Breezy beach days and colourful nights: The best of Aruba
This Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela is small but perfectly formed. It’s not hard to see the appeal; among its many selling points, Aruba counts miles of white sand beaches, lively festivals and diverse, dynamic cities pulsing with energy.
Are you ready to discover the happiest of the Caribbean islands? Whether you’re exploring the island or enjoying an all-inclusive package, here’s all you need to know about holidays to Aruba.
Beach Holidays in Aruba
The beaches of Aruba may be postcard-perfect, but they’ve got plenty more going for them besides: water sports, nightlife and wildlife to name just a few highlights. There are so many beaches to choose from during your all-inclusive Aruba holiday, so here are some of our top recommendations to get you started.
- Located in Oranjestad, Eagle Beach is one of the island's widest stretches of sand – so there's plenty of room for everyone. It also has everything you'd hope for from a Caribbean beach – the water sparkles with blue and green hues, the sand is white and fine and there are plenty of spots to buy drinks and snacks. Drop into the Bugaloe Beach Bar for grilled grouper fish with a view.
- Palm Beach is two miles long, and studded with luxurious beach resorts (and their equally luxurious bars). The sunsets here are not to be missed, so head to the Barceló Aruba and sip on a freshly-stirred cocktail to watch the sun go down over the ocean.
- If you’re looking for an authentic local experience, Arashi Beach is the place for you. The currents here are mild, so it’s a great place to take a surf lesson or paddle in the waves. Also, there are few better places to don that snorkelling mask – the underwater life is colourful and vibrant. Find it north of Malmok Beach, another local favourite.
Luxury Holidays to Aruba
Holidays to Aruba are for putting your feet up, kicking back and relaxing. This small Caribbean island offers plenty of opportunities for indulgence, whether that’s with a pampering spa treatment at an Aruba resort or an unforgettable culinary experience. Here are some of our favourites.
- The tranquil and romantic Bucuti & Tara Resor is adults-only, so it's ideal for couples on Aruba holidays. Take a peaceful dip in the saltwater infinity pool or tuck into a meal at the exclusive on-site Carte Blanche restaurant (this is a popular one, so be sure to book in advance). What’s more, this resort is ideally located on the beautiful Eagle Beach, just minutes away from the cafes, restaurants and shops of Oranjestad.
- Head to the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino to discover the serene ZoiA Spa. It’s one of the best places on the island to let your worries slip away. Go for a cooling aloe facial, a relaxing massage or, to soothe sun-parched skin, the white lily after-sun wrap.
- To indulge in a spot of retail therapy, the Renaissance Mall is the place to be. You’ll find over 60 stores, including designer boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci and a variety of cafes and eateries. It’s a great place to pick up a few little treats for yourself (or for loved ones back home). It’s easy to find, located in the heart of Oranjestad just across from the scenic Renaissance Marina.
Eating and drinking in Aruba
On your holiday to Aruba, you'll find plenty of places to discover authentic fare and sample a true taste of the Caribbean. Here are a few we think you shouldn't miss.
- After a day of relaxing at Palm Beach, head to 2 Fools and a Bull for a unique and fun culinary experience that the restaurant describes as a dinner party with 15 strangers. You’ll be greeted with a glass of champagne before tucking into an exquisite five-course offering of traditional dishes (the menu changes all the time), prepared by the self-described two fools. Book well in advance as this experience is coveted by tourists and locals alike.
- For a more casual meal, try Eduardo’s Beach Shack, which serves healthy acai bowls and smoothies packed with fresh fruits and coconuts ripened by the Aruban sun. Get there in the morning before the crowds and try the Nutella and peanut butter breakfast bowl (you won’t regret it).
- What would a holiday to Aruba be without sampling the seafood? At Pinchos Grill and Bar in Oranjestad, you’ll find some of the best on the island. It juts out over the ocean, so you’ll have a spectacular view of the sunset as you tuck into some spicy Aruban fish cakes with pineapple mayonnaise and salsa or the grilled shrimp with garlic and cognac sauce.
Events and festivals in Aruba
Make the most of your holiday in Aruba by timing it to coincide with any one of the exciting festivals that take place across the island.
- The carnival-themed Carubbian Festival takes place weekly on a Thursday, so no need to worry about missing out. Colourful tents containing live musical acts and steel drums are erected in San Nicolas, along with a variety of food vendors. It runs from 6pm to 10pm, but we'd recommend arriving about half an hour after opening to make sure everything's set up and ready to go.
- In January and February, the streets of Oranjestad come alive with the sights and sounds of the Aruba Carnival. It celebrated its 63rd year in 2017 and when you visit you can expect parties, creative contests, costume parades, live music and much, much more. The Lightning Parade is a particular treat – taking place during the evening, it features hundreds of tiny lights sewn into costumes, floats and road pieces.
- The Flip Flop Beach Festival is the biggest free festival in Aruba (and one of the most fun). Taking place beachside in March and April, it showcases music from world-class DJs and performers. And it probably goes without saying that flip-flops are high up on the dress code.
Feeling inspired to book your holiday to Aruba? Find out more about travelling to the island, as well as the luxurious Aruba resorts and hotels we have on offer.