Aruba is a beautiful little island nestled in the South Caribbean. With just under 70 square miles, it’s shocking that there are so many fun things to do in Aruba. You can hang out with flamingos at Flamingo Beach, scuba dive to one of the many shipwrecks, party at one of the island’s music festivals, and even go skydiving!
I’ve traveled all over the Caribbean and Aruba is my absolute favorite island. Known as the “One Happy Island,” Aruba is filled with love, friendliness, surprises, and more. It’s one of those post-card worthy places that belong on every bucket list.
Aruba is home to remarkable scenery and tons of fun and excitement for every traveler. It’s the perfect getaway for couples, families, and even solo travelers. You’ll definitely find something to do here that strikes your fancy. No matter what you do on this beautiful island, you won’t be left disappointed!
So if you’re looking for a list of fun things to do in Aruba, this guide has you covered! I’ve even included tips on where to stay and how you can easily get to Aruba to help. you with your trip planning.
In This Post:
How to Get to Aruba
Getting to Aruba is a fairly easy and stress-free experience. There are two ways in which you can reach Aruba — via cruise ship or flight.
Cruising is fun and I personally love it. However, I highly recommended flying to Aruba. A few hours on this island isn’t enough to enjoy everything it has to offer. Aruba is one of those destinations where it’s 100% worth staying for a few nights.
Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll find daily non-stop flights from some major U.S. cities and other major hubs around the world. Even if you’re not able to snag a non-stop flight, flying to Aruba is still an easy process.
You’ll fly in and out of Queen Beatrix International Airport which is located about two and a half miles away from the capital — Oranjestad.
If you’re cruising, your ship will dock in Oranjestad as well and it’s about a five-minute walk from the port to the city center.
Where to Stay in Aruba
There are three main areas to stay in Aruba — Palm Beach, Renaissance hotel area, and Eagle Beach.
Palm Beach is on the northern coast of Aruba and has large resorts. This area is where most tourists stay because there are lots of restaurants, shops, casinos, and beach activities all within walking distance. This is the best area to stay in for first-timers.
Recommended Hotels in This Area:
Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – Beach Resort and Casino | Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino | Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino | Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino | The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
Eagle Beach has a more laid-back vibe and fewer tourists stay there. The hotels and resorts are smaller which makes it a quiet area. Plus, you can easily get to Palm Beach from here via taxi or bus. If you want to save money on accommodation, this is the area to stay in!
Recommended Hotels in This Area:
Renaissance Hotel Area
The only reason to stay in this area is to hang out with the infamous pink flamingos on the beach. These flamingos aren’t native to Aruba and the only way to get that Insta-worthy is by visiting the private island that belongs to the Renaissance Hotel.
The only way to get to the island is via a boat that’s owned by the hotel. If you stay at the hotel, you have free access. Alternatively, you can pay $125 USD to visit the island as a non-guest of the hotel.
Even if you’re not interested in seeing the flamingos, the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is still a great lodging option.
Airbnbs in Aruba
I know some of you would rather stay in an Airbnb than a hotel so I’ve got you covered on this one too. When I’m not staying at a hotel, I’m staying in an Airbnb. It feels like a more local experience and you get more space than a hotel room for less money typically.
Here are all of your Airbnb options in Aruba:
Tours in Aruba
As you can see, there are so many incredible and fun things to do in Aruba!
It can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to plan your vacation. Where am I going to eat? Where will I stay? How will I see everything in just a few days?
Don’t worry! Here are a few of the best tours in Aruba to help you get started with your trip planning:
17 Fun Things to Do in Aruba
Did you know that Aruba is one of the most revisited islands in the world? Why? Well, you’ll see why after you visit. When I think of taking a Caribbean holiday, Aruba is the first place that comes to mind. So, here are 17 of the most fun things to do in Aruba!
1. Take a Dip in the Conchi Natural Pool
It takes quite a trek to reach the Conchi Natural Pool in Arikok National Park. You’ll have to drive on unpaved roads, hike through ravines, and climb over rocks, but, once you reach this turquoise pool, it’ll be worth all the effort.
This natural pool is surrounded by volcanic rocks and filled with salty ocean water. You get the best of both worlds with the calmness of a pool and the feel of the ocean. It’s the perfect place to simply float on your back and sway with the movement of the waves.
2. Go Beach Hopping
Aruba is filled with stunning beaches. After all, it is a small island surrounded by the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. And rather than spending all of your time at one beach in particular, why not experience several of them by going beach hopping?
Palm Beach is undoubtedly the most famous beach in Aruba. Baby Beach might be the most calming. Eagle Beach is arguably the prettiest beach on the island. And Boca Catalina is where you want to head for a breathtaking sunset.
My personal favorite is Eagle Beach and it’s also the best beach on the island. Don’t believe me? It was recently named one of the top 25 beaches in the world by Tripadvisor. The sand is powdery-white and there are tons of secluded coves where you can hang out.
3. Tackle the Hike to the Top of the Island
Arikok National Park covers almost 25% of the island of Aruba. There are dozens of awesome hikes spread throughout this natural landscape. But arguably the coolest hike in Arikok National Park is the one to the highest point of the island: the peak of the 620-foot Jamanota.
Once you reach the end of this amazing hike, you’ll be rewarded with unobstructed views of the entire island. It’s definitely worth the few hours of effort it takes to get there.
4. Hang Out With Flamingos at the Beach
There’s nowhere else in the world where you can hang out with flamingos on the beach except at Aruba’s Flamingo Beach. So, it’s undoubtedly one of the most fun things to do in Aruba. Just imagine enjoying all the beauty of the beach with bright pink flamingos as your companions!
