Star of the show
Conjure up images of a deserted island, and you're bound to think of clean sands, lone trees and pinch-me blue water. That's Druif Beach in a nutshell – 11 kilometres of white shores speckled with wavy-looking Divi trees. It's not deserted, of course, but when you're there – sand, sun, sea and all – it certainly feels like it. It's the definition of rest and relaxation.
Because most of the boats on this side of Aruba dock up by Palm Beach, the water lapping against Druif Beach is clear and calm. There are luxury hotels stacked at either side of the beach with a nine-hole golf course anchoring in the middle, plus the occasional restaurant and beach bar.
Walk far enough along Druif Beach and you'll run into Eagle Beach, another peaceful stunner. But the real beach action takes place on Palm Beach, which lies about a 20-minute drive away. Palm Beach is a lot more abuzz with activity, and is just as gorgeous as its quiet counterparts.
Unsurprisingly, Druif Beach and the surrounding resorts are awash in watersporting activities. You didn't really think all that beautiful beach would be just for looking at, did you?
There's a diving school and watersport centre at Druif Beach, as well as the activities on offer at Druif Beach hotels – they'll get you set up for kayaking, snorkelling and windsurfing. An even further array of watersporting opportunities await at Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. The latter is where you'll find diving trips to a World War II wreck and catamaran cruises.
The prime focus of Druif Beach is just that – the beach. Which doesn't leave much in the ways of dining, though you will find a sprinkling of restaurants in the area. Your best bet for a diverse set of eating spots is at your hotel, whose restaurants vary in worldly cuisine across the board.
The hotels here also put on some decent evening entertainment, to keep you in the holiday spirit whether lounging in the bar or listening to live music on an open-air terrace.
To widen your culinary prospects, nearby Palm Beach has a line of upscale restaurants, but Oranjestad can't be topped. It's the capital of Aruba and within easy driving distance from Druif Beach. In Oranjestad you'll find over a hundred different restaurants dishing up plates from around the world, including some pretty delectable Caribbean flavours.
Palm Beach shopping
There are a handful of gift shops at Druif Beach hotels, but the real shopaholics will find retail nirvana in Palm Beach. It's been nicknamed the 'Las Vegas of Aruba' for its bright lights, casinos and big time malls. Palm Beach is home to the Palm Beach Plaza Mall – the biggest shopping centre in Aruba. It comes complete with designer stores and a movie duplex tauting the biggest screens on the island.
Aruba's capital city – and also its largest – Oranjestad is only a five-minute drive from Druif Beach, making the littler resort essentially a suburb of the larger. Oranjestad is the capital city for a reason – it's paved with colourful Dutch Colonial buildings, an even further selection of swoon-worthy beaches and watersports to match, historic sites and museums, shopping malls and casinos. Whatever you can't find in Druif Beach and its neighbours, you're certain to find here.