The Best Things to Do in Aruba
Collected by Jenna Mahoney , AFAR Local Expert
While it’s true that Aruba has some of the calmest waters and most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, it also boasts attractions like animal sanctuaries, museums, golf courses, casinos, and great shopping, making it hard to ever be bored on this magical island.
L.G. Smith Blvd, Noord, Aruba
Built between 1914 and 1916 on an octagonal base, this stone, double-lens lighthouse is Aruba’s marquee landmark. Standing tall at 98 feet, it’s the higheststructure on the island and offers the best views in its respective area. It gets its name...
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...
Eagle Beach, Aruba
In addition to its beaches, Aruba’s gambling culture is one of the island’s biggest draws, with most casinos located in the large hotels of Palm Beach and downtown Oranjestad. Stellaris, in the Aruba Marriott Resort, is one of several glittering...
Positioned on Aruba’s west coast, this protected expanse of wetlands is a landing spot for migrating birds. Of the more than 80 species that come to feed, mate, or simply rest here, black-necked stilts are the most common—keep an eye out for their...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd, Noord, 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...
This former mill in the northern part of Aruba hints at the island’s relatively unknown gold rush. First discovered in 1824, gold remained an important Aruban industry until around 1916, with the island producing more than 3 million pounds in...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 55, Oranjestad, Aruba
There’s no better place to practice yoga than a tropical setting tempered by constant trade winds, and at Manchebo Beach Resort’s two open-air studios, you’ll find just that. Located right on pristine Eagle Beach, the idyllic...
Pitastraat 115, Aruba
Tanki Leendert 158-G, Rococo Plaza, Oranjestad, Aruba
With its two bubble-topped towers and picturesque roof, the building that houses the Museum of Antiquities is as interesting as the curiosities inside. Constructed using 17th-century techniques and materials, the museum boasts 23 separate...
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...
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...
Andicuri Beach, Aruba
Some call this cove, positioned on the windward side of the island, Aruba’s most beautiful beach. It’s pristine and just the right amount of windswept, thanks to the towering limestone cliffs that surround the powdered sands and crystalline...
Natural Pool, Santa Cruz, Aruba
Pass over limestone rocks and through a protected landscape and you’ll arrive at this enchanting pool, which gets up to eight feet deep at times. Surrounded by volcanic outcroppings, it’s so removed from other island attractions that...
Schelpstraat 42, Oranjestad, Aruba
Located in a former mansion, this interactive museum is full of ancient artifacts. Culled from three distinct periods of indigenous history, the collection includes more than 10,000 pieces from Pre-Ceramic (2500 B.C.E.–1000 C.E.), Ceramic...
Zoutmanstraat Oranjestad, Oranjestad, Aruba
Located inside Aruba’s oldest surviving structure, this museum offers a fascinating look at the island’s evolution. Open weekdays, it boasts artifacts from the Caiquetio people and Dutch colonialists as well as items from modern-day Aruba. The...
Avenida Milio Croes 26, Oranjestad, Aruba
This pretty green building, with its intricate white trim, is an architectural jewel in central Oranjestad. Constructed from 1922 to 1925, it was designed by Merardo “Dada” Picus for Aruba’s first general practitioner, Dr. Eloy Arends, who...
San Fuego 70, Santa Cruz, Aruba
Among the 20 percent of Aruba that’s protected land, Arikok National Park boasts lava fields, limestone terrain, and a small beach, all crisscrossed with picturesque hiking trails. Paths lead to gold mine ruins, former plantations, and...
Kadushi Largo 7 Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Aruba
About 30 minutes from Oranjestad at the southern tip of Aruba is San Nicolas, the island’s second-largest city. In 2016, it became home to Aruba’s only mural district following the now-annual Aruba Art Fair. As part of the...
Kadushi Largo 7 Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Aruba
This is perhaps Aruba’s most famous beach, which is saying a lot for an island that boasts mile after mile of pristine sand. Baby Beach—thusly named because it’s perfect for families with small children—features a crescent...
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