Things To Do

The 30 Fun And Adventurous Things to Do in Aruba

Last Updated 24 Jan 2023 by Fiona Perisone

Decided on Aruba as your next beach vacation destination? Excellent choice! Located in the Southern Caribbean Sea, the island nation is famous for its beautiful beaches, inviting tropical scenery, and vibrant local culture.


To help you plan your visit, we've rounded up all of the best things to do in Aruba. From adrenaline-pumping adventures and family-friendly excursions to romantic sunset cruises and relaxing beaches, the island has everything you need for an unforgettable trip to the Caribbean!


What to Do in Aruba

The main reason travelers from every corner of the globe come to Aruba: the scenery. Miles of white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters make it the most touristed island in the Southern Caribbean. Center your vacation around beach days, water activities, and soaking in your tropical surroundings.


1. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Tours

Aruba Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Tours

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Aruba's picturesque turquoise waters provide endless opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling. Numerous companies around the island offer underwater tours for all experience levels— whether you're a first-time snorkeler looking to explore the surrounding coral reefs or an experienced diver seeking an up-close look at a shipwreck or two.


2. Sunset Cruises

Aruba Sunset Cruises

Image Source: Flickr

What's more romantic than enjoying a sunset cruise around the island? Hop aboard a catamaran to take in stunning coastline views, tasty bites, and delicious cocktails. It's the perfect date night with your significant other or family photo op for your annual holiday card. If you're lucky, you'll see a few manta rays, sea turtles, or dolphins.


3. Arikok National Park

Arikok National Park

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Arikok National Park is widely regarded as one of the best places to visit in Aruba. Located in Santa Cruz, this beautiful National Park features a breathtaking coastline and protected local flora and fauna. Its beaches, caves, and natural wonders cover almost 20% of the island, offering a myriad of places to explore— either on your own or on one of the countless guided tours offered. Start your adventure with a hike to Cura di Tortuga, Aruba's natural pool formed by volcanic rock.


4. Hiking, Mountain Biking, & ATV Tours

Hiking, Mountain Biking, & ATV Tours in Aruba

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There's no better way to soak in your surroundings than wandering along one of Aruba's countless hiking trails. For those seeking more of a thrill, there are also plenty of off-roading, mountain biking, and ATV tours available. Your resort's concierge desk can recommend a scenic stretch of beach or a safe trail through the nearby hills for you to enjoy.


5. Windsurfing

Aruba Windsurfing

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Aruba's near-perfect weather conditions make it a top destination for windsurfers. Mild winds and calm waters allow adventurers of every skill level to soak in the scenery from atop the waves, and wind speeds are best in May, June, and July.


6. Surfing

Surfing

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While Aruba may not be a renowned surfing destination, several excellent surfing spots are along the northern coastline and eastern side.


The northern coastline offers fast-breaking waves that may not be the best option for newbies, but it is perfect for experienced surfers. The eastern side of the island offers the best breaks in Aruba.


Malmok Beach is the most popular beach for beginner surfers. Here, you can even find surf school and rental facilities.


Hadicurari Beach is the surf mecca of Aruba. Every June or July, the prestigious Aruba Hi Winds World Challenge is taken place here. While this place is popular for kite surf and windsurfing, many pro surfers enjoy surfing in this area.


Boca Grandi is the southern tip of Aruba's rugged east coast, as it has strong currents and high waves. It is best for experienced surfers.


Dos Playas is a pair of boarding coves carved out of the island's limestone cliffs and has powerful waves and currents. Best for experienced surfers.


Lighthouse/ Dunes Beach is located at the island's northern end, and it is a perfect spot for experienced surfers.


Arashi Beach is suitable for average to experienced surfers as the sea is typically calm here, but occasionally change in weather will bring in a decent swell.


Andicuri is also best for experienced surfers as it is an exposed beach break. This beach is one of the most surfed spots, and it can get heavy and dangerous.


7. Live Events

Aruba festival

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Aruba is one of the busiest destinations in the Caribbean for live events, traditional holidays, and international festivals. No matter when you are planning to visit Aruba, there will likely be an event.


