Although the island of Aruba is just a modest 70 square miles, it boasts countless activities to fill your time there.
Located in the south of the Caribbean Sea, Aruba is a melting pot of around 100 different nationalities. Ancient roots of Aruba go back to the Caqueito Indians, but it also experienced many years of Spanish and Dutch rule—it was first colonized by the Spanish in 1499 before being transferred to Dutch rule in 1636. In fact, Aruba is still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Aruba boasts a bustling tourism industry as travelers flock to the dry, sunny climate and beautiful beaches. It’s a perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway as there are so many resorts to choose between and quiet spots on the island. Additionally, gentle beaches, guided tours, and its welcoming atmosphere make it great for the whole family. The warm and hospitable local culture will also make you feel welcome during your stay.
In the capital of Oranjestad, you can look forward to many shops, pastel facades, and delicious restaurants perfect for a celebration. If you’re looking for some ideas for your Aruba vacation, we’ve listed some down below!
Mangel Halto is located on the Southeast coast of the island in Saveneta and offers some of the best kayaking, wildlife watching, and snorkeling on the whole island. It’s home to a beautiful sandy beach, a wooden sun deck for sun worshippers, and public beach huts to relax in the shade.
Because of the calm, shallow waters and the easy access to a beautiful network of mangroves, Mangel Halto attracts many kayakers. Marine wildlife such as coral reefs, parrotfish, and sea turtles (known as tortuga by locals) are just a few critters you can potentially see. Also, keep an eye out for the many birds in the area, including black-necked stilts, tricolored herons, and barn swallows often hanging out around the mangroves.
Located in the Arikok National Park on the eastern side of the island, Boca Keta will fulfill your vision for both a relaxing and adventurous vacation in Aruba. It’s a bit more tucked away than other beaches, so it does require a short trek to get there from your parking spot—but you will feel instantly rewarded by its serene, secluded atmosphere.
Past travelers and locals alike love the astonishing views that Boca Keto offers. Lounge on white-sand beaches and admire the beautiful blue water in front of you! It is one of the more adventurous options on this list but well worth your time and effort.
Alto Vista translates literally to “high view,” an apt name for this beautiful spot. At the top of a hill, you can visit the famous Alto Vista Chapel, established over 250 years ago and remains one of the most iconic architectural landmarks on the island.
One must-do activity here is to watch the sunrise, which rises behind the chapel giving you a breathtaking view of the architecture against the brightening sky.
You’ll be on the northeast corner of the island if you visit Alto Vista, just a little bit outside of the town of Noord, making for easy access by car.
Add a gentle workout to your relaxing Aruba vacation by visiting Hooiberg (which translates to “haystack”) and spending a day hiking its rocky landscape.
Hooiberg is a volcanic formation at the center of the island, located in between Oranjestad and Santa Cruz. It is one of the highest spots on Aruba and has trails so you can get to the peak of the mountain, where you can see the whole sprawling island before you. There is also a beautiful 587-step staircase, built in 1951, that hikers love to climb while in Hooiberg.
Cacti, divi-divi trees, and Kibrahachi trees flourish on the mountain and make for lovely nature sightseeing while you hike.
Arashi Beach has everything you could want—gentle currents for snorkeling, beautiful white sand, and beach huts to catch a break from the sun.
Arashi is located on the northwest point of the island, making it a lovely spot to catch Aruba’s colorful Caribbean sunset. Both locals and travelers alike love heading to this spot in the evening. You’ll also be very close to the California Lighthouse, which you can climb to the top of for 360-degree views.
These activities should absolutely be on your itinerary for your vacation in Aruba whether you’re with your significant other or the whole family. This small island boasts world-class beaches, unique hiking, and diverse wildlife waiting to be explored—make the most of your Aruba vacation!
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