I’m so excited to share my Aruba journey as I gather a lot of unforgettable moments there.
After all, this Caribbean Island is a nature masterpiece, with stunning white beaches and capitative vistas that paint the landscape with natural elegance, vibrant atmosphere, windy weather, and recreational activities. Aruba has always remained my favorite Caribbean destination.
This is a small Island with a 100,000+ population, closer to South America. So, if you’re traveling via cruise, it would be your first stop.
My husband spent some memorable moments in Aruba a few months back, and our tour was unbelievable. And today, I feel like a smarty pants and a little hurried to share my thoughts.
Plus, I will share some accommodation tips to get a cozy hotel at reasonable rates. If this is your first time traveling to Aruba, you’re in luck; keep reading this guide to pile up your to-do bucket list.
From Aruba Cruise Port to Hotel Check-In
Most of us get to Aruba via cruises. And it probably remains the first stop of sailors, as it’s nearest to South America.
Most cruises dock at Aruba Cruise Terminal– a busy point, and you will always encounter a couple of giant cruise ships there. The port itself is picturesque and clean and offers all amenities.
After disembarkation, I first caught the Starbucks coffee– I’m a caffeine addict, and you should grab one to energize yourself to explore more.
Now it’s time to hop on Aruba’s colorful buses; I suggest you avoid Taxis– they are exorbitantly priced. The bus takes around 15 minutes to reach Palm Beach. I prefer to get accommodation near this beach for more mesmerizing views.
No need to trek for miles to reach the bus terminal; the bus stop is just a quick 5-minute stroll from the cruise port. The buses run every 15 minutes, and you can get a $10 DayPass for unlimited stops.
Don’t forget to enjoy the stunning views and Divi Divi trees from the bus window.
Now it’s time to check into the hotel.
Many hotels are near Palm Beach, but I suggest you stay at Radisson Blu Aruba. This hotel offers stunning sea views, complimentary breakfast, balconies, and all other amenities. If you’re traveling with family, this hotel is an ideal option for a night’s stay.
For a more tranquil experience, you can stay at the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel.
If you’re on a budget, you should opt for the Caribbean Palm Village resort. a perfect destination with a couple of pools and great views.
Things To Do In Aruba
1- Visit Palm Beach
There are many beaches in Aruba; Palm Beach is one of the famous white sand beaches known for its pristine water.
This two mile Long Beach is a prime hub for most travelers; this place remains too busy on holidays, but the views are just killer. Many palm trees make the views more breathtaking; it feels like breathing in a haven.
Throw on your swimsuits after chilling at your hotel, and hit up this awesome beach. Palm Beach has it all – beach bars, water sports, casinos, restaurants, shops, and, to add the cherry on top, some lovely views.
A walk along this white sand beach during sunset is the best thing to do in life. Don’t forget to capture photos for memorabilia.
After the sunset, the beach lights up, and the vibrant clubs and casinos present a bustling nightlight. And during downtime, walking on a white beach is the best morning exercise.
2- Go For Snorkeling
The next day, the first thing you should plan is Snorkeling. Aruba is known for its crystal-clear water, perfect for snorkeling enthusiasts.
Don’t miss Snorkeling; it lets you explore the underwater coral reefs, exclusive sea life, and more fun. Even if you’re a novice snorkeler, you can still book a guided snorkeling tour to beat the fear of water.
Book your Snorkeling adventure with this cruise. They offer free champagne, breakfast, lunch, and a local guide.
3- Explore The Bushiribana Ruins
Aruba has an interesting history, and Bushiribana Ruins are evidence of it. The ruins were once a gold smelter during Aruba’s Gold rush and were built in 1872.
Here, you will discover the Island’s mining history. The view of the remnants of the Caribbean Sea looks incredible.
I spend an hour in these ruins; there is so much peace and silence, and the views make you feel like you’re somewhere in paradise.
4- Capture Photos With Flamingos
Ohhh! I miss those cute Flamingos. You won’t find flamingos anywhere in Aruba; the only spot to encounter them is Flamingo Beach, the private Island of Renaissance Hotel. And if you’re staying in this hotel, you can easily access this private Island.
