The goal of this blog is to help me through my journey to visit all 50 states, but I love travel in general, so I’ve been outside the U.S. quite a bit as well. Aruba is one of my favorite vacation hot spots.
I’ve been to Aruba twice now – once by cruise ship, and once by plane (during which we stayed at Divi Resorts). It’s an island with palm trees, so obviously you’re going to want to go to the beach. Aruba is right off the cost of the northern tip of Venezuela (but they don’t get along, just so you know). It was the closest I had ever been to the equator, and it was HOT. But as hot as it is in Aruba, I’m not the type of person that can sit on a beach for a week straight, which you might have figured out by how much I travel and how much I do when I travel. So, here is what I did in Aruba when I wasn’t frying myself:
- ABC Jeep Tour – I usually don’t write my lists in order of preference, but you HAVE to try this if you go to Aruba. There are a bunch of different ATV/Off-roading options and this is the only one I’ve tried, but it’s rated #2 on Trip Advisor and my family and I absolutely LOVED it. We all enjoy adventure but we’re not exactly pros, so don’t worry if you’re a little scared. It’s a bumpy ride, you might get stuck, and you might get picked to drive (if you can drive stick) – but the guides are incredible and can help you out in any situation. They also know everything there is to know about their island, and they take you to the most beautiful places. The waters and the rock formations look unreal; they are incredible and all natural. They have a few options for their jeep tours, but we chose the Natural Pool excursion and I 10/10 recommend. You get to see, learn about, and walk around the famous natural bridge, the original gold mill ruins, and the Arikok park (rare priceless gems), plus everything along the way. The tour goes through a real village too, which feels like the set of an old western movie. The “fences” are made of cacti and the roads are dirt. When you get to the natural pool though, wow…I don’t normally go in the water at the beach because I don’t like fish, and I wasn’t exactly fighting for a snorkeling mask, but I waded in and wow. I don’t recommend this if you aren’t a confident swimmer, and the guide will tell you that, because it is a bit wavy and it is hard to tell where it gets deeper. People in my tour group were diving off rocks and splashing like kids, and the water was satisfyingly warm. This. Is. A. Must.
- Eagle Beach – This is where our resort was, right in Oranjestad, the capital and largest city of Aruba. Enjoy the bright blue Caribbean water and smooth sand with a drink in your hand. Expect tourists, though. This is not a private beach. This is not something that you should expect to see, but I happened to be there on the right day and saw sea turtles hatching. Local marine biologists blocked off the area for the turtles and a crowd gathered among the barriers. I felt like I was on the set of The Last Song and I loved it.
- Baby Beach – I won’t sit here and list every beach in Aruba, because they are all beautiful, but this was a fun stop. We took a bus from our resort, so naturally this beach was also filled with tourists, but it was still a blast. It’s not a bad way to see the other side of the island, either.
- Shopping – Aruba would be nothing without the tourism economy, so there are gift shops literally everywhere. No matter where you are staying, I guarantee you will be close enough to a shopping center, casino, beach, and restaurant, which brings me to my next point.
- Food – The menus are all relatively similar (and don’t worry about language barriers, I had no problem speaking English to all our waiters, though my high school Spanish did come in handy). There is a lot of seafood, and it’s all fresh. But, there will be something for you if you’re not into that. I’m not a big seafood person and I always found something. All the Divi resorts have their own bars and restaurants, and they all have shuttle services that will take you between resorts so you can check out the other restaurants, pools, and golf courses that Divi has to offer. Don’t forget to tip your shuttle driver.
Aruba is a magical place. My family and I stayed for a week and there was never a dull moment. Check out some of the photos below and let me know if you need help planning your Aruba trip!