Every side of Aruba is this little island's good side. From some of the world's best white-sand beaches, to friendly faces, pastel-coloured buildings and year-round sunshine, this patch of the Caribbean is gorgeous no matter which way you look.
Activities in Aruba are all about getting in touch with the local scenery – the colourful reefs here make for amazing snorkelling trips, as do the array of spooky ship wrecks. There's the Arikok National Park whose arid landscape is laden with windswept Divi trees, and a handful of animal sanctuaries around the island. It's there where you can get up close and personal with the local flora at a butterfly garden, donkey sanctuary or petting zoo.
When it comes to beaches sporting that deserted-island feel, Druif Beach takes the prize. Rest assured, it's not as secluded as it looks – it's actually privy to luxury hotels, restaurants and watersport facilities. And with Aruba's capital on its doorstep, you'll never really be alone.
Classic Caribbean with an international twist
Aruba's international influences might have something to do with why this tiny island is packed with quite so many restaurants dishing up worldly cuisine. You'll find everything from German food to American, French, Italian, Creole and, of course, a whole lot of Caribbean.
The settings range from Michelin star-rated establishments to tiny beach shacks, and the views aren't half bad, either. Meals in Aruba usually come with a heaped portion of waterfront vistas.
Chic bars and party cars
Nights out in Aruba can be as laid-back or upbeat as you'd like. You can grab a quiet cocktail from one of the ramshackle beach huts speckling the coast, settle in at your hotel bar with a little live evening entertainment, or dance the night away at a nightclub.
The island is also big on casinos, so you can try your luck at the slots as you sip. Another rite of passage in Aruba is the mega-popular Kukoo Kanuku. They're a fleet of hand-painted buses that cruise around the resort called Noord, picking up party-goers for an unforgettable night of dinner and bar-hopping.
Shopping for a little slice of Aruba to take home with you isn't your typical souvenir-searching experience. That's because there are more diamond and jewellery stores in Aruba than anything, offering steals on good quality pieces. But you'll find a range of kitschy bits as well, with items like cigars, alcohol and clothing on offer.
Palm Beach is home to the largest shopping centre in Aruba, called the Palm Beach Shopping Plaza. Its designer stores are enough to send any fashionista's brain into overdrive. The Royal Plaza Mall in Oranjestad is another crowd favourite, drenched in the area's classic Dutch Colonial architecture and a sugar-sweet bubblegum pink paint.