Get Right in Aruba
Collected by Patrick Bennett, AFAR Ambassador
There’s quite a lot to love about this special little Latin-infused Dutch paradise, even for the adventurous and culturally curious traveler. The thing is, you tend to have to search a little longer and a little harder to experience Aruba’s uncommon Caribbean charms.
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 230, Noord, Aruba
Uncommon bars like Charlie’s and the Palm Beach nightclubs make it easy to overdo it in Aruba. The cure: Moomba’s Caribbean Pirate. This hangover-killing mix of spiced rum, brown cane sugar, Red Bull, lime and pineapple juice helps you rejuvenate...
Avenida Alo Tromp 8, Oranjestad, Aruba
Drinking local in Aruba means enjoying Balashi. Aruba’s first and only homegrown brew, Balashi is named for the Arawak Indian terms Bala Bala or Balana, both of which mean “by the sea.” Fitting as nothing quenches a thirst better on a hot day...
Bernard van de Veen Zeppenfeldstraat 56, San Nicolas, Aruba
One of the world’s most legendary bars, Charlie’s opened in 1941 appealing to rowdy sailors who spread its fame in ports across the globe. The good times here are much tamer these days as friendly locals and visitors in search of the real Aruba...
Savaneta 270, Savaneta, Aruba
Enjoy fresh seafood right from the source at this local spot in Savaneta, a seaside town that was once the capital of Aruba. Enjoy a cold Chill beer as you wait on line. The menu, in both Papiamento and English is simple. Once it's your turn, be...
Noord Cura Cabai 2a, Savaneta, Aruba
The Old Man and the Sea in Savaneta is an ideal place for a romantic island dining experience, amid the 'clicking palms,' overlooking the water. Feel the sand beneath your feet, and listen to the waves gently lapping the shoreline as you enjoy a...
San Nicolas, Aruba
Located southeast of Cabez Reef, Serito is a well-kept secret in the local Aruban diving community. It’s accessible only by private charter, and only after haranguing those in the know—the locals who like to keep it to themselves to ensure that...
Hooiberg, Oranjestad, Aruba
An easy adventure for the whole family, Hooiberg (with an elevation of 541 feet) is the third largest peak on mostly flat Aruba. You don’t so much hike it as you climb the 562 concrete steps that lead to her summit. Panoramic views all the way to...
Bringamosa 2-Z, Sta Cruz, Aruba
Once an integral form of transportation in Aruba, donkeys were reduced to road hazard status as cars replaced them. Donkey Sanctuary Aruba was founded in 1997 to protect the animals. It’s 100% non-profit, so your adoption goes a long way to their...
Gasparito 3 Noord, Noord, Aruba
Authentic Aruban cuisine and art are both on the menu at this unique eatery. Keshi Yena, Kerry Kerry, and Goat Stoba are just a few of the goodies served amid a warm, family-style setting and whimsical art created by Gasparito’s own in-house...
Havenstraat 36 Oranjestad, Oranjestad, Aruba
This is one of the best places to cool off in Aruba, especially if you’re shopping near its downtown Oranjestad location. You’ll find more than 60 flavors here, each produced with natural, organic ingredients; no artificial flavors, colors,...
Lloyd G. Smith Blvd 9 Suite 17, Oranjestad, Aruba
Hand crafted Mopa Mopa masks and figurines can be found at markets and art shops around Aruba. Artisans create the colorful, metallic overlays on each piece by boiling leaf buds in an old Amerindian tradition and stretching them into place with...