10Best Tours And Excursions To Get The Most Out Of Your Aruba Vacation
By Liliana Erasmus
Aruba Local Expert
If you are spending time in a new city or destination, guided tours and excursions are a great way to familiarize yourself with the area, as well as for visiting some of the great sights. Tours can vary from regular walking tours to helicopter or boat tours, depending on the location. If Aruba is where you will be heading, Segway Tours Aruba is among our top picks. Aruba has so much more to offer, depending on your level of adventure, reason for visiting, travel party’s needs, or on the occasion. Ever wondering if learning to dive is worth the effort? Get your PADI and find out. What better place to explore the underwater world than on this tropical island? If sailing and snorkeling is more your cup of tea, there are plenty of terrific tours that combine both activities. For hikers in need of solid ground and desolate landscapes, Aruba has a wonderful national park to explore - on foot, by jeep, by Quadracer, or by touring bus. Not over the top enough? Take a helicopter ride and enjoy the island from a bird’s eye view, or take that daring plunge from a plane with Skydive Aruba! Whether it’s sight seeing, water sporting, or deep sea fishing, we hope these recommendations will help you to make the best of your stay.
Arikok National Park Foundation
This wildlife park encompasses roughly 20% of the entire island and is dedicated to the conservation of Aruba's natural environment, and cultural-historical heritage, educating both, citizens and guests alike, on the importance of ecological sustainability for the benefit of future generations. The visitor center at the entrance to the park provides many facilities, including a park exhibition, an information booth, restrooms, a coffee house, a souvenir shop and a media room. Many tour companies offer excursions through these wilds but, thanks to well-maintained walking paths, exploring on your own is also an option. Within the park you will see the ruins of a gold mining operation, caves, ancient indian drawings, and some remnants of an old colonial Dutch settlement. Mount Yamanota, Aruba's highest peak, is also part of Arikok park. As you walk the trails expect to see divi-divi and kwihi trees, cacti, indigenous aloe, and many tropical birds and lizards. (297-585-1234)
Atlantis Submarines Expedition
If scuba diving is not your thing but the wonders of the deep fascinate you, De Palm Tours has just the thing: the Atlantis Submarine Expedition that allows you to see a stunning array of marine life, from fish and sea turtles to coral and stingrays. If just being under the water (even in an airconditioned submarine) makes you jittery, try Atlantis' semi-sub, the Seaworld Explorer, which stays on the surface but offers incredible views from the hull. Tours are offered daily, call for specific times. The Atlantis Submarines Expedition tours begin at the Adventure Center in downtown Oranjestad where you will take a short transfer to the submarine onboard our shuttle vessel SubSeeker. (297-5824400)
Aruba Kayak Adventure
Take a look at Aruba from a different perspective! Starting at Pos Chikito, near Savaneta, these guided kayaking trips get you out on the ocean and in towards the southwest coast for a closer look at the impressive mangrove forests and the legendary Spanish Lagoon. Cross over to De Palm Island for a delicious lunch, and do a little snorkeling before returning to Barcadera Beach. Guides are knowledgeable and fun. Even if you've never kayaked before you will enjoy this trip, so don't worry. Basic instruction is part of the package, and so is transportation to and from all hotels. (297-5825520)
The Gold Mine Ranch
Gold was first discovered on Aruba in 1824, and over the next century the precious metal was mined fairly exhaustively by Dutch, British and American companies. Today, this ranch near the original gold mines from Sero Crystal and surroundings, operates as a tourist attraction, guiding horseback riding trips to several of the harder to reach spots along the northeastern side of the island. Along with the mine ruins, you'll see Wariruri Beach, Baby Natural Bridge, the breathtaking white dunes, and plenty of indigenous wildlife. Trips last about two hours and free transportation to and from your hotel is available. Private tours are also offered. (297-5859870, 297-5944953)
