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Helene in Between

Helene in Between

Lifestyle and Travel blog helping Bloggers Succeed Online.

The Perfect Travel Guide to Aruba

By Helene Sula

Escaping the chilly weather, we landed in Aruba the week before Christmas and were greeted with a tropical oasis. The crystal blue waters lapped lightly along the soft white sand. In the background I could hear Dutch, American, Aruban, and a plethora of other accents. The island is a great mix of cultures, natural beauty, and cuisine. My travel guide to Aruba will share everything you need to know about what to do on the island. 

blog aruba travel

The island of Aruba is relatively small, which makes it easy to get around and see everything in a few days or a week. We rented a car, which is the perfect way to explore the island. There are a lot of things to do near the hotels but my favorite spots were usually found by car, so I highly recommend renting a car (I almost always recommend that for almost every destination!). 

After years of wanting to go, the Aruba Tourism Authority contacted us to visit and we knew it would be the perfect warm weather adventure. Aruba is one of the ABC islands which are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This means there’s a great influence of many different cultures which makes Aruba stand out from some of the other islands in the Caribbean. People who grow up on the island learn four languages.

There’s a variety of trees, mesmerizing beaches, and luxury stays that make for a vacation that’s suitable for everyone. Aruba is nicknamed “One happy island” and after talking to the locals I can definitely see why! People are helpful and friendly and will always give you a recommendation.

Whether you’re looking for the best places to stay, see what to do, what to pack, or what excursions to choose, this Aruba travel guide will share everything you need to know.  

Traveling to Aruba during COVID-19

Aruba at a glance, things not to miss in aruba:, where to stay in aruba – boardwalk hotel aruba, what to do in aruba, best beaches in aruba, excursions in aruba, things to see in aruba, where to eat in aruba, what to pack for aruba.

One of the biggest benefits of going to Aruba is feeling safe during the pandemic. Before arriving Aruba requires you to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before your arrival. Almost all dining options are outside which is perfect in the evening with the warm breeze. Our temperatures were taken before arriving at most locations and they’ve taken all procedures to keep things clean and safe. Check out all you need to know about entry requirements for Aruba here .

blog aruba travel

How many days to visit Aruba ? 3-7 days, we spent 5. 

When to visit the island? Because of the beautiful weather year-round, you'll find the island a great to place to visit any time. But October – April is when it’s most popular. Aruba gets more sunny days than any other island in the Caribbean. 

What’s the weather like in Aruba? Warm and windy. Temperatures average in the mid-80s. 

Currency in Aruba? Everywhere accepts USD but the currency is Florian (exchange rate is about half of USD.)

How to get to Aruba? There’s only one airport in Aruba so it makes it easy! You’ll fly into Reina Beatrix International Airport (AUA). This is also where to pick up your car rental. 

How to get around Aruba? We went with Amigo car rental. There are also cruises that go to Aruba as well. You will need a passport to enter Aruba. Located in the south (almost to Venezuela) it’s just outside the hurricane belt, stretching 19.6 miles long and 6 miles wide. Aruba is very safe – considered the safest island in the Caribbean. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are referred to as the ABC islands of Netherlands Antilles or the Dutch Antilles.

blog aruba travel

  • Go beach hopping and check out the incredible white sand beaches
  • Try the cuisine! There’s so much diversity, but I’m partial to the Dutch pancakes 
  • Go horseback riding on the beach
  • Explore the Arikok National Park 
  • Go snorkeling on a cruise 

This is a beautiful, small boutique hotel within walking distance to the beach. Stepping inside is like a jungle oasis – there are palm trees throughout and iguanas that skitter by when you walk the boardwalk. The boho chic vibes make me want to completely redo my home and I loved the pops of pastel pinks and blue. But the best part is the rain water shower. This is especially important at the beach as I usually shower twice a day!

blog aruba travel

Aruba offers plenty of activities and adventure that will please all ages and activity levels. There are beautiful beaches, of course, but take time to go on some excursions around the island.

I was so shocked by the calmness of the water and by just how clear and turquoise it is. I can definitely see why people flock to the beaches of Aruba.

Eagle Beach  

Find pristine white sand and palm trees right next to the iconic Divi Divi trees. This is known as one of the best beaches in the world!

blog aruba travel

This is where all the high rise hotels are located. You'll find a lovely beach with great restaurants nearby. You’ll find extremely soft sand. That’s because the sand is sifted to remove pebbles and shells so you can walk with ease!

blog aruba travel

Mangel Halto

A great beach for snorkeling and little hidden coves surrounded by trees. It’s a rocky cove with ladders that go down into the crystal water. 

Great place to watch the sunset and go snorkeling. Just a short drive from Palm beach, but less crowded.

A pretty and popular beach and a great place to feed the wild donkeys! This is a very shallow beach that’s great for families.

blog aruba travel

A popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Druif Beach

A rocky beach with cool rock formations and a break from the white sand.

Here's where Aruba really shines! There are so many excursions and options for what to do on the island.

Horseback riding

My favorite experience on the island! We took a tour with Goldmine Ranch that took us through the northeast coast of Aruba with a beautiful landscape of beaches and cactus strewn landscapes. It was exhilarating to gallop on the beach on a horse as the waves crashed nearby. I will admit I was a bit nervous for the ride but our guide, Andres, was incredible and made me feel so at ease. We opted for the Private Paradise tour which I highly recommend.

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Our first cruise was a snorkeling cruise with Jolly Pirates . We stopped at 3 different locations to snorkel. The first was a stop was the Antilla WWII ship wreck. The next two spots were clear, turquoise water that were perfect for seeing colorful fish and coral. The cruise includes unlimited drinks and lunch. 

blog aruba travel

We also sailed with Red Sail to watch sunset at sea. This is also an open bar and comes with appetizers. The water is so calm it was amazing! I usually get seasick and I didn’t on either excursion.

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A great way to see some of the top sights in Aruba is with a De Palm Jeep Tour . The 4-hour tour will take you to the National Park , the Natural Bridge Ruins which fell in 2005 (it was the largest natural bridge in the Caribbean at the time), the Casiburi rock formation (an unusual rock formation), the Alto Vista Chapel dating back to 1750, the California Lighthouse , named after the S.S. California that wrecked here in 1852. The lighthouse was finally completed in 1916. Be on the lookout for cactus across the arid landscape, it makes for a different view from other Caribbean islands.

blog aruba travel

Snorkeling or Scuba Diving 

This is a great place to snorkel and there are a number of beaches to do this around the island. Our best snorkeling experience was definitely on our Jolly Pirates tour.

There’s nothing like getting a massage or facial after a long day in the sun. We had a couple's massage at the Marriott Aruba .

On the north side of the island you’ll find high rise hotels and luxury shopping. On the east side of the island has a rugged, rocky coast that’s less developed. This coastline is full of volcanic formations. 

Explore the Arikok National Park – we went here on our Jeep Tour and got to see sweeping views of the island (this is the highest point on the island). Then you’ll drive down bumpy roads to the Natural Pool, an excellent place for snorkeling. The Natural Pool or “conchi” called “Cura di Tortuga” is a secret, hidden pool on the windward coast surrounded by rugged terrain.

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Renaissance Beach – This is the insta-famous beach where you can feed the flamingos. Located off Aruba’s downtown you'll find this beach by ferry – they run every 15 minutes. Keep in mind a day pass is not cheap, $125 for the day. Or, you can stay at the Renaissance Hotel for about $200 a night.

California Lighthouse – Located in the Noord aka the northern tip of the island. The stone lighthouse took years to construct and is 100 feet high. There’s also a restaurant located here that has sweeping views. 

blog aruba travel

Bushiribana   Goldmine  – Here you’ll find cool ruins of a goldmine made to look like a fortress with beautiful views of the water. In 1825, the Aruba Gold Mining company built this smelter to extract gold from ore and left it to be destroyed by the sea water. 

Oranjestad  – This is the capital city and the colorful downtown is usually very busy since this is the harbor for cruise ships (although currently none are running). You’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants alongside historical buildings. This is also a great spot for nightlife. 

San Nicolas – This is known as the “Sunrise City” as the best place to see the sunrise if you’re up for it! This is a beautiful place for beaches including Baby Beach. 

There’s over 200 restaurants on the island with a wide range of cuisine. You’ll find surprisingly good Italian, fresh fish and seafood, delicious fine dining, and even traditional Dutch pancakes. 

Wilhelmina – My favorite meal of the trip! This was a decadent 4 course dinner with some of the most delicious fresh fish dishes and scallops. You can sit outside in a tropical oasis with warm candle light. We started with the homemade truffle ravioli and seafood salad and both were perfect. Then I had the catch of the day, red snapper, and lemon tart for dessert. 

blog aruba travel

Zeerovers – This is a local favorite serving up fresh, fried fish. Almost every local recommended this one to us. 

Quinta Del Carmen – Located in a 100 year old mansion, the restaurant is full of history and is a delight for your tastebuds. Classic and inventive dishes in a beautiful, outdoor setting.

Linda’s – casual and traditional this is an inexpensive lunch spot that will give you a taste of Amsterdam. 

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Dutch Pancake House – for more inventive pancakes and lots of options, go to the Dutch Pancake house. I tried the Peach on the beach made with Grand Mariner! I loved that the wait staff was direct from Holland. 

Hilton Romantic Dinner for Two – Definitely the most Instagrammable. You’ll have a romantic setup on the beach with just the two of you to watch the sunset and pick from a selection off a set menu. Make sure you book at least 24 hours in advance.

blog aruba travel

Madame Janette –  Another fine dining option in a casual atmosphere with Caribbean cuisine. Also great ambiance!

Moomba Beach Bar – great place for frozen pina coladas as you gaze over the water. 

Eduardo’s Beach Shack – A great place for breakfast (this was actually where we could get breakfast from our Boardwalk Hotel). You’ll find fresh smoothies and açaí bowls. 

Pinchos – A favorite around the island, this casual bar on a pier with beautiful views of the water. Classic Caribbean fare.

Aruba is a casual, beach destination, but there are a number of fine dining restaurants so I suggest bringing a dress or pants to wear for a nice evening dinner or photos on the beach. Here's a quick look at what to bring:

  • Negative Covid Test Results
  • Flip Flops  
  • Light jacket at night
  • Tennis shoes/ hiking shoes
  • Aruba has the same voltage as the US so no need to bring a power adapter

Aruba is a happy island that full adventure. There’s so much to see and do it makes it an easy destination to plan a trip back!

blog aruba travel

Big thanks to the Aruba Tourism Board for hosting us so we could experience Aruba’s unique offerings. All opinions from the trip are my own.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Helene Sula

I believe that one trip can change your life. It did for me. I'm a self proclaimed home body that quit her job, moved abroad, and more often than not, lives out of a carry-on bag. If I'm not traveling, I'm most likely re-reading Harry Potter or watching "Midnight in Paris" while snuggling my dogs. I'm a digital marketing expert who turned my love of travel into a full-time career. And I help others do it too.

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The Ultimate 5-Day Aruba Itinerary 2024

11/29/2023 by Kristin Addis 13 Comments

As I wrap up my second visit to Aruba I can’t help but feel amazed by how adventurous this island can be and by how much variety there is for such a small place. I got to see all kinds of landscape, have daily experiences that were all totally different, and get a tan in the process!

Many who visit Aruba are happy to lounge on a beach chair all day and don’t need much adventure to enjoy their vacay. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I just can’t do it for long and need to be either walking on the beach, swimming, or doing something active.

If you’re like me, the following itinerary will get you out and exploring the adventurous and outdoorsy side of Aruba, with some beach time included, of course!

Table of Contents

Day One: Go for a Swim, Check out the Lighthouse for Sunset

Aruba has tons of beaches – either long stretches of sand or hidden behind rocky coves and inlets. I stumbled upon them constantly during my exploration, though some are much friendlier for swimmers than others. The following are the best ones for snorkeling, swimming, and general chilling:

palm beach aruba

Palm Beach is the most touristy beach with high-rise hotels and lots of restaurants and water activities.  When you see the white sand and the clear baby blue water, it’s clear why. You can standup paddleboard, parasail, and of course swim. You’ll find people all along the sand offering activities, and most hotels also offer a free mask and snorkel.

Chances are you’ll be staying on either this beach or the next one, so check it out, especially at sunset.

aruba things to do

Baby Beach on the southern tip of the island is known for having great snorkeling and white sand. It also has fewer tourists than the beaches up north. I was a big fan of this one!

Eagle Beach

eagle beach aruba

Eagle Beach is slightly less crowded than Palm Beach and is famous for its perfect white sand and baby blue water. It is west facing and therefore perfect for sunset. 

tres trapi aruba

North of Palm Beach, you’ll find Malmok Beach and a few other great swimming and snorkeling spots. The picture above is at Tres Trapi, which are three stairs carved into the volcanic rock that lead to this lovely blue water. Many of the snorkeling tours stop here, so you can plan on seeing sea birds all around and fish under the water if you bring your mask and snorkel.

California Lighthouse

what to do in aruba

In the afternoon, I recommend heading to the California Lighthouse on the northern tip of the island for sunset. You get a fantastic view, and the lighthouse is a great photo spot as well.

I also enjoyed driving around the coastal roads nearby where you can find sand dunes, beautiful rocky outcroppings, and a more rugged Aruba experience. If you stick to the trail that borders the water, a normal car is probably OK as the road is mostly dirt with a few rocks and potholes, but a 4×4 will give you ultimate flexibility.

what to do in aruba

If you have a 4×4 and feel like continuing onwards, I had a lot of fun on the rocky road from the lighthouse to the Wariruri rock bridge. Following the collapse of the Natural Bridge in 2005, this is now the largest natural bridge in Aruba. The road is rough, but to me that’s a lot of fun, and you can plan on having it almost all to yourself. I made plenty of stops along the way and truly enjoyed this solo adventure.

what to do in aruba

Day Two: Arikok National Park – Caves and the Natural Pool

You can’t go to Aruba without visiting the Arikok National Park! This is where you can find the famous caves, the natural pool, and a much more rugged stretch of coast.

You absolutely do need a 4×4 for this trip, which you can self drive, although most people join either a Jeep tour or an ATV tour that takes you to the following spots:

Guadirikiri Caves

blog aruba travel

The caves and the stairway outside of them were my first introduction to the rugged side of Aruba when I visited a year and a half ago and I was absolutely delighted! The ride there is an adventure in itself, along bumpy terrain and through cacti forests. I had so much fun getting there that the cave was the cherry on top.

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Depending on time of day, you can get some lovely light beams coming through the opening in the cave’s ceiling.

The Natural Pool

what to do in aruba

The highlight to Arikok National Park is undoubtedly this beautiful rocky pool that forms an almost perfect circle. The waves crash over the sides and there’s even a ‘natural jacuzzi’ slightly above, which you can see to my right in this photo.

This was my favorite thing in Aruba – it was so magical it didn’t seem real.

blog aruba travel

I went with ABC tours to book this adventure. They have both big truck and ATV options. Some are full-day and some just take you to the natural pool. Choose your own adventure here .

Day Three: Flamingo Island

flamingos aruba

After a few days exploring Aruba’s more rugged and natural side, I feel we have to talk about Renaissance Island. This man-made flamingo island is undoubtedly beautiful. It’s also where you can take pictures with the famous flamingos on the beach and lounge in hammocks in the sun.

There are several beach huts that you can rent to hang out in for the day, and you can eat and drink on the island as well.

aruba flamingos

There are a few things to know about the island, such as the entrance fee, the best way to get in, and figuring out how to get shade while you’re there. I have an entire post dedicated to Flamingo Island with all of the info here .

Day Four: Pick an Aquatic Activity, Sunset Cruise

what to do in aruba

On day four I recommend picking one or two of the adventurous activities available on the island and then a nice relaxing sunset on the water or on a beach nearby.

The following are some great options:

The water is clear and there are plenty of fish in Aruba. There is also a shallow wreck, which is a rare find in the diving world. All of these are great reasons to jump in and see what’s up unda da sea.

I did a morning dive last time I was on Aruba and was impressed by the corals and fish. If you are used to Southeast Asia, don’t expect the same that you would find in Sipadan or Raja Ampat , but still, for those who love diving this is a great spot to get under the water.

You can rent stand up paddle boards all along Palm Beach where the water is calm enough to head out for an hour or two of activity. The nice thing about Aruba is it’s almost always breezy so standup paddleboarding is quite pleasant in Aruba. Be sure to check out the partially submerged wreck around Malmok Beach for a unique experience!

Snorkel a Wreck

If you’re not into diving, you can still snorkel around a wreck near the California Lighthouse. Multiple boat trips depart at different times per day to take you out there. I did a cruise in the morning and an evening sunset cruise last time I was here, both of which went to the wreck. I would give the edge to the sunset cruise as there were fewer people in the water then, but being able to get on a boat and get out on the water is a must no matter what time you choose to do it in Aruba. You can book it here .

Day Five: Sunrise at Trinity Bridge, Sunset at Mangel Halto

what to do in aruba

Let me just start by saying I’m not sure what the proper name of this place is – I’ve heard ‘tripod bridge’ and I see it as the ‘trinity bridge’ on maps.me, but either way this bridge is neato. It’s a set of three sea bridges that look gorgeous in the early morning hours when the sun comes up and illuminates the rocks. You’ll need a 4×4 to get here but if you have one handy from the other activities, be sure to get there in the early morning, before the tour groups arrive.

You can explore the cacti, Ayo Rock Formation, and rugged coastline along this part of the island in the AM, or just chill out – I know this has been a pretty packed itinerary.

what to do in aruba

For the afternoon/evening, I highly recommend heading to Mangel Halto for a secluded beach, lovely mangroves, and perfect positioning for the sunset. From there you’re close to Zeerover, a famous seafood restaurant.

Aruba has some gorgeous resorts to choose from, but I’m partial to the Ritz Carlton, with direct access to one of the best beaches on the island and some wonderful rooms. I can help you get the following when you contact me to book :

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability.
  • Daily breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom.
  • $100 USD equivalent in local currency Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay.
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability.

Getting Around

what to do in aruba

Although many of the options I mentioned above are made easier or are only possible with a 4×4 rental (all the major car rental companies are available at the airport – but do book ahead of time), you can also join a tour to see almost everything listed above. If you have specific things from this itinerary you want to see, ask the guys at ABC which tour would be the best one.

I found driving in Aruba to be pretty easy and straightforward. There are lots of roundabouts, and sometimes people will turn out of roads right in front of you, so just drive defensively and don’t go too fast. Overall it was fine and fairly stress-free. I also highly recommend downloading the Aruba map on maps.me offline maps. It’s free, it worked great, and I never got lost with it.

Other Things To Do in Aruba

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If you have more time in Aruba and would like to add on to the 5-day itinerary, then I highly recommend checking out more of Santa Cruz or visiting Noord in the northeast part of the island. The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary, located in Santa Cruz, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of the island’s donkey population, and an awesome place to hug a donkey.

If you decide to head to Noord, I recommend checking out the Gold Smelter Ruins, the remnants of a gold mine. Just a short walk to the east, you’ll find a wooden sign and the top of a steep stepladder. This will lead you down toward a plateau of volcanic rock and to the Aruba Natural Cave Pool. Be warned, though! This local spot is best for adventurers. You’ll need to jump about fifteen feet to get into the pool and then climb up slimy rocks (and avoid the crabs!) to get out.

If you want to learn something new, I also recommend checking out Hadicurari beach where Vela offers windsurfing and kitesurfing lessons. The wind and waves are calmer here making this an ideal spot for beginners to learn.

Aruba itinerary

Happy travels in Aruba! I hope this itinerary helps you to see a more adventurous side of the island and to fall in love with it as much as I did. It’s the perfect place to unwind – just small enough to see a ton of it in just a few days, but just big enough to keep you wanting to come back to see more.

*This post was brought to you in collaboration with Aruba Tourism Authority , however this itinerary was entirely crafted and created by yours truly. 

About Kristin Addis

Kristin Addis is the founder and CEO of Be My Travel Muse, a resource for female travelers all around the world since 2012. She's traveled solo to over 65 countries and has brought over 150 women on her all-female adventure tours from Botswana to the Alaskan tundra.

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12/25/2018 at 7:14 pm

Your itinerary looks super fun, you’ve got me looking at flights for 2019!

