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Aruba's Best Beaches and Bays for Swimming, Snorkeling, Surfing or Sunbathing



If your perfect vacation day includes soaking up the sun, playing in the sand, or swimming in the ocean, then our Aruba guide is just what you need. Our 10Best list highlights the best places to soak up the sun, with Arashi Beach being a favorite of our editors and readers. Turn off the laptop, pack your beach attire, and get ready for a relaxing day of taking in rays. Be careful not to get sunburned, though. Aruba’s sun can be feisty, even in the shadows of a beach cabana, or on a cloudy day. So, grab your hats and sunblocks,  and roll out your beach towels for an all natural tan, or dive into that crystal clear water to cool off. Not in the mood for sitting back and relaxing? Jump on a surfboard and crash the waves of Hadicurari. There’s enough watersport activity taking place near the Fisherman’s Huts to please any surfer; kitesurfer, windsurfer... Even water skiers, sailors and paragliders. Honeymooners and romantic couples are sure to find a perfect hideaway somewhere between the mangroves and Aruba’s vibrant marine life. And families with little kids can opt for beaches with shallow waters, plenty of shaded places and facilities.


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Northwest Coast


Hadicurari Beach, known for its picturesque Fisherman's Huts that dot the beach, is probably Aruba's most popular spot for windsurfing â€" in fact, it's actually the site of the annual Hi-Winds Pro-Am Windsurfing Competition. Just up the street is the so-called "Windsurfing Village," the center of the universe for many windsurfers. The water at Hadicurari is shallow, the winds are strong, the waves are gentle and equipment, lessons and local experts are all readily available. Hadicurari is accessible by bus or car, with plenty of parking and exciting possibilities. Whether it's surfing, swimming, sailing, snorkeling or simply sunning, Hadicurari is worth a splash.


This soft, white sand beach is located close to Baby Beach on the island's eastern tip. Swimming is excellent here, and the trade winds will keep beach bunnies cool. Coral formations are popular with snorkelers, because they house tons of fish and are close to shore. For families with small or water-shy kids, and couples searching for a nice quiet beach to unwind, Rodgers Beach is a great choice. The beach is less crowded than Baby Beach, the water is very calm and because it is sheltered with covered picnic areas and lots of parking, Rodgers Beach is also perfect for a picnic.


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Northwest Coast


Before Arashi Beach there is a long stretch of beautiful villas alongside a road called Malmok. The lucky owners of these oceanfront dream homes live across the rocky shores and narrow sand strips of Malmok Beach. Windsurfers, anchoring boats, snorkelers, divers, they all love the shallow clear waters of Malmok with its gorgeous reefs and intriguing sunken shipwrecks. For swimmers and sunbathers, there's also a little bay called Boca Catalina nearby, or Arashi Beach, a little bit further along the road. For the adventurous souls who don't mind jumping of these cliffs, a spectacular marine life awaits them under the crystal blue waters of Malmok.


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This natural pool, the locals call "Conchi", is the hidden gem of Arikok National Park and only accessible by 4x4 vehicles, by horseback or by foot. The calm and crisp clear water of the pool is a soothing contrast to the rugged coastal surroundings and perfect for swimming and snorkeling. For those in need of a serious getaway, this is the trip to adventure, to romance, or both. Combine a visit to "Conchi" Natural Pool with a day trip in Arikok National Park. Drive through Aruba's natural landscapes, hike and explore historical sights and take a dip in Aruba's only natural pool to refresh the spirit


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Northwest Coast
Boca Catalina

Boca Catalina is a good choice if you're trying to escape some of the crowds that populate the resort areas. It's easily accessible by bus and there is enough parking space for cars and other vehicles. The water here is shallow with lots of tropical fish, making it ideal for kids as well as for diving and snorkeling. Even though the little beach is nestled between rocky shores and luxurious villas, it's still a charming retreat for sunbathers and couples looking for a unique place to unwind. For those in need of sun and shade, Boca Catalina offers several palapa huts for its visitors.


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Palm Beach

Stretching from the Riu Palace Antillas resort to The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach passes by most of the island's high rise resort hotels. This stretched out and very welcoming white sand beach is perfect for sunning and socializing. Take a swim, stand up paddling lessons or just smooth along on your float. The calm tidal waters are ideal for family activities and those seeking relaxation. Bright tropical fish swim through the clear blue water, so snorkelers will find plenty to observe. If you get tired of lazying around on the beach, wander up to the hotels â€" most of them have ocean-side gardens that are open to the public, little souvenir kiosks and cozy beach bars with excellent cocktails, happy hours and Barbecue platters.


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Named after the tall mangroves that grow abundantly here and that provide a perfect underwater environment for one of Aruba's most precious reefs and beaches: Mangel Halto. Not only is this a wonderful picnic spot for families and romantic couples, but snorkelers and shore divers will be thrilled by this rich and colorful marine life experience. Mangel Halto is located in Pos Chikito on the southeast coast and close to the Spanish Lagoon. The shallow waters of Mangel Halto make it possible to walk further out to the edge of the reef before plunging into the depths of this unique site.


This secluded beach gets its name from the calm, shallow waters that make it perfect for babies â€" and timid swimmers! This is the beach that the locals frequent on their days off, whether they live close by, - in the district of San Nicolas, for example - or have to drive all the way from Oranjestad to get here. Snorkelers will also enjoy this area thanks to the coral formations that shield the lagoon. Bring your own towels and any gear that you will need, because even if there are some facilities available, like a snack bar for refreshments and quick bites and shaded areas for cooling off, Baby Beach doesn't have a convenience store nearby.


"Travel + Leisure" magazine named this stretch of powdery soft white sand, one of the "10 Best Beaches in the World." This public beach offers plenty of parking, shady picnic areas and palapa huts. Swimming is wonderful here and local hotels can set you up with equipment for water sports or other beach activities. There are plenty of facilities right on the beach, if you want to book a skiing trip, a jet ski or banana boat ride on the spot. The ones on the lookout for a more peaceful and secluded area will neither be disappointed. On the longest beach strip of the island, a world of possibilities await. Pick one of the sea grape trees on the far end of Eagle Beach and decorate it with beach bags, towels and a cool box full of ice cold beer.


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Northwest Coast
Arashi Beach
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp

Although Arashi Beach is located on the northernmost part of the island, getting to this favorite sunbathing and snorkeling spot isn't too troublesome. If you drive, there's plenty of parking, and if you take the bus, it will make a stop right in front of the beach. A visit here is certainly worthwhile, as the turquoise water is calm, the white sand is soft, the snorkeling is excellent and the beach is shaded with many palapa huts. On rainy or windy days, Arashi turns into the perfect bodyboarding and surfing beach, with decent waves to ride. Shell collectors can stroll along the peaceful strip of Arashi to find peculiar pieces, like sea urchins, sand dollars and maybe even a starfish. Active vacationers can opt for a short cliff top walk to the California Lighthouse nearby. The splendid coastal and island views are worth every drop of sweat.


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Meet 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...  More About Liliana

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