Things To Do In Aruba
Aruba epitomizes a beautiful part of the Caribbean with its enticing turquoise colored waters, fine white sand, spectacular scenery, and to enjoy a long walk along its spacious beaches while you breathe the clean and fresh breeze of the island. The island holds a variety of options to see and things to do starting from its most popular landmark, the Natural Bridge, explore the various ranchos where you can spend a day of horseback riding, check out the cultural museums and preserved ruins, or simply admire the historic and colorful presence of the Dutch inspired community, the Oranjestad.
When To Go:
The best time to visit the island is from April to August. It is the appropriate time for a tour because it is when the island's low prices (from flights to lodging accommodation) can be availed. Furthermore, since the island is situated too far from the hurricane belt, there's almost no danger of storms or any unexpected rain showers around this time. January to March registers an average climate; however the room costs can take off. You can likewise discover good discounts if you schedule a tour in the early fall season. At whatever time you visit, remember Aruba is inclined to extreme trade winds, which makes for an incredible experience for windsurfers.
Here is a list of attractions to visit and things to do when in the island of Aruba.
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The Eagle Beach is one of the best beaches in Aruba that will leave you speechless. It has soft, white sand and crystal clear water that is very much different from the other beaches situated in the Caribbean. It can be easily reached by bus and if you are travelling solo or having an excursion with friends this beach is a must stop. For families with kids, this place is not advisable because the strong waves and breeze makes the sea unsafe for swimming.
This part of the island has fewer crowds and a few shaded areas for sun protection. Keep in mind to bring your own snack because there is nothing to find there in case you feel famished. The beach is not equipped with facilities for food and drinks, despite being a busy beach and close to the center of the island. Still, it is an excellent beach for a good day to experience the sun and sea. You can rent beach chairs and just spend time to unwind and relax while the cold breeze touches your face.
The Natural Pool is another attraction that deserves a visit when in Aruba. It is nothing more than a depression formed in the rock on the coast most battered by the waves. The only way to reach it is with a 4 x 4 since the path is very complex and sometimes dangerous. It is best to make the visit in the morning when it is less crowded and where you can enjoy a quiet time to swim. Do not forget to wear good water shoes otherwise the sharp edges of the rock can hurt your feet.
The walk takes about 40 minutes and the place looks absolutely deserted and windy, and the best rewards after a treacherous hike; the beautiful play of colors in the waters of the pool and the unparalleled views of the surroundings. The natural pool is a small pool, but it has very clear water and lots of fish and the depth is reasonable. Swim, dive, snorkel, take pictures, and make lasting memories as you take the time to get acquainted with this natural wonder of the island.
Spend a day and experience great diving expeditions when discovering the marvelous waters of the Malmok Reef. This reef is the favorite spot for professional divers because it contains a huge variety of fish, corals, and wild marine life in all shapes, colors, and sizes. But the real highlight of a diving expedition is the possibility to visit the wreckage of a plane (Debbie II) in the middle of the Caribbean sea that brings curious divers and tourists to this part of the attraction.
You can rent a boat that will bring you to the exact location of the wreckage as well as reach the safe and easy access to the beach. The place is serene but cannot be accessed by public transport and if you are not into diving, you can stroll and just soak in the beauty of the atmosphere. Rent a vehicle to see the other side of this protected reef and bring your own food and drinks too. In between the rocks, you can see a long line of beaches from afar and the chance to see millions of fish species and rocky corals.
The Arashi Beach is a small beach that is not too busy and located in the northern part of the island when one is on the way to the lighthouse. It's a beach where you can stop to rest a moment, as you can swim on its shallow parts. There are people who snorkel here, families on a picnic, young ones who takes pictures of themselves with the blue green water behind them, or couples who just lounge in the sun bed with umbrellas and go people watching while the cold wind from the ocean kiss their faces.
It is advisable to bring your own provisions as there are no stores or restaurants on this side of the island. There are no facilities except a small seller of soft drinks and fresh coconut juice just across the beach. It looks secluded and quiet, but there are some tourists who prefer it this way, away from the hustle and bustle of the town, and where they can spend time to contemplate in peace and quiet on a tranquil beach like the Arashi. A visit is definitely a must when in the beautiful island of Aruba.
