After going to the Maldives I thought nowhere could beat the white sand and blue water. However, if you read this guide on the best things to do in Aruba you will be booking a flight I PROMISE! This is my first blog I have written that is based on a place I haven’t been to YET! But Boyan my partner went recently and I have never been so sad not to be able to go!! All the photos on this page are his, and if you are looking for any more tips or inspo then head over to his Instagram (@boyanoo)! And I’ll be updating this post as soon as I have been and experienced it all myself!
This Caribbean Island will blow you away!
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Head here for the updated health requirements for entry into Aruba.
Where is Aruba?
Aruba is in the Caribbean! However, it is actually a part of the Netherlands and this is how Boyan was able to explore this incredible island without any restrictions. Even though the Netherlands was in a lockdown, the lucky bastards can still visit the ABC islands. These include Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The only thing is, if you are reading this in 2020 or the beginning of 2021, then make sure to do your research about what countries are allowed in to the ABC countries. A Dutch friend of ours went to Curaçao with her partner, but when they arrived they told her partner he was not allowed to enter due to having been in London a week before as he is a pilot.
When is the best time of year to visit Aruba?
April to August! And apparently January to March is the high season so the weather will be incredible but prices will be much higher. I personally like to travel in shoulder season in order to avoid crowds of people and for the cheaper prices!
Do you need a COVID test before entry?
Boyan flew from the Netherlands and needed a COVID test before arrival. He also had to pay €26 for extra COVID insurance – this was called Aruba visitors insurance. Otherwise when he arrived he could have done a test there for $75 and stay inside to wait for the result. Make sure to fill in an online ED card prior to entry. I would definitely say get a COVID test before arrival. Makes you feel safer anyway knowing you are negative before you fly anywhere. Also, make sure to get travel insurance before any trip and especially in these times!
What is the capital of Aruba?
What language is spoken in Aruba?
The official languages of Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento, but like a lot of places in the world, English is widely spoken.
How to get to Aruba?
From what I can see on SkyScanner (the website I use to book all my flights) there are loads of flights from the US! Most of them will have one stop and it seems like the stop is still in the US. This is good as then it won’t count as you having been in another country on the way! Technically this shouldn’t make a difference as it is only a layover but you don’t want to be taking any extra risks at the moment!
The VERY best things to do in Aruba!
Of course Aruba being a small island and surrounded by water, there are so many water-sports to do and beaches to visit! I’ll be telling you where the best place is to snorkel, and this is not where the guides will take you so make sure you read on! Boyan said that he was walking past people on a tour that were snorkelling and not being any turtles, but not far from the herds of tourists you can find amazing numbers of turtles!
Go snorkelling – where to go in Aruba for the best snorkelling
This is the NUMBER 1 thing to do. The water in the South of the island is very calming even warmer than Bali! The white sand makes the water clear and the visibility is perfect for snorkelling. As there are shallower parts too, this makes it easy for underwater photos as it won’t be to dark. I would definitely recommend investing in a GoPro before you arrive in Aruba or you will regret it!
Where to find the most turtles in Aruba?
Boca Catalina is great for snorkelling but if you want a more secluded spot then read on! Along the coast from Boca Catalina you will find the Tires Trapi Steps.
From here, walk about 150m further along the coast. Then swim out and this was where Boyan found about 10-15 turtles all swimming along together! The only other place I have seen turtles like this was in Cebu in the Philippines and still never so many! Egypt also has some great turtles but the water also was not nearly as clear as this.
Also, the full face masks are becoming popular but I would definitely say to being a standard snorkel and mask so that you can dive down further. The full face mask will not allow you to squeeze your nose to equalise, so remember this little tip! As well as a mask and snorkel, I would say take some flippers or hire the once you are here. Later on I’ll be telling you about a wreck where the current can get quite strong so flippers will make it easier to swim faster!
What are the best beaches in Aruba?
Baby Beach is a ‘man altered’ lagoon apparently! It’s in a nice bay, making it more shallow and better visibility for snorkelling! The water is bluer than blue and the sand is perfectly white. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Aruba!
Apparently it is called Baby beach as it is the safest for small children due to it being quite shallow. I read that the water level here is never more than 1.5 metres which is about 5 feet. This makes it one of the best things to do in Aruba for families. Boyan also said he saw a turtle here so it sounds like an all round amazing beach. The official name for this beach is Klein Lagoen – just in case you need to know.
You can hire beach chairs and umbrellas but there really is no other shade so come prepared for sure.