If you’re not staying a night with Renaissance Hotel, you can buy their day pass, which costs you $125 per day per person and includes a couple of drinks and lunch.
You can directly get their pass through their website.
Flamingo Beach has all the amenities to chill. You can take photos with flamingos, feed them, or soak in the sun. There are two beaches on this Island: the Iguana beach on the left and Flamingo beach.
Flamingo Beach is more like an adult-friendly spot; kids are only allowed between 9 and 10 am. Also, this beach remains too busy during the afternoon. Meanwhile, the Iguana has more relaxed vibes. If you have kids, this is the right spot to have fun.
5- Book A Dinner Cruise
In Aruba, If you’re not soaking in those sunset vibes, you’re only halfway into the fun. Aruba has some of the best sunset views, and enjoying a dinner wih these incredible views is everyone’s dream.
You can book an Aruba dinner cruise here; it sails across Aruba’s coast and stops at a perfect vantage point. Plus, they also serve the best seafood, salad, and dessert.
Don’t forget to record those romantic views with your loved one. Do you have a good camera? If not, you can opt for GoPro or Drone for the best shot. And if you have a camera phone like an iPhone, you’re good to go.
6- Book UTV Tour For Extra Fun
If you’re a true traveler, exploring Aruba on a UTV is a must-do. See the hidden gems, and discover the secret beaches with your partner on a UTV ride. Aruba has many more things to offer, so why not roam around the coast of Aruba to explore the real fun?
You can book a 4-hour UTV or ATV tour to discover the cave pool and secret beaches. The good thing is that you are free to swim, jump off the cliff, dive into the natural pools, or walk on the volcanic landscapes during the tour.
7- See The Interesting Rocky Formations
The Island has two major rocky formations: the Casibari Rock Formation and the Ayo Rock Formation. From there, you can capture some of the best views of the Island.
I’m so surprised to see the cactus and other desert plants on this Island. Climbing on the rock is challenging, but it’s fun. There are many stunning spots for pictures.
8- Chill In The Conchi Natural Pool
The next thing you should do in Aruba is chill in the natural pools. The name of the pool is Conchi Natural Pool. It’s located on the ocean’s edge in Arikok National Park and is unique.
I bet you have never seen such a natural pool anywhere in America. The rugged terrain surrounds the pool, and the water is pristine. To get there, you have to hop on a 4×4; or you can also rent a 4×4 vehicle. Also, getting there is rough; prepare for a bouncy drive.
You can also hike from the Daimari side to reach the Conchi Natural Pool, but it’s quite a few miles.
My husband and I went there two times a day, and I fell in love with this place. Don’t forget to bring swimming shoes; the rocks are super slippery, and be careful while jumping from the rocks.
9- Visit Butterfly Farm
I love butterflies, and if you do too, add Butterfly Farm to your itinerary. The farm is so much green and home to sweet tropical butterflies. All the creatures here are so unique and colorful. I also took pictures of them and put them on my phone’s wallpaper.
The atmosphere is so relaxing, and there remains a pin-drop silence. I suggest you go in the early morning to beat the heat.
Besides butterflies, you will also encounter some unique plants and flowers. The guide is so informative and greatly expanded my knowledge base.
10- Roaming The Streets Of Oranjestad
Finally, it’s time to roam around Oranjestad’s streets–Aruba’s capital. And from here you can do some shopping and buy a few souvenirs.
In Oranjestad, you will find many opportunities to meet with the locals and don’t forget to try their local cuisines. Many restaurants and cafes are nested there, but Yemanja Woodfired Grill will always remain in my heart. They have exceptional food and a diverse menu.
Besides this, many shopping plazas and centers showcase the big brands. The entire city is so colorful, and people are disciplined and friendly.
I am Zoe Grace, a passionate enthusiast of cruise ships. With a decade of firsthand experience in the cruising industry, I have developed a deep understanding of the intricacies and wonders that these majestic vessels hold.
Now, I am excited to embark on a new journey as an author, sharing my knowledge and insights with readers who share my fascination for the world of cruising.
Join me as we explore the captivating world of cruise ships together.