8. Wellness Retreat

Aruba Wellness Retreat

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There are many health and wellness retreats in Aruba. Featuring luxurious health spas, high-end resorts, and beautiful wonders, many of these retreats allow you to relax, reset and help you find your inner peace.


9. Sailing Tours

Aruba Sailing Tours

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One of the best ways to take on Aruba's beauty is a sailing tour! It gives you a different perspective of the island and experiences something new. The sailing tours are typically done on calm and flat water, powered by trade wind, so you don't have to worry about sea sickness.

Whether you are looking to get on a big ship or a smaller boat, there are plenty of options for everyone.


10. Sport Fishing

Aruba Sport Fishing

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The island offers fishing opportunities for fishing lovers, including deep-sea fishing. Whether you are looking for half-day trips or full-day excursions, there are plenty of options for everyone.

The deep sea experience can chase after local mahi-mahi, dorado, amberjack, tuna, barracuda, kingfish, blue marlin, and even sharks! You can catch species like snapper, grouper, triggerfish, and squirrel fish in shallow waters.


Aruba Attractions to See

As you'll see below, there's never a shortage of things to do in Aruba. Add these exciting excursions and tourist attractions to your itinerary— whether you're visiting for a full week of relaxation or just a quick weekend away.


11. California Dunes

California Dunes Aruba

Image Source: Tripadvisor

The breathtaking California Dunes offer a treasure trove of places to explore. Its desert-like landscape is home to aloe, cacti, Divi Divi trees, and massive boulders. Located on the Northern coast of Aruba, the expansive sand dunes can be enjoyed on foot or four-wheeler.


12. Fort Zoutman Historical Museum (Museo Historico Aruba)

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

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The Fort Zoutman Historical Museum is the oldest building in Oranjestad, built-in 1798 by enslaved Africans. Today, it's home to artwork and artifacts that offer insight into the island's rich cultural heritage. At just $5 a ticket, the small museum is a must-visit for any history buff.


13. Donkey Sanctuary Aruba

Donkey Sanctuary Aruba

Image Source: Tripadvisor

The family-friendly Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is home to over 130 abandoned and injured wild donkeys. Run by volunteers and funded by donations, the animal sanctuary is free to visit. It's a unique experience the kids will talk about for years to come!


14. California Lighthouse

California Lighthouse

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The California Lighthouse is an Aruba landmark that attracts tourists from all across the globe. It is approximately 30 meters high and offers panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding islands. Come for a frame-worthy family picture or a romantic sunset with your sweetheart. Entry is only $5, making it an excellent activity for tourists on a tight budget.


15. Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins

Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins

Image Source: Tripadvisor

The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins offer visitors a glimpse into the island's history as they enjoy incredible oceanfront views. Once a fully-functioning gold mine, the crumbling structure is now a relic of a bygone era.


16. Philip's Animal Garden

Philip's Animal Garden

Image Source: Tripadvisor

Philip's Animal Garden is a sanctuary for rescued exotic animals and a must-see for animal lovers. Visitors can get up close and personal with over 50 species of reptiles, mammals, birds, and farm animals the non-profit has rescued from around the region. It's easily reachable by car or taxi from Oranjestad and the Eagle Beach area.


17. De Palm Island

De Palm Island

Image Source: Tripadvisor

De Palm Island is an all-inclusive destination guaranteed to please visitors of all ages. After paying a small entrance fee, you and the family can enjoy a fun and relaxing day exploring the secluded beach, water park, and restaurants around the small private island. Food, drinks, snorkeling gear rentals, and unlimited banana boat rides are all included. Plus, it's just a five-minute ferry ride from the mainland.


18. Ayo Rock Formations

Ayo Rock Formations

Image Source: Flickr

The Casibari and Ayo Rock Formations are monolithic boulders covered in ancient carvings by the Arawak people, the first inhabitants of Aruba. They're located near the Ayo village, only a few kilometers away from the Natural Bridge. Climb to the top for a breathtaking (albeit windy) panoramic view of the island.


19. Aruba Ostrich Farm

Aruba Ostrich Farm

Image Source: Pixabay

This is one of a kind and unique experience for anyone on the island's eastern coast. Home to a number of ostriches, you can interact with the magnificent birds and visit the restaurant and gift shop that sells handcrafts and artworks done by locals.