Agness says

12/29/2018 at 4:27 am

I really appreciate your Aruba itinerary Kristin. I can’t stop thinking of the beach…

Kristin says

12/29/2018 at 7:58 am

Hey long time no talk! I hope you get to visit and enjoy it!

Colleen rott says

02/03/2019 at 6:58 am

Single woman traveling to Aruba no families, no fancy hotels, just snorkeling and paddleboarding

Shante 4rm shantedidathing says

05/21/2019 at 10:44 am

I’m planning a 7 dat trip and just wanted to see how others planned their. Most tours are in the daytime or do similar places so was looking for ideas in the afternoons. Looms like mostly beaches and rare secluded spots. I can do that. Thanks

12/06/2019 at 2:18 pm

Do you have to have international drivers license to drive in Aruba

12/07/2019 at 11:43 am

They did not ask me for one. They might if your license is not in English or Dutch.

Crooze Photography says

11/01/2020 at 4:17 am

Beautiful photos of a beautiful island!

11/02/2020 at 9:47 am

Victoria says

11/06/2020 at 10:20 pm

Hi!! Your itinerary looks amazing!! I’m headed to Aruba next week, and can’t wait to escape to some of these beaches. May I ask which company you rented your 4×4 from?

11/08/2020 at 3:23 pm

That’s awesome. I’m here now actually! I rented from Amigo at the airport both times I’ve rented a car. It was an old beat up Jeep but that’s exactly what I needed and wanted 🙂

12/13/2020 at 6:13 pm

How crowded is tenths island during pandemic? Are the flights going full? Planning to go right after holidays.

12/14/2020 at 10:12 am

My flight wasn’t full and it was not crowded for me. I think it helps that almost all the things to do are outside.

Little Blue Backpack

chase what's fun.

Aruba , Destinations , Vacations · March 16, 2022

The Ultimate Aruba Itinerary: One Week Travel Guide

You’re heading to Aruba! And you need some help. I get it, One Happy Island has so much to offer, and planning can be tough. But this Aruba Itinerary has everything laid out for you to cover as much as you can! White sand beaches, turquoise waters, and palm trees. Friendly locals. Fun beach bars. And a wide variety of adventures to experience. You are in for a treat.

This one week travel guide is FULL of tips and tricks that will have you smooth sailing for 7 full days on this magical Caribbean island.

First, let’s get into a few of the basics…

Aruba Itinerary One Week

Is it Safe to Travel to Aruba?

10000%. One of the best things about Aruba is that it is deemed one of the safest Caribbean islands and has a very low crime rate. One Happy Island is just that—HAPPY. Locals welcome you with open arms and everywhere you explore is safe.

TIP: I would avoid all inclusive resorts in Aruba since there are so many different areas to experience. You don’t want to lock yourself in. And given the safety here, you’re free to roam.

How Many Days Do You Need in Aruba?

At LEAST a week! You have found this itinerary so you are probably within the 5-10 day mark. But anyone I have ever talked to (myself included) thinks a week is WAY too short! That said, it’s a good place to start to get the true vibe of the island and you can always come back!

P.S.: I wrote this itinerary and a lot gets left out. I’ve been visiting the island every year since 2016 and I wanted to give you all the best parts. Make sure to review all of my Aruba posts in case there is something better that suits you!

Aruba One Week Travel Guide

What is the Cost of a Trip to Aruba?

Aruba is anything but cheap. I’d recommend planning for $2,500-$3,000 per adult for one week which accounts for a flight, lodging, rental car, and spending at over $100 per day. If you’re a drinker (who doesn’t want to party in Aruba!?) then make sure you are on the high end of that—alcohol is EXPENSIVE.

TIP: Bring plenty of cash and your credit cards (which are for the most part accepted.) You can use the U.S. dollar, but you will get any coin change back in Aruban florin.

READ: The Ultimate Aruba Packing List for a complete rundown on what you will need to bring.

Aruba Itinerary One Week

Where Should I Stay in Aruba?

Aruba has so many great options for fun (and beautiful) places to stay! I’ve always stayed at La Cabana Resort & Casino on Eagle Beach which I LOVE and recommend. There are other hotels on Eagle Beach as well as high-rise hotels located farther north on Palm Beach. And of course, you can find Airbnb’s and VRBOs scattered throughout the island.

TIP: Eagle Beach is a great central location that puts you in the middle of everything. And it’s the best beach 🙂 That said, anywhere on Eagle or Palm Beach is a pretty safe choice.

Where to stay in Aruba

Should I Rent a Car in Aruba?

Yes, no questions asked. The small island of Aruba is worth exploring—every inch! And you will need a rental car to do so. NOT renting a car will lock you into one place and/or force you into too many cab rides. The car expense is well worth it and the 69.5 square mile island is easy to navigate.

NOTE: This entire Aruba Itinerary assumes you have a rental car available. We are going all over the place in these 7 days to make sure you experience all of the Aruba hot spots.

Read: Aruba Mistakes to Avoid for the full list that includes NOT renting a car!

Aruba Itinerary Travel Guide

All right, let’s get it crackin’! Your entire one week Aruba Itinerary!

Aruba itinerary day 1: travel + settle in.

A day you are HAPPY to have your alarm go off! Lol. Make sure you are ready and organized for your flight the night before and get yourself to the airport, on the plane, and standing in the Aruba airport. It’s worth noting that the Aruba airport is small—8 gates. Expect there to be about an hour wait inside to get through customs.

Once you (finally) get through, you will find the cab line right outside the doors, hop in, and head to your home for the week.

aruba flight

Hopefully, your travel day went well. Regardless, you are probably ready for a drink! Check and settle in at your hotel and head straight to the bar for your first ice-cold beer in Aruba! It will be a great time right off the bat. Note: if you are in an Airbnb or VRBO, stop at one of the small convenience shops for drinks on your way.

Dinner—Keep It Easy

Given that you’re a little worn out, your first day dinner in Aruba will be a casual one—walking distance is a bonus! I do recommend dinner locations throughout the rest of the post, but since this all depends on travel, timing, and your location, I’ll let you decide. It’s tough to go wrong with restaurants, but here are some of the Best Places for Casual Dining in Aruba .

TIP: If you’re really tired and just feel like hanging out, Pizza Bob’s the best place to order delivery pizza from!

Aruba Itinerary One Week

Aruba Itinerary Day 2: Pool Day

Morning + afternoon: pool day + quick errands.

Your first full day and the second on the Aruba itinerary! After a long day yesterday, it’s a good day to sleep in. Don’t set an alarm and as soon as you wake up naturally, grab a cup of coffee to enjoy on your porch. After that, get your suit on and find a lounger at the pool. Don’t forget your towel, sunscreen, shades, and a good book.

In the Ultimate Aruba Packing List , you’ll see I recommend a lot of swimsuits—you’ll be in one 50% of the time. For each day, I’ll give you a general direction of which suit to go with…(we’re getting VERY tactical here!)

SWIMSUIT: Your skimpiest suit. You have to get that sun base! Don’t be afraid that you’re too white, it will be darker (or redder! lol) in no time. DON’T skip sunscreen—ever.

pool day la cabana

You do have a couple of tasks/errands today —I promise they are easy. And you will probably need a little sun break anyways!

  • Wilhelmina’s reservation for tonight: Head to the concierge and they will help you. 6:30 PM or later.
  • Book a catamaran : Have someone cruise over to the Ritz, park in the lot to the right of it, and walk to the beach. There, you will see a tent with some guys underneath booking water activites (and likely catamarans in the water.) Try to get on tomorrow’s (1-4 PM catamaran cruise aka party lol. More below.)
  • Rent a Jeep —call to rent a Jeep for Day 5 if you haven’t already done so.
  • Grocery Store—Superfoods : If you are feeling really ambitious. Eggs, bread, sandwich meat, some fruit, and your favorite snacks will be great to have on hand. And save you a few dollars on breakfast and lunch on future days.

Aruba Itinerary Disclaimer: You’re on your own for breakfast and lunch with whatever is convenient, whether you go shopping or visit hotel restaurants, etc. I’ve got you covered with dinner. Okay, back to our pool day…

When late afternoon hits, head back to your room, choose one of your cutest outfits, and get ready for a nice dinner.

EVENING: Happy Hour AT BEACH BAR (5-6 PM)

Getting thirsty? 😉 Head over to The Beach Bar at Divi Beach for a few pre-dinner cocktails. Aruba is a beautiful island, and this bar likes to show it off! Located right on the white sand of the turquoise waters, a seat at this place with a cold 2-for-1 will have you thinking “yep, we chose the right vacation.”

TIP: If you need a little snack, make sure to get the Coconut Shrimp. One of my favorite apps on the island. But don’t go too crazy because you have delicious food coming at…

beach bar aruba

Night: WILHELMINA’S

Since you (likely) came south from your resort to Beach Bar, keep on heading that way towards Oranjestad to Wilhelmina’s , a great place to enjoy an elegant dinner. The atmosphere is a 10/10 with open-air ceilings and greenery. As for the food…you won’t be disappointed.

You have steak and seafood options, but my (strong) recommendation is homemade pasta. Make sure to get Wilhelmina’s ravioli for the table. And Simply Truffle pasta (add Shrimp) as your main course. This pasta is DI-VINE.

You’re probably going to be very full so head back to your room and enjoy your sleep—tomorrow is a FUN day.

wilhelminas aruba

Aruba Itinerary Day 3: Boat Day

Hopefully, you were able to book the catamaran yesterday from 1-4 PM today. If you had to choose a different day, no worries! Swap today with another. I recommend switching days vs. choosing a different time; 9 AM-12 PM morning cruise or 5 PM-7 PM sunset cruise. 1 PM-4 PM is the most fun 🙂

My only tip if you need to switch days is to not do the Boat Day and the Jeep Tour back to back. You will wear yourself out! Okay, back to Day 3…

Aruba Itinerary

Morning: Pool + PREP

Another casual morning for your vacation! Get up, have some coffee, and ease into the day. Once you’re ready, head back to the pool to enjoy the morning sun.

SWIMSUIT TIP: Your CUTEST one—you’ll be on a boat! And taking a lot of beautiful pictures out on the water.

Afternoon: Catamaran

At about noon, it’s time to gather the troops and make sure someone is in charge of packing a cooler (optional.) It’s 100% fine to bring your own beers/cocktails onto the catamaran. They do serve beer and liquor but it’s bottom shelf and might make you feel like hell…lol.

Aruba Itinerary One Week

Arrive back at the location behind The Ritz by about 12:45 PM to check-in. Everyone will be picked up right on the sand in a small boat and brought out to the catamaran in deeper waters. You will likely have other travelers on your ride and the small boat will bring people in groups. Once you’re on, let the fun begin!

You’ll cruise around, make two stops for snorkeling, listen to music, drink, and have an awesome time! It’s always been my favorite part of my Aruba trip.

You can also look into Jolly Pirates which is a little more commercial but they do hold more people (not always a good thing lol) but it might work better with your schedule.

snorkeling in aruba

Night: Salt & pepper + SOPRANOS

Let’s keep the fun rolling—with some good food! Salt & Pepper is an Aruba staple and definitely a spot you want to experience on your trip. They serve a wide variety of tapas in an open-air, energetic atmosphere, and what could be better than that after an afternoon of partying on the boat!?

Opt for sitting outside, and choose your favorite flavors from the menu (everything is good, but my favorites are Mahi Mahi and Baby Back Ribs.) For reference, my (hungry) family of four chose 10 different tapas.

LATE-NIGHT: Sopranos or THE Casino

You have to experience nightlife in Aruba at least a couple of times 😉 After you hit Salt & Pepper, head over to Sopranos which is just around the corner. This piano bar is always hoppin’ at night and you can throw a few back while belting out your favorites songs!

If Sopranos doesn’t sound up your alley, walk across the street to the Hilton Garden Casino for a little bit of gambling.

TIP: Once you get home, SLAM a bunch of water. Because you have an early morning…(but can go back to bed.)

salt and pepper aruba

Aruba Itinerary Day 4: Beach Day

Morning: eagle beach.

Okay, you’ve been sleeping in. But not anymore! Only because you need a spot on Eagle Beach! And in order to get a palapa, at least one person in your group will need to be up by 5 AM standing in line. The good news is, you can go back to bed—either on the beach or back at your room.

NOTE: You will see a line for palapas and eventually someone will bring you to an open one and ask how many chairs you need. After that, you can go back to the room but you only have an hour and a half to leave your palapa empty so make sure someone is there! Obviously, if you’re not staying at La Cabana, you will have to sleep on the beach…

Aruba Itinerary One Week

I promise it’s worth it. Spending a day on what’s been rated the #3 Beach in the WORLD, is hard to beat.

Enjoy one of the best beaches on the island by relaxing with a good book, enjoying water sports like jet skiing or parasailing (visit Julio for this!), and ordering a few drinks and snacks. This perfect place with turquoise water views and white sand in your toes is next-level.

SWIMSUIT TIP: Cute and skimpy. Eagle Beach deserves it lol.

Note: I include another Beach Day down below where I give you a few different options. That said, I truly believe Eagle Beach needs to be included, so no options here 😉

eagle beach aruba

Afternoon: Happy Hour At La Cabana

After Beach Day at Eagle Beach, it’s time for happy hour at La Cabana. The best HH on the island is 2-for-1’s with energetic music and fast bartenders. You really can’t beat it. All you have to do is walk across the street!

Night: The Local Store

And let’s round out this *perfect* day with burgers and wings at The Local Store . This is one of my favorite restaurants and is very laid back and fun. Located inland from Palm Beach, they serve casual eats and a TON of different beers. I highly recommend the Boom Boom Wings and a Breakfast Burger.

After dinner, I assume you’re wiped. Get to bed at a decent hour because tomorrow is a very large day…

the local store

Aruba Itinerary Day 5: Aruba Jeep Tour Day

Morning: jeep tour.

Today you’ll take part in an Aruba classic, and the best way to see the small island in full. You will visit well-known places like Arikok National Park and experience the Natural Pool, Natural Bridge, and Fontein Cave. You’ll see the California Lighthouse and the Also Vista Chapel on the north end, and the town of San Nicolas on the south end.

You can find plenty of guided ATV tours for this excursion but I highly recommend doing it yourself!

jeep tour aruba

Your jeep will get dropped off at your hotel and I recommend starting your day at no later than 9 AM. Here is what to do beforehand:

  • Pack a Cooler : Bring plenty of drinks and throw some sandwiches in as well.
  • Pack Snacks : You don’t have food options until later in the day.
  • Sunscreen : Bring plenty!
  • Towel : You’ll get wet at a few different spots.
  • Money : There is an $11/person entrance fee for Arikok National Park. Plus, you will visit a few bars and restaurants.
  • For a FULL LIST, visit Aruba Jeep Tour .

SWIMSUIT TIP: Comfortable and athletic.

natural pool aruba

Use Aruba Jeep Tour as your guide for today! Remember, it’s okay to get lost. Get a map and enjoy the scenery.

Afternoon: BABY BEACH + Rum Reef .

I do want to call out a couple of spots where you can find yourself in the afternoon and into the evening. Aim to be at Baby Beach by no later than 3 PM. You can grab tropical drinks here and enjoy the views of this half-moon-shaped lagoon. It’s usually hoppin’ with both locals and tourists but will likely start winding down at this time.

baby beach sunset

After about an hour, head over to Rum Reef , a beautiful spot, just down the road from Baby Beach, with an infinity pool and insane views. They do close at 5 PM so get here by 4 PM to have a drink and experience the pool.

Aruba Rum Reef

Night: Zeerover’s

Your day is almost complete—but not quite! On your way back up the eastern side of the island, a stop at Zeerovers is a must. They are a catch of the day restaurant that both locals and tourists love! Whatever is caught that morning is on the menu. Order at the counter, get your number, find a picnic table by the water, and wait for your (beyond) fresh seafood. Not only is great food, but a great Aruba experience!

And now, it’s time to go home. And I have good news: you can sleep in…

zeerovers aruba

Aruba Itinerary Day 6: Beach Day

Morning: beach day—pick one.

It’s BEACH DAY again! And you don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn for it ha. But do get going on the earlier side if you can. Pick a beach that looks good to you—Arashi Beach is my recommendation but read Beach Day in Aruba for others like Palm Beach, Mangel Halto, and more.

It feels like there are endless beautiful beaches to choose from. The best time in Aruba is laying out in the sun, drinking colorful cocktails, enjoying water activities, and taking it easy! Choose one and you can’t go wrong.

SWIMSUIT: Cute and casual.

NOTE: BEFORE YOU LEAVE, make a reservation at Barefoot for tonight. Around 7:00 PM will be best.

arashi beach

Afternoon: Happy Hour AT CARLITOS

After your day at the beach, hit Carlitos for their all-day happy hour. If you decide on Arashi Beach, you will make your way south as Carlitos sits right on Palm Beach. (Make it easy and spend the day on Palm Beach—this is the liveliest and most energetic.) Don’t skip the hot wings at Carlitos and enjoy the open air.

i love aruba sign

Night: Barefoot

Don’t go too crazy though, because tonight, it’s one more fancy meal. Barefoot is a toes in the sand restaurant with white tablecloths, pretty lighting, and the Caribbean sea. It is the perfect place to enjoy another high-class meal in Aruba.

Aruba Itinerary Day 7: Free Day

THE KEY TO TODAY: Stay busy. Get out and enjoy Aruba. The sadness of leaving starts to loom in and you must avoid it to enjoy this trip until the very end!

I’ll let you choose your day, while still giving you a few recommendations based on what you feel like doing:

  • Renaissance Island: Get day passes and head to the famous Flamingo Beach. I have never done this, but I’m sure you have seen it in other blogs or social posts.
  • Party in Aruba : I have experienced this lol. Find a fun bar hop included in the link.
  • Beach Day : You can never, ever go wrong with choosing another beach to experience!
  • Pool Day : Another relaxing day at the pool never hurt anyone!
  • Deep Sea Fishing—Carla Charters : Find a charter and hit the open waters! They will filet your fish and you can cook it up right off the dock at Lucy’s Aruba.
  • Shopping in Oranjasted: Visit the Renaissance Mall and go high-end like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Or find the small outdoor shops for little souveniers. Afterwards, you can stop for lunch and watch a cruise ship come in.
  • Butterfly Farm : Another thing I’ve never experienced, but if it sounds up your alley, go for it!
  • Mix and Match anything you have missed from above!
  • For dinner, use the 10 Best Restaurants in Aruba for Casual Dining post. And maybe hit Sopranos after for one last hurrah! 🙂

lucys fresh seafood

Aruba Itinerary Day 8: Sad Day

You have reached the end. WOMP. But take a look through your pictures and relive all of your fun experiences.

IMPORTANT: You need to be at the airport AT LEAST (3) HOURS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. I’ll warn you now that this will be the worst part of your trip—the Aruba airport is a very slow process and a practice in patience.

Morning: Pool OR BEACH WALK

If you have time, spend one last morning at the pool or the beach enjoying the sun and palm trees. In addition, you will obviously need to make sure your room is packed up and you check out.

Afternoon: The West Deck

Your best bet for staying happy on your last day? Visiting The West Deck for lunch on your way to the airport! This is easily a top 5 restaurant in Aruba and you will not be disappointed. Open-air on the water and not a thing on their menu is bad. And do not skip one last cocktail—they have the BEST margarita on the island.

the west deck margarita

Night: Travel

You’ll get to the airport and survive the experience. Enjoy your flight home and don’t be too sad. You can say, “I’ve been to One Happy Island” and return again someday.

caribbean sea

Aruba One Week Travel Guide

The Island of Aruba is the perfect destination and I hope you are able to use this itinerary to help you plan your best trip ever! Enjoy those white sandy beaches on the happiest island in all of the land! If you have comments/questions—let me know below or email me at [email protected].

Did this post help you out? Support the work and pass along $5 for a Coors Light 😉 VENMO: @Amber-LBB or PAYPAL: [email protected]. THANK YOU.

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Aruba Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 30, 2023

Colorful buildings in sunny Aruba in the Caribbean

Located in the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba is home to white sandy beaches, crystalline waters, colorful fish, and picturesque ocean views. It’s one of the most popular tropical getaways in the world and a favorite of travelers who visit the Caribbean.

Here you’ll find pastel-colored Dutch houses juxtaposed against the natural island backdrop, transporting you to a tropical version of Amsterdam. Aruba’s not limited to the beaches and towns, though. Since it doesn’t get a ton of rain, the arid landscape has huge boulders and cactus forests scattered across it.

