The Perfect Weekend in Aruba
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Even if you only have three days in Aruba, you can cover a lot of ground. Pull yourself away from the calm waters of island's west coast to explore Arikok National Park on the wild east coast, with its rocky cliffs and pools. Spend a leisurely morning shopping for artisan crafts, have lunch at an open-air restaurant, visit a donkey sanctuary – you'll find there's more than just beaches to this tiny Caribbean island.
L.G. Smith Blvd 82, Oranjestad, Aruba
Upon your arrival at this 556-room resort, you might be disappointed to find a small pool instead of sandy palapas overlooking the sea. But the Renaissance makes up for its location on a busy thoroughfare in the capital city of...
Cunucu Abao 37, Noord, Aruba
This spot near Eagle Beach is pure Caribbean. The live music is infectious, the plates come piled high, and the tables are situated outdoors, under the sky or a tin-roof overhang. Plus, there are more local patrons than visitors. While the...
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...
L.G. Smith Blvd 7, Oranjestad, Aruba
Instagrammers, take note: This open-air eatery is prime for watching—and snapping—the sunset. Every table is positioned on the pier, directly over Aruba’s shimmering waters. Come early to score a front-row seat for the evening...
L.G. Smith Boulevard 526 Malmok, Noord, Aruba
Conceived by Venezuelan architect Óscar Enrique Bracho Malpica, this Malmok Beach beauty stands out from the pastel pack with its modernist aesthetic: think wall-to-wall windows and pitched roofs, as well as gauzy curtains and minimalist...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 266, Oranjestad, Aruba
Dinner at The Kitchen Table is best described as a “culinary journey.” Here, the experience of lingering over seven to eight courses is limited to just 16 diners a night. Meals begin with a sunset cocktail, during which guests are...
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...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 370, Noord, Aruba
Go Dutch with breakfast at this beachfront spot, located next to Aruba’s iconic red windmill. Here, the menu is written on a chalkboard and features all manner of sweet and savory pancakes, from apple-cinnamon-banana to Norwegian and Dutch...
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...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 230, Noord, Aruba
Dream about a Caribbean beach bar and chances are you’ll imagine someplace like MooMba, just south of Palm Beach. Here, you’ll find oversize palapas, tiki torches at night, and a crowd looking for fun with their feet in the...
Pitastraat 115, Aruba
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,...
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...
J.E. Irausquin Blvd 79, Noord, Aruba
If you like piña coladas, make a beeline for this overwater outpost on glittering Palm Beach. Situated on a pier, the open-air bar and grill boasts uninterrupted views of the water—as well as Aruba’s spectacular sunsets. Here,...
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