20. Bubali Bird Sanctuary

Bubali Bird Sanctuary

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Bubali Bird Sanctuary is home to over 80 species of migratory birds. Including egrets, herons, gulls, skimmers, and many other types of birds. This sanctuary is within walking distance from high-rise hotels in Palm Beach, making this a great spot for a short trip.


21. Butterfly Farm

Butterfly Farm Aruba

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A sanctuary for butterflies in a rainforest-like environment, you will experience something different and unique at Butterfly Farm. The perfect destination for both adults and kids, you will see and learn about many magnificent butterflies and their transformation process.


22. Antilla Wreck

Antilla Wreck

Image Source: Tripadvisor

The Antilla Wreck is the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean, and it is covered in coral formations, tropical fish, and other sea animals. Perfect for both snorkeling and diving, it's best to book a local tour.


23. Pedernales Wreck

Pedernales Wreck

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The Pedernales ship was a World War II lake tanker that was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat in 1942. Pedernales wreck is a well-diving wreck off the west coast of Aruba, but to get there, it's best to book a tour.


Beaches to Visit in Aruba

Aruba is home to some of the world's most stunning beaches. Schedule plenty of time to enjoy the island's crystal-clear waters and sugary white sands— whether it's sunbathing on a secluded beach, horseback riding at a popular tourist destination, or making unforgettable family memories in the waves.


24. Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach

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Thanks to its spectacular scenery and near-perfect conditions, Eagle Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Aruba. Some consider it among the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Located close to many popular chain resorts, it's the ideal way to spend a leisurely sunny day. Bring the family for an afternoon of sunbathing, sand castles, swimming, and exploring the various food vendors and trinket shops in the area.


Perfect for sunbathing, going for a stroll, swimming in the water, or renting a catamaran to enjoy a peaceful cruise.


25. Palm Beach

Palm Beach

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Palm Beach is a two-mile-long stretch of beach located just north of Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. Located close to numerous resorts and restaurants, it's the most-visited beach on the island. Leave yourself a few hours to explore the nearby beach bars and shops when you're done enjoying the turquoise blue waters and sugar-white sands.


This sandy coastline is perfect for snorkeling, jet-skiing, swimming, windsurfing, fishing, romantic sunset cruises, and more! Many beach bars along the store make it a great destination for a fun night out.


26. Baby Beach

Baby Beach

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Baby Beach is a famous stretch of coastline on the island's southern side, named for its calm, kid-friendly waters. The water is generally knee- to waist-deep with few waves, making it ideal for stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, and swimming. Its picturesque views make the perfect setting for sunbathers too.


27. Boca Catalina

Boca Catalina

Image Source: Tripadvisor

On the western part of the island, Boca Catalina is one of the best beaches for snorkeling in Aruba. This beach is a small, secluded bay in the Malmok Beach area, and the white sandy beach has everything snorkelers could wish for.


28. Arashi Beach

Arashi Beach

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This beach offers exceptional soft, clean white sand that is perfect for families looking to swim, snorkel, windsurf, sailing, or sunbathe.


Unlike the other beaches, Arashi Beach is far from the high-rise hotels and situated just off the road to the California lighthouse. It is quieter and not as crowded compared to some of the other beaches.


Nightlife in Aruba

Though Aruba isn't necessarily known as a top nightlife destination, it's still a Caribbean party hub with plenty of great places to go out— whether you're looking to grab a casual drink or hit the club.


29. Gusto Night Club

Gusto Night Club

Image Source: Tripadvisor

Gusto Night Club is undoubtedly one of the island's trendiest nightlife destinations for tourists. Open on Friday and Saturday until 3 AM, and it's the place to be on the weekends. Expect to meet visitors from all around the world.


30. Cafe Chaos

Cafe Chaos

Image Source: Tripadvisor

Cafe Chaos in Oranjestad is a casual neighborhood hang-out with live music, island vibes, and an excellent craft beer selection. The Dutch pub is popular among locals and tourists, especially when happy hour rolls around.

About the Author

Fiona is a veteran travel consultant, photographer and travel writer. Her many years of experience providing elevated customer experiences and trip planning had her traveling the world from her computer. She has spent many years as a corporate travel consultant and decided to actually live the life rather than plan it for others!

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