Like most other Caribbean islands , Aruba is expensive. This is a destination where honeymooners and luxury travelers go to relax so you’ll pay a premium for hotels, food, and activities in Aruba.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to visit Aruba on a budget though — it just takes some planning.

But, no matter your budget, this Aruba travel guide has all the practical information you need to help you plan your visit so you can make the most of your time in this island paradise!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Aruba

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Aruba

The lone Hooiberg hill towering in the distance on Aruba

1. Go Snorkeling

Snorkeling is the number one thing to do on the island . The shores are filled with brightly colored coral, angelfish, clownfish, and even the occasional octopus. Many hotels offer their guests free use of snorkeling equipment (feel free to pack your own though). Arashi Beach is best for beginner swimmers because of its shallow waters and sandy bottom, but a popular stop for snorkeling tours is Boca Catalina and its neighbor to the north, Catalina Cove, for the plentiful fish and wide variety of sea life. Expect to pay at least 100 AWG per person for a two-hour guided snorkeling trip.

2. Explore Oranjestad

Aruba’s capital city is styled in Dutch architecture, with homes featuring curved roofs and plenty of pastel colors. Named after the Prince of Orange, here you can hop on and off the free streetcar which runs through the downtown area, home to the shopping district, as well as the National Archaeological Museum (free entry) and the Historical Museum of Aruba (9 AWG). Don’t miss Fort Zoutman, built by African slaves in the 18th century.

3. Sail around

Sailing is very popular and you can find snorkeling, sunset, dinner, and party cruises here on anything from small catamarans to big pirate ships. Depending on your budget, you can opt for a more inclusive cruise like The Tranquilo, which comes with refreshments and lunch for 180 AWG. Pelican Adventures offers a more basic 2.5-hour snorkeling cruise for 105 AWG.

4. Go diving

Aruba has lots of dive sites, including the Antilla wreck, a German ship that was scuttled at the outbreak of World War II, as well as sunken airplanes just off Renaissance Island. There are all kinds of wildlife to be seen, including stingrays, moray eels, yellowtail snappers, and more. Not a certified diver? There are plenty of options for introductory diving courses as well if you want to test the waters. Single-tank dives start from 155 AWG.

5. Hike Hooiberg

Also known as Haystack Mountain, Hooiberg stands over 500 feet tall in the center of Aruba and is the perfect lookout for panoramic views over the island. On a clear day, you can see the coast of Venezuela! Bring lots of water and a hat as it’s a steep climb to the top (587 steps to be exact!), and don’t be surprised if you run into a few goats on your way up. It is recommended to do this hike early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat.

Other Things to See and Do in Aruba

1. relax on a beach.

Aruba’s powdery soft beaches and clear waters make for excellent days full of sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming. Eagle Beach is the most popular, and its wide stretches of sand mean it’s never too crowded. Then there’s Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island, where you can hang out with actual flamingos; or Drulf Beach, which is easily accessible from Oranjestad. If you want more solitude and quiet, head to Andicuri Beach, where rocky cliffs frame a wide swath of beachfront extending into the turquoise sea. There’s also Boca Prins Beach, which can be found in Arikok National Park (it has incredible views but watch out for the strong waves).

2. Go kayaking

For a relaxing way to explore Aruba’s coast, hop in a kayak. Most hotels offer their guests free use of kayaks. Otherwise, expect to pay around 45 AWG per hour for a rental. The coastline has a lot of little coves to explore, so take your time. Conversely, you can take a tour with Clear Kayak Aruba. Their clear-bottomed kayaks let you see the reefs and coral beneath you. A two-hour guided paddle costs 120 AWG for the daytime tour and 270 AWG for the night tour.

3. Rent a quad

A quad (ATV) lets you get off the beaten track and explore some of the smaller beaches and jungles on the island. While getting a guide is the best option, you can also explore the island on your own. A half-day quad rental is 199 AWG, while it’s 229 AWG for the full day. Tours start from 215 AWG per person.

4. Go golfing

Expensive holiday resorts and golf go hand in hand. Unfortunately, golf here isn’t a budget-friendly activity. If you want to hit the links, expect to pay 160-300 AWG per round at the island’s championship course, Tierra Del Sol. Its gorgeous 18-hole course is right on the ocean. Another option is The Links at Divi Aruba, where you can get in a quick 9 holes for 162 AWG (club rentals are available for an additional fee).

5. Visit the Archaeological Museum

Aruba has a complex history as it has been invaded by several colonial powers throughout the centuries. This former family home has been transformed into a museum displaying a variety of stone, shell, and ceramic artifacts from Aruba’s distant past, dating all the way back to 2,500 BCE. If you want a better understanding of the island’s long history, stay and watch the documentary film on ancient indigenous life. Admission is free.

6. Find tranquility at the Peace Labyrinth

The Peace Labyrinth sits atop a bluff overlooking the Caribbean. Next to a small chapel, here you can walk mindfully through the intricate outdoor labyrinth of stone, which is meant to serve as a sort of meditation. The entire Labyrinth fell into disrepair in recent years, but in 2019 volunteers gave it an overhaul so it looks great again. The grounds are free to wander.

7. Visit the Donkey Sanctuary

Once a major mode of transportation, donkeys have lived on the island of Aruba for over 500 years. After cars arrived, donkeys became less needed and their population hit record lows. Now, donkeys live primarily in this non-profit sanctuary. It’s a fun place to spend the afternoon, especially if you have kids, as you’re invited to feed and care for the donkeys (no riding is allowed). Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

8. Visit the Collapsed Natural Bridge

Once extending over 100 feet across and 25 feet high, this “bridge” was naturally carved into the coral limestone by the sea until it collapsed in 2005. It’s still a top-rated tourist attraction, serving as a scenic viewpoint and lookout, and can be accessed by car via a dirt road. Nearby is the “Baby Bridge” that still stands, which is also recommended to check out while you’re in the area.

9. Take a jeep tour

One of the best ways to view the island is by taking a 4×4 tour that allows you to see parts of Aruba that lie off the beaten track, including the rugged north coast. There are several different tour options that offer an adrenaline rush as you tear up the backcountry, pause to visit caves and go for a swim and explore hidden beaches. Jeep tours start from 150 AWG.

10. Explore Arikok National Park

Located in the northeastern part of the island, you can find most of Aruba’s flora and fauna in Arikok National Park. At 34 square kilometers (13 sq mi), it makes up around one-fifth of Aruba and has lots of different geological features, including volcanic hills and limestone rocks formed from fossilized coral. The park has a couple of stunning beaches, as well as Conchi, a natural pool that’s only accessible on foot, on horseback, or in a 4×4. Arikok is also home to Cunucu Arikok and Fontein Cave, where you can see rock paintings left behind by the indigenous Caquetío. A day pass costs around 20 AWG.

11. Climb California Lighthouse

You can get amazing views of the west coast beaches and the coral shorelines from the top of this lighthouse. It was named after the S.S. California, which sunk before the lighthouse was built in 1910. It’s located in the northwest of Aruba in the area known as “Hudishibana.” Go at dusk for one of the best sunsets on the island. Admission is 9 AWG.

For information about other Caribbean destinations, check out these guides:

  • British Virgin Islands
  • Saint Lucia

Aruba Travel Costs

Relaxing beach bungalows and shaded lounge chairs on the sunny coast of Aruba in the Caribbean

Camping is not available in Aruba.

Budget hotel prices – Budget two- and three-star hotels start at 170 AWG in Oranjestad but are closer to 225 AWG near beach resort areas. Free Wi-Fi is standard and many budget hotels also have pools. Some even include free breakfast.

On Airbnb, private rooms start at 80 AWG per night while entire homes/apartments average closer to 400 AWG per night. Be sure to book early to find the best deals as prices can double when not booked in advance.

Food – The cuisine in Aruba is a mix of Dutch, Caribbean, and South American flavors. Seafood, of course, is king, with mahi-mahi, red snapper, and grouper all being commonly caught around the island. Fresh fruit is also super popular. Be sure to try cool soup (a cold soup made from fruits), sopi mondongo (a stew made with tripe or bone marrow), cala (a spicy fried snack), and fried plantains.

For a casual seafood meal at a restaurant, expect to pay around 30 AWG. For fast food (think McDonald’s), a combo meal costs around 17 AWG. Chinese food on the island averages around 25 AWG per person for a plate and drink, compared to a pizza which costs around 45 AWG for a large.

If you want to splash out, a mid-range three-course meal with a drink costs around 90 AWG (upscale places cost upwards of 100 AWG).

Beer is 8-9 AWG while a latte or cappuccino is 6 AWG. Bottled water costs around 2-3 AWG.

If you plan on cooking your own food, a week’s worth of groceries costs around 130 AWG. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, seasonal produce, and some meat or seafood. Be sure to do your shopping at large supermarkets as opposed to mini-marts, as they tend to overcharge for convenience.

If you get a chance, order seafood at Zeerovers. It’s delicious!

Backpacking Aruba Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking Aruba, my suggested budget is 145 AWG per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel or cheap Airbnb, cooking all of your meals, limiting your drinking, taking the bus to get around, and doing mostly free activities like swimming and relaxing on the beach. If you plan on drinking, add another 10-20 AWG to your daily budget.

On a mid-range budget of 300 AWG per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb or budget hotel, eat out for a couple of meals, enjoy some drinks, take the occasional taxi to get aroundm and do some paid activities like diving or a snorkeling tour.

On a “luxury” budget of 560 AWG or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink as much as you want, rent a car or quad to get around and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in AWG.

Aruba Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Aruba caters to vacationers and luxury travelers, so there are not a ton of options here for cutting your budget. Here are the few ways you can save money in Aruba:

  • Eat local fish – You’re on an island, so local specialties such as grouper, mahi-mahi, and snapper are less expensive than other seafood options (plus, they’re fresh)! Avoid anything that is imported.
  • Enjoy nature – Relax on the beach, go for a hike, or take in a sunset. Aruba’s natural beauty is breathtaking — and free!
  • Book online – If you’re planning on going diving, or doing any other expensive activities, be sure to check online for discounts before. Some companies offer discounts for direct bookings.
  • Stay with a local – There isn’t a huge Couchsurfing scene here but if you can find a host that can let you stay for free you’ll be able to cut your costs drastically. It’s a great way to meet locals too!
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.
  • Cook your own food – Eating out adds up, so book accommodation with a kitchen so you can buy groceries and cook your own meals. It won’t be luxurious but it will be cheaper!

Where to Stay in Aruba

Budget accommodation is limited here so be sure to book early. Here are my suggested places to stay in Aruba (all located in Oranjestad) are:

  • Hostel Room Aruba
  • Aruba Harmony Hostel

How to Get Around Aruba

Flamingoes in the shallow water along the shores of Aruba

Public transportation – Arubus is the public bus in Aruba, and it gets you everywhere you need to go. Their website, Arubus.com, has a full list of schedules and routes. You can purchase a return ticket for 8.75 AWG, or an unlimited day pass for 17.50 AWG. You pay the driver when you board.

Oranjestad has a free open-air trolley that runs the length of downtown’s main street. It runs every 25 minutes between 10am-5pm. Expect the trolley to be busy on days that cruises come to port.

Taxis – Taxis in Aruba are safe and reliable, but they do not have meters as rates are set by the government. Because of this, there is no ride-shares (like Uber) available on the island. The minimum fare is 12.60 AWG, but you should ask your driver beforehand what the total amount will be.

Car rental – Cars can be rented here for around 75 AWG per day for a multi-day rental. You don’t need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to rent a car here but drivers must be at least 21 and have had their license for two years. For the best prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Aruba

Peak season is January to March when temperatures average in the high 20s°C (mid-80s °F). Expect room prices to soar and for the island to be full and lively.

Personally, I think April to August is the best time to visit Aruba, as this is considered the off-season and prices decrease during this time (there are fewer tourist crowds also). Aruba isn’t part of the Caribbean’s hurricane belt, so there’s not much risk of tropical storms either. Temperatures average around 32°C (90°F).

Fortunately, Aruba is usually pretty breezy, so there’s some relief from the humidity.

How to Stay Safe in Aruba

Aruba is considered one of the safest places to visit in the Caribbean as it’s a small island with a low crime rate. However, it’s still best to not leave your valuables out and unattended at the beach (or anywhere) to avoid petty theft as you would anywhere really!

The San Nicolas area is best avoided at night if you’re alone.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here for all those reasons. However, the standard precautions you take anywhere apply here too (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). There are numerous solo female travel blogs that can provide more specific tips.

When in the water, be mindful of strong currents. Avoid swimming and other water activities on the northern end of the island for this reason.

Scams here are rare, but if you’re worried about getting ripped off, you can read about common travel scams to avoid right here.

If you experience an emergency, dial 911 for assistance.

Remember to always trust your gut instinct. Avoid isolated areas at night, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past.

Aruba Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Aruba Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling the Caribbean and continue planning your trip:

9 Ways to Explore the Caribbean Sustainably

9 Ways to Explore the Caribbean Sustainably

My 16 Favorite Things to Do in the Virgin Islands

My 16 Favorite Things to Do in the Virgin Islands

Bermuda: The Impossible Budget Destination? Maybe Not!

Bermuda: The Impossible Budget Destination? Maybe Not!

How to Save (and Not Save) Money in the Virgin Islands

How to Save (and Not Save) Money in the Virgin Islands

I Didn’t Like Curaçao (But I Didn’t Hate it Either)

I Didn’t Like Curaçao (But I Didn’t Hate it Either)

The Best Places on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

The Best Places on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

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ARUBA TRAVEL BLOG: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING ARUBA

aruba travel blog

Visiting Aruba in the Caribbean? I went to Aruba with my family in December 2019 and loved this stunning, picturesque island. Check out this Aruba travel blog guide for everything you need to know when traveling to Aruba, where to stay when visiting Aruba, and the best things to see and do in Aruba.

Disclosure: This Visiting Aruba travel blog guide may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. As always, all opinions are my own and I would never post about something I have not personally used/verified.

Travel Guide Contents

Aruba Travel Blog: Travel Tips

  • Did you know Aruba is only 30km off the coast of Venezuela ?! That’s how far south it is and why the weather is almost consistently PERFECT year-round.
  • Aruba is about a 4.5 hour flight from New York and there are plenty of direct flights into their airport. While it’s the farthest island in the Caribbean from America, like I said, it has the most consistent weather. Aruba has the most beautiful, clear turquoise water you may ever encounter, especially this close to America.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: When visiting Aruba,  I highly recommend getting travel insurance . You never know what may happen to your flights, a death/personal emergency in your family, or an accident happening while traveling (think: getting mugged, falling while hiking and spraining your ankle, literally any accident than can happen ANYWHERE!). World Nomads makes it super easy and I never leave for a trip without getting their insurance. Most importantly it’s extremely affordable: get your World Nomads travel insurance before your trip here!

ARUBA PACKING TIPS: It is HOT in the Bahamas year-round! Lots of bathing suits and cover-ups and sunscreen! You need my favorite ever sunscreen face stick – the best for traveling! For all of my travel/packing essentials I bring on any trip compiled together, head to my influencer page on Amazon here for a complete list or my descriptive carry-on packing guide here !

Related Post: Bahamas Travel Guide

Aruba Currency

The Aruba Florin , however the US dollar is accepted absolutely everyhwhere.

Aruba Language

English , of course!

Where To Stay in Aruba

There are a TON of big name hotels in Aruba and most (if not all) are situated on the same strip of beach in Palm Eagle Beach, Aruba . This is where you should stay. The hotels are all accessible and you can literally walk to all of them and through all of them on the beach as they are side by side. It’s really cool because it means nothing is secluded and you are not set to only restaurants in your hotel or anything else. There are a ton of different hotels at different budgets with the most popular and biggest ones being the Ritz Carlton, Hyatt and the Marriott . You can search and book hotels in Aruba by clicking here . You can read reviews for hotels in Aruba on TripAdvisor here .

Search and book hotels in Aruba here! Read reviews for hotels in Aruba on TripAdvisor here !

Ritz Carlton Aruba

When I went to Aruba, I stayed at the Ritz Carlton and it was literally the nicest and best hotel I have EVER EVER EVER stayed at. The staff is TOP notch and some of the nicest people in the world. Everyone is there to help you, the food is great, the beach is insane (and they walk around with watermelon and ice pops during the day to your seats). I loved it and would highly recommend but you cannot go wrong with any of the beautiful hotels in Aruba especially on the Palm Beach strip. You can book the Ritz Carlton Aruba here ! Or you can read reviews for the Ritz Carlton in Aruba on TripAdvisor here !

Book the Ritz Carlton Aruba here! Read reviews for the Ritz Carlton in Aruba on TripAdvisor here !

ritz aruba

What To Do In Aruba

There are SO many fun activities and excursions to do in Aruba besides just sitting at the pool and beach all day (although if that’s what you want to do, I won’t judge. I have done that for a week at a time!). This Aruba travel blog explores some of the best and most popular things to do in Aruba – click their name to learn more and book!

  • Aruba Flamingos : See the famous Aruba flamingos you have undoubtedly seen in your Instagram feed. This is free if you are staying at the Renaissance or $125 for a day pass to the private island. You can book the Aruba flamingos day pass here .
  • Snorkeling : There are amazing snorkeling excursions in Aruba. The best places to snorkel are in Mangel Halto or Boca Catalina. You can book an excursion that picks you up from your hotel. Book this one !
  • Off-road UTV Safari in Arikok National Park Desert : Book this awesome adrenaline excursion here .
  • Catamaran Sunset Sail: Aruba has some of the best sunsets possible. Book a sunset boat tour here .
  • Walk around the colorful town of Oranjestad

Related Post: Swimming with the Pigs Bahamas Tour Guide

Where To Eat In Aruba

Breakfast in aruba .

What would this Aruba travel blog be without a food guide?! If your hotel doesn’t include breakfast, there are a ton of different cafes and cute breakfast spots around Aruba!

  • Eduardo’s Beach Shack : on Palm Beach with the best açaí bowls and fresh snacks, juices. avocado toast, etc. Always crowded as its in the middle of all the hotels!
  • The Dutch Pancake House : amazing breakfast 
  • Craft : great breakfast and coffee spot

Dinner in Aruba

There is a pretty big food scene in Aruba with a ton of big (usually overpriced) restaurants, especially on the beach. These are some of the rest I highly recommend.

  • Faro Blanco (sunset views)
  • Anna Maria’s (off the beaten path, true fresh Italian dinner served at the chef’s house! Reservations are a must, they do not take walk-ins.)
  • White Modern Cuisine
  • Passions On The Beach
  • Zeerovers (fresh fish daily)
  • Pinchos Bar & Grill

Click on any of the restaurant names above to learn more on TripAdvisor and get reservations!

Related Post: USA Travel Guide

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The Ultimate Aruba Travel Guide

Aruba is one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean for honeymoons, group trips, couples trips, or a family vacay. I went this year to celebrate my birthday and I can’t imagine a more perfect island getaway. With four nights and five days on the island, I had the best  time exploring in partnership with the Aruba Tourism Board, and I’m so excited to give you all the lowdown on all my favorite spots! From where to eat in Aruba, the best places to stay in Aruba, and the best things to see and do in Aruba! So, without further ado, here is your ULTIMATE JETSET TRAVEL GUIDE TO ARUBA!!!!

