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15 Things To Do In Aruba in 2022

Planning a trip to Aruba and not sure about what would welcome you? No worries! We have a comprehensive list of the best things to do in Aruba in 2021.

Amazing white beaches that frame crystal blue waters are where it all starts in the Lesser Antilles. Where it goes from there depends on how much time you have.

The island will never bore you with activities: beautiful beaches, snorkeling, diving wrecks, surfing the waves, spelunking, and off-road riding over hills blooming with cacti. It might seem impossible that all of these surprises fit in this small Caribbean island, but magically it does!

Best Things to do in Aruba

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Walk by Eagle Beach

Also known as the Low-Rise Area due to its high-rise hotels built on low grounds, the northwest of Eagle Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Aruba because of its easy access to nearby hotels and its pure blue waters contrasted by the white sand shore. Whether you’re out to build sandcastles with the kids or to sip a glass of mojito while enjoying the scenery, Eagle Beach is the place to go!

What to expect:

  • Water sports activities: parasailing, scuba diving, SUP, snorkeling, tube rides
  • Hotels nearby offer a lovely view of the sunset.
  • These accommodations also offer water sports equipment and a sunset cruise.
  • Restaurants and snack bars line up the shores.

Things to remember:

  • If you want quiet lodging, opt for boutique hotels.
  • Wear a hat as protection from sand since the area is also ventilated by strong winds.
  • Walk around early in the morning, and you will encounter some of the area’s wildlife animals.

Eagle Beach is open to the public all day and night throughout the year. If you want to spend the day full of exciting activities, Eagle beach is for you! Chill by the shores, try out watersports, the options are endless.

Learn more about Eagle Beach here!

Sunbathing at Baby Beach

Located south, 45 minutes via taxi or car from Palm Beach, Baby Beach is the stress-buster of the typically crowded Palm and Eagle Beaches. Take a ride down to Baby Beach and San Nicolas to calm the over-hype from water sports activities. It’s also one of the best places on Aruba to get that perfect holiday tan you’ve been dreaming about.

What to expect:

  • Gentle waves and shallow waters for families traveling with kids
  • The left side of the beach is a rocky area ideal for snorkeling.
  • The stretch of white sand
  • Beach chairs rentals
  • Free huts
  • Snack bars

Things to remember:

  • There are limited restroom facilities within the area.

Open every day, the Baby Beach is an ideal spot for families and those who want to escape the noise and crowd of eventful shores. It’s a laid-back beach where you can simply enjoy the moment and soak all the Aruban vibes.

Learn more about Baby Beach here!

Check out the marine ecosystem at Tres Trapi

North of Palm Beach, Tres Trapi can be easily recognized from the roadside for the volcanic rock carved with 3 steps. It’s a snorkeler’s haven where you can plunge into the underwater world and immerse yourself in a memorable experience. Immerse yourself into the region’s natural marine beauty when you drop by at Tres Trapi.

What to expect:

  • Snorkel-friendly waters
  • White sand and blue waters
  • Red cushion starfish filling up the seafloor

Things to remember:

  • Visit early to avoid getting into stressful crowds.
  • You will also come across some animals if you drop by first thing in the morning. Turtles are also often seen in the area.

If diving is not possible, Tres Trapi is a must-visit. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned snorkeling enthusiast, you’ll have fun exploring this area. A break from the bustles by the shores is a holistic approach to relaxation. And Tres Trapi is one of the most beautiful places to escape to.

Learn more about marine ecosystem at Tres Trapi here!

Go Eco at Arikok National Park

If you love animals, make sure that you never miss the Arikok National Park. It shows the rugged and natural ecosystem of the island, which enchants whoever visits. Whether you’re a passionate animal lover or you’re with children, a visit here will be an unforgettable trip. There are also surprises waiting for you all nature lovers out there!

What to expect:

  • Various local fauna like donkeys, birds, whiptail lizards, and parakeets.
  • Caves
  • Limestone cliffs
  • Sand dunes
  • Natural pool

Things to remember:

  • Do not forget to drop at their visitor center to get a map and talk with the park ranger.
  • It is highly suggested that you rent an ATV to roam around and get the most out of your tour.
  • There are also trails you can hike instead, in case renting a 4×4 is not an option for you.
  • Going through all its wonders in a single day is not possible. So, choose the top 3 things you would like to experience during your visit and explore the rest for another day.

Address: San Fuego 70, Santa Cruz, Aruba

They are open from 8 A.M. until 4 P.M every day. You can visit their website for the entire details regarding fees, open hours, and park rules. If you’re still wondering what to do in Aruba, Arikok National Park deserves a spot in your travel itinerary.

