10 Best Places to Visit in Aruba

by Zara Rashad
Arikok National Park in Aruba

The Caribbean is a dream destination for many travelers, known for its breathtaking beaches, swaying palm trees, and crystal-clear waters. Visitors come from all over the world to bask in the warm sun, take a dip in the ocean, and experience the endless activities the region has to offer. From bustling urban centers to untouched natural preserves, the Caribbean has it all.

Nestled between North and South America, with Central America to the west and the vast Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Caribbean Sea is home to over 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. The islands range from low-lying atolls to volcanic mountains with dense forests, stunning waterfalls, and vibrant reefs along the coast. While the region’s beaches are famous for their dazzling white sands and warm, inviting waters, it’s important to note that hurricane season runs from June through November, so it’s best to plan accordingly.

There are 13 independent nations to explore in the Caribbean, along with British, French, Dutch, and American territories. The region’s diverse cultural influences are on full display, with each island boasting its own unique attractions and charm.

The Greater Antilles, located in the north, include Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. These larger countries offer an abundance of beaches, bays, and reefs, along with some of the world’s most spectacular colonial cities and towns. Explore Santo Domingo’s atmospheric churches and squares, marvel at San Juan’s crumbling fortifications, or take a stroll through Havana’s colorful streets dotted with gorgeous old buildings and classic Cadillacs.

The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, picturesque archipelagos farther north in the Caribbean, boast smaller but equally stunning islands. The Lesser Antilles, located to the south, include popular vacation spots like Barbados, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, as well as the lively carnival scene in Trinidad and Tobago.

No matter which Caribbean island you choose to visit, you’ll be greeted with stunning beaches. Some of the most well-known include Seven Mile, Varadero, and Pink Sand Beaches, along with Trunk Bay and The Baths for their impressive rock formations.

In addition to beach activities, the Caribbean offers a plethora of exciting activities, including sailing, surfing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and scuba diving. Catch some waves in Barbados and the Dominican Republic, or head to Bonaire for some of the world’s best shore diving. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the Bahamas’ abundant shark population.

If you’re looking for a destination outside the hurricane belt, the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are a great choice. Aruba, known for its stunning resorts, casinos, and beaches, is the first port of call for many visitors planning a Caribbean getaway in the warmer months. Its pleasant climate and location just 15 miles from the coast of Venezuela make it a unique addition to any Caribbean itinerary.

In summary, the Caribbean is a diverse region full of natural beauty, rich history, and exciting activities. With so many islands to explore, each with its own unique attractions, visitors are sure to find their perfect paradise.

10. De Palm Island Aruba

Want a vacation that covers all the bases while you’re in Aruba? Then you should definitely join us for this exclusive island vacation. The price of admission includes a wide variety of activities, such as ziplining, salsa classes, and banana boat excursions, and you may pick between a full or half day of fun.

You may also enjoy the complimentary breakfast and lunch buffets, as well as alcoholic beverages. Additionally, De Palm Island has its own waterpark. Coral reefs encircle the island, making for excellent snorkeling conditions and a rainbow of tropical species. Massages are only one of the many services that may be had for an additional cost. The underwater helmet walk at De Palm Island in Aruba gives swimmers the chance to feel like scuba divers.

9. Bushiribana Gold Mill

Most early European explorers came to the New World in pursuit of gold. The 12-year-old shepherd kid on Aruba who found gold while tending his flock in 1824 made his parents’ hopes come true. Over three million pounds of gold were ultimately mined from the island of Aruba. The island’s name, according to some, may even allude to its wealth. Red Gold, or Oro Ruba, was purportedly its former name.

The mining industry in Aruba had its start with independent miners. However, a Dutch firm ultimately acquired exclusive mining rights to the island. The gold mill at Bushiribana is now a renowned tourist destination due to its gorgeous stone ruins. You may get there on foot, or you can take a horseback riding trip or an all-terrain vehicle tour to get a different perspective.

8. Alto Vista Chapel

The Alto Vista Chapel, on a hill above the town of Noord, is worth a visit, regardless of your religious beliefs. Dedicated to Our Lady of Alto Vista, this landmark structure was the island of Aruba’s first Catholic chapel. This little chapel stands out against the deep blue of the ocean with its brilliant yellow walls and red dome.