As I mentioned above, it’s important to note that you can only visit Flamingo Beach if you’re staying at the Renaissance Hotel or if you purchase a pricey day pass. These day passes sell out in minutes when they go on sale at 7 a.m. the day before, so set an alarm if you’d like to have this unique experience during your time in Aruba.
5. Feed A Live Ostrich
And flamingos aren’t the only exciting birds that you can hang out with in Aruba. You can also head to the Aruba Ostrich Farm to spend some time with ostriches. While there, you can learn everything you’d like to know about ostriches, see baby ostriches in their incubators, and even feed these feisty birds!
6. Go Sailing
It’s no surprise that many of the fun things to do in Aruba revolve around the water. If you’d prefer to stay dry while still enjoying the water, you can go sailing!
You can relax with the sway of the boat, smell the salty air, and cool down with the calm trade winds. It sounds like an amazing day to me!
7. Go Snorkeling
There are many places in the world with noteworthy snorkeling experiences, and Aruba is one of them. With 100 feet of visibility and hundreds of species of tropical fish, you can spend hours in the water. Keep an eye out for schools of fish, colorful starfish, and even a few friendly turtles. Some of the best places to go snorkeling in Aruba include Mangel Halto, Boca Catalina, and Arashi Beach.
8. Go Scuba Diving
If you’re comfortable enough to head far below the surface of the water, you should consider going scuba diving during your trip to Aruba. After all, there’s only so much of the underwater world that you can see from the surface.
While scuba diving will certainly give you better access to sea creatures in their natural habitat, you’ll also be able to dive to one of the many shipwrecks around the island.
There are eleven shipwrecks that you can dive to in Aruba, including SS Antilla and SS Pedernales. Not only will you be able to see the sunken vessels, but you’ll also be able to see how the fish, coral, and other marine life have transformed them into their new homes.
9. Go Seabobbing
If neither snorkeling nor scuba diving appeals to you, you can try sea bobbing instead. Essentially, sea bobbing is using an underwater scooter to propel you around. And the sea bob can reach speeds of up to ten miles per hour, so you’ll be able to see more of the underwater world without expending nearly as much energy.
10. Go Windsurfing
Aruba is an amazing place to go windsurfing, thanks to the combination of warm weather, gorgeous water, and powerful trade winds.
It’s a tricky sport that combines the skills of surfing and sailing, but the ideal conditions of the island make it perfect for beginners. Embarcadero and Boca Grandi are a couple of the prime windsurfing spots in Aruba.
11. Go Kayaking
Kayaking is one of my favorite water activities. In Aruba, it’s common to kayak both in lagoons and in the ocean. Both options have relatively calm waters, which are ideal for kayaking. A couple of the most popular spots to go kayaking in Aruba include the Spanish Lagoon and Mangel Halto.
12. Attend One of Aruba’s Music Festivals
If you want a little break from all your time in the water, you can purchase tickets for one of Aruba’s music festivals. The Soul Beach Music Festival and the Aruba Summer Music Festival are the two most famous. In the past, artists like John Legend, H.E.R., Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, and Mariah Carey have performed at one of these two festivals. So what are you waiting for? Purchase your tickets to listen to your favorite musicians all night long!
13. Cut Through the Waves on a Jet Ski
Unlike windsurfing, you don’t need practiced skills to go jet skiing. You can simply hop on board the jet ski and ride along the water at top speeds.
And when the waves aren’t too large and the sun isn’t too hot, you can easily spend an hour or two on your exciting jet ski.
14. Go Skydiving
If you’re looking for one of the wildest things to do in Aruba, skydiving might top the list. Aruba is actually one of the coolest places to go skydiving in the world. When skydiving, the highest altitude you can start a drop is at 15,000 feet. And since Aruba is at sea level, you’re skydiving experience can last even longer since you need to drop all 15,000 feet to land (as opposed to skydiving somewhere at a higher altitude).
To add to the appeal, Aruba is gorgeous from both land and sea, so why wouldn’t it look amazing from the air too? Just imagine seeing the bright blue waters, sandy shorelines, and lush greenery from above! It’ll be simply magical!
It is important to note that you should not scuba dive and skydive within 24 hours of each other.
15. Say Hello to the Butterflies at The Butterfly Farm
So far on this list of fun things to do in Aruba, I’ve listed hanging out with flamingos on the beach and feeding ostriches on a farm. Now, you can add another animal to your Aruba bucket list: butterflies!
While at The Butterfly Farm, you can learn about the evolutionary cycle from caterpillars to butterflies, hold the little caterpillars, and even have a butterfly land on your shoulder!
16. Roll Your Own Cigars at Aruhiba Cigars
While the Caribbean, in general, is known for its tobacco and cigar production, Aruba surprisingly is not, despite the fact that there are a few tobacco farms on the island. Aruhiba Cigars is one of them.
While at Aruhiba Cigars, there are quite a few things you can do. You can take a tour of the farm, learn how the cigars are made, and purchase a handful to take with you. You can even try rolling a cigar on your own!
17. Take a Horseback Riding Tour
While you can visit many of the most fun things to do in Aruba by car or on foot, there’s also the option of accessing them on horseback – and that just adds another layer of excitement to the adventure. You can take a horseback riding tour to Arikok National Park, Andicuri Beach, or Conchi Natural Pool.
Do you have any destinations to add to this list of fun things to do in Aruba? Let me know in the comments below!
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Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.