Aruba Travel Guide
With Aruba now officially open for travellers from the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as visitors from neighbouring Caribbean countries, this tiny Dutch Caribbean isle off the coast of Venezuela could be a great option for a last-minute summer holiday!
Its consistent temperatures of around 28 degrees year-round and the fact that it hardly has any rainfall, make Aruba one of the most loved Caribbean islands among travellers from across the globe. And that’s not just because of its warm weather, picture-perfect white-sand beaches and azure water. With its charming architecture, Dutch culture talked about in Papiamento (the island’s language which is a blend of Dutch, Spanish and West African) and its famous Flamingo Beach, Aruba offers a vibrant mix of culture, fun and sunshine! From gambling at a casino in the capital city of Oranjestad and enjoying its nightlife, through to exploring the Arikok National Park and its unusual landscape of cacti, twisted divi-divi trees and abandoned gold mines or simply soaking up the sun on a beach, Aruba offers something for everyone! Here are Finance Monthly’s tips on how to make the most of everything this Caribbean gem of an island has to offer.
Where to stay
Many of the luxury hotels in Aruba are located next to each other on the same, busy bit of Palm Beach – a resort area on the northern coast of Aruba -, and most of them come with a casino. Our favourite pick is the five-star The Ritz-Carlton Aruba, which offers a beautiful private beach, adults-only and family pools, a casino, a spa and any luxury amenity one can expect from a glitzy Ritz Carlton.
If you want to be close to Aruba’s famous flamingos, stay at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino on Renaissance Island, just a short water taxi drive away from Palm Beach. Home to some of Aruba’s most stunning private beaches, Renaissance Island feels like a true tropical oasis. Whether you’re pampering yourself at Spa Cove, befriending flamingos, or simply basking in the warm Aruban sun, Renaissance Island guarantees an unforgettable stay!
Golf enthusiasts are welcome at Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf where they can find an 18-hole Championship Golf Course masterfully designed by famed architect Robert Trent Jones II and suitable for golfers of all levels.
What to do
Soak up the warm Caribbean sun, swim in the crystal-clear turquoise sea, watch flamingos roam, speak with a local about what their life is like and let your hair down in a club in Oranjestad. Nature lovers should not miss Arikok National Park where you can dive into a natural pool (with geyser-like eruptions of salty water and sea spray), set out on a sunrise horseback ride across windswept terrain, or explore ancient cave dwellings or stone sanctuaries built by long-lost cultures. Another must-see tourist attraction is the ruins of Bushiribana and Balashi, built in the 1870s by the British who discovered gold seams running through the Aruban backcountry. Discover the buildings of the old smelting works and see the fortified constructions which were raised to ward off pirates.
If you’re planning to book a Jeep safari or a 4×4 excursion through the southern reaches of the island, make sure you choose one which makes a stop at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary, dedicated to protecting the population of donkeys on the island since a sheer decline in numbers set in over the last century.
For an injection of culture, discover the island’s Dutch heritage and visit Fort Zoutman – a military fortification at Oranjestad, which has been converted to a museum that chronicles the history of Aruba.