Situated on the western part of the island, the Palm Beach is famous for being the” beach of the hotels”. There are always many people anywhere you go around this attraction, it is crowded and a total opposite of its nearby secluded beaches like the Arashi, Eagle, and Malmok, all crowded. The beach is very nice and everything is perfect and it is suitable for the whole family, but the big problem is the wind which is really strong especially near the sea.
It is also close to premium shopping centers, restaurants, bars and resorts, which makes it super comfortable. Try any of the water sports activities offered here (Jet Ski, banana boat ride, parasailing, etc.). This beach is easy to access too, because you can take any buses coming from the town of Oranjestad. It is an ideal beach with tall palm trees, spacious, neat, white sand and friendly locals. A visit here is mandatory when in the Caribbean islands.
The California Lighthouse is an attraction you should not miss if you are in Aruba. It is one of the official symbols of the island therefore it is worth taking some time to visit. It does not take more than an hour to go see it and it is easily accessible via a rented 4 x 4. It is one of the most photographed scenic spots in Aruba. Be sure to visit the restaurant located next to the lighthouse because aside from the spectacular view, the food is excellent.
It is well maintained because of its cultural and historical importance. However, climbing the top of the lighthouse is not allowed and there are guides who will explain why and share the history of the place. The staff is very friendly, they all speak different languages, so no one has problems in the communication and interaction. Although the imposing structure has shown a few rusty sides, the breathtaking views from this point and overlooking the beach is one for the books.
Arikok National Park
Aruba is not only about luxury hotels, elegant casinos and immaculate white beaches. Aruba also has another side and this can be found in the Arikok National Park. If you look closely you can see a lot in the park like; exotic plants, flowers, cactus species and animals. There are plenty of walking trails that will help you understand the rich flora and fauna of Aruba. The Arikok Park is beautifully located and offers a good impression of the original landscape of the island.
Cacti dominates the place and guides will educate you about the different types of cacti that you can find in this park. In the middle of the park you can see collapsed mine shafts that was once searched for gold. Today it has become a bat haven. Try to climb the high hill and see the wonderful views over Aruba. The park also has a natural pool and the challenging walk up there along the rugged north coast is beautiful. Because of the temperature, it is advisable to begin early in the morning. There are hiking and biking trails that you can join to make the trek to the park more easy and convenient for you.
The Boca Catalina is one of the best snorkeling paradises in Aruba. On its waters you can have the chance to meet a spotted ray, parrotfish, octopus, barracuda, turtles, sharks, etc. The coral beach is lined with palm leaf umbrellas and there are nice shallow waters for children. This place is quite secluded but accessible by public transport and usually very quiet and not much tourists on this part of the island.
If you plan to visit, do not forget your snorkeling gear and flippers. It is a very small beach filled with many remains of reefs, but with thousands of fish that can be approached without fear or shame. The other highlight of this place is the calm and totally transparent waters. You can take the catamaran tour that will bring you to the three snorkeling points of the island. It is cool, safe, and the kids will surely enjoy the tour of the Boca Catalina.
The waters of the Baby Beach are rich with a beautiful mix of colors and no waves at all making it ideal for children. There are shallow parts that are perfect for snorkeling, where you can find huge schools of fish and a large threshold of barracudas. There are plenty of shades and it is not too crowded. Go a little earlier in the morning to secure a nice place and sun bed to occupy.
It is never overcrowded, but the shaded spots are quickly occupied if you come around 10 AM. The location is a bit far from the center of the island, but it is extremely quiet and safe, ideal to spend the whole day of swimming, snorkeling fun, or just simply soak up the sun.
Take time to enjoy the entire place. You can rent a boat and go on an island adventure or rent a 4 x 4 to explore the remote parts of this beach and the rest of the island. Make sure to reach the anchor point, where you can see a small road in the desert area. The contrast is great, as it has a barrier where waves hit very hard while the beach is very quiet. The only thing that distracts the beauty of this place is the presence of the oil refinery which is next to this point.
The Rancho Notorious is a great option for those who want to know the island of Aruba while riding on the back of the horse. The tour is best done with the accompaniment of a guide who will take you to the various important points of the island. The lovely horse ride amidst the beautiful surroundings is highly recommended. The ride takes about three hours to accomplish and the horses are really calm, sweet, and kept tidy by the guides.
There is a short course about horse riding before the actual ride where you will learn how to train the horses how to gallop, stroke, and communicate with the horse through its reins. The experience is truly unique and the trail to the beach and Aruba’s panoramic landscape is worth all the time and effort.
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