Also another little FYI – turtle breeding season is April to May so if you come at this time you may see some barriers to protect the turtles in certain areas.
Eagle Beach – Things to do in Eagle beach Aruba
Eagle Beach is home to a few trees and a bit more shade! It is another brilliant beach with dazzling white sand and bright blue sea! This beach has a few larger resorts behind it, so you can hire a sun lounger if you are not already staying at them. There is also a nice pier and you can hire jet skis and take boat trips from here too. It is also the widest beach or Aruba so plenty of space for everyone to chill.
FUN FACT – Public nudity is illegal in Aruba! So don’t go taking your kit off, this isn’t Mykonos – you’ll have to save that for another trip I’m afraid!
This beach is definitely home to the most resorts, so if you are looking for a quieter beach then this might not be the one for you. However, if you’re looking for a whole day out then there are lots of bars and restaurants to keep you well fed and hydrated all day! You will find hotels such as the Hilton and the Hyatt here.
Unique things to do in Aruba
So I’ve told you about all the amazing beaches in Aruba – now for some Aruba activities for the more active readers!
Hire an UTV/ATV and go off road
So I had to google this, but an ATV is essentially a quad bike, and a UTV is a quad bike with the sides on! There are a lot of areas that are perfect for off roading in Aruba. You will find a lot of tours, perfect for a day out exploring! There are some stunning beaches that you just can’t get to by car or road so I would definitely recommend hiring one. It isn’t the cheapest thing to do though so if you are on a budget then it might be less of an option.
It can be over $100 per person for a tour.
Arikok National Park
This National Park is found on the east coast of Aruba. It actually makes up almost 20% of the entire island! This is the perfect place to see untouched nature. There are some great caves to explore, hikes and beaches.
If you are already a kite surfer then you will LOVE Aruba! If you are keen to learn, then this is a great place. There are a lot of beaches with incredibly calm waters, but also a few with crazy waves and winds perfect for kite surfing.
As the water temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit) all year round, this is the perfect place to learn without freezing or having to wear a wetsuit! Boca Grandi is a great place for kite surfing in Aruba.
Aruba things to do at sunset!
Take a sunset boat trip
There are so many boat trips to choose from! If you’re feeling fancy or it is a special occasion you can go for a champagne cruise, or a cruise with dinner or just a sunset cruise with a load of booze! There is really something for everyone and so many boat trips to choose from.
If you’re feeling wild go for an all inclusive booze cruise! Boyan went on one of these and they didn’t even have beer so get ready for some serious drinks!
More amazing things to do in Aruba – top Aruba destinations!
Explore the Mangroves
This really reminds me of Nusa Lembongan near Bali! A great way to visit this mangroves is to stand up paddle board through them! There are lots of birds to see too and you can also go snorkelling in certain parts.
Swim to a small wreck!
From Pos Chiquito Beach Park, you can swim 150m out to sea to find this small shipwreck! Watch the current though because it can pick up fast!
Hire a Jet ski
Back to water sports! If you love a bit of speed and a jet ski, then Aruba is the perfect place for it!
Best places to stay in Aruba
There are lot of lovely places to choose from! Boyan went for an airbnb as we like to have the freedom of a lot of space and especially during COVID I personally feel safer in an air bnb. However, there are loads of amazing hotels to choose from!
Best Boutique hotels in Aruba
– Boardwalk Hotel Aruba – For a really unique stay!
If you are looking for an all inclusive feel then here are a few options for a proper no cooking, cleaning and care free holiday!
Romatic hotel for couples
Where to eat in Aruba?
There are lots of great places to eat in Aruba!
Zee Rover – Great for fresh fish
Craft – For healthy bowls and pancakes for brekkie, but also do lunch and dinner
Lola Taqueria – Mexican food
Eduardo’s beach shack – Açai bowls and vegan food
I hope you enjoyed this post on the best things to do in Aruba! If you were planning a trip then I hope you have booked those flights already! Have the best time and I’d love to see your photos, send me a DM on Instagram @solarpoweredblonde! Remember that the best snorkelling is by the Tires Trapi Steps and to buy a GoPro before you get there! Aruba can be quite expensive so you don’t want to leave anything last minute. The food is normal European/US prices so it won’t be a cheap trip. However, I believe everywhere can be done on a budget. If you are on a budget, get yourself an airbnb and just cook at home! Boyan’s airbnb even came with a car so it was the perfect deal!
Pin this blog on what to do in Aruba for later!