Learn more about Arikok National Park here!

Let your eyes feast at the California Lighthouse

Well, where’s the best spot to watch the sunset over the pure blue water horizon? High at the California Lighthouse!

Named from a wrecked British ship on its shores dating back to the 19th century, the California Lighthouse is tourists’ preferred stop after a long day’s activities. Though it might be an overrated thing to do in Aruba, the old 1910 lighthouse is still a crowd’s favorite, especially the romantic types.

What to expect

  • Scenic view of the sunset
  • Easy access from Palm Beach
  • California Sand Dunes
  • Italian restaurants near the lighthouse

Things to remember:

  • Though it is unlikely that you will be able to drive in California Sand Dunes, you can ride up to the limits and hike up.

Address: L.G. Smith Blvd, Noord, Aruba

The California Lighthouse is open daily. Take time to check out their website for further details.

It’s also a solitude spot for some me-time. The vistas will inspire you to introspect and appreciate the life you’re blessed to have. Take in the view, enjoy the breeze and feel the tropical atmosphere when you check out the California Lighthouse.

Learn more about California Lighthouse here!

Plunge to visit the Pedernales Wreck

A World War II tanker, the SS Pedernales was on route to Aruban refinery when it was taken down. It was destroyed by a U-boat boarding Germans. If taking a deep dive into the local underwater ecosystem tops your travel plan, then you’ll love making an effort to see Pedernales Wreck.

What to expect:

  • Historical wreck submerged around 25 feet below sea level
  • Snorkeling, free diving, scuba diving
  • Rich marine life: blue parrotfish, stingray, eagle ray, scorpionfish, and turtles.
  • The cabins are still intact and open for exploration

Things to remember:

  • The wreck is accessible from the shores of Palm Beach.
  • Diving companies can take you to site like the Native Divers Aruba and the Red Sail Sports.
  • The cost tilts towards expensive based on equipment needed, your experience, and the time needed for the dive.

You can also check our best diving spots in Aruba 2021 guide. There’s a whole new world waiting for you at Pedernales Wreck. It’s a must-see for both novice and professional divers. You won’t be disappointed with your diving session here while you’re in Aruba.

Learn more about Pedernales Wreck here!

Feed the big birds at Aruba Ostrich Farm

What bird species lay the largest eggs and only have a couple of toes in each foot? Ostrich! Visiting Aruba will feed you all types of informative and fascinating trivia about ostriches. Take advantage of this opportunity if you’ve never seen an ostrich before. Your entire family will also have a good time interacting with the wildlife residents of Aruba Ostrich Farm!

What to expect:

  • Close encounter with ostriches
  • Ostrich awareness tours
  • Souvenir shop
  • Restaurants

Things to remember:

  • Bring an umbrella or hat as sun protection. No huts are available for shade.
  • Photographers inside the farm will overcharge you for photos.
  • Spot the Aruba Ostrich Farm easily along the road to Natural Bridge before reaching Bushiribana

Address: Matividiri 57, Paradera, Aruba

Some visitors claim that feeding the ostriches is a good stop-over during a day trip before carrying on with other plans. But for families traveling with kids, their experience at that Aruba Ostrich farm is an unforgettable one. Your little ones will be fascinated seeing these giant birds face to face!

Open every day from 9 A.M. until 4 P.M. drop by their website for more information and inquiries.

Learn more about Aruba Ostrich Farm here!

Go against the wind at Hadicurari Beach

Hadicurari Beach sits northwest of Aruba, next to the infamous Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino. It’s easy to recognize the Hadicurari Beach with its beach shacks lined up in its coarse shores. Never tested kitesurfing before? Classes are also available here. Ride the waves and let the wind take you to an exciting experience at Hadicurari Beach.

What to expect

  • Powerful winds
  • Kiteboarding and windsurfing
  • Rough shores made of pebbles, broken shells, and corals
  • Shallow waters
  • Kayaking

Things to remember:

  • Wear proper footwear to avoid hurting your feet
  • Kiteboarding tournaments and windsurfing events begin in the last week of June or the first week of July.

Traveling families also prefer the low water level at Hadicurari Beach for the safety of their children. Kitesurfing here has a dedicated section, so it doesn’t bump into anyone swimming in the waters. Hadicurari Beach is free to access every day.

Learn more about Hadicurari Beach here!

Hiking the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations

Maybe staying by the beach has become too mundane, or diving is just impossible for you, then chasing the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations trails is your go-to. Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations will fascinate you whether you are a seasoned hiker, generally a nature lover, or you’re just looking for another adventure.