Every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., you may visit Alto Vista Chapel, and on Tuesdays, you can attend mass. Though the present chapel building dates back to 1952, a chapel has been at this location since at least 1750. You may pray or contemplate while traversing the circuits of the Peace Labyrinth, which is located in the Alto Vista Chapel.

7. Donkey Sanctuary Aruba

Donkeys played a significant part in Aruba’s past, despite the fact that they aren’t native there. They served as the backbone of local transportation and were essential to the nation’s development for decades. After vehicles were introduced to Aruba, numerous donkeys were released into the wild.

Sadly, many people have died as a result of infectious diseases and car accidents. And by the 1970s, just around 20 wild donkeys remained. Concerned about the island’s ecological balance, animal rights activists created a refuge for the pigs, pigeons, and guinea pigs. Visiting the refuge doesn’t cost anything, although gifts are gratefully accepted.

6. California Lighthouse

One of Aruba’s most recognizable features is this stone lighthouse, constructed between 1914 and 1916. The S.S. California, a ship that went down in 1910, inspired the name of this place. The Hudishibana lighthouse, next to Arashi Beach, has just been refurbished.

The California Lighthouse in Aruba is 100 feet tall, and despite the fact that it has been rendered useless by modern technology, it continues to be a popular tourist destination due to the spectacular views it provides of the island’s rocky shoreline. If you work up an appetite while climbing to the top of this building, you may stop in at the on-site restaurant housed in the old home of the lighthouse keeper.

5. Antilla Wreck

It was a spectacular end for the SS Antilla, the second biggest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean. After less than a year on the high seas, the ship was destroyed by her own German crew in 1940 rather than being captured. While Germany was invading Holland, the ship was moored at Malmok Bay, Aruba.

The SS Antilla was sunk when the Dutch government ordered the seizure of all German ships in the Dutch Antilles. The wreck is now a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers due to the abundance of tropical species. One of the greatest shipwreck dives in the Caribbean, if not the world.

4. Baby Beach

One of the most popular spots in all of Aruba is Baby Beach. Those with young children will like the gorgeous, shallow, man-made lagoon with its extremely tranquil waters. Kite boarders and windsurfers frequently frequent Baby Beach. This beach is located on the southeastern side of the island, far from the tourist district.

While the lagoon’s interior is peaceful, the bay’s entrance onto the Caribbean Sea is a different story entirely. It’s possible to encounter a strong current there. The finest snorkeling is unfortunately in the same place. If you decide to go snorkeling at Baby Beach, just remember to keep your eyes peeled and avoid being sucked out of the lagoon by the lovely fish.

3. Arikok National Park

Arikok National Park, covering around 20 percent of the island, is a must-see for every ecotourist. This mountainous park is home to a variety of Aruban flora and fauna, including the whiptail lizard, cat eye snake, parakeet, and burrowing owl. Three of the park’s stunning beaches are Dos Playa, Boca Prins, and Daimari Beach.

The Natural Pool, commonly known as Conchi, is a famous attraction in the park. The stunning natural pool is inaccessible by anything except a 4×4, an ATV, on foot, or a horse.

2. Oranjestad

Located on the island of Aruba, Oranjestad is the country’s capital and largest city. In addition, it serves as a frequent stop for cruise ships. Don’t be surprised if you encounter crowds of cruise ship visitors exploring the town’s stores and eateries. As you stroll around Oranjestad, you’ll see a mix of modern hotels, restaurants, and stores among the brightly painted colonial structures. Fort Zoutman, constructed in 1798, is the oldest structure in Oranjestad. Every Tuesday now, the fort hosts the Bon Bini Festival, a local dance and music extravaganza.

Oranjestad’s free tram service stops at six different locations, so getting about is easy even if you don’t have a vehicle. The longest linear park in the Caribbean may be found at Oranjestad. The major attraction of this park is a paved path suitable for strolling, jogging, or riding bicycles.

1. Palm Beach

All of Aruba’s luxury hotels are clustered together on Palm Beach. There are plenty of dining options, gambling establishments, nightlife venues, and retail establishments in the vicinity. Palm Beach is the ideal area of Aruba to visit if you don’t plan to hire a vehicle.

In addition, the waves at Palm Beach tend to be mild, making it a great place to go swimming. If you get tired of lounging on the beach or playing in the waves, you can always hire a paddleboard or a waverunner from one of the numerous nearby watersports stands. The nightlife in Palm Beach is perhaps the finest on the island of Aruba.

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