manchebo Beach

Manchebo Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach located in the low-rise hotel area of Aruba. It’s perfect for those looking for a more relaxing and laid-back atmosphere. The beach is wide and uncrowded, with soft sand and calm waters. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, and there are a few restaurants nearby.

Manchebo Beach Aruba

Malmok Beach

Malmok Beach is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. It’s located on the northwest coast of Aruba and is known for its coral reefs and underwater wildlife. The beach is rocky, so it’s not ideal for swimming, but it’s perfect for exploring the underwater world. You can rent snorkeling gear at the beach or bring your own.

Malmok Beach Aruba

Aruba’s beaches are truly alluring, and each one has its own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun or an adventurous water sports activity, Aruba’s beaches have got you covered.

Adventurous Activities

If you’re looking for adventure in Aruba, you won’t be disappointed. The island offers a wide range of activities for thrill-seekers, from snorkeling and diving to windsurfing and kitesurfing. Here are some of the top adventurous activities you can’t miss in Aruba:

Snorkeling and Diving

Aruba is known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, making snorkeling and diving a must-do activity. There are plenty of snorkeling and diving tours available, or you can rent equipment and explore on your own. Some of the best spots for snorkeling and diving include the Antilla shipwreck, the Arashi reef, and the Boca Catalina cove.


Windsurfing and Kitesurfing

Aruba’s constant trade winds and calm waters make it a paradise for windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there are plenty of schools and rental shops to choose from. Some of the best spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing include Fisherman’s Huts, Hadicurari Beach, and Boca Grandi.


Hiking and Off-Roading

Aruba’s rugged terrain and stunning landscapes make it a great destination for hiking and off-roading. There are plenty of trails to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the best hiking and off-roading spots include the Arikok National Park, the Alto Vista Chapel, and the California Lighthouse.


Water Sports

In addition to snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and kitesurfing, Aruba offers a variety of other water sports activities. You can try kayaking, parasailing, flyboarding, deep sea fishing, sailing, and more. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Aruba has something for everyone.


Overall, Aruba is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. With its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning landscapes, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to the island each year to experience all it has to offer.

Historical and Cultural Highlights

Aruba is a melting pot of cultures and has a rich history that is reflected in its architecture, language, and landmarks. Here are some of the historical and cultural highlights that you can’t miss on your trip to Aruba.


Oranjestad is the capital city of Aruba and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the island’s history and architecture. The city is a perfect blend of Dutch and Spanish colonial architecture, with colorful buildings lining the streets. The city’s historical landmarks include the Willem III Tower, which was built in 1868, and the Fort Zoutman, which was built in 1798 and houses the Historical Museum of Aruba.

Oranjestad Aruba

Alto Vista Chapel

Alto Vista Chapel is a beautiful white chapel located on the north coast of Aruba. The chapel was built in 1750 by the Spanish and is the oldest church on the island. The chapel has a peaceful and serene atmosphere and is a popular spot for weddings and other special events.

Alto Vista Chapel Aruba

California Lighthouse

The California Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located on the northwest coast of Aruba. The lighthouse was built in 1914 and is named after the steamship California, which sank nearby in 1891. The lighthouse offers stunning views of the island and the surrounding sea and is a popular spot for sunset watching.

California Lighthouse Aruba

Gold Mill Ruins

The Gold Mill Ruins are the remains of a historic gold mill that was used to process gold ore from the nearby mines. The mill was built in the early 19th century and operated until the early 20th century. Today, the ruins are a popular tourist attraction and offer a glimpse into Aruba’s gold mining past.

Gold Mill Ruins Aruba

Aruba’s history is a fascinating blend of Dutch, Spanish, and Arawak cultures, and the island’s landmarks and architecture reflect this rich heritage. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or just want to soak up the island’s unique atmosphere, these historical and cultural highlights are not to be missed.

Natural Wonders

Aruba is a beautiful island with an abundance of natural wonders that are worth exploring. Here are some of the top natural wonders that you can’t miss during your visit to Aruba.

Arikok National Park

Arikok National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and hikers. Covering about 20% of the island, this park features rugged landscapes, beautiful beaches, and unique wildlife. It is home to many hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the island’s natural beauty. The park also has several caves that are open to the public, including the famous Guadirikiri Cave and Fontein Cave. These caves are filled with stalactites and stalagmites, and they offer a glimpse into the island’s geological history.

Arikok National Park Aruba

Caves of Aruba

Aruba is home to several caves that are worth exploring. The most famous ones are the Guadirikiri Cave and Fontein Cave, both located in Arikok National Park. These caves are filled with unique rock formations and are home to several species of bats. Another cave worth visiting is the Huliba Cave, also known as the Tunnel of Love. This cave is located near Baby Beach and features heart-shaped rock formations that are perfect for taking memorable photos.

Caves of Aruba

Natural Pools

Aruba’s natural pools are a unique attraction that you can’t miss. These pools are formed by the natural erosion of the island’s rocky coastline and are filled with crystal clear water. The most famous natural pool is the Conchi Natural Pool, located in Arikok National Park. This pool is only accessible by foot, horseback, or ATV, but the effort is well worth it. Another popular natural pool is the Natural Pool at Boca Keto, located near the Ayo Rock Formation. This pool is smaller than Conchi but is equally beautiful and more easily accessible.

Natural Pool Aruba

Mangel Halto Reef

Aruba is also home to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the Caribbean. One of the top spots is the Mangel Halto Reef, located on the island’s southeastern coast. This reef is home to a diverse range of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even octopuses. The water here is crystal clear, making it perfect for snorkeling and diving. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a shipwreck or two.