Situated east of the island, tourists love the place as an escape route from the usual Aruban activities like diving, spa pampering, and casino plays.

What to expect:

  • Boulders, cacti, and nature trails
  • Scenic view at the summit

Things to remember:

  • Wi-Fi is available for free at the Casibari Rock Formations.
  • There is a BBQ Bar and Grill where you can purchase drinks and order food.
  • No shades in the area so bring a hat, sunglasses, and lots of water.
  • Hike early in the morning to avoid cruise passenger crowds.
  • Don’t go hiking during nighttime to avoid nocturnal wildlife.

Tourists can hike every day. So if you want some break from the water, or you’re more of a monkey than a fish, conquer the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations. Plus, it’s another spot to get a different perspective of Aruba’s beauty.

Learn more about Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations here!

Help the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba

Yes, there are cute donkeys in Aruba. Located at Santa Cruz, 8 miles northeast of Eagle Beach, they are sheltered by the nonprofit organization called the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba.

Their mission is to save the remaining donkeys as well as spread awareness about their value. Donkeys played a vital role in Aruba’s transportation history, but their number is continuously decreasing. Are you a devoted self-proclaimed eco-warrior? You can’t miss a visit to Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. It’s also the place to go if you want to introduce your kiddos to the importance of proper animal care.

What to expect:

  • Be up-close with donkeys
  • Feed them with carrots and apples
  • Informational tours
  • Souvenir shop

Things to remember:

  • There’s no charge to get inside the sanctuary, but you can make donations to help their mission.

Address: Bringamosa 2-Z, Santa Cruz, Aruba

Families traveling with children will find this tour worthwhile. If you’re still looking for a daytime date idea, spending time here will be a fun thing to do. The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is open from 9 A.M until 4 P.M. Take a look at their website for details.

Learn more about Donkey Sanctuary Aruba here!

Try your luck at the Hyatt Regency Aruba

Play at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Casino for a fun night. With 13 game tables, as well as 19 poker machines and over 221 units of slot machines, your luck will be tested to its last strand. There’s something to keep you busy, whether it’s placing bets or the live entertainment and drinks. Besides, what’s a holiday without a bit of uncertainty and excitement?

What to expect:

  • Easy access from Palm Beach
  • Live music
  • Bingo hours
  • Friendly casino service
  • Exotic drinks
  • Free drinks while playing
  • Fine hand-rolled Cuban cigars

Things to Remember:

  • The best spot is near the ventilation system of the casino for better air quality.
  • Visit from Tuesday till Sunday when Hyatt Regency Aruba Casino is holding their event “Carnival in Rio”. You can enter for free and enjoy the live performances, but of course, playing your bets will still be on you

Address: J.E. Irausquin Blvd 85, Palm Beach, Aruba

The casino is open from 10 A.M. until 4 A.M. Be careful not to throw away all your budget! Drink, but don’t be too drunk. You don’t want to wake up the following morning with an empty bank account.

Learn more about Hyatt Regency Aruba here!

Take aesthetic photos with the flamingos at Renaissance Island

You probably already have seen Instagram posts where flamingos are the main attraction, more beautifully, on the beach! You need to check them out yourself at Renaissance Island. Though these gorgeous creatures are not local, they are cared for as the main attraction within the area to help the economy’s booming tourism sector. If you’ve never seen a flamingo up-close, this is your opportunity.

What to expect:

  • Picture taking with flamingos
  • Feed them treats
  • Sunbathing
  • Snorkeling, you’ll see yellowtail snapper, harlequin filefish, and sometimes garfish and barracuda.

Things to remember:

  • Limited shades from the sun

Learn more about Renaissance Island here!

Pamper yourself at Manchebo Beach

Take a walk south of Eagle Beach and Palm Beach to reach Manchebo Beach. It goes head-on with the first two’s beauty: white sand shore, and blue crystal waters. Manchebo Beach is also facing the western region of Aruba, where sunset happens. Want a romantic spot while in the country? Renaissance Island is one of the best.

What to expect:

  • Less crowd
  • Sunset watching
  • Sunbathing
  • Spa relaxation at Spa Del Sol

Things to remember:

  • Spa Del Sol offers a full spa experience inclusive of all their services such as mani-pedi, volcano scrub, and a wrap and aromatherapy massage. It also comes with free lunch!

Are you aching for an all-out relaxation while in Aruba? You’ll be grateful for putting in the effort to reach Manchebo Beach. Have your massage light or deep-tissue massage. Forget about your stresses for a while and treat yourself to a tour around Manchebo Beach.

