Aruba – What you need to know

Aruba is not what you would expect when you think about a tropical island, the landscape may just take you by surprise. Desert sands, dotted with cactus, meet with tropical beaches and sea grape trees all while a constant breeze blows between the coconut trees. With this unique landscape also comes a totally unique people. Aruban’s are some of the friendliest you will meet in the region and certainly add to the island’s motto of “One Happy Island”.

The island lies just north of Venezuela making it one of the most southern islands in the Caribbean chain. Access is easy, with flights coming in from around the world, and the large international airport is very stress-free to navigate. The island claims to have more sunny days than any other Caribbean island, and since Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt, it means an almost 100% guarantee of great weather during your holiday!

Beaches

Aruba’s beaches and coves are open to the public, which means that you have a variety of choices for beach days. Eagle beach, located near the famous hotel strip, was voted as Trip Advisors 2017 3rd best beach in the world and Baby beach is perfect for all ages! The island has 16 sandy beaches in total and all are easily accessible by public transportation. You can plan your trip knowing that you will find the perfect beach, to suit your holiday needs.

Natural Wonders

The island is unique in that nearly 20% of the landscape is designated as the Arikok National Park. The bird sanctuary and natural caves offer great sightseeing opportunities, which means there is plenty of nature to choose from. Trips and tours are available for a reasonable fee, and for those who want to go on their own adventure, you can rent a vehicle and navigating the rugged terrain of the National Park. There are also the more popular points of interest such as the Natural Bridge and Natural pool which are as breathtaking as they sound.

Dining

As a visitor to Aruba, you can rest assured that you will be treated to a vast assortment of great dining options. The local cuisine is an absolute must, and there are many local restaurants within walking distance of the popular hotels. Interested in something more familiar? Then don’t worry as there are American, French, Spanish, Argentinian and other kinds of restaurants to please your taste buds.

Where to Stay

The island is home to many large, well-known properties like the Marriot and Divi Resorts, but there are also plenty of smaller hotels and resorts in case you prefer to spend your vacation in a cozier environment. Most are located in a central Hotel district, but you can find some off the beaten path which adds to your overall holiday experience.

Activities

The activities list is an adventurers dream, with tours and trips to meet every need. There is no age limit for fun and Aruba takes that saying to heart with activities for all ages. Horseback riding on the beach or through the National Park. Golf courses that will make even the pro’s smile and enough water sports to keep even the pickiest of teenagers happy. Windsurfing, jet skiing, snorkeling, fishing, sailing and so much more. There is plenty of great shopping and sightseeing, a lot of which can be done within walking distance of the hotel district.

Events

The island is rich in history and culture and this can be seen in her people. Carnival celebrations last for months, and the costumes rival those of the finest in Brazil. There are art fairs, golf tournaments, farmers’ markets, fishing tournaments, music festivals, culinary festivals, wine tasting and so much more. Your local hotel can tell you what’s happening during your stay so that you don’t miss a thing.

Wildlife

Surprisingly the island is brimming with wildlife despite its desert landscape. Don’t be surprised if you see and hear the wild, colorful parrots called “Prikichis”. There is in fact, over 200 species of birds in Aruba. There are also many Iguanas that roam the hotels which are always a treat for the kids. While out in the National Park you may come across lizards and snakes that are indigenous to the Aruban countryside.

 

It is easy to navigate the island by car, so don’t hesitate to rent one for the time you’re there. Not a huge fan of driving in a foreign country? Then don’t worry, as the public transportation is easy to use and very affordable. Not only that but many activities you book will pick you up and return you to your hotel free of charge! Aruba’s main industry is tourism and they are the leaders of the pack when it comes to taking care of its guests. Aruba really is One Happy Island!