Local Expert Tip
"While visiting the caves at National Park Arikok, ask a park ranger for information on Aruba's bats. Aruba is known for its tropical climate and columnar cacti. However, less is known about the importance of... Read more »"
Aruba Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in Aruba
Where to Stay
Most of Aruba's hotels and resorts are highly rated and right on the beach. Visitors choose the high-rise area to include the vibrancy of the island's best restaurants, nightclubs and shopping malls in their surroundings. For beach-lovers looking for peace and relaxation, the low-rise resorts offer a variety of lodging options, like adults-only accommodations but also include family oriented, all-inclusive options located close or right in the center of downtown Oranjestad.
Avoid: High season in Aruba, if big crowds and high rates are a problem, and book a more peaceful vacation in September or October.
Hot Tips: Each resort has its own unique set of activities and amenities. Do some resort hopping to find out where to stay the next time.
What to Eat
For such a small island, Aruba offers a great variety of amazing food. The places to eat, to have a drink and to wind down after a busy day of funning and sunning are breathtaking in so many ways. Going for only the very best restaurants or a quick and casual bite? The good news: any location is just a couple of minutes away.
Hot Tips: Visit a snack truck and sample some typical delicacies.
Be Sure to Sample: Fresh catches of the day and other local dishes like goat stew and stuffed Gouda cheese.
Things to See
What makes Aruba so special is the abundance of joy only a happy island can give. The most beautiful beaches to relax; crystal clear waters for diving, sailing, snorkeling, swimming; a rough and rocky coast to explore; museums, galleries and landmarks. There’s plenty to keep nature lovers, culture-seekers, water sports fanatics, art enthusiasts, families and couples busy and wanting to come back for more.
Caution: Aruba's sun is strong, especially between 12 pm and 3 pm, so don't forget the sunscreen and the bottle of water.
Hot Tips: Be sure to take your I LOVE ARUBA photos at the huge sign in front of the House of Parliament downtown.
Places to Party
Aruba’s nightlife has come a long way in recent years. There are the popular alternatives like gambling in one of Aruba’s most glamorous casinos or sipping tasty cocktails during happy hours. But for those who are looking for more of a dynamic bar hopping atmosphere, most all relevant hot spots and nightclubs are located in the area known as High Rise, and are all known for their buzzing crowds, late night eats, after hours parties, laid-back dress code and approachability.
Hot Tips: Make a trip to the newest attraction on the island, the Carubbian Festival in San Nicolas, every Thursday from 6 pm to 10 pm, and experience Aruba's culture together with the locals.
Where to Shop
There is a wide range of shopping malls to explore in Aruba, as well as independent shops, boutiques, souvenirs and flea markets. But to experience real island pride, a shopping day in the newly renovated downtown Oranjestad is highly recommended, including a visit to one or two museums. Although some parts may still be under construction, a stroll through the embellished main street while visiting the oldest retail and department stores on the island should not be missed.
Hot Tips: The new trolley! Climb aboard, sit back and enjoy a scenic ride along the harbor and down Main Street Oranjestad.
Best Local Souvenir: Aruba Aloe products from the Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory at Hato.
Aruba Is Known for...
Four of Aruba's most unique features and characteristics.Seafood
It should come as no surprise that a Caribbean island is noted for seafood. Indeed, many visitors eat nothing else during their stay and are happy to do so. Fresh fish and shellfish abound at Aruba's many local restaurants. Because the island is a wildly popular haven for New Englanders of every stripe during the winter months, there's no shortage of popular American chain restaurants, but you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't venture off the beaten path at least once to sample truly local flavor and its limitless offering of seafood. For those who prefer turf over surf but still want to be adventurous and "go native" during their stay, Iguana soup is a popular local dish.Sun & Sand
Equally unsurprising is that Aruba is world-famous for its beaches and astoundingly ideal climate. Don't like winter? This is the island getaway you've been dreaming about. Don't like heat? You're in luck there too; the tropical marine climate makes for endless sunny days, but a near-constant breeze makes Aruba more than livable. The many beaches of Aruba are varied but all equally compelling. Baby Beach offers some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, while Arashi Beach, with its white sand and shady...
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