Learn more about Manchebo Beach here!

Snorkel the waters of Mangel Halto

If you are looking for a beach that is more than just a beach, visit the Mangel Halto. This secluded area sits amongst mangroves and would take almost an hour from Palm Beach or Eagle Beach. Almost feels like a private beach, the waters in Mangel Halto are beginner-friendly. But that doesn’t mean that pros can’t enjoy this trip.

What to expect:

  • Calm waters around the mangrove area
  • Strong current outside of the bay, on the outer reef
  • Yellow goatfish, parrotfish, school of ocean surgeonfish, blue tang, trunkfish
  • Sunbathing
  • Public beach huts
  • Kayaking and SUP

Things to remember:

  • Visit mid-afternoon to avoid the hectic traffic.
  • Novice snorkelers can stay safe at the bay.
  • The outer reef holds most of the healthy corals and reefs with plenty of marine life forms.

Staying at the bay area within the mangroves is free. For snorkelers who want to go to the outer reef, the cost varies per company. But one thing is for sure, you’ll for fall the marine wildlife you’ll encounter at Mangel Halto!

Learn more about diving in Aruba and Mangel Halto here!

Take a look at the murals painted downtown

The houses downtown are beautifully painted with murals. Check them out while on your way to San Nicolas or Baby Beach. Soak in the local art scene and culture. Expose yourself to what brought Aruba to the country it is today. Are you a history buff? Adding this activity to your list will be a rewarding local experience.

What to expect:

  • A 44-mural tour lasting 1.5-2 hrs. Created with an overall nature theme.
  • Painting workshops

Things to remember:

  • Drop by their visitor center where they will provide you with a map to guide you in your search for the murals.

Address: Bernard van de Veen Zeppenfeldstraat 14, San Nicolas, Aruba

You’ll come across masterpieces by both known and unknown local artists. And you don’t have to be an artisan to appreciate them. The murals might even fuel your creativity and make your artwork as soon as you get home!

Learn more about the murals painted downtown here!

Your 3-Day Trip to Aruba Itinerary

It’s unbelievable how Aruba, a small Caribbean island, is full of exciting things to do. So much so you’ll never be bored. Too many you’ll wish to return once your trip comes to an end. The natural beauty of the beaches, the various landscapes, and the well-tanned skin you get while enjoying all of it!

Activities

Many tourists in Aruba find satisfaction in spending their days by the shore, on their beach chairs while enjoying the sun and the view. But, if you are an adventure seeker and want to make the most out of your trip, follow this 3-day itinerary we prepared for you. From walks on the beach to the most thrilling outdoor and underwater experience, we got you covered.

Day 1: Beach hunting and sunset watching by the lighthouse.

Aruba has been blessed tremendously with its stunning beaches. From long shores of white sand to hidden spaces on mangroves, you will constantly come across one while exploring the area. Some are great for water sports activities and swimming, some are less friendly.

Here are the beaches you can wander about, snorkel, or relax at the beach on your first day in Aruba:

  • Palm Beach:

The most famous beach to tourists is Palm Beach. Though most times crowded, the easy access from accommodations to the beach area is the top reason people choose to spend their days at Palm Beach.

Not only that, there are unlimited water activities you can enjoy: parasailing, going for a stand-up paddle board, or just swimming. Besides, hotels around the area offer free snorkels and masks for your snorkeling adventures.

  • Eagle Beach:

If you are not staying at one of the hotels near Palm Beach, chances are you will be at the neighboring shore, Eagle Beach. Its stretch of sand is facing the western coast of Aruba, perfect for a relaxing sunset by the beach.

  • Baby Beach:

Sitting south of Aruba, Baby Beach is known for its less crowded shores. Snorkeling is the best thing you can try in its blue waters. You can enjoy its underwater ecosystem without having to worry about other tourists doing extreme water sports bumping on you.

  • Tres Trapi:

Keep in mind to bring your snorkel and mask for a festive view at Tres Trapi’s waters. The three steps volcanic rock is an iconic symbol where most tourists stop to take a photo. These steps lead to Tres Trapi’s crystal blue waters.

  • California Lighthouse:

Once late afternoon hits and you have strolled along the beaches, snorkeled, and had your swim, check out the California Lighthouse. Wander to the north tip of Aruba and check out the scenic view at the top of the lighthouse. It also offers a picture-perfect background while the sun is setting west.

Day 2: Visit Arikok National Park.

