Imagine swaying palms on white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, pastel Dutch colonial buildings with colourful street art, gigantic monolithic boulders and spectacular caves in desert terrain. Aruba truly is a place like no other
A holiday in Aruba can sometimes feel like two trips in one, with its pristine paradise of white-sand, palm-fringed beaches in the west and a more rugged dramatic desert terrain to the east. Arikok National Park covers this eastern side of the island. Its towering limestone cliffs and desert strewn with cacti form a strikingly different landscape to all the other Caribbean islands.
Life’s a beach in Aruba
No Aruba holiday would be complete without visiting the spectacular beaches in the west. Eagle Beach is considered one of the best in the world. With its unspoilt pure white soft sand, swaying palms, and turquoise crystal-clear waters, it’s easy to see why. Divers and snorkelers will love spotting the turtles, lobsters, and colourful coral and marine life at Mangel Halto Beach, not to mention the eerie WWII SS Antilla shipwreck. The shallow waters and trade winds make Malmok Beach a windsurfers’ and kitesurfers’ mecca, while lazing in a cabana at Baby Beach is perfect for those seeking shade and solace. After a relaxing day at Baby Beach, be sure to visit the charming coastal town of San Nicolas. Aruba’s ‘Sunrise City’ is home to galleries, colourful street art and a thriving art scene.
Aruba’s National Park has many natural wonders that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, including the Fontein Caves, the Natural Pool and Ayo Rock Formations. The Ayo Rock Formations were considered a sacred site by Aruba’s aboriginals - the Arawaks. Even today, there isn’t a plausible explanation of how these giant boulders found themselves on a flat and sandy island. Marvel at the Arawek’s petroglyphs (the ancient rock drawings) in the Ayo rocks before climbing the boulders of Ayo and Casibari to take in the 360-degree views across the island.
Aruba can be coupled with other fantastic destinations for an unforgettable multi-centre holiday. What could be better than pairing the fast-paced energy and bright lights of Las Vegas with a seriously chilled holiday to Aruba? Or if Miami is on your must-see list, why not plan your holiday to Aruba to include a break to discover the Magic City? Call us today and we’ll help you to create your dream holiday.
Tailored holiday itineraries in Aruba
Our destination experts can create a bespoke holiday in Aruba, tailored to include your dream tours, visits and must-sees. Almost anything is possible, so please call to discuss all your options.
Great sample itineraries
Our destination experts can create a bespoke holiday in Aruba, tailored to include your dream tours, visits and must-sees. Almost anything is possible, so please call to discuss all your options. ffff
Our favorite hotels
Here are some of our favourite all-inclusive hotels and luxury resorts in Aruba. If you can’t see something you like, please call us to chat to our destination experts who will be more than happy to help.
Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba
Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
You’ll find so much to love about Aruba, a pint-sized Dutch island located just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. This island excels in boutique-style hotels, upscale restaurants and of course, pristine beaches. However, its beautiful Arikok National Ppark, well-preserved traditions and colourful capital city will also satisfy your appetite for culture and the great outdoors.
Arikok National Park
This astounding park covers nearly 20% of Aruba and features diverse landscapes. You’ll find nearly 8,000 acres of desert like scenery with sand dunes and cacti, old gold mines and rock formations forged by lava, quartz and limestone. Explore Fontein Cave and its Arawak Indian paintings and the 100 foot deep Guadirikiri Cave. Don’t miss the Natural Pool, formed by volcanic stones and set on a deserted stretch of coastline.
Oranjestad is Aruba’s colourful capital which is filled with pastel coloured buildings from Dutch colonial times. Ride the tram to Main Street for shopping, explore the Historical Museum to learn about Aruba’s heritage or check out an art gallery. By night, there’s a buzzing atmosphere with lively clubs, bars and casinos. You can even see a show at the Cas di Cultura, the country’s national theatre.
Aruba hosts festivals throughout the year, but none is more spectacular than carnival. The main celebrations take place in January and February with street parties and music competitions. Watch the Grand Parade in San Nicolas, complete with glittering costumes and floats. The celebrations end on Shrove Tuesday when locals burn an effigy of King Momo.
Best time to visit Aruba
Aruba is the driest island in the Caribbean, and its location south of the hurricane belt means that it experiences very few hurricanes. This makes Aruba an ideal year-round holiday destination. The hot and sunny days have average temperatures of 26°C to 29°C. Aruba’s high season falls between December and April, so keep this in mind if you want to avoid the crowds.
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“There are a selection of American cities that most Caribbean islands connect to, Aruba has some additional direct flights that others don’t. In less than five-hours you can be in Philadelphia, Houston or Washington DC.”
“There's no reason to stay all inclusive in Aruba, get out and eat in the restaurants. The food variety is as diverse as the island itself, reasonably priced and great tasting. For those that love seafood, Zeerovers is the place for you. It’s a local hangout that has become a destination in itself over the past few years. Locals relax, eat and drink here, shoot pool, and have a great time, while fishermen bring in their catch for you to enjoy. ”
“In Aruba jazz and soul festivals are held annually. If you love this type of music, head to Memphis beforehand for a real musical themed holiday. Aruba is home to several species of sea turtles and if you visit Aruba between March and November, you may get to encounter baby sea turtles hatching on the beach. Experience Aruba like a true local with an off-road jeep tour. You start in the north at the century-old lighthouse at California Dunes and travel the full length of the island, stopping to take in attractions like the Bushiribana gold mill ruins and the Guadirikiri caves. It’s a great way to discover Aruba’s history and natural wonders. ”
Events & Festivals
Aruba offers a huge selection of fun events throughout the year and you can plan your holiday to ensure you experience them! Here are a few of our favourites, but don’t forget Aruba’s Bon Bini Festival is on every Tuesday night!
The Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival
Voted as one of the top five Caribbean celebrations, this five-day event at the end of May is a definite must-see. It’s a mix of live music (artists have included Mary J Blige, Toni Braxton, John Legend, Alicia Keys and Usher), comedy shows, beach parties and much more!
The Aruba Summer Music Festival
This annual Latin music festival brings the top salsa, merengue, reggaeton, and soca artists together to party on the island. It’s one of the biggest Latin music festivals in the Caribbean and South America. It’s held at Harbor Square during the last week of June and it’s a great way to discover the best in Caribbean beats.
The delicious food on this Dutch Caribbean island takes its influences from Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, South American and Carribean cuisine. The rich Latin and African flavours coupled with the fresh seafood like Mahi-Mahi, red snapper and barracudas, are sure to excite the palate.
Dutch food places a strong emphasis on cheese and that’s the same for this keshi yeni dish. These cheese balls are stuffed with spicy meat and coated in Edam or Gouda. There are lots of variations to try - stuffed with prunes, raisins, cashews and much more.
This hearty goat stew is served with potatoes, onions, garlic, hot pepper, nutmeg and sometimes a dash of curry. If you don’t like the idea of eating goat meat, then the beef stew call ‘carni stoba’, is a similar tasty alternative.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.