Sing it with me, now… “ Aruba, Bahama, Come on pretty mama… ”

Table of Contents

Where to Stay in Aruba

Ritz-carlton aruba.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury in Aruba, with a swanky casino to boot, you’re definitely going to want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton . I love all Ritz-Carltons, as they always seem to go above and beyond when it comes to service, but the Ritz Aruba was incredible. Not to mention one of the most beautiful resort pools on the island, and servers who serve you your drink on beach segways (yes, seriously, so funny). I think this is the perfect hotel for couples or families with kids and teens.

blog aruba travel

Renaissance Aruba

Renaissance Aruba may be famous for its private island (accessible to all guests or you can buy a day pass), but the hotel itself is beautiful too! It’s in a perfect location downtown, with lots of restaurants within walking distance, a gorgeous bar and infinity pool, and beach access just a quick boat ride away (the boat comes right into the lobby to take you out to the private island… pretty cool!) If I were traveling to Aruba with a group, or a few couples, I think this would be a great hotel to base from. It’s lively, young, and fun, with a gorgeous private island (and FLAMINGOS!)

blog aruba travel

Boardwalk Small Hotel

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel in Aruba, the Boardwalk hotel is your spot! These adorable colorful casitas are located just across the street from the beach (and have full beach access through the Ritz-Carlton). They also feature a mini kitchen, and some 2-bedrooms that are perfect for families. They’ll set you up with a palapa on the beach, a cooler, and a home-away-from-home in Aruba. What more could you want!

blog aruba travel

Manchebo Beach Resort

blog aruba travel

Photo courtesy of booking.com

I don’t necessarily recommend staying at an all-inclusive in Aruba because the food and activities off of the resorts are  to die for , but if you are going to stay anywhere, it should be  Manchebo Beach Resort! With just 72 rooms, this resort has a boutique feel and has been named the #1 wellness resort on the island. When staying at Manchebo, you won’t have to fight for a palapa or a spot at the pool, you aren’t going to have to suffer through sub-par all-inclusive food, and you are sure to get one of the best massages of your life at the massage hut on the beach. You can also book this resort  without  the all-inclusive option, but if you want food and drinks included, it’s about $150 per person per day. 

How to see the Flamingos in Aruba

This adorable, super instagrammable flock of flamingos (that are basically now the ambassadors for Aruba) live on the beaches of Renaissance Private Island (affectionately called “Flamingo Island”), which is part of the Renaissance Aruba hotel . If you’re staying at the hotel, you can easily take a boat over (they run every 15 or so minutes) anytime you wish, but even if you’re not staying at Renaissance Private Island, I definitely think this is one of the top must-dos in Aruba!

For those of you who do not stay at the Renaissance, you have three options to get to Flamingo Island:

  • You can buy a day pass ($125 per person, includes lunch and a drink).
  • You can book a spa package through Renaissance’s Okeanos Spa (the best bang for your buck IMO!!!).
  • You can rent a cabana for the day (however, this is only if you are a guest staying at the Renaissance hotel).

blog aruba travel

Where to Eat in Aruba

For casual, local seafood:.

This was easily the best food in Aruba in my opinion. It’s a casual local joint tucked into a pier. The menu is super simple (catch of the day and/or shrimp + sides of your choice) and everything is lightly tossed in the frier and brought out to your table along with the most delicious local papaya hot sauce you could ever imagine. The lines are always long at this hot spot, but the wait SO WORTH IT. This place IS SO GOOD. If you go to Aruba and don’t go to Zeerovers, you are crazy.

blog aruba travel

For the best breakfast in Aruba:

The dutch pancake house.

You guys I loved this super-casual breakfast place so much I went back twice in my 4 day trip to Aruba, and wish I went more. Being a Dutch island, Aruba knows it’s dutch pancakes – and this place is  the best. It’s walkable from the Renaissance Aruba (so if you’re staying there, it will be your go-to, or going to flamingo beach, it’s a perfect spot to stop on your way!). Definitely order some sweet silver dollar pancakes (I love cinnamon + banana), but DO NOT miss out on the savory pancakes, as well. The bacon/onion/mushroom one was to. die. for.

For healthy breakfast and juices:

Eduardo’s beach shack.

This adorable little beach shack on the main resort strip (located at the Playa Linda Beach Resort) has the best acai bowls in Aruba, and some seriously good fresh juices, avocado toast and other little breakfast eats. It’s run by a sweet Australian woman, and was always the perfect healthy way to start the day. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from the Ritz-Carlton (on the beach!)

For a special occasion, or a swanky date night:

Screaming eagle.

This is where we went to celebrate my birthday in Aruba, and it was SUCH an experience. First of all, the food is delicious. More importantly, they serve it to you IN BED. that’s right, they do dinner in bed.  It’s fabulous.  You don’t have to eat in bed (of course) they have real tables, too, but it was so much fun to do.  Also, they hands down have the best wine list in Aruba. I saw SO many of my Napa favorites on the list!

We went last year for my birthday and it was just the best. Highly recommend!!!!

blog aruba travel

Papiamento is a 126-year-old cunucu house that has been turned into a tropical dining oasis! Here, you will dine in the lush garden under beautiful twinkling lights (be sure to get a reservation for  after sunset for the best experience!). The surf and turf at Papiamento is to die for — it comes out on a searing hot block! Oh, and did I mention that they have a 33-page wine list?! Sign me up!!!

For a beautiful sunset view:

Barefoot restaurant.

With calm of the ocean waves and your toes in the pearly white sand, what’s better than watching the sunset with a side of a top-notch gourmet dinner? Love this spot.

The Flying Fishbone

blog aruba travel

Ask for a “feet in the water” table at sunset!! This is  such a cool experience.

Faro Blanco

Located at the tip of the island, just under the California Lighthouse, is this beautiful Italian gem. You’ll want to make reservations at sunset, because it is super popular (for good reason!) and always known as one of the best places to eat dinner in Aruba

What to do in Aruba

The best way to see the island is to rent a car (for the day, or for a few days). I used Amigo rent-a-car and got a white jeep that was just PERFECT. I mean is this not the perfect island road trip car? I loved exploring with the jeep because you get out of your resort and get to go to more off-the-beaten-path spots. Here are my favorites:

  • Eagle Beach
  • Mangel Halto (for snorkeling!!)
  • Arashi Beach
  • California Lighthouse
  • Natural Cenote (right across from the Bushirabana Ruins — SO cool! Just be sure to wear shoes because getting down to the cenote is a little bit of an adventure!)
  • Donkey Sanctuary
  • Alto Vista Chapel
  • Conchi Natural Pool
  • Baby Beach (natural lagoon with no waves!)
  • Boca Catalina Beach (another  great snorkeling spot)

blog aruba travel

Snorkel trip or Sunset sail around Aruba with De Palm Tours !

For either a fun snorkel day trip, or a sunset open bar booze cruise, De Palm Tours is the best! You’ll board a gorgeous catamaran and sail around the island, soaking up views and sipping on cocktails the whole way. Sign up ahead of your trip by contacting them on Facebook, or organizing it through the concierge at your hotel.

What to pack for a trip to Aruba

Swimwear and cover-ups (and a flamingo one piece of course).

blog aruba travel

Wearing my Watercolors Swim reversible-to-solid flamingo one-piece , and Kenny has on his Kenny Flowers flamingo trunks ! We also designed the  perfect bright blue bikini with the most comfortable fabric you will ever feel in your life. It’s called “The Aruba,” so you have to wear it here!!

A reusable water bottle!

All the water in Aruba is drinkable from the tap, so you’ll want to have a good reusable water bottle on you for your trip. I love my BKR water bottle, available on Amazon here!

You’ll definitely want some SPF packed ( this is my favorite – it smells SO good) and some aloe if you tend to get burned ( I love this brand ).

A good beach bag

blog aruba travel

This hat is only $12!

Floppy Straw Hat Large Brim Sun Hat Women Summer Beach Cap Big Foldable Fedora Hats for Women Girls

Whatever you decide to do in Aruba, you’re going to have a great time. It’s one of those islands where there truly is something for  every  type of traveler and every type of group. From couples to families to groups of friends. Always feel free to reach out to me in the comments here or   on instagram if you have any specific questions about Aruba! XO

Check out my other blog posts:

blog aruba travel

The Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing Guide

blog aruba travel

The Best Swimwear Brands to Buy This Summer

blog aruba travel

When will it be safe to travel again after coronavirus?

blog aruba travel

What to Wear to A Summer Wedding 

blog aruba travel

The Best Minimoon Destinations in the USA

blog aruba travel

The Top 10 Bachelorette Party Destinations

blog aruba travel

The Ultimate Cartagena Travel Guide

The 5 Best Smoothie Bowls in Bali

The 6 Cruises You Must Take in 2019

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WRITTEN BY: Christina

Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.

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Leanne Marshall

WHATTTTT I’ve been watching your instastories. Arbua is on my list! Leanne | lemloves.com

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Rose Martine

Thanks a bunch for sharing all these amazing Aruba recommendations! Bookmarked!

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Albert Brown

I loved the flamingos in aruba! Thanks for the suggestions for a perfect Aruba holiday.

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November 8, 2018

The complete aruba travel guide.

Renaissance Private Island beach in Aruba via Find Us Lost

Oftentimes, the best spots are located away from the main parts of town. This was true for Aruba too — our favorite day was exploring the north side of the island, from the beautiful Arikok National Park to white sand beaches to the most unique swimming hole on the coastline! Read on for our Aruba Travel Guide, including our favorite restaurants, swimming spots, and more…

PRESET COLLECTION USED IN THIS BLOG POST: MASTER COLLECTION

4+ DAYS — Best time to visit – January through August, prices drop from April onward Weather – usually consistent sun and warm weather year-round Getting around – rental car or taxi Currency – Aruban florin, but most everywhere accepts US dollars Languages – Dutch and English; English is widely spoken NEARBY AIRPORT – Reina Beatrix International Airport (AUA)  

Bushiribana Ruins in Aruba via Find Us Lost

Where to Stay

Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba – $$ – we loved this small hotel, aka tropical oasis. Our room featured hammocks, an outdoor table and deck, and a tiny kitchenette that was perfect for cooking. Although you’re not beachfront, the atmosphere makes up for it (and the beach is just a short walk away). You can access the beach via the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Small Boardwalk Hotel Aruba via Find Us Lost

The bungalows at Small Boardwalk Hotel Aruba .

Small Boardwalk Hotel Aruba via Find Us Lost

Fresh dragonfruit left at our room from the hotel!

Renaissance Aruba Resort – $$ – the biggest perk of the Renaissance hotel is included access to Renaissance Private Island, which is where the Aruba flamingos are located! A day pass to the island will cost you if you aren’t a hotel guest (day passes are $125). Renaissance is modern and fully-equipped, plus it’s located right in downtown Aruba. Beware: they do play music throughout the day, so if you’re looking for somewhere quiet, opt for something else.

Amsterdam Manor – $$ – this was our second hotel and the highlight was its location. Amsterdam Manor is located on one of the most desirable beaches in Aruba: Eagle Beach. For the price, it’s hard to beat. Accommodations are basic, but the beds are some of the most comfortable we’ve slept in anywhere. If you stay here, you’ll probably be spending most of your time on the incredible beach out front!

Eagle beach at sunset in Aruba via Find Us Lost

The pristine beach in front of Amsterdam Manor during our sunset swim.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort – $$$ – a friend of mine stayed at Bucuti & Tara and loved it. The hotel is adults-only so it’s geared more towards couples, which makes it a great choice for a more romantic getaway. It also features a spa and movie night on the beach! Tip: book an ocean view room for better rooms.

Manchebo Beach Resort – $$$ – this top-rated hotel was fully booked during our visit. Like the Ritz-Carlton and Amsterdam Manor hotels, it’s located on the desirable Eagle Beach in Aruba. If you’re looking for 1) beachfront access 2) comfortable, beachy rooms and 3) an all-around great experience, this is a top pick that doesn’t break the bank.

The Ritz-Carlton Aruba – $$$$ – if you’re looking to splurge, the Ritz-Carlton in Aruba has it all. Beautiful rooms, impeccable service, and beachfront access to one of the world’s best beaches! While we love our boutique hotels, if we make it back to Aruba one day, we’d love to stay here…

View Additional Hotels in Aruba

Where to Eat

Aruba has no shortage of restaurants, but you might find that reviews on Google and Tripadvisor are a bit misleading. To avoid the typical tourist pitfalls, scout for places that offer fresh-caught fish and daily specials. When in doubt — ask the locals for advice! Here were some of our favorite spots on the island.

Atardi Restaurant – Probably our most memorable meal of the trip. The restaurant is located on the beach, so you’re invited to remove your shoes as soon as you arrive. The fish is fresh and grilled to perfection, and we loved the wine selection. Perfect for a romantic dinner on the beach as the sun goes down.

Zeerovers – a local favorite, Zeerovers is a casual lunch spot with views of the boats that are used to capture the fish you’re eating. You’ll order before sitting down, and choices include: the catch of the day, shrimp, and a variety of tasty sides. No frills, but worth it for the authentic experience.

Pinchos Bar & Grill – this restaurant is located on its own dock underneath string lights and with views of the coast. It’s the perfect choice for a romantic meal on the water or for sunset. Trust us, you’ll want to order their fish (the mahi mahi was the best fish we had during our trip).

Eduardo’s Beach Shack – from açaí bowls to green juices to poké, this is the spot to grab a healthy, casual lunch and enjoy it on the sand. Located right on Eagle Beach.

Zee Rovers for seaside lunch and fresh fish in Aruba via Find Us Lost

From left to right: Fish and chips at Zeerovers ; Pinchos Bar & Grill on the water; grabbing lunch at the food truck next to Bushiribana Ruins ; poké bowls at Eduardo’s Beach Shack . 

Where to Go

Small Natural Pool – this swimming hole is located adjacent to the Bushiribana Ruins (you’ll see the ruins in the background of the first photo, below). To find it, look for a ladder down. The swimming hole is located to the right, and formed naturally when the rocks collapsed on one side to form a protected pool with ocean water. So worth the drive!

Ladder to a natural swimming hole in Aruba via Find Us Lost

Renaissance Private Island – if you’re visiting Aruba, don’t miss the opportunity to feed the flamingos and spend the day on this incredible island! Located just off the coast from Aruba’s downtown, you’ll hop on a boat (they run every 15 minutes) to escape to this small island. There are beach cabanas, restaurants and other amenities there. A day pass is steep ($125 per person), but well worth it if you make a day of it. Buy tickets in person at Renaissance Hotel Aruba , and keep in mind there are limited quantities. If you’re a hotel guest, you can go for free…

Flamingos on the beach in Aruba via Find Us Lost

Mangel Halto – a well-known beach on the island for snorkeling. You’ll enter the beach through a mangrove forest, which also makes for the perfect hideaway when the sun gets too hot. Lots of people were picnicking here, which I loved! The stairwell below is located just off the road before Mangel Halto,  here .

Mangel halto beach in Aruba from above via Find Us Lost

Baby Beach  & Rodgers Beach  – these two beaches are adjacent to one another, and each offer some of the most pristine white sand on the south side of the island. Baby Beach features snorkeling, an ocean-front restaurant, and calm waters. Rodgers Beach is usually less crowded because the view isn’t as desirable (you’re facing the island’s refinery), but the sand and water is amazing. We loved visiting both, since you can also feed the donkeys on your drive over! Tips for this below…

Rodgers beach white sand in Aruba via Find Us Lost

Eagle Beach  – Eagle Beach is known to be one of the world’s best beaches. The water here is turquoise, clear, and the long stretch of sand makes for beautiful photos. As you venture south down Eagle Beach, you’ll find a beach bar on the sand plus a few restaurant options. Since our second hotel was located on Eagle Beach, we spent each evening in the water here until sunset!

Eagle beach at sunset in Aruba via Find Us Lost

My Top 3 Favorite Aruba Photo Spots — Feeding the flamingos – Instagram | Website New Small Natural Pool – Instagram | Google Maps Stairs into the sea – Instagram | Google Maps

Go snorkeling – Arashi Beach , Malmok Beach , and Mangel Halto are the best beaches for snorkeling. There’s also an old shipwreck you can snorkel or dive to. Don’t forget to bring bread for the fish!

Feed the flamingos – as mentioned above, Renaissance Private Island is the place to go if you want to check this off your bucket list. You can buy a day pass at the hotel for $100, but keep in mind they sometimes sell out. If you want a guarantee of seeing the flamingos in person, book at least one night at the Renaissance Hotel Aruba ! When you visit, make a day of it by heading to the island early (the boats run every 15 minutes starting at 7am in front of the hotel). You’ll want plenty of time to relax on the beach and have lunch while there.

Feeding the flamingos in Aruba via Find Us Lost

Visit Arikok National Park – you can easily spend a half day exploring this national park, which is located on the south side of the island. Highlights for us were Guadirikiri Cave (a beautiful cave with an island legend attached), Fontein Cave (you can see bats and ancient Indian cave drawings in this one!), and the Natural Pool (great for swimming when the weather is good). Tip: the park rangers start to close the entrances to the caves around 3pm, so head over around noon to make sure you can see both!

Jeep road trip in Arikok National Park of Aruba via Find Us Lost

Go paddle-boarding or kayaking – if you’ve never been before, I recommend Dennis at Aruba Surf & Paddle School. His tours start from Mangel Halto and take you through to some of the best coral reefs and clear turquoise water. It’s a great way to experience the beaches from a new perspective.

Take a boat tour – there are plenty of options to choose from on the island, whether you’re looking for a day trip or sunset cruise. Check out these top-rated boat tours to get inspired.

Mangel halto beach in Aruba from above via Find Us Lost

Explore the colorful downtown – there’s no shortage of shopping on Aruba. Explore luxury brands, boutiques, and more in the downtown area when you need a break from the sand & surf!

Feed the donkeys  – if you follow us on Instagram, you might’ve seen the photo series we posted with these funny animals! As silly as it sounds, this was one of the highlights of our trip. To find the donkeys, head to Baby Beach. They hang out around here  just off the main road, and you’ll have a better chance finding them if you go midday. Pick up carrots from a local grocery store like Superfood so you can feed them from your car!

Feeding the donkeys on Aruba island via Find Us Lost

What to Wear

Aruba is hot and humid, so I suggest sticking to clothes that breathe. I opted for a swimsuit and light fabric cover-up most days, usually a romper or cotton dress. Make sure to bring:

  • Sunscreen with a high SPF – we’ve been loving this spray-on sunscreen from Sun Bum lately.
  • A hat – this stylish baseball cap from Madewell is my go-to when packing light.
  • Your favorite camera – check out our guide to choosing the best camera and lens for travel photos !
  • Swimsuits, a beach cover-up, and a light jumpsuit – all essentials for a humid beach climate.

For more resources, check out:

  • Trip planning advice, events and more: Aruba.com

Pin me for later

Looking for more tropical inspiration? Check out photos from our trip to the Cook Islands or our Complete Nassau, Bahamas Travel Guide .

Thank you to the Aruba Tourism Board for hosting us so we could experience the beauty of Aruba! As always, all opinions from this trip are our own.

Our Tulum Travel Tips

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I'M SELENA TAYLOR

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15 Comments

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mynordicroom Says

Wow its really wonderful site. keep update with new blogs. https://mynordicroom.com

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Loved Aruba and your write up! Such a friendly relaxed vibe. We spent a month there and can’t wait to head back. The water is lovely and the sun was always shinning. Definitely one of my top places in the Caribbean

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Selena Says

Glad to hear it!

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robert bos Says

Wauw, you have a new fan…..so cool.!!!

Thanks Robert, great to have you here. x

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Stephen Says

This article is incredible! What company did you use to rent the Jeep during your trip? Also is Eagle Beach where you recommend we stay? We’re like you, we don’t want to be smack dab in the middle of all the tourists, but close enough for a quick drive. My wife and I are going to Aruba next weekend and we wanted to thank you for all of the information you are giving us!

Eagle Beach is one of the longer stretches of beach and quite beautiful! It can be touristy, but honestly the island is fairly small so it’s hard to completely get away from the hotels / island visitors. As for the jeep – we actually had a fairly bad experience with the local car rental company (Aruba rentals, or something similar..) so I’d recommend renting from a more established company like Hertz or Sixt while here. Have a good trip!

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Love this! Your swimsuit with flamingos is perfect! Where is it from?

Thanks Marcy! It’s from Maiyo Swimwear. 🙂

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Brittany Says

Hi Selena! Did you have to learn anything about html to fill in your 17th Avenue template, or did you hire someone else to do it? I just bought a template from EverForest, but I’m having a really hard time fixing things.

Hi Brittany! I was able to install the majority of the theme myself, but I did run into an issue with images being cropped incorrectly. I work with a web support team (ChloeDigital, link to them at the bottom right of my site) who assists me with minor website tweaks and they ended up fixing it for me. Hope that helps!

' src=

Your bathing suit where you’re feeding the flamingos is so cute!,

Thanks Jojo! Just trying to blend in.. 😉

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Sherry Fleck Says

Where did you get the swim suit you had on with the flamingos. I’ve been trying to find it.

