A guide to things to do in Aruba
Sunny weather, soft sand and a warm, shallow sea are just three of the many attractions that make the Caribbean island of Aruba a superb holiday destination. On top of this, the island offers visitors a whole spectrum of things to see and do. You can tailor your visit to create your ideal Aruba holiday experience, whether that’s historic tours, national park treks and diving – or simply sitting back and enjoying the island’s sunshine and relaxed atmosphere. Take a look below for some ideas and inspiration.
Each of Aruba’s beaches has a character and charm of its own, giving you the opportunity for variety in your beach day activities. Try out the glamorous and vibrant Palm Beach, with its beach tennis matches and great selection of watersports.
You can take the kids to the picturesque half-moon haven of Baby Beach, so called because it’s ideal for little ones. Or spend the day snorkelling at Mangel Halto beach, where the coral reefs and mangroves are close to the shoreline.
The casino at the Ritz-Carlton
If you enjoy a touch of glamour and a bit of a flutter, make your way to this glitzy casino. You can watch the action as the high rollers play at poker and blackjack. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, grab a few chips of your own and take to the tables.
Butterfly Farm and Phillip's Animal Garden
A treat for animal lovers on holidays to Aruba, enjoy a rare opportunity to get close to some of the island’s most beautiful butterflies at the Butterfly Farm in Oranjestad. Philip’s Animal Garden – a non-profit organisation which rescues exotic animals – is also well worth visiting. You could see anything here, from wild skunks and kangaroos, to monkeys and cockatiels.
Mini-cruises around Aruba
Aruba offers several types of mini-cruise, giving you the chance to enjoy some gorgeous views of the Caribbean or take a closer look at the island’s sea life. Take your pick from sunset catamaran cruises, lunch and snorkel half-day cruises, day trips to neighbouring Del Palm Island, deep sea diving trips and submarine tours, where you’ll get fantastic views of the reefs and sea life without the need for a wetsuit.
4WD, ATV and off-road driving tours
Test your driving skills cross country on a specialist driving tours via off road vehicles. Some let you take out the vehicles yourself, while others have a driver so you can take in the scenery while you’re at it and make some high-adrenaline memories.
Arikok National Park
This large and beautiful nature park spans nearly a fifth of the island and has plenty of fun and educational things to see and do. Take a selfie next to one of the huge cacti dotted along its rugged terrain, visit the geological, cultural and historical sites and drink in the views across the island and out over the Caribbean Sea.
Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins
Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins are a remnant of part of Aruba’s interesting and varied history. Legend has it that when gold ore was discovered on the island during the 1700s it was originally named ‘Oro Ruba’, meaning ‘red gold’. Over the centuries, this name evolved to give the island its current name, ‘Aruba’. This abandoned mill once processed part of more than three million pounds of gold produced during the island’s gold rush.