Our 5 Favorite Things To Do In Aruba
Even after ten visits, we don’t see ourselves tiring of Aruba anytime soon. This sun-kissed, tropical paradise has countless delights to offer. Here are our five favorite things to do in Aruba.
1. Beach hopping. Beaches are THE reason to visit Aruba. Mile after mile of powdery off-white sand and brilliant turquoise waters set the stage for the perfect island getaway. We are perfectly content to spend our first day or two in Aruba lounging on Palm Beach surrounded by the buzz of other fortunate travelers. By day three, we venture off to our other favorite Aruban beaches like Eagle Beach (ranked among the top ten beaches in the Caribbean), Druif Beach and Baby Beach (shallow enough to wade waist deep for yards).
Aruba’s Eagle Beach is ranked as a favorite Caribbean beach.
Baby Beach is perfect for a carefree afternoon wading in waste-deep water.
2. Sun-worshipping. No trip to Aruba is complete without taking time to appreciate its mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises. We admit it’s a chore to rise in time for sunrise, but it is so worth it. Our favorite spot? A scenic overlook just off the road behind the California Lighthouse where the ocean waves crash upon a rugged shoreline.
As the Aruban sun sets, the sky is transformed into a canvas of blues, purples, pinks, oranges and, if you’re lucky, a flash of green. Our favorite places to catch the sunset in Aruba are Palm Beach and the outdoor terrace at La Trattoria Restaurant (in front of the California Lighthouse).
Another perfect sunset from Aruba’s Palm Beach
3. Wildlife interactions. For such an arid island, there is plenty of wildlife on display. We love strolling over to Aruba’s Butterfly Farm, a tropical enclave across from the Westin, where a rainbow of happy critters flutter about. The question is never “should we go”? The question is only “what time should we go?” In the morning, butterflies are most active and also more likely to be seen hatching from their chrysalises. In the afternoon, butterflies have slowed down and are much easier to photograph. Fortunately, one ticket is good for the whole week so both options can be chosen.
Aruba Butterfly Farm
Iguanas and goats aren’t the only animals that flourish in Aruba’s arid climate. Ostriches and donkeys do too. Both can be enjoyed in separate outdoor habitats where face to face encounters provide fun for children and adults.
Aruba’s Ostrich Farm
Aruba’s Donkey Sanctuary.
4. Discovering new restaurants. For us, immersing ourselves in an island includes sampling its culturally influenced, culinary treats. In Aruba, a melting pot of over forty nationalities, this is a daunting task. There are simply too many top-notch restaurants for us to visit them all on one trip and doing so could exceed our budget. So, we make a point of trying at least one new restaurant when we go. In the process, we often discover a new “favorite” spot. Gianni’s, Screaming Eagle, Ruinas del Mar, Barefoot and White Modern have all been on that list at some point.
A delicious meal from Aruba’s White Modern Restaurant
5. Returning to our favorite eateries. Yes, it’s fun to try new places, but there is something special about returning to a favorite spot for dishes made just the way we remember (and have dreamt about for months). On our way from the airport to our hotel we head straight to Iguana Joe’s in Oranjestad. The energy from this popular, tropical retreat overlooking the cruise port jump starts a fun-filled week in paradise. Our perfect meal is simple: mango mojitos, Caribbean patties (similar to empanadas), rice and beans. Caribbean carb coma. Delicious.
Hangin’ with Piter, Aruba’s best mojito creator, at Iguana Joes
One more thing. After finishing this post, we realized we hadn’t included one of our favorite annual events – the Soul Beach Music Festival. No worries. We’ll have an exclusive post spotlighting that event real soon!