Hi Sherry – it’s from Maiyo Swimwear 🙂

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Travel Itineraries | Luxury Travel | Travel Tips

The Aruba Travel Guide + A Recommended 7 Day Itinerary

The Aruba Travel Guide + A Recommended 7 Day Itinerary

The Best of Aruba in 7 Days + A suggested 7 Day Travel Itinerary

Bon Bini ! Welcome ! While One Happy Island makes for a great getaway for a long weekend, Aruba is best enjoyed over a magical week. This island country is a constituent of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with Curaçao, Saint Maarten, and the Netherlands. The country is just miles from the Venezuelan coast.

Aruba’s location in the southern Caribbean means that it has idyllic weather year-round. It is far enough south that it avoids the hurricanes that threaten the rest of the islands in the Caribbean. But this also means that it receives little rain, creating what is mostly a desert island. This is great news for sun-seekers. 

At less than 70 square miles (180 km²), Aruba is the ideal destination for a one week trip . Visitors can easily travel from the northern end of the island to the south in just over 30 minutes — barring any traffic. Most people going to Aruba are looking for a beach escape. But you’ll also want to explore the island.

You might also want to visit the nearby island of Curacao, and if you are wondering Which Caribbean Island is better between the two, you’ll be amazed to see the differences and appreciate the uniqueness of each island.

Flamingo Beach

  • Natural Pool

Eagle Beach

California lighthouse.

  • Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations
  • Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins
  • Arikok National Park

Go windsurfing, kitesurfing, or kiteboarding

Try wreck diving, go snorkeling, ride an atv or utv.

  • Hotels  / Apartments | Aparthotels in Aruba 

Luxury Resorts in Aruba 

  • Day 1 and 2 –  Flamingo Beach 

Day 3 – Relax and Chill

Day 4 – book an atv, utv or 4wd tour, day 5 – try something new or explore the island in a rented car, day 6 – chill by the beach, day 7 – souvenir shopping and departure, share this:, best things to do in aruba –   the aruba travel bucket list.

One of the most popular places to visit in Aruba is Flamingo Beach, where you can sun yourself with a flamboyance of flamingos. Located on a private island, Renaissance Island, this adults-only beach is reserved primarily for guests of the Renaissance Hotels. There are plenty of other activities on the island, including kayaking and a spa. But by far the most popular, and Instagrammable, is posing with the flamingos on the beach.

blog aruba travel

Aruba’s rocky eastern shore has an area in the Arikok National Park in which the rocks have formed an area that collects water from the adjacent Caribbean Sea. The natural pool, Conchi, is a can’t-miss spot in Aruba. Visitors can swim and snorkel in the Natural Pool. The more adventurous will jump in. The busiest times are from mid-morning through mid-afternoon, when tour groups arrive at a steady pace. 

blog aruba travel

Consistently ranked one of the world’s best beaches every year, Eagle Beach is worth a visit. Better yet, book a resort on Eagle Beach to enjoy its beauty each day of your stay. With its white sand beaches and azure waters, Eagle Beach, is one of Aruba’s best beaches, and is a beach lover’s dream come true. 

blog aruba travel

Located at the northwest end of the island, visitors will find the California Lighthouse – one of the best places to see in Aruba, named after a steamship that wrecked nearby in 1891. Because it is far away from built-up areas, it provides a beautiful view of the island and Palm Beach. 

blog aruba travel

The Aruban government has created hiking paths along these rock formations and they each have observation towers near the top. Not only can you cool off, but you can see Venezuela from the top. These are also spots to see ancient (petroglyph rock art) drawings of island inhabitants from thousands of years ago. 

In the 19th century, the island served as a gold mine, with more than 3 million pounds of the precious metal excavated from the land. Today, all that remains are the ruins of the gold-smelting facility.

blog aruba travel

Located on the eastern side of the island and covering almost a fifth of the area, the Arikok National Park is truly a treasure, and is one of the best places to visit in Aruba. The $11 admission fee is a true bargain considering everything it covers — great hiking trails, Quadiriki Caves with ancient drawings, and the Natural Pool. 

blog aruba travel

Best Experiences in Aruba

If, like me, you don’t know the difference between these three different activities, Aruba is the perfect place to learn. Aruba’s constant trade winds make it the ideal place to learn or perfect your skills in these. 

Well-known for scuba diving, divers can explore the Antilla, the Caribbean’s largest wreck , among others. (Or stay dry and ride the Atlantis Submarine if you want to see underwater life and wrecks.)

Bring your snorkel gear with you. You’ll appreciate it for the Natural Pool. There is some good snorkeling available at Mangel Halto, Arashi, Palm, and multiple other beaches as well.

The island is covered in inaccessible spots and getting to them is half the fun. One of the best ways to do that is to drive or ride in an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) or UTV (Utility Task Vehicle). What’s the difference? A UTV allows driver and passenger to ride side-by-side, where you sit on a bench. An ATV carries a single driver, who straddles it like a bike. Either way, this is a fun way to explore Aruba’s natural beauty!  

blog aruba travel

Where to stay in Aruba ?

Hotels  /  apartments | aparthotels in aruba  .

Swiss Paradise Aruba Villas and Suites  | Blue Residences  | Bananas Apartments  |  Aruba Comfort Palm Beach Condo

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino  | Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – Beach Resort & Casino  | Eagle Aruba Resort & Casino  | Courtyard by Marriott Aruba Resort

PS – Useful Travel Resources to use while planning your 7 Day Trip to Aruba – 

  • Book your Rental Car in Aruba on Discover Cars and RentalCars.com
  • Book the best Aruba Tours at GetYourGuide or Viator
  • Book your Accommodation in Aruba on Agoda or Booking.com
  • Get an eSIM by Airalo to stay connected and Save on Roaming Fees
  • Sign up for a Priority Pass before flying to Aruba
  • Sign up for a Travel Insurance to enjoy a hassle free vacation in Aruba

A Recommended 7 Day Aruba Travel Itinerary

Because Aruba is such a small island, and because you’re on vacation, this 7 Day Aruba itinerary should be less structured than what you’re used to finding. Instead, when you plan on going to Aruba, find some recommendations on how you may want to arrange your days, taking into account how much sightseeing you may want to do compared to lounging in the sun, your budget, and interests.

blog aruba travel

Day 1 and 2 –   Flamingo Beach  

If you plan on going to Flamingo Beach, reserve a night at one of the Renaissance Hotels – one of the best all inclusive resorts in Aruba , either the first or last night of your stay. Since admission with the Renaissance Island Day Pass, costs $125 per person, the cost of a room at Renaissance Hotel Aruba is often equivalent to the price of the Renaissance Island Day Pass, for a couple. You’ll be guaranteed admission to the beach and have access to the beach both the day you check-in and the day you check out. If you choose to stay at one of the Renaissance Hotels, use this time in Oranjestad to also:

  • Ride the trolley
  • Explore Oranjestad
  • Go shopping
  • Visit the casino (if that’s your thing)

Relax in your new hotel. Enjoy the amenities. Try snorkeling.

Adventure awaits! Bring a refillable water bottle, something to cover your face to protect from the dirt (many tour companies provide this), sunscreen, towel, snorkel gear, and sunglasses. Wear a swimsuit and clothes that you don’t mind if you don’t ever get the dirt out of them! 

Include a visit to these places on Day 4 of this 7 Day Aruba Travel Itinerary

Try something new – windsurfing or kitesurfing perhaps. Or rent a car and explore the rest of the island if you need to escape the sun.

Last full day to enjoy the sun. Enjoy the beach at your hotel or explore new beaches.

Last minute sunning and souvenir shopping. Depart for home.

Aruba’s tourist-friendly environment welcomes visitors. While Dutch and Papamiento are the official languages in Aruba, just about everyone speaks at least some English. The official currency is the Aruba florin. But US currency is widely accepted (though you may receive change in florins). Tipping is not obligatory, though some restaurants and bars add a service charge of 10-15%.  

If you’re looking for a tropical getaway, Aruba fits the bill . Aruba’s perfect climate and white sand beaches provide the perfect setting for great travel memories. It isn’t surprising that so many couples and families choose Aruba. You should visit Aruba too and make your own memories!

We hope you found this 7 Day Aruba Travel Itinerary , to be of help to you, as a reliable Travel Resource for planning your Trip to Aruba. Don’t forget to Pin these images , and save this One Week Aruba Travel Itinerary, for future travel planning.

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If you enjoyed reading this 7 Day Aruba Itinerary and Travel Guide , you might want to check out some other 7 Day Travel Guides and Itineraries , as well.  

  • The Best of Oahu – Hawaii in 7 Days
  • The 7 Day Nairobi Travel Itinerary and Guide
  • One Week in Scotland | Travel Itinerary and Travel Guide
  • Best of South Africa in 7 Days
  • The 7 Day Myanmar Road Trip Itinerary
  • One Week in Crete | Greece – Travel Itinerary and Travel Guide
  • 7 Days in Israel – A Detailed Travel Itinerary
  • 7 Day Road Trip to Bhutan – The Last Shangri La
  • One Week in Kerala – God’s Own Country
  • The Epic 7 Day Leh Ladakh Road Trip Itinerary
  • Best of Netherlands in 7 Days
  • One Week in Cambodia – Travel Guide and Itinerary

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Annick Lenoir-Peek loves coffee, craft beer, and exploring new places. Raised as a third-culture kid, she has traveled to over 35 countries and calls Durham, NC, USA, home.

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Island Life Mexico

Aruba Visitors Guide

How to get there, things to do & more.

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 ⋅ Written by Vanessa Howard ⋅ Edited by Laura Schulthies

Aruba Visitors Guide. The Best Things To Do In Aruba.

Welcome to Aruba

Aruba is a tropical Caribbean paradise known for crystal clear waters and white sand beaches . With a wide range of things to do in Aruba, one can relax while sipping cocktails, go on a wild adventure, lounge on the beach, or explore the history of the island. For visitors, a fantastic mix of cultures, natural beauty and delicious cuisine await. Here is our guide to help make your visit to the “Happy Island” the best it can be!

Aruba Map

A Bit Of History

Aruba has a rich history, visible today in its architecture, cuisine, traditions, and friendly locals. The island’s storied past began with the Caiquetio Indians of the Arawak Tribe arriving around 1000 AD.

For hundreds of years during the Ceramic Period, these people thrived across the island paradise. You can still see rock drawings and preserved pottery remnants on the island.

The Spanish arrived on the island around 1499 and Aruba remained under Spanish control for 137 years. Later, the Dutch occupied the island in 1636 to establish a naval base in the Caribbean during the Eighty Years’ War with Spain. The island eventually became part of the Netherlands Antilles in 1845.

Aruba Hotel Guide: A sprawling ariel view of the seaside Barcelo Aruba resort complex.

Aruba Today

Today Aruba remains a constituent country of the Netherlands. The country’s economy is primarily built on tourism, banking, and the export of aloe.

Though the official language is Dutch, this melting pot of cultures represents over 90 nationalities and most Arubans can speak multiple languages including Dutch, English, and Spanish.

Tourism is visible everywhere with incredible access to luxury accommodations , tour infrastructure, and wonderful dining .

Is Aruba Safe?

Is Aruba Safe?

Aruba is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean and is a very safe place to travel to. Tourism has been one of the main influences on the island for years, and travelers feel very comfortable visiting.

While pretty crimes and violence toward tourists are very uncommon, crime, in general, is not unheard of, just like in any other highly populated area. Most neighborhoods are generally safe but avoid walking around downtown or back alleys alone at nighttime.

Where is Aruba?

Aruba Visitors Guide. The Best Things To Do In Aruba.

click map to enlarge

Aruba is one of the Lesser Antilles islands in the Southern Caribbean Sea. The island is located just 25 kilometers off the coast of Venezuela and is near the island nations of Bonaire and Curacao.

The three islands together are often referred to as the “ABC Islands” (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao). Aruba is directly south of the Dominican Republic but is quite far, almost 700 km south over the open ocean.

Aruba Visitors Guide: Beautiful Sunset

The Best Time to Visit Aruba

Looking for the best time to go to Aruba? Aruba sits well outside of the hurricane belt, making this island a great place to visit throughout most of the year. Average temperatures hover between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.  

January – March  

This is peak season making flight, hotel , and tour prices higher. Temperatures remain mild during January – March with lows in the mid-70s and highs in the mid-80s. There is very little rain making it a wonderful time of year to visit Aruba.  

April – August

Some consider this the best time to visit Aruba because it is the “offseason” so you’ll find great accommodation rates and fantastic weather. Temperatures may be slightly higher topping out around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but you won’t have to deal with much humidity in Aruba.  

September – December

This is the beginning of the “rainy” season with September and October the more favorable months to visit as temperatures remain in the high 80s and chances of rain are still minimal. November and December bring large winter vacation crowds and more rain.  

  When Is Aruba Hurricane Season?

Aruba’s hurricane season runs from the end of May to the beginning of November, with the peak occurring between August and October. Aruba is one of the few Caribbean islands located outside the hurricane belt. In fact, Aruba hasn’t been severely affected by a hurricane since 1877. A hurricane usually comes within a hundred miles of Aruba once every four to five years. Typically, this results in high waves, excessive rainfall, or a tropical storm, but nothing more severe. Regardless, be sure to check weather reports before your trip, and we always recommend getting travel insurance during these months just in case of inclement weather.

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How to Get to Aruba & Around

Much like time spent in Aruba, getting to the island is simple and stress free. American, Canadian, Caribbean, and most South American citizens don’t require a visa to enter the country.  

blog aruba travel

Arrival By Air

Flights to Aruba arrive at the Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA), located in the capital city of Orjanstead. You’ll find that most major airlines offer either non-stop flights or single-connection flights from all major hubs around the world.

American, Canadian, Caribbean, European, and most South American citizens don’t require visas to enter Aruba. However, a valid passport is required. All visitors can fill out their  Embarkation-Disembarkation Card online.

  S earch for great deals on flights here .

blog aruba travel

Arrival By Cruise

Aruba is one of the most visited cruise terminals in the entire Caribbean. The Port of Aruba is conveniently located in Oranjestad and within easy walking distance of great shopping and delicious restaurants .

Many of the popular cruise lines stop in Aruba including Norwegian, Carnival and Princess.  

  Search for great deals on cruises here .

blog aruba travel

Shuttles in Aruba

Whether you are on a budget or treating yourself, the right transportation is waiting for you at Queen Beatrix International Airport.

Shuttles or private transport can be pre-arranged to pick you up and take you from the airport right to your accommodations . You can find shared shuttles to your accommodations in the city of Oranjestad for around $10, and private shuttle services cost around $50. If you are looking for more relaxation, consider a luxury shuttle service, which costs around $125.

  You can easily  book ground transportation from the airport to your hotel here .

blog aruba travel

Car Rental in Aruba

If you want the freedom of exploring the island on your own, then consider a rental car. With Aruba being a total of 19.6 miles long and 6 miles across, a rental car is a great way to fully experience the island.

You will need a valid driver’s license to rent and drive a car in Aruba. Car rentals typically start around $70 a day for an economy car and range to $90 per day for a standard SUV.

Gas stations in Aruba may work a little differently than you are used to. At most gas stations you’re not allowed to pump gas yourself, instead, an attendant will do it for you.

  Compare the best deals on rental cars here .

blog aruba travel

Taxis in Aruba

You’ll find taxis very easily on the island of Aruba. Located outside of the airport, as well as the cruise terminals, taxis are a great way to get around.

In fact, outside the arrivals terminals, you will find a queue of officially certified and trustworthy taxi service providers who are ready to take you anywhere on the island. Taxi’s can easily be hailed on the streets or your hotel can call one for you.

In Aruba, the taxi rates are fixed at a minimum fare around $7.00 USD. Taxis do have a max capacity of 5 passengers not including those under 2 years of age.  

blog aruba travel

Wander The Shops Of Oranjestad

The colorful capital city of Aruba offers a wide range of options for entertainment, shopping, and dining . Wander around the vibrant downtown area and explore its unique blend of modern and historic architecture. You’ll find luxury retailers, unique boutiques, and dazzling jewelry stores.  

   If exploring on your own isn’t for you then check out this Aruba Downtown Historic and Cultural Walking Tour .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Hike Arikok National Park

Hike Arikok National Park

Arikok National Park is located on the wild eastern side of the island, a vastly different coastline than the white sand beaches of the west coast. This stunning National Park comprises almost 20% of the island. When exploring Arikok National Park you’ll discover rugged terrain, a breathtaking coastline, and desert-like hills filled with cacti.

If you’re looking for hiking in Aruba this is the spot. Some of the most popular trails include Conchi Natural Pool Trail , Jamanato Trail, and Jamanota South Trail .  

   Check out these excellent options for touring Arikok National Park .

   This Arikok Hiking Tour is perfect for those wanting to explore with a park ranger.

  ISLAND LIFE TRAVEL TIP : GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel Insurance is a must in our opinion. Standard health insurance likely doesn’t cover you while outside of the country so travel insurance will cover any emergency medical needs as well as trip cancellation, lost or stolen luggage (it happens), flight delays, missed connections and more. You can easily compare the top-rated travel insurance plans here .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Beach Hopping

Go Beach Hopping

Visitors flock to the beaches of Aruba for good reason, they are gorgeous! If you are looking for calm turquoise waters and beautiful soft ivory sand, then Aruba is perfect for you.

Aruba is home to some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, you don’t want to miss Eagle Beach . This slice of paradise is known as one of the best beaches in the world, Eagle Beach has pristine white sands right next to iconic Divi Divi trees.

If you’re looking for a bit more seclusion check out Arashi Beach , Flamingo Beach ,  Baby Beach , Palm Beach or Boca Keto .  

   Beach tour options abound in Aruba. Check out these great tour options at famous Palm Beach . Or these amazing tour options at Baby Beach .

 Check out more in our Aruba Beach Guide .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Snorkel & Scuba Dive

Snorkel and Scuba Dive

Snorkeling is incredibly popular in Aruba! The crystal-clear waters off the island make it one of the best islands in the Caribbean for snorkeling and scuba diving. Enjoy the fascinating underwater world where you can marvel at colorful tropical fish and sea turtles.

Some of the most popular snorkeling beaches include Arishi Beach , Catalina Cove and Malmok Beach . The island is perfect for divers of all levels. The most popular dive spot is at The Antilla , a German freighter ship that was sunk during WWII.  

   Snorkeling and scuba diving options abound in Aruba. Check out these amazing snorkeling tours  or these great scuba diving tour options.

  Check out this excellent Aruba Catamaran Sail with Snorkeling  or this amazing Aruba Scuba Diving Tour for non certified divers.

  For more information, check out our Aruba Snorkeling Guide .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Visit Fort Zoutman Museum

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

As the oldest remaining building in Oranjestad, if you’re looking for history this fort museum is the place to explore. The history of the fort seeps through the walls as you view an impressive collection of documents explaining Aruba’s storied past.

Each Tuesday night Fort Zoutman hosts an island Welcome Party, everyone is invited! This welcome party is also known as Bon Bini Festival, and it’s held from 6:30-8:30 pm, celebrating Aruba’s history and culture.  

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Take Adventure Tour

Take an Adventure Tour

Aruba is perfect for thrill seekers and offers some great adventurous ways to explore the island. One way to explore the island is by booking a Jeep or ATV Tour. These 4-wheel drive off-road vehicles are perfect for exploring the dirt roads of Arikok National Park. Check out this Island’s Ultimate Jeep Safari in the National Park.

Another great option from De Palm is the Jeep Tour, the 4-hour excursion takes you to some of the island’s most iconic sites including Arikok National Park, the natural bridge ruins, and the California Lighthouse.  

   You won’t find a shortage of adventure tours in Aruba. Check out these great adventure tour options .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: California Lighthouse

Check Out California Lighthouse

Known on the island as Hudishibana, the Californian Lighthouse is near the island’s northwestern tip. It boasts some of the most picturesque views of the island! Named after the S.S. California, which sank in 1910, the lighthouse offers stunning views of the beautiful coastline and coral shorelines. For something extra special head to the lighthouse at sunset.  

   A great way to check out California Lighthouse is by taking an Aruba Island Sightseeing Tour .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Cruise Around Aruba

Cruise Around Aruba

Aruba has many great options in terms of getting out on crystalline turquoise waters. Relax on the water with an Aruba champagne breakfast and lunch cruise with snorkeling . Another great way to experience Aruba is a gorgeous  sunset tour . For those looking for something ultra-luxurious and special check out Octopus The Private Boat from Aruba .

   You won’t find a shortage of ways to cruise around Aruba! Cruising options abound check out sightseeing cruises ,   speedboat tours , and sailing tours .

