Aruba is surrounded by powdery pale sands – many of which are award-winning – as well as reefs full of exotic sea life. On the south coast the shallow, calm water is perfect for swimming and splashing about with the kids. The northeast coast is favoured by surfers and windsurfers for its strong currents and trade winds. With so many attractive beaches there's plenty to choose from on your holiday to the Caribbean, but here are our favourites.
This half-moon shaped beach benefits from the warm, shallow water of a lagoon. Hugely popular with families, little ones can paddle about and play. It offers facilities including a bar and grill and complimentary huts where you can retreat into the shade for an afternoon nap. If you feel like taking a look at the underwater sea life on your Aruba holidays, or maybe searching out a shipwreck, snorkelling and dive gear can be hired nearby.
Eagle Beach is the widest stretch of beach in Aruba and famous for its pristine white sands. You'll find plenty of space, a scattering of beach huts, shaded picnic areas, beach tennis matches and a wide range of watersports. This beach is also a favourite nesting site for four species of sea turtle - the Leatherback, Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill. Throughout the year nests and eggs are highlighted with red and white markers to ensure they remain undisturbed. If you time it right, you'll get to see the magical moment baby turtles emerge from their shells and make a run for it down to the sea. They hatch after sunset and usually around July.
This quiet, secluded bay is accessed by steps and is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling. Popular with local families as well as visitors, it has a fun, easy-going feel. It's the perfect place to take a picnic and spend a carefree, relaxed beach day.
Boca Grandi is a kite-surfers dream location. You can join spectators watching experts speed along, jump and loop. Or if you're a keen kite-surfer yourself, get out there and have some serious fun. The strong currents here mean it's also a great place for beach-combing.
This peaceful, secluded beach with gently sloping sand dunes lies on the northeast of the island, within Arikok National Park. The park covers a fifth of the island, so there's plenty to do between your beach activities. You could enjoy a meal at the Boca Prins Restaurant and then take in the lush vegetation and gorgeous views across this huge natural gem.
This quiet, secluded beach on the edges of the island's reefs has soft white sand and shallow water, making it popular with snorkellers and divers. You can walk out to where the reefs begin and explore the water to take a closer look at the abundant sea life darting around. At shallower depths you'll find parrot fish, sponges, blue tangs and yellowtail snappers, and in the deeper areas barracuda, octopus and morays.
Palm Beach is Aruba's most glamorous beach-spot. It's a vibrant two-mile stretch where you can join in the fun of laid-back Caribbean beach life. There's plenty to see and do within easy reach, such as beach bars, cinemas, restaurants, spas and shops. You could swim and snorkel all morning, do some shopping in the afternoon and then watch the sun go down while you enjoy a candle-lit dinner on the beach.
Whatever your preferences are, with so many gorgeous beaches to choose from, you're bound to find one you'll love.