Take a jeep tour or ride a 4×4 to Arikok National Park. You can’t miss visiting the park while on the island. It shows most of Aruba’s natural and local environment and ecosystem.

There are massive caves and a relaxing natural pool, as well as the endemic wildlife in Aruba. If you never tried horseback riding, even more so, horseback riding by the shore, now is your chance to experience it.

  • Guadirikiri Caves:

The caves and their stairways outside are enough of introduction to the rough patch of the paradise island. The harsh ride to them is on itself a little adventure where you come across rocky terrains and cacti trails. Inside the caves, notice the shining beams of light coming from the ceilings like they’re divine lights.

  • Natural Pool:

The natural pool at Arikok National Park is jaw-dropping; you won’t believe that it’s nature’s work. The rock formation in the pool creates a circle, functioning as a Jacuzzi when the waves crash against the borders.

  • Dos Playa:

Located in the eastern part of the coast, the waters at Dos Playa are one of the big areas in Aruba. Its tranquility is ideal for swimming and snorkeling as well. Not only that, but horseback riding is also a fun activity you can try while at Dos Playa.

Day 3: Choose a water activity you like, and opt for a sunset cruise.

Your trip to Aruba must be a memorable experience. It won’t be complete without any adventurous event. Scuba dive, free dive or do SUP Yoga and take a cruise for a couple of hours of snorkeling:

  • Scuba Diving:

The marine biodiversity on the island is an experience you don’t want to miss. Not only the natural underwater treasures but there is also a wreck submerged in shallow waters, something you’ll rarely come across with

If you have any expeditions in any countries located in Southeast Asia, please manage your expectations. Though you might not see as much, it is still worth the time to check what’s underwater.

  • SUP:

Stand-up paddleboard rentals are everywhere in Palm Beach. The Aruban days are mostly breezy so your SUP session will be more relaxing than a casual muggy SUP under the sun. You can also check out the wreck at Malmok Beach while you’re on board.

  • Snorkeling and Cruise Trips:

Maybe diving is not your forte. Don’t stress though! Snorkeling will also take you to the wreck sites. Few boats depart multiple times a day.

These trips will take you to the site of the wreckage and back to the shores. The sunset cruise is less crowded, meaning you’ll be able to explore as much as you want without being tangled in a crowd.

Accommodations

There are plenty of hotels and resorts along the shores of Aruba. The high-rise all-inclusive resorts are easy to spot. But, if you want a more peaceful stay, you can also choose the boutique hotels in the area.

Transportation

Most of these sites will be easily reached if you are using an ATV. Car rentals are only available at the airport, which you have to prepare ahead of time to avoid hassles. There are also tours that you can join if you want to be driving.

The roads in Aruba are straightforward and simple. Though you might mix up the routes, you can easily recalibrate with the help of Google Maps or other mapping apps. There will be times that the locals might just pop out of nowhere so remember to drive consciously and avoid high-speed trips.

Enjoy your trip to Aruba! We hope that this guide allows you to see the adventure and beauty that the island has to offer. It’s the ideal get-away for anyone. Aruba, a Caribbean island little enough to unpack its surprises in a short time, but never runs out of things to do will make you crave more.

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Things to do in Aruba

What are the free things to do in Aruba?

Stretch your budget a little longer and try out these fun activities at no cost at all:

  • Walk by Eagle Beach
  • Relax at Palm Beach and avoid the crowd
  • Sunbathing at Baby Beach
  • Check out the marine ecosystem at Tres Trapi
  • Go eco at Arikok National Park
  • Hiking the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations
  • Help the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
  • Pamper yourself at Manchebo Beach
  • Snorkel the waters of Mangel Halto
When’s the best time to visit Aruba?

It depends on what you’re after.

If you don’t mind paying the price to experience Aruba at its finest, be there between January and March. But if you’re on a budget, the low season is from April to August. Accommodation rates are cheaper. And the weather isn’t terrible since the island is situated out of the hurricane belt.

Is it safe to travel in Aruba?

Generally, yes.

Aruba is hailed as one of the safest Caribbean islands. But keep in mind that petty crimes involving drugs are still present, with the rare occurrence of violent crimes.

But like everywhere you go, practicing caution is still the best way to stay safe while traveling in Aruba.

Long Weekend Trip to Aruba?

Getting to Aruba is worth it, even for 3 days. There is sand, surf and moonlight aplenty here, all in an easy-to-do-it atmosphere. Read this suggested itinerary of a 3-day-stay in on the Caribbean island. Check out this guide to things to do in Aruba or alternatively look at this guide to scuba diving in the waters of Aruba.

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