This fisherman's family knows all about fish, and what the local waters have to offer. Enjoy a half, or a full day of exciting Aruban fishing with one of Driftwood's fishing charters, including all fishing equipment, bait, soft drinks, sandwiches, snacks and the crew's expert guidance. They are proud winners of many tournaments in Aruba and surrounding areas. From barracuda to wahoo and marlins or shark, the waters off this island are home to some of the Caribbean's best fishing grounds. Whether you're a first-time angler or a seasoned fisherman, one trip with Driftwood Charters and you'll be hooked forever. (297- 5924040)
This small family operated dive and snorkel center, started out as a hobby and kept on growing till it became one of the most popular places for locals and tourists to learn how to dive, snorkel, swim and even do some aqua fitness. Aqua Windie's not only offers the largest selection of dive and snorkel equipment on the island in their well-stocked shop, these people mean business! From Discovering Scuba Diving till Advanced Open Water courses and affordable snorkel trips, to swimming classes for all ages. Curious? Visit Aqua Windie's to find out more. It's located next to the Dr Horacio Oduber Hospital. (297-5835669, 297-5923975)
Mi Dushi Sailing & Snorkeling
Try Mi Dushi's "Taste of Aruba" sailing and snorkeling adventure. You will depart in the morning and feast on fresh baked goods and mimosas. Next, learn to snorkel and take a tour to the sunken WWII German freighter "Antilla." Then settle down for a lunch of Chicken Leg, Grouper with creole sauce, Caribbean Rice, Tomato Cucumber Salad, Fruit Skewer and bread. There is a complimentary premium open bar and all equipment and instruction is included. Don't miss Mi Dushi's famous rope swing and romantic hammock. And if you just can't get enough of this authentic sailing ship, jump on board of Mi Dushi's Sunset Happy Hour Cruise and party on. (297-5862010)
Segway Tours Aruba
Located between the Holiday Inn Resort and the Marriott's Surf Club, right behind the MoomBa Beach Bar, Segway Tours Aruba is waiting to take curious guests on a one-of-a-kind journey. Make your Aruba stay memorable by exploring the island on a Segway X2; a durable off-road transporter that is ready to navigate the island's varied terrain with ease. Enjoying Aruba's spectacular views and landscapes has never been so relaxing and fun. After a short training, anyone can drive a Segway Crossover, children and the elderly alike, as long as they follow the safety guidelines. It's that easy! (297-5609850)
Come take the leap with Skydive Aruba and experience the thrill of tandem skydiving over one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. There is only one company in Aruba that can help you fall through the skies and fly without wings. But rest assured that the Skydive Aruba team knows what their doing. With a skillful staff that has accumulated more than 10,000 jumps, parachute equipment that is professionally maintained by a certified parachute rigger on staff and an excellent airplane, your free fall and on-target landing can only become the best and most daring adventure ever! (297-7350654)
ABC Tours & Attractions
At ABC Tours & Attractions, tour guides take your vacation personally. For this young and innovative company, guests are the primary focus. That's why they score high with their professional, fun-filled excursions and attractions. Adventurers can live up to their expectations with ABC's half day Natural Pool Safari, or the full day Island Safari. Both rides promise thrilling hours of bumping off the roads in roaring Land Rovers while visiting interesting historical sites, and enjoying the island's most precious natural highlights. For a more laid-back trip, try the Baby Beach Safari. Follow the colorful fleet of jeeps along Aruba's breathtaking coastline and take a refreshing plunge in the cool clear waters of Baby Beach -- with or without snorkeling gear. It's all included. (297- 5825600)
About Liliana Erasmus
Born and raised in Aruba, Liliana moved to the Netherlands to continue her college education in Marketing. Since 1998 she’s been back on her beloved island, where she is working as a full-time writer in her native language Papiamento and in Dutch, official language of the Dutch Caribbean.
Liliana has enjoyed a varied career, which includes television work, voice acting, copy writing, reading promotion, illustrating, creative writing classes, column writing and sharing Aruba’s beauty secrets as a local expert.
Currently, Liliana’s finishing her first speculative fiction novel set in Aruba; one of the most extraordinary places on earth, according to her.
Read more about Liliana Erasmus here.