Don't Miss Places In Aruba
Dotted with beaches and flat landscapes, Aruba holds an ideal characteristics and culture of the region that is very receptive to travelers. This country completes the trio of the scenic beaches that comprises the Caribbean; Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (ABC) fronting the coast of the Venezuelan region. The warm, sunny weather, refreshing breeze of the wind, spectacular blue-colored sea, nice and clean beaches are just a few of its huge crowd drawing qualities that attracts tourists from all over the world. In good weather, the waters are calm and gentle at most times which make it ideal for swimming and diving expeditions. Tourism is the chief industry. Many of the resorts are clustered along the sandy beaches on the western and southwestern part of its shore.
These are the top ten not to be missed places in Aruba.
This beach is on the top 10 list of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Fine white sand, azure blue sea, light waves, crystal clear water and infinitely long coastline, without a doubt, it is a dream beach that perfectly compliments an ideal vacation. It holds a lot of marvelous spectacles like; pelicans plunging into the water, the romantic sunset and the natural view of the sea. The Eagle Beach is an almost deserted white beach that is far away enough from the area of the large hotels. The scenery is really beautiful and evokes the classic "Caribbean dream" but there are no services such as bars and restaurants or water sports adventures. Definitely worth a visit and bring a camera to take pictures of "postcard" shots.
This beach is suitable for those seeking relaxation and silence. In this area there are very few hotels, residences and apartments are above, there is also a shopping center with signature brands and great shopping opportunities (smaller than those in Palm Beach). On the beachfront areas, loungers and umbrellas are free. There are not many tourists, so you can admire the beauty of the beach and enjoy nature in peace. It is a place where it is required to take a picture with the Divi - Divi trees, a hallmark symbol of the island of Aruba.
Palm Beach is about ten miles from the capital city, Oranjestad. It is the most famous tourist attraction in Aruba. Here you will find not only the large and luxurious resorts, but also several local (restaurants, pubs, hard rock cafe, shops, malls, stalls of local handicrafts, etc.) establishments. The beach is fantastic with its white sand and clear water in different shades of blue that are mixed together. The line of palm trees in the sand provides enough shade over the beach that is full of chairs, sun loungers with parasols and several options for aquatic recreation.
The temperature around this beach is stable (28-29 degrees during the day and at night). The water is calm, warm, and you can swim up to the allowed depths without any difficulty. You can also do a great variety of water sports (banana boat, parasailing, catamaran rides, snorkel, etc.). Outside the hotel, especially at night the area becomes lively and entertaining with the help of the locals. Walking around here is not dangerous (of course you have to take precautions, but it is much quieter than other parts, and especially compared to other Caribbean islands). The shops in the area are officially open until 10 pm.
De Palm Island
It is a small island that can be reached with a few minutes by boat and located in front of a water purification and desalination plant. There are in addition to bars, restaurants, fast-food restaurant, a swimming pool, aquatic park, and playground for children and adults to enjoy. You can snorkel with complete equipment provided free of charge or engage in a wide option of water sports activities.
There are two small sandy beaches (artificial) that is equipped with parasols, beach chairs, and loungers, plus diving and snorkeling areas that are suitable for beginners and professionals. For those who have children under 10 years old it is definitely a destination suited to spend a day in relaxation and tranquility. De Palm Island is very close to the coast of Aruba, it has good infrastructure and everything is well organized. Admission is not cheap but it is worth every penny.
You have to go early and enjoy the whole day. It's the kind of place you will not want to go and leave too soon. They have a restaurant and café with food already included in the ticket. The site is a great option for couples with children. The fact that the admission ticket offers all inclusive deals makes this island all the more interesting.
Philip’s Animal Garden
Philip's Animal Garden is a kind of sanctuary that cares for animals that have been mistreated or abandoned. It can be found on the road leading to the Alto Vista Chapel. The admission price comes with a package of carrots and fodder to feed the animals. The place is beautiful and well maintained. You will find all sorts of animals; horses, donkeys, wild cats, camels, llamas, roosters, turtles, goats, snakes, monkeys, kangaroos, and other kinds of exotic pets and livestock. Animals rescued and adopted by different reasons are what you'll find here, and they will come up to you once you enter their cages with the big bag of food to offer them.
A visit is really worthwhile especially with great guides and staff who are attentive to the animal’s needs. The small zoo is very clean, the animals are well taken care of and guests can help keep this wonderful place by feeding and petting them. The haven for animals is a nice experience where you can find a peace that is worth going. The guides and this brilliant idea are commendable and very inspiring. This place is perfect for animal and nature lovers, very educational, and informative for children.