Mangel Halto Reef Aruba

Aruba’s natural wonders are truly breathtaking and offer a unique glimpse into the island’s natural beauty. Whether you’re a hiker, a beach lover, or a nature enthusiast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Aruba is known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. Whether you are looking for a thrilling casino experience, a night out at the bars, or a lively festival, Aruba has something for everyone.


Aruba is home to some of the best casinos in the Caribbean. The casinos offer a wide range of games, from slot machines to table games like blackjack and poker. Many of the casinos are located in the hotels, making it easy to enjoy the nightlife without having to leave your accommodation. Some of the most popular casinos in Aruba include the Stellaris Casino, the Crystal Casino, and the Alhambra Casino.

Casino Aruba

Bars and Restaurants

Aruba has a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, with many establishments offering live music and entertainment. Whether you are looking for a casual beach bar or a sophisticated lounge, you will find it in Aruba. Some of the best bars and restaurants in Aruba include the Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill, the Mojito’s Cantina and Grill, and the Sopranos Piano Bar.

Restaurant Aruba


Aruba is home to a number of festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music to food. One of the most popular festivals is the Aruba Carnival, which takes place in January and February. The carnival features parades, music, and dancing, and is a must-see for anyone visiting Aruba. Other popular festivals include the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival and the Aruba Food and Wine Festival.

Festival Aruba

In conclusion, Aruba’s nightlife and entertainment scene is one of the island’s biggest attractions. From the casinos to the bars and restaurants, there is something for everyone. And with a number of festivals throughout the year, there is always something to celebrate in Aruba.

Shopping in Aruba

As a shopping enthusiast, Aruba is a paradise for me. From duty-free shopping to local markets, the island offers a variety of options for all types of shoppers. Here are two areas that I highly recommend for shopping in Aruba.

Oranjestad Shopping

Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, is a hub for shopping. The city offers a range of shopping options, from high-end luxury brands to local boutiques. Renaissance Mall is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Oranjestad. It features over 60 stores, including designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. The mall also has a variety of dining options and a movie theater.

Another shopping option in Oranjestad is the Royal Plaza Mall. It is a three-story shopping center that houses over 40 stores. The mall offers a range of products, including jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. The mall also has a food court that serves local and international cuisine.

Oranjestad Shopping Aruba

Palm Beach Shopping

Palm Beach is another shopping destination in Aruba. The area is known for its high-end resorts and shopping centers. The Paseo Herencia Mall is a popular shopping destination in Palm Beach. The mall features over 50 stores, including luxury brands such as Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger. The mall also has a cinema, a food court, and a variety of restaurants.

Another popular shopping center in Palm Beach is the Palm Beach Plaza Mall. It features over 100 stores, including international brands such as H&M, Zara, and Victoria’s Secret. The mall also has a variety of dining options and a cinema.

Overall, Aruba is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for luxury brands or local souvenirs, the island has something for everyone.

Palm Beach Shopping Aruba

Aruba’s Unique Cuisine

As a food lover, I can confidently say that Aruba’s cuisine is a must-try for anyone visiting the island. Aruba’s unique cuisine is a fusion of Dutch, Caribbean, and Latin American influences, resulting in a diverse range of flavors and dishes.

One of the must-try dishes in Aruba is the Stobas, which are stews made with beef or goat as their base. Despite the tropical climate, Arubans love their stews, and you can find them in almost every local restaurant. Another popular stew is the calco stoba, made with conch.

Cuisine Aruba

Seafood lovers will be delighted by the wide range of fresh seafood available on the island. From the famous Aruban shrimp to the fresh catch of the day, you can find seafood dishes in almost every restaurant. One of my personal favorites is the ceviche, a dish made with raw fish marinated in citrus juices and served with onions, peppers, and cilantro.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on the Dutch pancakes, a popular dessert in Aruba. These fluffy pancakes are served with a variety of toppings, including fresh fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup. They are the perfect way to end a meal.

To accompany your meal, try some of Aruba’s local drinks, such as Balashi beer or Aruba Ariba, a cocktail made with rum, vodka, and fruit juices. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the island’s unique liqueurs, such as Coecoei, made with the sap of the agave plant.

Overall, Aruba’s unique cuisine is a reflection of the island’s diverse culture and history. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to try something new, Aruba’s cuisine is sure to impress.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some free things to do in Aruba?

Aruba is known for its pristine beaches, and luckily, most of them are free to access. Spend a day lounging on the sand, swimming in the turquoise waters, or snorkeling to see the colorful marine life. Another free activity is exploring the Arikok National Park, where you can hike through the desert landscapes and see ancient cave paintings. Don’t forget to take a stroll through Oranjestad, the capital city, to see the colorful Dutch architecture and street art.

What is there to do in Arikok National Park?

Arikok National Park covers nearly 20% of the island and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Visitors can hike through the park to see unique rock formations, hidden caves, and stunning vistas. The park also offers guided tours, horseback riding, and off-road adventures. Don’t miss the chance to see the natural pools, where you can swim in the crystal-clear waters.

What are some tips for visiting Aruba?

Aruba is known for its sunny and warm weather, so be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. The official language is Dutch, but most locals speak English and Spanish. The local currency is the Aruban florin, but US dollars are widely accepted. Tipping is customary, with 15-20% being the norm for restaurants and tour guides. Finally, be sure to try the local cuisine, which includes fresh seafood, Dutch pastries, and Caribbean spices.

Check out this article on what to pack in your carry-on, for a stress free trip.

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