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Visit Natural Bridge

Visit Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge is a remnant of a limestone cave that was hollowed out by the surf and collapsed. This bridge-like rock formation, on the ocean cliffs makes a great photo op. The larger bridge collapsed in 2005, but the remains are still there, and they are stunningly beautiful. The remaining natural bridge formation is often called “Baby Bridge.”

The Natural Bridge is on the east coast of Aruba, just north of Arikok National Wildlife Park. For those seeking more natural wonders, a few other gorgeous natural bridges can be found on the southern coast near Black Stone Beach.

If you don’t want to explore alone, check out this Full-Day Aruba History and Must-See Landmarks Tour , which includes a stop at Natural Bridge, among other highlights.

Don’t have a full day? Check out this great Half-Day Aruba Island Tour from Oranjestad that allows you to explore the Natural Bridge and other attractions.

The Best Things To Do In Aruba: Explore Flamingo Beach

Explore Flamingo Beach

Also known as Flamingo Island, this mesmerizing beach is on Renaissance Island. The private island is connected to the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort , and the hotel only allows limited access to Flamingo Beach . You’ll need to take a 10-minute water taxi ride to get to this tropical private island paradise.

For those not staying at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba, there’s still a way to witness the famous pink flamingos. A day pass, priced at $125, grants you access to the island for the day. This option includes a boat transfer, lunch on the island, and a drink. Secure your spot in advance here .

Keep in mind that day passes are only available when the hotel is below 80% occupancy, and the hotel sells a maximum of 30 passes to the island per day to non-guests.

Where to Stay in Aruba

There are all types of accommodations in Aruba. From all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels and more. Location and amenities are the two top things to look for. For great hotel info and recommendations, check out our Aruba Hotel Guide or our Aruba All Inclusive Resort Guide.

Aruba Hotel Guide: A large swimming pool at the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort in Aruba.

For hotel recommendations for every budget, check out our Aruba Hotel Guide

What to Eat in Aruba

You can find a wide range of wonderful bites to eat in Aruba. If you’re looking for a culinary adventure, check out our Aruba Restaurant Guide .

Aruba Resturant Guide

For great restaurant recommendations, check out our Aruba Restaurant Guide

What To Pack For Your Trip!

The Caribbean is an enchanting wonderland of relaxation and adventure, one can easily have the trip of a lifetime here. Packing for such a vacation shouldn’t be hard, so we’ve put together a checklist to help you pack and included some of our favorites as well. Check out our What To Pack For Your Trip Guide .

What to Pack For Your Mexican Vacation

Check out our guide for what to bring on your Caribbean vacation!

Islands, Beaches, Cuisine and More

Aruba Hotel Guide: The Best Hotels in Aruba

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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Aruba – One Happy Island

How to plan the perfect trip to Aruba in just a few steps! From the best things to do in Aruba to where to stay and the best time to visit, here's the ultimate travel guide to Aruba

I took a spontaneous vacation to the island of Aruba with a friend in 2015 and wow it was gorgeous! Aruba has a ton of things to explore and do although I spent most of my time relaxing in the sun working on my tan. (SPF 30+ recommended)  Aruba is a bloggers paradise with all the bright colored walls everywhere and picture-perfect beaches.

Knowing how amazing Aruba is, I took my husband back to Aruba for our babymoon this year since he had never been. We visited Curacao first and then hopped on a $90 puddle jumper flight to Aruba. Which I’d highly recommend doing. And while you’re at it, might as well hit up Bonaire too!

I was so excited to share all my favorite spots with him and create some new memories exploring Aruba finding new favorites too! So I decided to update my ultimate travel guide for y’all with all the new musts for your next trip to Aruba.

In this post, I’m going to answer all of your questions when it comes to booking a vacation to Aruba!

  • How to get around Aruba?
  • Where to stay in Aruba
  • How to choose a hotel in Aruba?
  • How to do Aruba on a budget?
  • Where to eat and drink in Aruba?
  • Things to do in Aruba?
  • How many days you should spend in Aruba?
  • Best time to visit Aruba?

You’re definitely going to want to add Aruba to your bucket list!

Transportation.

Wonder how to get around in Aruba? It’s super stress-free getting from the airport to your hotel – I did it by myself. There is a taxi line right outside baggage claim and they speak English. I got in a nice air-conditioned Honda playing some Spanish jams and it was only a $25 taxi (flat rate) to my hotel. Boom Hello Aruba I have arrived! The main roads are paved and you’re surrounded by gorgeous palm trees and huge 10-25 foot cacti! They are incredible! You can get just about anywhere on the island for a $10-20 taxi ride. Just know that you can’t hail a taxi off the side of the street, you’ll have to call ahead or go to the front of your hotel.

They also have bikes you can hop on to get around as well as public transportation. Several public buses have a stop at the airport and you can take any of these buses in the direction of Oranjestad. At the bus station, you can switch to bus line 10 which will take you to the low and high rise hotels.  The fee for the public bus is $2.30 per bus ride.

If you’re planning on exploring all the beaches and the entire island though I’d suggest renting a car. ( Head to my sidebar for direct links to rental car companies. )

Airport Tips

I also need to mention the Aruba airport here which is Reina Beatrix International Airport. It receives over 150 flights per week from various cities in the USA, Canada, several countries in South America, the Netherlands, England and other Caribbean islands. Flying in is super easy and fast but flying out is another story and you’ll miss your flight if you don’t know this and plan ahead!

Check-in time for all flights to the United States is three hours before departure and even then I would recommend checking in online first to avoid the lines. Only packing a carry on helps as well so you save time not checking a bag. Once you check-in and get through security do not stop for food. You’re not done. Keep going and get in the customs line which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. Aruba has US pre-clearance for all passengers traveling to the United States. This means that you will go through passport control in Aruba at the U.S. Customs & Border Protection facility. On the bright side, once you’re back in the US you don’t have that hassle.

I recommend packing a carry on only when you visit Aruba otherwise you’ll have to keep getting your baggage for security etc. and it’s just annoying. Pack light so you can carry less. Once you get through customs you have to go through security again. This entire process eats up a lot of time so definitely get to the airport early!

Where To Stay

Wondering where to stay in Aruba? In this travel guide to Aruba, I share the best places to stay and tips to find the best hotels in the island

My first trip to Aruba we stayed at the  Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino on Palm Beach. The rooms were nice with a large bathroom, balcony, and small kitchenette area.  There was a fitness center, on-site casino, restaurants, beach restaurants, hair braiding on site, bars on site, activity rentals, float rentals, smoothie bar, and a market and retail store that was super convenient. It was a perfect resort for families because there was a lazy river, kid-friendly play area, slide, waterfall, and so many activities. Believe me, my friend and I took a few turns on the slide, went under the waterfall, and rode the lazy river with a mudslide in hand every single day. lol There was also an adult only pool, swim up pool bar and activity pool, and a separate kid-friendly pool which is perfect for me!  This place was huge!

There are a ton of hotels along Palm Beach so you can stay anywhere along that beach and you’ll be set! Check google maps to get an idea of location.

I’d also recommend trying to book a stay at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino for a great central location and easy access to their private beach Renaissance Island which is home to the famous Flamingo Beach ! They book up months in advance so get on that ahead of time.

aruba travel guide aruba travel blogger travel blog aruba city guide

What To Eat + Drink

I highly recommend eating dinner at Madame Janette’s.  It’s a tad pricey but its well know as the best food on the island.  Craving a good beach vibe, have lunch on the Pelican Pier or Bugaloe Beach Bar on the ocean! There is just something so refreshing and relaxing about eating on the water!  You can walk along the beach from your hotel in Palm Beach to get to either of these Piers.  The Pelican Pier had a special on their live lobster and Bugaloe seemed to have more of a crowd and was teaching free salsa lessons when we arrived. Some restaurants on the beach have quite a few little iguana friends wandering around and you’ll see tons of iguanas all over the island but don’t worry they don’t bite!

Obviously if you’re here to relax, the resort where you’re staying is a good go to for snacks and food.  You know there is usually always a swim up bar.  Drink all the frozen drinks! Mmmmm… mudslides are so good but I recommend trying them all. There are a ton of local fast food franchises on the island also (Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Dominoes, KFC, and yes even a Starbucks…) but you’re not going for the food.

flamingo island aruba travel guide aruba travel blogger travel blog aruba city guide

My top recommendations would include visiting Flamingo Beach on the Renaissance Private Island.  It’s definitely a must and a hidden gem not many seem to know about. You can order lunch and champagne, rent a float for $5, feed the flamingos for .25 cents (for treats), and just enjoy life swinging in a hammock over the ocean!  This beach is SO relaxing.  I would have spent every day there!  Don’t forget your bug spray!

You can also go snorkeling, take a boat ride or day tour, head to the Natural Pool, or do a little shopping at The Royal Plaza Mall where you’ll find the prettiest of pink colors among some amazing Dutch architecture! Oh and don’t forget to stop by a casino play roulette ($20 on black). I walked out with a quick $40 winnings! Whoop!

travel blogger city guide travel guide vacation guide to Aruba

It was really hard to say goodbye to such an amazing vacation!  I definitely recommend adding Aruba to your bucket list!  I miss it already.

Have y’all been to Aruba or are planning a trip?  Would love to know more!  What did you think?  What are you excited to do?

aruba travel guide aruba travel blogger travel blog aruba city guide

Remember to PIN this post!

How to do flamingo beach on renaissance aruba private island like a pro + the perfect flamingo inspired outfits to wear, what i wore in curacao + aruba, 17 photos to inspire you to visit aruba, our stay at aruba ocean villas overwater bungalow, book your stay here, read more: our stay at aruba ocean villas overwater bungalow, how to choose a hotel in aruba.

Wondering where to stay in Aruba? Here's how to choose a hotel in Aruba for any budget!

There are a lot of options when it comes to hotels in Aruba. The way I differentiate is by location to main attractions, is it family friendly or private and secluded, luxury or budget-friendly, is it in close proximity to the airport, is it on the beach, and amenities offered.

blog aruba travel

A great way to start is to head to Google and search ‘ hotels in Aruba ‘. It’ll pull up a map so you can narrow your search by location, dates, budget, luxury, amenities etc. You can tell where the popular spots are by how many hotels are in one location. Palm Beach is a hot spot and centrally located to a lot of things. You can tell most everything is located North of the airport.

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Aruba on a budget

Aruba on a budget? It's possible! In this travel guide to Aruba, I share how to plan a trip to Aruba on a budget

Where to Eat + Drink

In this travel guide to Aruba, I share the top places to eat and drink in Aruba

I highly recommend eating dinner at Madame Janette’s.  It’s a tad pricey but its well known as the best food on the island.  Craving a good beach vibe, have lunch on the Pelican Pier or Bugaloe Beach Bar on the ocean! There is just something so refreshing and relaxing about eating on the water!  You can walk along the beach from your hotel in Palm Beach to get to either of these Piers.  The Pelican Pier had a special on their live lobster and Bugaloe seemed to have more of a crowd and was teaching free salsa lessons when we arrived. Some restaurants on the beach have quite a few little iguana friends wandering around and you’ll see tons of iguanas all over the island but don’t worry they don’t bite!

Obviously, if you’re here to relax, the resort where you’re staying is a good go-to for snacks and food.  You know there is usually always a swim up bar.  Drink all the frozen drinks! Mmmmm… mudslides are so good but I recommend trying them all.

blog aruba travel

My top recommendations would include visiting Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Private Island .  It’s definitely a must for a one of a kind experience. It used to be a hidden gem back in 2015 not many seemed to know about but thanks to Instagram, their luxury upgrades like private cabanas, and the increasing popularity, it’s a must on so many peoples bucket list.

Read More:  How To Do Flamingo Beach On Renaissance Aruba Private Island Like A Pro + The Perfect Flamingo Inspired Outfits To Wear

You can also do a number of water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, or take a boat ride or day tour. Head to The Aruba Natural Pool , also known as “conchi” or “Cura di Tortuga, the Natural Bridge , Gold Mill Ruins , or do a little shopping at The Royal Plaza Mall where you’ll find the prettiest of pink colors among some amazing Dutch architecture! Oh and don’t forget to stop by a casino to play roulette ($20 on black). I walked out with a quick $40 winnings! Whoop!

Make sure to visit one of the most famous white sand beaches in the Caribbean, Eagle Beach ! There are actually so many beaches to check out in Aruba you won’t get bored. You can also visit the Aruba Aloe Factory , take a trail ride on horseback to the beach, check out the Donkey Sanctuary or the Ostrich Farm , or head to the end of the island to view the  California Lighthouse .

How many days should you spend in Aruba?

How many days to plan for your Aruba trip? Here is the ultimate answer plus the best travel guide with everything you need to know to plan the perfect holiday in Aruba

If you’re planning a vacation to Aruba I would highly recommend adding Curacao and Bonaire to your trip. They’re just too close and too beautiful to miss out on for less than $100 puddle jumper flight between islands.

I know people like to vacation for 5-7 days but you can really tackle Aruba in about 3 days. It’s so close to the US you can even make it a long weekend trip. It’s the perfect escape when you need a quick vacation.

Best Time To Visit Aruba

Answering the ultimate question: When is the best time to visit Aruba? In this post, I share all the tips and things to know to make sure you plan your trip to Aruba at the right time

Because the weather is consistently warm year-round with a fairly constant temperature of 82°F (28°C) there is no real ‘best time to visit’.

To me, the  best time to visit Aruba  is from April to August because it’s a huge window of time when the island’s high prices take a holiday. And since the island sits well outside the hurricane belt, there’s very little threat of tropical storms at this time. January to March also has pleasant weather, but the room prices can soar.

High Season: mid-December until mid-April Low Season: mid-April until mid-December

I went in mid-April and it was perfect. The island wasn’t too crowded and the weather was great! I try to travel during the weekdays as well to avoid the crowds and get better hotel deals. Obviously, Friday and Sunday are big check in check out days so avoid those if possible.

You could also plan your vacation around one of the many events Aruba hosts. During the year several musical events are organized and a popular time to visit Aruba is during Carnival Season. Carnival takes place between January and March and features weeks of festivities, big parades, contests all accompanied by lots of music and dancing.

More information about events  and  more about Aruba’s Carnival here .

TripAdvisor

It was really hard to say goodbye to such an amazing vacation!  I definitely recommend adding  Aruba  to your bucket list!  I miss it already.

Have y’all been to Aruba or are planning a trip?  Would love to know more!  What did you think?  What are you excited to do?

Remember to PIN this post for later!

How to plan the perfect trip to Aruba in just a few steps! From the best things to do in Aruba to where to stay and the best time to visit, here's the ultimate travel guide to Aruba

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Ady is an Atlanta-based entrepreneur, boy mom, and #1 Bestselling Author of the children’s book, Her Body Can, living out her dreams as a world-renowned travel blogger of 8 years. The founder of Verbal Gold Blog and Social Gold, she clouts a body positivity message and aims to let women everywhere know that “all ages and sizes should love themselves and feel worthy to live their best life.” More than anything she wants to inspire all women, young or not, to dream their biggest dreams possible and keep trying no matter what— because those dreams, with enough hard work, can absolutely come true.

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How To Spend Your Time In Aruba

Table of Contents

Hello! Today’s post is all about Aruba. I visited Aruba in April 2015 with my family and have been dying to go back ever since. This vacation has been on my mind a lot lately, so here I am… writing about it. I hope you get some good ideas for your time in Aruba! This Caribbean island should be on everyone’s bucket list.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and book through any of these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for reading and supporting my little corner of the internet!

How to spend your time in Aruba

Getting To Aruba

First off, Aruba is in the southern Caribbean. It’s only 18 miles north of Venezuela and is part of the ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. All three islands are part of The Netherlands , so Aruba is a Dutch colony. From Boston, Aruba is a 4.5 hour flight away. It’s more southern than other islands so it takes longer to get to than The Bahamas , for example, which is only a 3 hour flight from Boston. The good news is that many major cities offer direct flights to Aruba. We flew on JetBlue and were on the island by lunch!

Staying In Aruba

Aruba has a ton of resorts, but I recommend staying on Palm Beach. Here you’ll find most of the island’s tourist attractions. I really liked this area because there are tons of resorts lined up next to each other, each with its own pool (or pools), and then behind each pool is the beach. The resorts all have their own beach area in back of them, but also share land with nearby resorts, so you can bounce around. We often ate dinner at nearby resorts or used their amenities. Every major hotel chain has a resort here, including Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, and the Ritz.

Palm Beach, Aruba

We stayed at the Marriott Surf Club , and to this day, this is the best hotel my family and I have ever stayed at . It’s perfect for families as it has a lazy river, multiple pools, restaurants, slides, beach swings, and more. We loved spending time outside by the pool and walking right onto the beach. Nearby are the Marriott Ocean Club Resort , perfect for families with older children or adults only, and the Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino .

Aruba's Marriott Surf Club

Activities In Aruba

Aruba is famous for its weather. The island is known as the “windy island” because it has the perfect island breeze and 82 ° weather every day. We visited in April, which was the perfect time of year in my opinion, although Aruba is great year-round. I recommend staying on the island for 5-7 days. 

A vacation in Aruba is best enjoyed by lounging by the pool and swimming at the beach, but here are the activities and excursions I recommend:

Water Sports At Palm Beach

My family and I went tubing for an afternoon and it was so much fun! All four of us were able to sit in a couch-like tube and get whipped around over the waves.

Another day my sister and I went parasailing over Palm Beach ! This was the highlight of the trip for me. It was so thrilling being so high above the water. We could see turtles swimming below and had an awesome view of all of Palm Beach!

Parasailing at Palm Beach

My number one recommendation for your time in Aruba! This Aruba Off-Road Island tour picks you up in a jeep and brings you off-roading all around the island. We first drove to the ruins of a gold mine where we made a wishing statue out of rocks by the water. To do this, you close your eyes, think of a number, and build a statue out of that number of rocks (hopefully you don’t think of 100!). If your statue stands for more than one minute, your wish will come true!

ABC tour Land Rover jeeps in Aruba

Next, we went to Aruba’s natural bridge and Conchi natural pool. This pool is so fun to snorkel in!

Aruba's natural bridge

Pro-tip : This jeep ride was by far the bumpiest, roughest car ride I’ve ever endured, but was also a blast. Maybe reconsider if you have a bad back though.

Catamaran Cruise

I recommend taking this catamaran cruise ! Aruba is famous for its giant Jolly Pirate booze cruise/boat ride , but we opted for something more relaxing. Our 3 hour catamaran cruise brought us to the Antilla ship wreck where we got to snorkel and to Boca Catalina Cove, which is known for its coral and colorful fish. The boat also had a rope swing and slide onboard we could jump off of. And a bar. For the adults of course .

Explore Oranjestad

If you cruise to Aruba, you’ll most likely spend some time in the capital, Oranjestad. This is also where the airport is located, so we spent some time walking around here on our last day.

Enjoy Eagle Beach

If you want to treat yourself, drive over to Eagle Beach for a nice dinner. We visited Aruba during Easter break, so we attended an Easter Vigil on this beach and ate dinner afterwards. This beach is much calmer than Palm Beach, but equally as beautiful.

Dinner on Eagle Beach at sunset

That’s all for my Aruba travel guide! I’ve been to several Caribbean islands at this point, including Bermuda , The Bahamas , St. Thomas , St. Maarten , Cayman Islands , Barbados , and the Dominican Republic , and definitely think Aruba is my favorite. I hope you enjoy your time in Aruba!

Like this post? Pin it to save it for later and share with others!

How to spend your time in Aruba

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What a beautiful island and resort! Parasailing is so fun. But seeing your picture, all I could think was “please don’t drop the camera!” 😂

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Oh yes I was nervous about this haha but it was a GoPro, so luckily I had it strapped to my wrist. They’re the best for adventure shots!

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One of the things that we like the most in our family is traveling, knowing and bringing back many memories.

I have definitely fallen in love with Aruba after reading this enriching and comprehensive article, hopefully God through traveling soon.

Thank you very much!!!!

Glad to hear this!

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Aruba Travel Tips

The little things make an Aruban vacation so special, and smart local tips can make yours easy and unforgettable.

Vacation like an Aruban

From avoiding cell phone roaming charges by renting a phone or SIM card here, to quickly and easily paying for parking, there are plenty of simple, cost-effective shortcuts to help you avoid hassles and make the most of your stay on our happy island.

