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Aruba's Beaches

Palm Beach and Beyond
Aruba's Beaches
Aruba's beaches range from the opalescent and seemingly endless—such as Palm Beach, which stretches on for nearly two miles—to the wild and untrammeled—such as Arikok National Park, where a rocky coast welcomes adventurers.
By Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
Photo courtesy of Corey Weiner Red Square Photography/The Jolly Pirate
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    Palm Beach and Beyond
    Palm Beach and Beyond
    Aruba's famous Palm Beach is a stunning, two-mile stretch of sand, shared by upscale hotels, water sport outfitters, beach bars, and restaurants. To view the beach from the water, stow away on a Jolly Pirates ship for an island cruise—the Sunset Sail includes an open bar and rope swing. Afterward, hit up one of the beach parties that bring this part of Aruba to life after dark. If Palm Beach sounds like too much activity, go further south to De Palm Island, an all-inclusive resort that offers respite from the crowds and a chance to enjoy the sand and sun in a more relaxed setting.
    Photo courtesy of Corey Weiner Red Square Photography/The Jolly Pirate
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    Secluded Beaches
    Secluded Beaches
    With its rough waters, windswept terrain, and massive dunes, Boca Prins in Arikok National Park seems far removed from the manicured sands of Palm Beach. Accessible only via 4x4 or long hike, it’s the perfect place for a picnic with a loved one. Equally remote, Andicuri Beach provides plenty of peace and quiet—provided there’s not a body-boarding completion happening—as well as picturesque bluffs and an ultra-secluded cove. For the ultimate in privacy, stay at Renaissance Resort to gain access to the beaches of Renaissance Island, which are reachable only via private boat from the landing in Oranjestad. Once there, you’ll find white sand, shady coves, and seaside hammocks.
    Photo by David Letts/age fotostock
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    For the Love of Sport
    For the Love of Sport
    Aruba has as many sporting options as the rest of the Caribbean combined. Many hotels work with renowned outfitters to arrange fun activities for visitors, including snorkeling, scuba diving, wakeboarding, surfing, big-game fishing, horseback rides, and skydiving. If you can dream it, you can do it on Aruba. Red Sail Sports is one of the largest and most well respected outfitters on the island, with new equipment, private catamarans, and plenty of boats to service guests. For the finest fly-fishing experience in Aruba, turn to Delphi Watersports, which boasts experienced guides ready to take you out on the water.
    Photo by Oscar Garces/age fotostock
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    Rest and Relaxation
    Rest and Relaxation
    You downloaded 20 romance novels on your Kindle and now you just have to find a place to read them. A brilliant stretch of white sand along Aruba’s southwest coast, Manchebo Beach is a fine place to disconnect from the every day. Also worth visiting is the idyllic Eagle Beach, which, along with Baby Beach, is renowned for its clothing-optional dress code. Last but not least, Dos Playa has a split personality—surfers frequent one half, while beach bums lounge in the shade of sea grape trees on the other.
    Photo by Dennis MacDonald/age fotostock
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    Spa Sessions by the Sea
    Spa Sessions by the Sea
    If you’re after a bit of pampering on the beach, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Schedule an appointment at Spa Del Sol for around sundown and settle into a private gazebo while Aruba’s birdlife stages a concert in your honor. Alternatively, you could book the full-day package at Okeanos Spa on Renaissance Island and enjoy a little escape. Just off Palm Beach, the remarkable Mandara is Aruba’s largest spa. Here, guests enjoy Balinese-style treatments as well as couples’ suites, Vichy showers, Jacuzzis, and steam rooms. For the ultimate luxury, try the Honeymoon Delight package, which includes Caribbean coffee scrubs, aromatherapy baths, massages, and more.
    Photo courtesy of Okeanos Spa at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
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    Paddleboarding
    Paddleboarding
    Surprisingly, paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing recreational sports in the world. To give it a try, grab some gear form the nearest beach hut (Red Sail Sports on Palm Beach is a great option) and take to the water. If you’d rather learn the basics before paddling on your own, turn to Aruba Surf and Paddle School, where friendly instructors will have you on your feet in no time. With more than 30 years of board-sport experience, the outfitter is one of the island’s best options for learning paddleboarding and surfing. Instructors will even help you fix your GoPro to your board so you can get the perfect Instagram.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Snorkeling Trips
    Snorkeling Trips
    A trip to Aruba demands at least one snorkeling excursion. For something adventurous, head to Arashi Beach and explore around the Antilla ghost ship—the 400-foot-long German freighter is one of the largest wrecks in the Caribbean. Red Sail Sports offers half- and full-day excursions to the site aboard its custom catamarans. At the other end of the island, Baby Bay’s calm waters and soft send lend themselves to novice swimmers, who can find rays, octopuses, parrotfish, and more in the man-made reef. If you’re seeking something different, turn to Aruba Bob Snorkeling, which runs underwater scooter trips to Mangel Halto, home to Aruba’s most stunning natural coral formations.
    Photo by Flash Parker
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    Mixed Doubles
    Mixed Doubles
    Played on a volleyball court with a fat paddle and deflated ball, beach tennis is the perfect way to exercise with a rum cocktail in hand. Hone your skills for $5 at MooMba Beach Bar, where Beach Tennis Aruba runs four separate courts. Over at Eagle Beach, the Divi Beach Tennis Aruba Tournament draws 800 players from dozens of nations to compete for a purse valued at more than $25,000. With more than 20 courts, the temporary tennis village is something to see. If you’re looking for something less organized, head to Palm Beach, where volleyball courts pop up when the sun is shining—which is virtually every day.
    Photo courtesy of Beach Tennis Aruba
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    Windsurfing
    Windsurfing
    Aruba’s signature high winds make it the perfect place to try windsurfing. Here, dozens of outfitters compete for your patronage. Aruba Kitesurfing School offers top-notch equipment, experienced instructors, and packages that range from five-hour introductions to four-day immersions, while Pro Kite School Aruba is home to world-record holder Pechi Pechacek, who will have you ready for the Hi-Winds Amateur World Challenge in no time. If you’re already a pro, you can rent equipment from the huts at the north end of Palm Beach and take to the water on your own.
    Photo by Flash Parker