JOURNEYS

Have a Fabulous Friends Trip in Aruba

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White-sand beaches, vibrant Dutch colonial architecture, sparkling teal waters, and endless adventure all make Aruba a Caribbean gem for enjoying time with friends. At only 20 miles long, it’s easy to find island fun on Aruba—also known as One happy island. Full of world-class beaches, outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking, and kite surfing, delicious cuisine, and thriving nightlife and culture, Aruba offers distinctive experiences only found here. It’s a trip you’ll all be talking about for years to come, thanks to the inspiring feeling of being in this special place. Here, we’ve curated an itinerary for a dreamy friends trip in Aruba that will leave you and yours with memorable experiences that will never leave you, even long after you’ve left Aruba.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHT

The Ritz-Carlton Aruba

On peaceful Palm Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Aruba is a treat for friends looking to get away, as an adults-only pool, 15,000-square-foot spa, six restaurants, and access to nearby nightlife all make for a trip to remember.
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TRIP DESIGNER

The Aruba Tourism Authority

The Aruba Tourism Authority strives to enlighten travelers on all the wonders Aruba has to offer. From white, sandy beaches to beautiful desert landscapes and so much more, the Aruba Effect takes hold, beckoning travelers back for that warm, incomparable feeling they get each time they set foot on One happy island.
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Bucuti & Tara

Day 1Beach Day

Whether you want a beach buzzing with fellow travelers or a quiet slice of paradise, you’ll find it in Aruba. Choose among white sand and clear water, palapas, beachside bars, and fishing coves where local fisherman park their colorful boats to feel the warm sun and immerse yourself.

Stay at Bucuti & Tara, an adults-only, carbon-neutral resort with a focus on wellness that includes organic produce served in its restaurants and a spa. The hotel is well-located in the north side of the island right on Eagle Beach, so you don’t have to go far to experience sun, sea, and sand. Eagle Beach is the widest beach in Aruba that offers Caribbean views, beach huts, and water sports. It’s also the place to take a picture of the iconic Aruba fofoti tree that grows on the beach, and you can spot sea turtles.

If you want to go a little further afield, Arashi Beach is ideal for snorkeling. Locals love this beach, as it boasts a bar, and live music. Or head to the south side of the island near San Nicolas and you’ll find Baby Beach and Rodgers Beach. Baby Beach, known for its half-moon lagoon shape, has shallow water that swimmers and snorkelers love. You can wade out quite a distance while still touching the sandy bottom. Near Baby Beach is Rodgers Beach, a narrow, secluded strip of sand where anglers anchor their boats and couples, families, and friends escape the crowds.

Toast your first day together in paradise with more time along the oceanfront at Surfside Beach Bar. Watch the sun set with a tropical drink in hand and savor the Aruba feeling.

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Arikok National Park

Day 2Hit the Trail

If you’re looking to discover the island on foot, an abundance of trails throughout Aruba awaits. For a bird’s-eye view of Aruba, head up the long concrete staircase to Hooiberg. With a little more than 500 steps to climb, it’s a relatively easy hike that rewards you with the opportunity to see the island from above. Go at sunrise or sunset and watch the sky change colors. You might even see a goat or two roaming around the cacti and divi-divi trees.

For something a bit more moderate, the Conchi Natural Pool Trail in Arikok National Park leads to a beautiful natural ocean pool protected by otherworldly rock formations. The trail takes about 2.5 hours to complete, and it’s best to go in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Bring some water shoes along with you to splash around in the natural pool or try biking along the parks many trails. Another moderate trail in the park is the Jamanota Trail, which takes you to the highest point in Aruba for 360-degree views.

Refuel at Bugaloe with casual fare such as sandwiches, burgers, and grilled mahi-mahi, along with a selection from their lengthy list of island-inspired cocktails.

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Day 3Boca Prins Beach

Along the northeast coast in Arikok National Park, you’ll find the serene Boca Prins Beach. The rocky shores against the white sand make it great for exploring and snapping pics, but swimming isn’t advised due to the undertow. You can enjoy the beach area, however, and casual meals with sweeping views at the Boca Prins Restaurant.

Tonight, check out Aruba’s bright nightlife, from bars and dance clubs to casinos and popular restaurants. Café Chaosis the place for live music and the local scene, along with the weekly street party at Djiespie’s Place featuring outdoor dancing and revelry on Fridays.

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Street art in San Nicolas

Day 4Take In The Art Scene

You trip to Aruba isn’t complete without seeing the artistic side of the island. In San Nicolas, walk surrounded with world-renowned murals painted by artists from all over. Then check out Terrafuse Aruba for blown glass and ceramic works, and Tangerine Homemade for handcrafted canvas bags, hats, and other merchandise.

Enjoy dishes such as fish cakes or blue cheese tenderloin infused with dark rum at Pinchos Grill & Bar, which is located on a pier and ideal for catching the sunset. Make a reservation at Apotek to enjoy the craft cocktails that come garnished with everything from fresh thyme to flames in their speakeasy-style space.

As your trip comes to an end in Aruba, the feelings and flavors of the Caribbean will linger, sending you and your friends back to the real world with a newfound love of life (and each other)! Because the power of Aruba is found in its beaches, water, and people—and in the lasting memories you take home that you’ll be talking about for years to come.