Alto Vista Chapel
The Alto Vista Chapel is a beautifully restored church that is located at the top of a hill. Behind this church is a huge labyrinth where the faithful can walk and meditate. This church is the first established church built in 1750 by the early Spanish missionaries. On the way there are on the side of the road signs and crosses saying the prayer (Our Father) and passages from the bible as you climb the hill of this yellow colored chapel. It is also a place where Arubans hold a sort of crusade. Just sit back with a beautiful view over the sea, on one of the benches.
It is full of small windows making it very airy despite being really small. While it is very charming on the outside, there is nothing inside. It has many beautiful cacti around and an impressive view of the coast. If the priest is around, It pays to know and hear the interesting story of the construction of the chapel. In the nearby square, there are sellers of slush, ice cream and soft drinks that are truly refreshing on a hot summer day.
Arikok National Park
The Arikok National Park has long stretches of cactus, acacia, spiky and sharp rocks but when it gets close to the sea everything changes. The approaching scene of white beaches and the sea that crashes its waves with all their strength on the cliff is one gorgeous sight. You need to rent a 4x4 jeep if you want to enjoy the park and the beautiful views of the landscape. First, you can make stops in the two caves inhabited in the past by the natives of the island a hundred years ago. The uniqueness of the landscape that is dry and uncontaminated is accentuated by its vastness that reaches almost 20% of the entire island. The marked road trails, winding and uneven lead to breathtaking views that go from lunar landscapes to endless expanses of cactus as long undulating dunes of white sand stretches of coast where the sea breaks violently rushing over the rocks.
You meet such wonderful corners and beaches (no swimming) as well as quieter temporary pools due to the ebb and flow of sea water invading the land. The entrance to the caves is free, although locally there is always a guard who is very quick to guide guests who makes a sudden visit (the caves are small). The park is well supplied with drinking water snack food and other goods as well as clean toilets. It is a park that is not to be missed when in the beautiful island of Aruba.
The Natural Bridge is located along the east coast of Aruba and considered as the most rugged part due to its volcanic rock landscape. The last stretch of road is unpaved and consists of several holes along the way. The bridge is a rock formation that joins two sections of rocks.
The waves here are really rough but still it is a good place to see. The landscape is wild and very much in contrast to the tranquility of the beaches of the nearby resorts but you can make beautiful photos of the stormy sea, the cliffs, colors and its breathtaking scenery.
To experience natural swimming between coral rock sides, you must have a great sense for adventure. Getting there requires an all terrain vehicle and a guide because access is really difficult. Do not expect to find a road or even a trail. You must first roll in a rocky terrain that is rugged and physically challenging. The slope is steep, bumpy, and you must cling tight to the provided handle bars. You can start the tour by visiting the California lighthouse, a chapel, the Natural Bridge and finally the Natural Pool.
The discovery of this natural pool eventually rewards you for your effort with its scenic charm and a place full of big rocks. Hide behind the big boulders where you will find a natural calm water that is ideal for snorkeling and deep sea diving. Watch the spectacle of how the sea throws up its waves to attack the rock pool. Water shoes are recommended and be very careful when you walk or jump over the slippery rocks because from time to time the sea slams its chilly water when the shores gets rough (sometimes it passes over the rocks). This is a place to for people who seeks a thrilling adventure in Aruba and definitely not advisable for small children.
The Baby Beach is small but very impressive and situated at the southern tip of the island. It's a great beach to snorkel because it has a great variety of fish and corals. If you need to take showers after a swim, some restaurants allow if you are a customer and consuming. The beach is in a very remote desert region and has no proper structure (only two trailers that sell snacks and drinks), do not have public restrooms, chairs, cabanas, loungers, and rented palapas are a bit overpriced.
Baby Beach has the classic crescent shape with white sand and clear waters, trees that give much shade, and its rich coral reef. The water here is much warmer than the other beaches in Aruba and the basins are protected by the reef. It's very photogenic, if you do not circumscribe the presence of the abandoned refinery in the distance. There are no umbrellas but only “rare palms” to give shade and shelter. Snorkel masks and goggles are for rent. It is a quiet beach with shallow waters without a single hotel or resort in sight. It is relatively safe for children and for people who cannot or don’t know how to swim.
The California Lighthouse is located in the northern part of the island and can be reached by renting a car or a jeep for a day of fun. The lighthouse, despite being well known has absolutely nothing exceptional to show but it is kept clean and pretty although many of its parts are rusty. Getting inside is not allowed. You get there, take photos and admire the 360 degree panorama of the nearby picturesque islands and the rocky sea in its beautiful colors. There is no public transport to get to this place. There is one restaurant where you can have coffee and a taste of the local Aruban cuisine while you admire the surrounding area of the lighthouse.