Are you planning on taking a dream Caribbean holiday this year? There are a LOT of great reasons to visit Aruba!
I recently travelled to Aruba for a much-needed blast of winter sunshine and was absolutely wowed by just how much there is to do on this little Caribbean island.
The ideal weather, dreamy beaches, and varied coastline are perfect for watersports, swimming, snorkelling, or simply chilling! On the other hand, the cactus-studded, desert-like interior of the island gives it a rugged, adventurous feel which can be enjoyed on hikes, bike rides, and jeep tours.
But if you’re thinking Aruba is just for adventurous types, think again. If your dream vacation involves lying on the beach, cocktail in hand, barely moving a muscle… this is also the place for you. Relax into island life and discover this incredible “One Happy Island”.
10 Reasons to Visit Aruba
Here are ten reasons why Aruba should be top of your travel wish list this year…
1. Get there quicker with a new direct flight
British Airways recently announced a brand new direct route to Aruba. From March 2023, they’ll start running a twice-weekly, year-round direct flight from London Gatwick. Return fares start from £599 – but you might be able to pick up a bargain in the Boxing Day sales!
2. Relax on beautiful beaches
The Caribbean islands are well known for their idyllic beaches, and Aruba is no exception. There are some glorious beaches all over the island – with something to suit every single taste.
Most of the more popular beaches are found on the southern and southeastern coasts of the island, with sheltered bays and pristine white sand. Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, Manchebo Beach and Surfside Beach sit near the hotels and resorts around the capital of Oranjestad, while I adored Baby Beach down on the island’s southernmost tip.
Although the northeastern coast tends to be more rocky and rugged, there are still a handful of swimming spots. Particularly the Natural Pool in the Arikok National Park, a sheltered pool surrounded by huge rocks which block off the ferocious waves.
3. This is one happy island!
Aruba’s tagline is “One Happy Island” and after spending even just a short time there you’ll start to see why. The island is known as a very welcoming, friendly and accepting place. Perhaps that’s because some 90 different nationalities call Aruba home – creating a diverse multicultural melting pot where everyone is welcome!
4. Aruba is outside the hurricane belt…
Along with the other “ABC Islands” (Bonaire and Curaçao) Aruba sits just south of the hurricane belt – meaning hurricanes are rare, and you can expect pretty tranquil weather all year round.
Speaking of the weather – Aruba is blessed with more sunny days and less rainfall than any other Caribbean island. Rain is pretty rare, and when it does come it’s usually just a short, heavy shower that clears up pretty quickly. And believe me, it can feel like a blessing after a couple of hours in the Caribbean heat!
5. But constant trade winds mean awesome watersports
The reliable trade winds that once made Aruba so appealing to colonists now make the island an ideal location for watersports. If you want to cool off, you can try your hand at windsurfing, kitesurfing, wingfoiling, sailing, and kayaking.
And if you want to discover Aruba’s underwater wildlife, the island has plenty of snorkelling and diving sites, including the shipwreck of the SS Antilla!
6. There’s some amazing nature to discover
One of the things I loved most about Aruba was the incredible nature on the island. This was different to anywhere else I’ve been in the Caribbean. Aruba is flatter and dryer, with vivid red-coloured sandy areas almost like deserts, and huge forests of cacti that feel like something out of a wild west movie!
The best part is the Arikok National Park, an enormous protected area that takes up almost 20% of the island. As well as a diverse array of flora and fauna – and dusty hills covered in spiky cacti – the park also has a rugged, rocky coastline and several limestone caves to explore.
Elsewhere on the island, there are mangrove forests, beaches, and unique rock formations to explore – including the famous natural bridge.
7. The island is great for adventurers
All that dramatic nature makes Aruba an ideal setting for an adventure holiday. I’ve already mentioned the watersports, but there’s plenty more to keep intrepid explorers busy. Try mountain biking through the cactus forests and along the coast, or take a hike in the National Park to get closer to nature.
My personal favourite was the off-road jeep safari from De Palm Tours, which took us on a rollercoaster ride all over the island, bouncing over the potholed dirt roads of the National Park and flying along the coast!
READ MORE: 15 Fun Things to do in Aruba
8. But Aruba is also safe and family-friendly
Aruba has a reputation as one of the safest Caribbean islands – partly thanks to that friendly, welcoming local attitude I mentioned before.
It’s also incredibly easy to travel there. Most locals speak English (as well as Dutch, Spanish and the local language Papiamento), almost everywhere accepts payments in USD, and the tap water is safe to drink. All in all, it’s a very safe, easy and family-friendly destination.
9. The seafood scene is STRONG
Most food in Aruba has to be imported, as not much is grown locally. However, fresh, locally-caught seafood is abundant on the island and you’ll find it in almost every restaurant. The most common are wahoo, yellowfin tuna, snapper, shrimp, lobster, oysters, mahi-mahi, grouper, and conch. Be sure to give at least a few a try!
10. Explore Aruba’s colourful towns
Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, is one of the most beautiful towns in the Caribbean. It’s filled with colourful Dutch colonial architecture, especially the downtown area.
Across the island, San Nicholas has restyled itself as an arts district in recent years. The annual Aruba Art Fair sees the buildings of the downtown area covered with colourful murals and incredible street art pieces created by both local and international artists. Don’t miss it!
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Read about some of my other adventures in the Caribbean…
Do these reasons to visit Aruba have you convinced? Leave a comment and let me know if you book a trip!