We accept all major credit cards, traveler's checks, and American dollars, so shopping, dining, and joining local guides on insider tours and adventures across the island is simple and stress-free. Learn more tips to make your Aruba vacation fun and easy.

Cell Phone Service in Aruba

Will my cell phone work in aruba.

Yes, many cell phone providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint will have international plans available. Be sure to ask your provider before flying to Aruba. Be aware that international service can get costly. Learn more about using your cell phone in Aruba .

Aruba cell phone services

Want to avoid carrier service charges? Rent a cell phone or purchase a SIM card from Setar, located at the airport.

Conveniently located at the airport, Digicel also allows you to rent a cell phone or purchase a SIM card and enjoy Aruba cell service during your trip.

Staying in touch

In order to call the United States from Aruba, first, dial 001 followed by the area code and finally the phone number. 

More Tips 

Get a rechargeable card to pay for parking in and around our capital, Oranjestad.

Aruba accepts all major credit cards, traveler's checks, American dollars, and our currency , the Florin.

Deals & Offers

No one wants to pay full price, which is why we’ve compiled a great list of the best deals, discounts and special savings offers available in Aruba. Make your vacation dollars count by reviewing the Top-Rated Aruba Vacation Packages & Travel Deals currently on offer from our trusted hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tour operators.

Customs Information

For more information on what items you can and cannot take back home with you, please visit the airport's official website .

Stay Connected

The complete guide for cell phone coverage in aruba.

How can you connect your cell phone to Aruba’s phone networks? Here is a cell phone instruction guide for you:

Every visitor to our island has their own unique Aruba travel tips – secrets and hidden gems they’ve uncovered in their all-too-brief time here. To learn those, and more Aruba vacation tips straight from warm, welcoming Aruban locals, visit our blog. Or, take the Aruba travel advice that matters most: your own. Visit our happy home. Wander from coast to coast. Savor each unique flavor, friendly conversation, and unforgettable moment to make your own list of Aruba tips.

Extra tips for visitors

Aruba travel guide app.

Get this expert island guide with tips on places to visit, customized trip itineraries, offline maps, augmented reality and trip sharing.

Aruparking: Parking in Aruba

Park your car rental at the clearly marked white parking areas on central locations in downtown Oranjestad.

Official Currency of Aruba

The official local currency is the Aruban Florin; however, U.S. dollars are widely accepted.

Tipping in Aruba

Learn everything you need to know about tipping a bartender, waiter, taxi driver or bellboy with our Aruba tipping guide.

Aruba Code of Conduct

These are some of our local rules and regulations that we kindly request that you respect. Help us protect our One happy island.

Traveling to Aruba with Pets

Want your furry friend to join you on the One happy island? Here's how to arrange a trip to Aruba with your pet.

Aruba Customs & Border Protection

In order to make your journey back home as easy and stress-free as possible, be sure to read the rules about exporting items.

Banks in Aruba

Planning a trip to Aruba? Then it's important to know about the banking options on the island.

Your Extended Stay in Aruba

Plan to stay in Aruba for an extended period of time? Here are some useful tips on how to "biba dushi" (live well) like the locals do!

Getting Around Aruba

From our lively capital to quiet seaside towns, pristine beaches to rugged desert, it’s easy to go anywhere in Aruba.

Featured Articles

Celebrate Spring Break in Aruba

10 Reasons why Aruba is the Best Spring Break Destination for Families!

As you start to shop around for the best family-friendly spring break destination, here are 10 important reasons why Aruba should top your list.

Learn More About our Island

Fast Fact Aruba

What language do they speak? Is it a Dutch colony? How many people live there? The questions were many, the answers few.

Discover More About Aruba

Eagle beach, rodgers beach, mangel halto beach aruba.

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Why Go To Aruba

Believe it or not, the Spanish colonists who settled in Aruba and her sister islands of  Bonaire  and  Curaçao  in 1513 nicknamed them the " Islas Inútiles " or Useless Islands. They couldn't have been more wrong. Centuries later, this southern Caribbean cluster is using an arid climate and minimal rainfall in their favor. Aruba in particular lures tourists with its blindingly white beaches, modern infrastructure and welcoming, multilingual locals. With its extensive underwater visibility, this island is a preferred getaway for divers looking to explore shipwrecks, too. In fact, the S.S. Antilla is the largest wreck in the Caribbean. And better yet, it sits in very shallow waters so snorkelers can also view the surreal underwater scene. Year-round tropical weather is also a draw, and the food, arts and culture scene has evolved to meet the 21st century in a forward-thinking and cosmopolitan style.

Aruba's accommodation choices have also grown to meet today's discerning traveler's needs. On offer is an eclectic array of modern hotels and resorts, boutique getaways and all-inclusives to suit every style and budget. There's even new off-radar stays like overwater bungalows and desert glamping in an Airstream. And though Aruba is the smallest of the ABC islands, it has historically been the most visited by North American tourists and has the highest repeat visitor rate in the Caribbean.

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  • # 5 in Best Family Vacations in the Caribbean
  • # 6 in Best Destination Wedding Spots in the Caribbean
  • # 7 in Best Caribbean Beaches for 2024

See All 9 Rankings

Best of Aruba

Best hotels in aruba.

  • # 1 in Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba
  • # 2 in The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
  • # 3 in Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba

Best Things to Do in Aruba

  • # 1 in Palm Beach
  • # 2 in Eagle Beach
  • # 3 in Downtown Oranjestad

Popular Tours

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Aruba De Palm Island All-Inclusive Day Trip with Transport

Aruba De Palm Island All-Inclusive Day Trip with Transport

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from $ 141.00

Aruba Travel Tips

Best months to visit.

The best time to visit Aruba is from April to August – a huge window of time when the island's high prices take a holiday. However, there's no bad time to visit Aruba; the temperature remains basically the same – balmy and sunny – year-round, with an average temperature of 82 degrees Farenheit. If you're looking for a bargain, summer and "shoulder seasons" – late spring and early fall – is when you'll get the best deals on hotels.

Weather in Aruba

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

Beware the high winds Aruba's trade winds blow at around 20 knots year-round. They're a refreshing respite from the tropical sun, but they can make it seem cooler than it really is, leaving visitors prone to sunburn. Apply sunscreen regularly and reapply after being in the water.

Beware the new eco-regulations Within the last few years, the island has passed many important environmental laws, including outlawing plastic bags and single-use plastics, and requiring that all sunscreen be reef-safe, which means it does not contain the harsh chemical oxybenzone. 

Beware the drinking age In Aruba, the legal age for drinking and gambling is 18. Keep this in mind if you're planning a family trip.

How to Save Money in Aruba

Travel in summer  This island is one of the few in the Caribbean located outside the hurricane belt and the resort prices are much lower in summer months when other islands might be risky to visit due to the tropical storm season.

Do drink the water Pass on expensive bottled water; the tap water in Aruba is desalinated seawater and is surprisingly delicious and very safe to drink. Bring or buy a refillable container.

Opt for a room with a kitchen Aruba has many timeshare-style hotel rooms with fully equipped kitchens for self-catering and some major grocery stores with all you might need, often at the same prices you might find at home.

Culture & Customs

Aruba's motto is "One Happy Island," and by all accounts, the residents prove this is so. Arubans are unanimously described as friendly and helpful. Dutch and Papiamento (a patois of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and African languages) are the official languages, but most everyone also speaks Spanish and English.

Like the residents of other tropical islands, Arubans dress casually around the beach, but they do like to dress up to go out and dress smartly for work as well. It’s considered disrespectful to enter dining establishments in beachwear or shorts, tanks and flip-flops. Dress as you would to go out for dinner at home depending on how casual or upscale the establishment is. Many restaurants include a 10 to 15% charge on the bill that's distributed among the entire staff. To specifically tip your server for great service, give it to them personally, or leave the money on the table; 15% is considered acceptable

Aruba's official currency is the Aruban florin (AWG). However, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted and most items and services are priced in both currencies. One U.S. dollar is equal to about 1.80 Aruban florin. Since the exchange rate fluctuates, be sure to check what it is before your trip. Major credit cards are also widely accepted around the tourism areas, though taxis do not take them as yet.

What to Eat

Aruba is renowned for both the quantity and the quality of its restaurants. There are more than 400 dining spots, casual and elegant, spanning every world cuisine you can think of, and a dozen chef's table experiences, too. What's more, there are many unique venues. You can dine in the outback, in a lighthouse and in a 200-year-old Dutch windmill, too. Restored colonial heritage buildings are all the rage for new dining spots as well. You'll find most of those in downtown Oranjestad .

The excellence of Aruba's restaurants is largely due to competition; restaurant owners are always looking for ways to lure new clientele, whether it's putting a different spin on a traditional recipe, bringing in live entertainment or pushing the envelope on new foodie fare trends. But, of course, fresh fish and seafood are staples; look on the blackboards for catch-of-the-day specials. And don't leave the island without sampling some local favorites like keshi yena, a stuffed cheese casserole, and sopis and stobas, or soups and stews. Kesio, a rich caramel custard dessert, or homemade bolos (cakes) are the must-haves for dessert. Look out for local spirits, too. Artisanal rums, gins and wines are on offer, and the local Balashi beer is delicious and made from desalinated seawater!

Aruba is considered one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, with very little petty or violent crime toward tourists. What's more, because Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt, you're less likely to have a natural disaster ruin your trip.

Getting Around Aruba

The best way to get around Aruba is by public transportation. The bus system is an easy way to hop around the main tourism areas of Aruba ( Palm Beach , Eagle Beach and downtown Oranjestad ), though the routes do not service the airport. Fixed-rate Aruban cabs are another hassle-free way of getting around. They are not metered; they charge by zones and the rates are fixed by the government. Car rental agencies are located across the street from the airport and deliver and pick up at most hotels. If you want to explore the rest of the island off the tourist grid, you'll need a car. Aruba is also a popular port of call for cruise ships. Ships dock at the Port Authority right downtown in Oranjestad. You'll find free electric trolleys at the terminal to take you to the heart of downtown.

To get from Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) to your accommodations, it will be easiest to take a taxi. You can also book shared transfers like the De Palm Tours shuttle bus that stops at every major resort. Tickets for the shared bus cost a little more than $20 per person, but it is a return fare – the company does not accept one-way bookings.

Entry & Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens will need a passport to travel to Aruba. The passport must be valid for the duration of your stay; a tourist visa is not required. You'll also have to complete an Embarkation-Disembarkation Card. You can fill it out online up to seven days ahead of your arrival. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State's website .

Don't miss a sunset in Aruba.

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MonaCorona.com | A Millennial-Luxury Travel Blog

A Millennial-Luxury Travel Blog.

The Perfect Aruba Itinerary

blog aruba travel

Aruba is an island unlike any other I’ve been to. As the Dutch colony located in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, what makes Aruba especially unique is its desert climate. White powdery beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters are lined with thousands of cacti and other desert flora. Houses and buildings are painted in pastel pinks and yellows, and vibrant blues and oranges. The weather is hot and dry year-round, making it the perfect destination to travel to whenever you get the chance. The perfect Aruba itinerary can be crafted over a few short days, and although Aruba is a small island there is quite a bit to explore. Depending on your pace and preference, you can dedicate either a half-day or full-day to any of the following top sites and activities.

But first, watch my Aruba drone video to give you all the inspiration you need to visit this idyllic island. 

The Perfect Aruba Itinerary : Where to Stay, Play, and Eat

Best area to stay in aruba.

I chose to stay at the Renaissance Hotel  Ocean Suites for their access to Flamingo Island (more on that later.) The hotel is located in Oranjestad which is the capital of Aruba and the main town area. The Renaissance is separated into two properties about a block away from one another: the Ocean Suites and the Adults Only Marina hotel. The adult-only hotel is located in the Renaissance Mall which has high-end luxury shops such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. This building has more of a contemporary decor with a small bar and infinity pool. The Ocean Suites building has a beachier resort vibe and is bigger with two pools, a swim-up bar, and bigger rooms with balconies. This property is also located directly on the water whereas the adults-only is across the street from the marina. Both buildings have a casino, and the hotel provides complimentary golf cart rides between the two hotels.

The major drawback to staying at the Renaissance properties is that although it is located on the water, there is no direct beach access to swim in the ocean.  They do have a sandy area on the water with a walkway sitting in front of the ocean, however, water flows from the ocean into a small pool creating a man-made lagoon on the sand. (View my drone video above and you’ll see what I’m talking about.) Most of the guests will go to the private island or another beach in Aruba if they wish to swim in the sea.

ultimate aruba itinerary

The Renaissance offers both all-inclusive and standard stays. I recommend not going all-inclusive as there are many wonderful dining options on the island. However, if all-inclusive is what you are after but don’t want to stay at the Renaissance, another popular option for a luxury all-inclusive resort is  Divi Aruba,  which is also in the Oranjestad but lies directly on the beach.

Palm Beach  and Eagle Beach

If you choose not to stay in Oranjestad, Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are beautiful beach areas lined with resorts and boutique hotels right on the sand. Many large chain hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott can be found in Palm Beach, and it is known to be the “high-rise hotel beach area.” In Eagle Beach, you will find more of the boutique hotels, such as the stunning Bucuti & Tara.   Both Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are worth a visit during your stay in Aruba.

best beaches in aruba

Visiting Flamingo Beach in Aruba

Of the most popular attractions on the island of Aruba is the unofficially named Flamingo Island or Flamingo Beach. The Flamingo Beach is located on the Renaissance Private Island . To access it, you must be a guest of the Renaissance hotel or purchase a day pass for around $100 USD. Only 30 passes are sold a day so it is recommended to arrive at the ticket counter at the Renaissance hotel early. The island is about a 10-minute boat ride from the Renaissance hotel and runs every 15 minutes from 7am to 6pm. On the island there is a restaurant, bar, spa, and two private beaches. The flamingo beach only allows children from 9-10am, but there is a second beach on the island that is open to families all day. My recommendation is to arrive early to beat the crowds and have optimal flamingo photo opportunity time.

perfect Aruba itinerary

Cruising the Outback and Northern Coast

The Northern Coast of Aruba is a wild outback to indulge your sense of adventure when you want a break from relaxation. It is highly, highly recommended to rent a 4×4 vehicle to drive it as sand dunes and rocky unpaved terrain make for a challenging, yet rewarding drive as the idyllic coastlines and coves provide a scenic and exhilarating ride. For a full day excursion with a jeep, ATV, or UTV rental, begin at the lighthouse and cruise the northern coast, all the way through Arikok National Park, and end your day relaxing at Baby Beach.

Arikok National Park.jpg

Visiting Arikok National Park

Arikok is the National Park of Aruba and covers about 20% of the island. It is a rugged, desert terrain with breath-taking coastline views. Within the national park are 2 natural limestone caves with ancient drawings left by the Caquetios Natives and graffiti imprinted by early European settlers on the walls and ceilings. In the park, there is also a beautiful natural pool you can swim and cool off in, known locally as Conchi. There are many tour operators that you can organize through your hotel to visit Arikok National Park, or you can rent a car and drive through it yourself. The entrance fee to the park is $11 USD per person. The hotels and rental car companies will tell you that you need a 4×4 vehicle such as an ATV to drive the park, however a local informed us that it is possible to drive it with a regular SUV. A regular car was indeed drivable through the park, you just need to be careful as the road is unpaved and very bumpy. Only part of the park you cannot access without a 4×4 is a car. Depending on your timing, you may be able to catch a ride to the pool with a park ranger if you are not on an organized tour. If you wish to rent a 4×4 to drive through the park on a self-guided tour, I recommend renting from George’s. 

Best Beaches in Aruba

After exploring Arikok, head 15-20 minutes to the southernmost tip of Aruba to spend some time at Baby Beach. Baby Beach is one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches due to the lack of hotel developments. The calm Caribbean waters make it the perfect beach to swim, snorkel, scuba dive, or relax. For a hidden gem and local favorite, Mangel Halto. This beach is also a great snorkel spot, as are Boca Catalina and Arashi Beach. If you’re lucky on your snorkel adventure you may spot a sea turtle or two! Among the mesmerizing coral reefs are also several famous shipwrecks that are a scuba diver’s dream. The most popular one being the Antilla.

renaissance private island

Windsurfing in Aruba

Windsurfing and kitesurfing is an extremely popular activity in Aruba. Aruba is known as the wind/kitesurfing capital of the world, and many people come to Aruba from all over to compete in tournaments. One of the most popular windsurfing beaches in the world is located at Hadicurari Beach ( also known as The Fisherman’s Huts). It is located right next to the high-rise hotel area closest to the Ritz-Carlton. Both lessons and rentals are available at this beach.

Where to Eat in Aruba

Aruba is known for their fresh sea food and Caribbean cuisine. There are options for every budget on the island ranging from rough and ready fish and chips, to upscale fine dining with Spanish and European influences. Some of the very best places to eat in Aruba are:

Zeerovers ($) Wacky Wahoos ($$) The Flying Fish Bone ($$) Pelicans Nest ($$) Papiamentos ($$$) Elements ($$$$).

Aruba itinerary.jpg

Other Things to Note

When is the best time to visit aruba.

Because Aruba is located outside of the hurricane belt, tropical storms are few and far between. This makes most, if not all times of the year a good time to visit. The largest weather concerns are high winds during the months of April-August, however a nice breeze is always welcome when temps are in the 80s and 90s. These months make it the best time to visit, as the high season is from January-March.

What language do they speak in Aruba?

The official languages of Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento, however most everyone on the island spoke both English and Spanish as well.

What currency do they use in Aruba?

The currency is the Florin, but U.S. Dollars are widely accepted. When compared to the U.S., prices in Aruba are relatively cheaper, but not as cheap as say, Mexico. There are many activities in Aruba that can be enjoyed for free . For luxury travelers, Aruba is definitely on the more affordable side. You don’t need an extended amount of time on the island, which makes for a perfect extended weekend getaway. It is the perfect destination for honeymooners, couples, or friends in search of rest and relaxation.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my  Disclosures  page.

Click on the images below to pin ❤️.

top things to do in aruba

For more adventures, follow monacorona on Instagram.

Share this:, 4 thoughts on “ the perfect aruba itinerary ”.

We are planning a high school senior trip. And yes parents are going. Would you recommend Palm Beach or Eagle beach. And would there be a hotel that you would recommend with teenagers in mind . And is there anything that stands out that you truly should do in Aruba .

I recommend Palm Beach for a trip like this as there is much more to do. Aruba Marriott Resort, Hyatt Regency, or Marriott Aruba Surf Club may be good hotels for you. For a “must do” visiting the flamingo island is Aruba’s biggest attraction.

Hope this helps!

How many days do you recommend spending in Aruba? Is 4-5 days more than enough for a extended weekend getaway?

Hi there, yes! 4 – 5 days will be enough to have a relaxing vacation while still getting to experience some of Aruba’s top sites. 😊

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

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Aruba Just Implemented a New Fee for Travelers — What to Know

“This fee will support a number of projects aimed at enhancing and improving sustainability efforts on the island,” the Aruba Tourism Authority said.

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It just got more expensive to visit the island of Aruba thanks to a new sustainability fee travelers will have to pay upon arrival.

The new fee costs $20 and is collectable when travelers arrive by air, according to the Aruba Tourism Authority . The sustainability fee will then be used to upgrade existing sewage water treatment plants and infrastructure and build a larger one for the future.

“This fee will support a number of projects aimed at enhancing and improving sustainability efforts on the island,” the Aruba Tourism Authority wrote in a post on Facebook .

To pay the fee, travelers need to fill out the Embarkation & Disembarkation (ED) Card online . Travelers can use several major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, as well as Apple Pay. Cash payments on arrival will not be accepted and the fee must be paid before checking in for a flight in order to get clearance to travel.

Visitors will only be required to pay the fee once each calendar year and repeat travelers will be exempt on future trips. Children under 8 years old, travelers arriving by cruise, Aruba residents, and some Aruban students are also exempt.

The sustainability fee is in addition to the $3 environmental tax the island already charges.

Aruba isn’t alone in charging tourists to support infrastructure development. This year, Amsterdam increased its city tourist tax for travelers staying overnight or visiting on cruise ships, Paris raised taxes on hotels and other accommodations , and Iceland has floated plans to add a new tax for tourists to support the country’s climate and sustainability goals.

Other cities have charged travelers to discourage overtourism, including Venice, which implemented a fee for day trippers .

