A guide to nightlife in Aruba
Aruba is one of the ABC islands of the Caribbean, where sunny days, laughing and lounging on the beach, paddling in the pristine sea and exploring local culture are all in a day’s work. But once the sun goes down, holidays to Aruba fare well for nightlife. Partygoers, live music fans and culture aficionados are all going to find plenty to do on this island. Sip rum cocktails by the coast, go to the downtown district, or recuperate at a back street bar to soca music and broad smiles every which way on your Caribbean holiday.
Groove out to funk and soul at Cafe Chaos, Oranjestad
We wouldn’t blame you for expecting, with a name like ‘Cafe Chaos’, that we’re recommending the rowdiest hotspot in the Caribbean. But you’d be mistaken, because Cafe Chaos in the capital, Oranjestad, is actually a cosy old-school pub that is off the beaten track. That spirit of individualism shows in its music scene. It’s a lively hotbed of local talent that plays everything from funk and soul through to reggae, blues and old folk ballads.
You can always tell a great bar by judging its popularity with the locals. Cafe Chaos definitely delivers on that front, which means you’re getting a taste of authentic Aruba nightlife, with snacks, beers and smiles all round.
Charm Lady Luck at Stellaris Casino, Palm Beach
Tear yourself away from the idyllic beaches of Palm Beach and you can find yourself under the hot neon and plush interior of Stellaris Casino.
This venue is open 24 hours a day for slot machines, as well as hosting the classic casino games of Blackjack, Roulette, and Progressive Poker. The casino also offers double points for anyone who visits on their birthday, which is well worth cashing in on if you’re in town – quite literally.
Dance the salsa at Hipsz, Oranjestad
On the coastal fringe of Oranjestad is the Sasakiweg district, which is where you’ll find the unmistakable lights and sounds of Club Hipsz. Although it’s open during the day, it’s at night that this place truly comes to life, with blaring music and a wide selection of cocktails to try. Dance lessons are a regular highlight, although you’re free to blaze your own trail across the dancefloor if you’re feeling the spirit of the boogie inside you.
Hipsz has the biggest dancefloors on the island, so if you absolutely have to shake a tail feather, you’re in good hands here.
Drink cocktails that could wake the dead at the Zombie Room, Palm Beach
One of the newest hotspots on the Palm Beach scene, the Zombie Room is a rock bar that screams tiki island chic, with bamboo and palm leaves every which way. The house special is the delectable Zombie’s Bite cocktail, while the drinks menu as a whole is pretty cheap compared to many of the nightlife venues on the island.
Live music is a frequent highlight at the Zombie Room too, where you can expect to see the greats of the local reggae scene go toe to toe with 1980s rock tribute legends.
All aboard the Kukoo Kunuku party bus for an epic all-nighter
We’ve all heard of a booze cruise, but the best way to have that kind of experience on land comes in the form of Aruba’s famous Kukoo Kunuku party bus. It packs in travellers and embarks on a colourful musical adventure across the island, visiting all the hottest nightlife venues and neon streets on the way.
The bus is a classic 1950s Chevy, painted red and covered in patterns, meaning you’re going to be making quite the distinctive entrance wherever you roam. Expect bubbly, body painting and the best sights in Aruba on this epic tour to remember.