As one of the islands that makes up the Dutch Caribbean, Aruba is known for its beautiful beaches alongside an exotic landscape and culture. Many people come to Aruba to enjoy white sands and breathtaking waters, but the island offers much more. Home to an exciting nightlife, a variety of exquisite dining experiences, an abundance of outdoor adventures, and local shops full of handmade crafts and pottery, there is plenty to keep you busy and having fun in Aruba.
Things to See
The capital city of Aruba, Oranjestad, is one of the island’s main destinations. Colorful shops and bars line the main road, Sasakiweg Street, that runs through the city. Here you will find locals and tourists alike enjoying their afternoon wandering through shops and admiring the town’s natural beauty. Oranjestad is also where some of Aruba’s most historic sites are located, such as Fort Zoutman Historical Museum, the oldest building on the island. For the outdoor enthusiast, Arikok National Park is a must. It covers nearly 20% of the island and boasts hiking trails amongst lava formations and unique wildlife with some of the best coastal views. Hiking maps and guided tours are offered through the visitor center located at the park.
Arashi Beach is another local favorite, ideal for snorkeling and basking in the sun. Boca Grandi is also a beautiful beach, but has strong currents, so is better for admiring than jumping in for some people. It is ideal for adventurous types and strong swimmers looking to windsurf or go kite boarding. If you are looking for an experience that is distinct to the island, stop by the Balshi Brewery and Beer Garden. Interestingly, Aruba is the only nation to brew beer with desalinated sea water, so be sure to watch the process and then sample the beer over lunch at the beer garden.
Hotels in Aruba
IHG® combines convenience, comfort, and luxury with properties located near the beach and many of the city’s popular tourist destinations. Options and amenities abound, making it is easy to find a location and style best-suited for the activities you have planned for your trip to Aruba.
Where to Stay
The island of Aruba is separated into two parts; northeast and southwest coasts. The southwest coast is where you will find the island’s popular beaches, the main tourist attractions, and the dining and nightlife scene. The northeast coast has more of a rugged terrain, strong currents, and a rocky coast line. Many of the popular resorts and hotels are located on the southwest coast.
How to Get to Aruba
The Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) is the most convenient option for flying into Aruba. The airport offers numerous flights to and from cities around the world. Cabs are available from the airport and at hotels in the area. Once you have reached your destination, most restaurants and beaches are easily accessible by foot, but cabs are also available around town to get around. Arubus, the local public transportation, offers several routes around the area to tourist destinations throughout the day and is a very economical option.
Rental cars are available but often not recommended due the small size of the island. If you are looking for a green form of transportation, there is an Electric Streetcar that runs from the harbor to the east side of town. It runs along shops, restaurants, and some hotels. There is no charge to use the streetcar. Mountain bike rentals are available through various companies on the island, providing another green option for visitors.