“Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama.” The Beach Boys knew what they were doing when they added Aruba in to this famous song. Turquoise oceans, bright white sandy beaches, breathtaking desert landscapes, and one of the few islands in the Caribbean that has reliably great weather — Aruba is your happy place. This island lies off of the coast of Venezuela and is a must-visit if you are wanting a Caribbean getaway. You may think that all islands throughout the Caribbean are the same but this island is something special.
Aruba is a constituent country of the Netherlands and the native language of the island is Dutch. Aruba is, in fact, one of the safest islands you can travel to in the Caribbean so you don’t have to worry about a thing while you’re there. Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, where their cruise ships port into is one spectacular city. The Dutch colonial architecture will have you in awe as you have the feeling of being in Europe while you’re at the beach. The mixture of colonial, Spanish, and Caribbean colors is inspiring and transports you to another world. Make sure and check out the Aruba Aloe Factory where you will learn about the medicinal qualities of aloe vera and don’t forget to grab some souvenirs. If you are on a family vacation, The Butterfly Farm is the perfect stop to take in the wonder and beauty of these winged creatures.
Head on over to the glittery beaches and soak in the sunshine and perfect weather Aruba offers year long. While all of the beaches on the island are gorgeous, the one you shouldn’t leave without visiting is Eagle Beach. Eagle Beach won the 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for the 3rd best beach in the world. With its see-through aquamarine water and translucent sand, you will be wishing you could never leave. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to take a picture with the famous Fofoti tree!
If adventure is more your thing, don’t worry Aruba has that too. Visit the Arikok National Park (which covered 20% of the island) or one of Aruba’s many immaculate natural bridges that are located across the island.
If you aren’t claustrophobic then make sure to travel through the caves that are in Arikok National Park. Stalactites and stalagmites are ready to amaze you in The Fonteyn Cave and Guardirikiri Caves; it’s an experience that you won’t want to miss. While exploring the caves you need to check out Boca Prins. This is an intense part of the coast that is backed by massive sand dunes created by trade winds — go ahead and slide down those dunes while you’re there.
If you would rather be in the water than staring at it, Aruba is excellent for scuba diving. You can explore through the wreckage of old ships at the bottom of the ocean, anything from old cargo ships to plane fuselages. The most famous is the Antilla Shipwreck which is the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean. This ship is covered by tube sponges, lobsters, shrimp, anemones, and coral formations. The wreckage is 400ft long and almost the whole ship is still intact.
Aruba has a little something for everyone. Whether you are wanting to shop, explore, or just lay on the beach, the island truly can be your happy place.