While it may cost a bit more to visit Aruba , the island’s near-perfect weather, amazing hotels , and gorgeous beaches with crystal-clear water make it all worth it.

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Aruba Travel: Need-To-Knows

  • Last updated Jul 07, 2024
  • Difficulty Intemediate

Karisa Garcia

  • Category Travel

what to know about traveling to aruba

Aruba is a Caribbean island with pristine beaches, a vibrant culture, and a laid-back lifestyle. Known as One Happy Island, it offers year-round sunny weather, breathtaking beaches with white sand and clear waters, and friendly locals. Here are some essential things to know before planning your trip to Aruba:

- Safety: Aruba is consistently ranked as one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean, with low rates of violent and petty crime. However, it's always good to stay vigilant and guard your valuables.

- Passport and Visa: US, Canadian, and EU citizens don't need a pre-arranged visa. A passport is sufficient, and you'll receive a free visa stamp valid for 30 days upon arrival.

- Currency: The official currency is the Aruban Florin, but US dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards and traveller's checks are also accepted, making transactions convenient for visitors.

- Language: The local language is Papiamento, a Creole language with roots in Dutch, English, Spanish, African, Portuguese, and French. However, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist resorts, so communication won't be a barrier.

- Weather: Aruba has a dry and arid climate, with constant trade winds making the warm weather pleasant. The best time to visit is January through September, with peak season from January to March.

- Things to Do: Aruba offers beach resorts, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and exploring Arikok National Park. The island also has casinos and a vibrant culinary scene, including local dishes and international cuisine.

- Transportation: Aruba has a solid bus system, and taxis are easily accessible. Car rentals are also available, although biking can be challenging due to sandy roads and the absence of dedicated bike lanes.

- Water: Aruba has some of the cleanest water in the world, and it's safe to drink tap water. No need to worry about bottled water or purification methods!

- Packing: Pack light and breezy clothes, swimwear, and don't forget your sunscreen! A light sweater may be useful for cooler evenings during the winter months.

What You'll Learn

Required documents for entry, travel insurance and health requirements, currency restrictions, crime and safety, traffic laws.

quartzmountain

To enter Aruba, you will need a valid passport. However, you do not need a visa if you are a citizen of the US, Canada, the EU, China, or Aruba's nearby neighbours like Mexico and Colombia. Simply present your passport to the immigration officer when you arrive, and you will receive a free visa stamp valid for 30 days. Tourist visits are strictly enforced with a cap of 180 days per year.

If you are travelling from the US or Canada, you do not need to worry about voltage converters for your electronic devices, as Aruba has the same voltage standard of 110V. However, if you are travelling from a country with 220V or 240V (such as Europe or the UK), you may need a converter. It is recommended to check the voltage requirements of your devices before your trip.

Although Aruba has its own currency, the Aruban florin, you can easily use US dollars during your stay. Most vendors, shops, hotels, and restaurants accept US dollars, and some ATMs even dispense them. However, if you wish to use Aruban florins, you can exchange your money at banks or casinos.

It is always a good idea to review the latest travel advice and entry requirements for your destination, as well as ensuring your passport is up to date.

Boston's 2-Day Travel Essentials

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While Aruba is one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean, it's always a good idea to have travel insurance in case of any unforeseen events or medical emergencies. Make sure your insurance covers trip cancellations, delays, and medical emergencies, including hospitalisation and evacuation.

As for health requirements, there are no mandatory vaccines for Aruba, but it is recommended that you are up to date on routine vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and tetanus. It is also advisable to get travel insurance that covers medical expenses in case of injury or illness during your trip.

In case of an emergency, you can call 911 for an ambulance or the fire department, and 100 for the police. The Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital is located near Eagle Beach and is easily accessible from the low and high-rise hotels.

It is important to protect yourself from the sun and stay hydrated during your time in Aruba. The sun is strong, and the constant trade winds can make it difficult to gauge how much heat you are absorbing. Be sure to bring and regularly apply eco-friendly sunscreen with a higher SPF, and wear light cover-ups, sunglasses, and a hat for added protection. Drink plenty of water, especially when spending time on the beach, to avoid dehydration.

In terms of food and water safety, Aruba has some of the cleanest water in the world, so you can drink tap water without worry. The island has been using the desalination process to create excellent drinking water since 1932. However, it is always a good idea to follow basic food and water safety guidelines, such as washing your hands frequently and practising good hygiene.

Keeping Your Health in Check While Traveling: How to Get STD Tested

Currency in Aruba is the florin, denoted by the letters 'Awg.' or 'Afl.' or the symbol 'AWG'. The US dollar is also widely accepted, and you can withdraw both florins and US dollars from many ATMs. The Aruban florin is divided into 100 cents, with coins of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, 1 florin (100 cents), and the 5 florin coin. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 florins.

The Aruba currency exchange rate for US dollars is Afl 1.77 for cash and Afl 1.78 for traveller's cheques. Most supermarkets and gas stations use the exchange rate of Afl 1.75, while many restaurants and shops use the rate of Afl 1.80. The florin is pegged to the US dollar, so its value against other currencies fluctuates with the dollar.

ATMs are widely available in Aruba, allowing you to withdraw local currency using your debit or credit card. However, it is recommended that you notify your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to ensure smooth usage of your cards and to inquire about any potential foreign transaction fees or card restrictions.

Some businesses will not accept US $50 or $100 bills due to worldwide counterfeiting.

Traveling to Canada with a US Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Aruba is considered one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, with low rates of violent and petty crime. However, it is still important to remain vigilant and take precautions to ensure your safety.

The most common type of crime in Aruba is petty theft, particularly in tourist hotspots and on beaches. Tourists are often targeted for their phones, jewellery, cameras, and wallets, so it is important to keep valuables secure and out of sight. Pickpocketing is also a concern in popular tourist districts, such as San Nicolas. More serious crimes, such as drug trafficking and homicide, may occur in rural or residential areas.

When it comes to transportation, driving in Aruba can be risky due to a lack of enforcement of drunk driving and speeding laws. Roads can be slick after rainstorms, and small animals may dart into the road in rural areas. However, the biggest safety concern for U.S. tourists is the risk of auto accidents, rather than crime.

To stay safe in Aruba, it is recommended to follow basic safety precautions: walk in groups or pairs at night, leave valuables in a safe place, and drink responsibly. In the event of an emergency, the local emergency number in Aruba is 911, the same as in the U.S.

Travel Sickness: Signs Your Dog Displays

Aruba has a good road network, with well-maintained roads, particularly in the capital, Oranjestad. Driving in Aruba can be challenging for newcomers, but the island's small size means that if you get lost, you will eventually end up where you need to be.

Rules and Regulations

Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, as in the US.

  • Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, and motorcyclists to wear helmets.
  • Children under 5 years old must be in a child safety seat, and older children should ride in the back seat.
  • Right turns at red lights are prohibited.
  • Speed limits vary: 30 km/h in urban areas, 60 km/h outside of town, and 80 km/h on highways and major roads.
  • There are speed cameras, and police also use handheld speedometers for random checks.
  • In intersections without traffic lights, vehicles coming from the right have the right of way.
  • On roundabouts, traffic already on the roundabout has priority.
  • Drivers of vehicles have priority over non-motorised vehicles, such as bicycles.
  • There are parking meters in downtown Oranjestad, and parking is prohibited along yellow stripes, on bridges, and along continuous lines in the middle of the road.

Renting a Car

  • Car rental agencies are mostly located in Oranjestad, and you can pick up your car at the airport or your hotel.
  • The minimum age for renting a car is 21, and drivers under 25 may have to pay additional fees.
  • Basic third-party liability insurance is included in all rentals, and it is recommended to opt for additional insurance such as Collision Damage Waiver and Personal Accident Insurance.
  • Rental rates vary depending on the car model, transmission type, passenger capacity, and additional features, ranging from USD 17 to USD 367 per day.

Driving Etiquette

  • Aruban drivers are known for their warmth and friendliness, and they may stop at any time to greet or converse with another driver.
  • If you encounter a police checkpoint, be prepared for a thorough vehicle check and be ready to answer questions about your travel details.
  • If you need to ask for directions, most locals understand English and Spanish, but it can be helpful to know some phrases in Dutch.
  • Historically, Aruba has had low rates of road accidents, and driving in Aruba is considered safe.
  • However, drivers should be alert for speeding cars and drunk drivers, which have caused fatal accidents.
  • In the interior areas of the island, watch out for goats or other animals that may cross the roads unexpectedly.
  • When renting a vehicle, it is important to test the direction indicators, horn, handbrake, lights, wipers, and tires before driving off.
  • Be extra careful on wet roads, as infrequent rain can cause a build-up of oil and dust, making the roads very slippery.

Does the Government Cover Travel Expenses for Individuals?

Frequently asked questions.

The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban Florin, but US dollars are widely accepted.

The official language of Aruba is Papiamento, but English is widely spoken, especially in tourist resorts. Many people also speak and understand Dutch, Spanish and French.

Aruba is famous for its beaches and its clear water is perfect for snorkelling and wreck diving. It is also one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, with low rates of violent and petty crime. Gambling is legal in Aruba and there are plenty of casinos.

Karisa Garcia

  • Karisa Garcia Author Reviewer Traveller

Annie Rangel

  • Annie Rangel Author Editor Reviewer

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Some Caribbean islands see almost 'total destruction' after Hurricane Beryl

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A more complete picture emerged Wednesday of the extensive damage wrought by Hurricane Beryl's trek across the Windward Islands, revealing destruction and at least seven deaths.

At least three islands report more than 90% of the homes and buildings either destroyed or severely damaged, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported Wednesday . All three are within the chain of Grenadine Islands, where Beryl roared into the Caribbean on the southern end of the Windwards, between St. Vincent and Grenada.

With 19 participating states across the Caribbean , the agency was helping coordinate disaster response on Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines even as it continued to track Beryl’s movements across Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Belize. The eye of Beryl, still a Category 4 storm, raked Jamaica's coast Wednesday afternoon and was expected to pass near the Cayman Islands Thursday morning, before making landfall in the Yucatan on Friday morning.

The damage estimates for the Windwards – where Beryl made landfall over Carriacou – are only "a very preliminary look," said Elizabeth Riley, the disaster management agency's executive director. Beryl struck the islands with sustained winds of 150 mph and higher gusts on Monday, and the National Hurricane Center had warned that winds could be up to 30% higher on the tops of hills and mountains.

The impacts to the Grenadine Islands are "quite significant," Riley said, leaving residents exposed and vulnerable. Even as recovery efforts began, a tropical wave brought rain and gusty winds Wednesday to the suffering residents.

Grenada prime minister discusses damage on Carriacou

In a briefing late Tuesday after spending more than two hours in a helicopter provided by the government of St. Lucia, Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell described "total destruction" on the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

"There's really nothing that can prepare you to see this level of destruction," Mitchell said. "It is almost Armageddon-like, almost total damage and destruction of all buildings. Complete devastation and destruction of agriculture. Complete and total destruction of the natural environment."

"There is literally no vegetation left anywhere on the island of Carriacou; the mangroves are totally destroyed, the boats and the marinas significantly damaged," he said. "There is almost complete destruction of the electrical grid system in Carriacou. The entire communication system is completely destroyed."

However, Mitchell added, he'd been heartened by the volunteers "showing true Grenadian spirit" by arriving from other less damaged areas in boats and fishing vessels to begin delivering relief supplies to those affected.

Hurricane Beryl's fearsome seas As Beryl tears through Caribbean, a drone sends back stunning footage

Beryl damage updates

The following are the preliminary assessments Riley listed:

Carriacou, Grenada

  • The total population of 6,081 has been affected, so shelter is "a significant consideration."
  • Majority of homes and buildings have been extensively damaged
  • Communications have been significantly compromised

Petite Martinique, Grenada

  • Estimated 80% of the houses and buildings extensively damaged or destroyed
  • 900 people affected
  • Majority of the island is sheltering in place

Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • 100% of the island's population (12,600) has been affected
  • An estimated 90% of the houses were damaged, either extensively or destroyed
  • Police station in Charlestown lost its roof

Union Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Full population of 3,000 was affected by extensive damage
  • Estimated 98% of buildings, including houses badly damaged or destroyed
  • Airport control tower destroyed, hospital roof destroyed
  • Power plant received significant damage
  • Government assisting people who wish to evacuate

Mayreau, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Total population of 300 people affected
  • 90% of the housing stock and buildings have been damaged or destroyed

Palm Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Resort and desalination plant significantly damaged
  • More than 40 homes with damage, a number expected to rise
  • Confirmed significant damage to the fishing sector
  • More than 200 boats damaged
  • Significant damage to the coastal infrastructure, particularly along the south coast 
  • Partial road obstruction
  • Significant damage on southern end 

Trinidad and Tobago

  • Power outages
  • Water disruption on Tobago 
  • Roadway blockages on both islands

Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • An estimated 10% of the homes and buildings suffered roof damage
  • Airport and runway are usable
  • Minimal damages reported

Mitchell, Grenada's prime minister, said the island's northernmost parish, Saint Patrick suffered significant damage. The parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint Mark and Saint John also suffered much more damage than the parishes of Saint George and Saint David.

"It is clear that agriculture has taken quite a battering. It is clear that many persons have lost their roofs," Mitchell said. "It is clear, in some instances, many people have lost their entire homes."

Dinah Voyles Pulver covers climate and the environment for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] or @dinahvp.

Travel and Expense

Tap into the power of ai to transform your business travel.

The business travel experience is ready for a refresh as disruptions drive inconvenience for employees and budgets. According to this year’s SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey, 88% of business travelers globally report taking unanticipated steps in the past 12 months because of unexpected challenges, like spending additional time on the road (38%) or incurring additional expenses (36%). However, artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to help travelers navigate the unexpected.

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Although SAP Concur has used AI in travel and expense (T&E) solutions for a decade, we’re rapidly adding features that use generative AI to make the most of this emerging technology. Companies that use integrated T&E tools stand to realize the biggest gains: AI will not only improve the business travel experience but many of the processes surrounding it as well, from finance to procurement.

Our survey found that 64% of travel managers globally would like to see AI used to automate at least some of their responsibilities. Meanwhile, 95% of business travelers would consider using AI-powered automation to support their tasks, including visa and documentation support (37%), capturing and reporting expenses (37%), finding sustainable travel options (37%), and more.

Here are a few ways businesses can use AI to streamline T&E, both now and in the very near future.

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6th Annual Global Business Travelers Research Report

To learn more, download the full report.

Enhanced Booking Experiences

The more that AI manages in the corporate travel process, the better the insights, the sharper its suggestions, and the more streamlined the plan-to-expense process can be. As the technology continues to develop, AI will help employees reclaim more time typically spent on administrative tasks and further support organizations in cutting costs without cutting corners.

While the appetite for AI is strong, especially when it addresses the specific pain points that come with booking travel, businesses will need to ensure they roll out AI tools in a responsible manner. Overall, 89% of business travelers say they are open to using AI-enabled booking options with training or certain assurances in place. More than one in five (22%) view AI-enabled travel recommendations as critical for inclusion in their company’s travel booking tool.

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While 19% of business travelers say they want an AI-curated list of booking options based on their preferences and needs, many (34%) would still rather review and book their business trips themselves.

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There is also some generational discomfort with AI today—and it runs counter to stereotypes. Ninety-five percent of Gen Z and 92% of millennial business travelers say they are uncomfortable using AI-enabled booking tools, compared to 83% of Gen X and 68% of baby boomers. Company-provided training and the assurance that tools are reliable and won’t create any bias could help alleviate the discomfort.

Real-Time Tracking and Analysis 

The tremendous amount of data that integrated T&E provides makes it an ideal application for using AI to recognize patterns that aren’t visible to the human eye. However, this will require some patience on the part of business leaders and having the right tools on hand to maximize the value of AI advancements.

In our survey, 42% of travel managers included company directives to cut travel costs amidst ongoing challenges among the top factors that will make their job more difficult in the next 12 months. Thirty-two percent cited cutting back on business travel costs as their company’s top focus when it comes to business travel. Without powerful reporting tools—supported by AI—baked into their T&E solution, they will be hard-pressed to satisfy leaders and keep costs in check.

In harnessing predictive analytics, AI can help optimize compliance and travel spend to keep costs to a minimum while improving productivity and user experience. For instance, with Request Assistant in Concur Request , business travelers can develop data-backed estimates for business trips before any spend happens, facilitating speedy approvals and helping to stay on budget. AI-powered auditing solutions like Concur Detect by Oversight can also help by looking at patterns in expense data to identify fraud and repetitive misuse, protecting the company and its capital.

Policy Compliance and Development

When every dollar spent must be accounted for, AI can offer practical solutions to the challenges of T&E compliance. After all, compliance isn't just about rules. It’s about creating consistent, seamless, and efficient processes. Using AI, automation, and data, companies can reduce non-compliant spending, mitigate risks, and enhance the overall employee experience—with some conditions.

Thirty-five percent of business travelers are willing to consider using AI-powered automation to help them comply with their organization’s travel policy. However, to feel comfortable using AI-enabled options to book business travel, nearly half of business travelers (48%) want assurance that their personal data will be protected. Nearly a third (32%) want their company to provide assurance they won’t face repercussions if the AI-suggested bookings don’t comply with company policy.

Data security is a top priority for SAP Concur, and integrated solutions like Concur Travel, Concur Expense , and Concur Request—including the Request Assistant feature—can help support compliance through AI and automation while easing repercussion concerns. They give business travelers a better, more streamlined experience for booking travel and submitting expenses. Meanwhile, travel managers and finance teams can easily approve and process expenses. It’s a win for both sides.

Read our SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey whitepapers for more business traveler and travel manager takes on AI and corporate travel.

The SAP Concur Global Business Traveler Survey was conducted by   Wakefield Research   between April 5-26, 2024, among 3,750 business travelers in 24 markets: U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, France, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Italy, Spain, ANZ (Australia, New Zealand), Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia), Japan, Korea, India, Mexico, Brazil, SEA (Singapore, Malaysia), South Africa, Portugal, Switzerland, and Austria.

The SAP Concur Global Travel Manager Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between April 5-26, 2024, 2024, among 600 travel managers, defined as those who direct or administer travel programs for businesses, across 6 markets: Germany, Canada, Japan, ANZ Countries (Australia and New Zealand), UK, and U.S.  

doug ford rent cottage

You can rent Doug Ford's family cottage in Ontario on Airbnb

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Premier Doug Ford's former family cottage is now a luxe rental property, but it will cost you a pretty penny to stay at the Ford family retreat in Muskoka.

The cottage on Fawn Lake — between Bracebridge and Huntsville — has been listed on short-term rental platform Airbnb, giving tourists the chance to stay in an exclusive property that has made headlines throughout the controversial Ford political dynasty.

The Airbnb listing offers an "entire cottage in Huntsville" with room for eight guests and is currently rated 4.78 out of 5 stars.

Hosted on the platform by Ford's daughter Kayla , the listing reads, "Welcome to our beautiful 4 season lakefront cottage that is close to the amenities of the towns of Bracebridge and Huntsville."

"Located on a quiet, private road two hours from Toronto, surrounded by nature, this beautifully renovated four-bedroom, two full bath cottage has everything you need for a relaxing city escape!"

#ONpoli NEW: For $750/night (Sept prices), you can experience the old Ford family cottage via Kayla’s AirBnb. Not sure if this counts toward the province’s housing targets. pic.twitter.com/LlUNdf27I2 — TDot Resident (@TDotResident) July 7, 2024

Aside from just gawking at the Ford family property, guests are promised activities year-round, including winter fun like "skating, hiking, skiing at Hidden Valley and a variety of winter activities at Arrowhead Park," along with a wood-burning outdoor fireplace.

Outdoorsy types are promised prime grounds for ATVing or snowmobiling, as well as summer activities like a private dock and boat launch. The cottage even offers a registered massage therapist available for bookings.

The listing is currently booked solid through the start of September, and even then, it will cost you a whopping $750 per night with a minimum three-night stay to enjoy the Ford family cottage.

#ONpoli It looks like it is priced similarly to some other cottages on the same lake: pic.twitter.com/nEiJyhnblZ — TDot Resident (@TDotResident) July 7, 2024

And if you're wondering where the Ford will be through all of this, they actually have a shiny new cottage to enjoy just next door — leaving the old property as a short-term rental.

Join the conversation Load comments

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