How to Spend Two Weeks in Aruba
Collected by Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
If you're lucky enough to have two whole weeks to explore the beautiful and alluring island of Aruba, here are the lesser-known attractions and quirky adventures that will keep you busy. When you’re not unwinding on the beach, of course.
Renaissance Island, Aruba
Aruba is not known so much for its flamingos as for its beaches and aloe. But you'll find these beautiful pink birds on Renaissance Island, which is owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in the capital city, Oranjestad. While the city...
Washington 61 Noord, Aruba
Located in a former home built more than 100 years ago, this intimate restaurant excels in ambience and Caribbean specialties. Outdoor tables sit next to a pool and pretty tropical gardens, while the dining room boasts an array of European...
The Caribbean features a lot of different ways to explore the ocean, but none are quite like the Atlantis submarine experience on Aruba. Guests embark on the afternoon adventure by taking a short boat ride out to the submarine dock itself. Then...
Oranjestad is a unique blend of old and new that lends a distinctive charm to Aruba’s capital. Pastel-hued Dutch Colonial buildings, vibrant color, and charming shops line the streets. Venture off of the beaten path and into the back streets to...
The National Archaeological Museum of Aruba may be small, but it offers a big overview of the island's history by way of a collection that includes a skeleton which is thousands of years old, ancient Carib artifacts, and more. The oldest building...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd, Oranjestad, Aruba
At this tranquil spot in Oranjestad, hundreds of species of butterflies flutter among tropical flowers, groomed gardens, and a Japanese pond, all set beneath gauzy netting. Docents lead tours past rushing waterfalls, crystal-clear pools, and...
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, Santa Cruz, Aruba
Donkeys were once the main mode of transportation on Aruba, but after cars arrived, they were left to wander the island without purpose. To give the abandoned animals a permanent home, the island founded this sanctuary in 1997. Free and...
Lloyd G. Smith Blvd 9, Oranjestad, Aruba
At Mopa Mopa in Oranjestad, local handicrafts aren’t just souvenirs—they’re decorative art. The gallery specializes in carved wooden figures, crafted lovingly in the traditional mopa mopa, or barniz de Pasto, style. To finish...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 348A, Noord, Aruba
When traveling I like to pack light but I always forget a few essentials—luckily in Aruba the Mad Hatter is there to make sure you have stylish sun protection. A hat is a must for everyone under the Caribbean sun and this shop encourages you to...
Alto Vista 116, Noord, Aruba
Philip’s Animal Garden is in the business of rescuing exotic animals on Aruba. This non-profit zoo has over 50 species living in garden surroundings and lovingly attended, not just by the park staff, but by the visitors too. Come spend a few hours...
Caya di Solo 10A, Malmok, Noord, Aruba
Located on the northwest point of the island, Aruba’s only golf course offers views across the ocean and desert. It’s also independent, meaning guests at any resort can use the championship greens, which were designed by Robert Trent...
Featuring a series of boulders that appear to have been gathered, piled, and deliberately set across a few square miles of desert, this site carries a certain air of mystery. Scientists remain baffled about the geological event that could have...
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