The Best Shopping in Aruba
While Aruba is home to a number of shopping centers and malls, it’s the small shops and boutiques you’ll really want to explore. Scattered around the island, they sell local artisan products that make for unique souvenirs, from aloe vera cosmetics and upcycled accessories to mosaics and hand-carved wood masks.
Zoutmanstraat 1, Oranjestad, Aruba
Skip the tacky magnets this time around and instead visit Cosecha for a souvenir truly reflective of Aruban culture. The word ‘cosecha’ translates to ‘harvesting,’ and that’s just what the curators of this shop and design space have done, offering handicrafts such as jewelry, paintings on driftwood, textiles, sculptures, and more from a variety of Aruban artists. Everything for sale has been certified as locally produced with a national seal of craftsmanship, ensuring you’ll leave with something authentic. The store has two locations, Cosecha Oranjestad and Cosecha San Nicolas, the former of which is housed in the 100-year-old Zoutmanstraat 1. Built in 1910, the building emerged from a complete restoration in 2015, but once served as a government office and also housed Aruba’s archaeological museum for many years.
South Beach Center, 3 55, Noord 23000, Aruba
Filled with resort wear for men, women, and children, The Lazy Lizard is stocked with beach bums in mind. Here, shoppers will find an endless array of wide-brimmed hats, baseball caps, and straw totes alongside T-shirts, bathing suits, and cover-ups. There are also accessories like waterproof phone cases and wind chimes made from shells, as well as a selection of local artwork. Adding substance to style, the store donates a percentage of each purchase to local charities.
L.G. Smith Blvd, Oranjestad, Aruba
A shopping mecca, this downtown street is lined with malls and flea markets. On Oranjestad’s main pier, across from one of the larger malls, you’ll find the site of Aruba’s first public market. Once a clearinghouse for local fruits, vegetables, and fish, the space now features open-air stalls hawking Aruban art, crafts, leather goods, and other souvenirs. Look out for hand-milled aloe soaps and creams as well as watercolors by local artists. Bargaining is expected, so don’t settle for the first price you hear.
Bubali 141-A, Noord, Aruba
While there’s nothing particularly charming about this Target-esque emporium in Noord, it’s the best place to go for foodie goods. Only-on-Aruba delights include Hot Delight sauces (all-natural flavor enhancers handcrafted on the island) and coecoei liquor (a centuries-old spirit made from agave), while Dutch specialties range from cheese (Edam, Gouda) to chocolate (Verkade, Droste). If you get nothing else, try the stroopwafels, which feature a caramel, syrup-like filling sandwiched between thin-baked dough. Super Food’s café, Jack’s, offers excellent coffee and Dutch dishes throughout the day.
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 each piece, artisans paint them with vegetable dyes and resin-based lacquer, making for one-of-a-kind keepsakes. Visit the gallery to shop and speak with the artisans themselves, who will gladly answer questions and demonstrate their intricate techniques.
Caya G. F. Betico Croes, Oranjestad, Aruba
Aruba is a paradise for shoppers, and this leafy street, named for a local freedom fighter, is its main attraction. Lined with palm trees and an antique streetcar, the half-mile stretch features several different stores, all housed in pastel-hued, Dutch Colonial–style buildings. Offerings run the gamut from high-end fashion and jewelry to souvenir T-shirts and postcards—housewares are of particular note. Don’t leave the area without buying some Dutch Edam cheese, which comes wrapped in red wax, and a piece of iconic blue-and-white, Delft-style pottery.
Lloyd G. Smith Blvd 94, Oranjestad, Aruba
Conditions are right year-round in Aruba for both newbie and seasoned surfers. Easterly trade winds blow steadily over the island from March through August, while waves come consistently in late fall and winter. If you’d like to try surfing—or even just look like a surfer—while in Aruba, Bula Surf Shop in central Oranjestad can get you started. Opened in 2003 by two surfers, the store boasts a friendly staff that’s knowledgeable about all things watersports-related on the island. Pick up everything from swimsuits and sunglasses to boards and backpacks by popular surf brands like Billabong, Quicksilver, and Ripcurl. Just don’t stop by on Sundays—that’s when the staff is “gone surfing.”