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  • Lindsey Markwood

Aruba: Things to do and background at the One Happy Island in the Southern Caribbean

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Aruba is a true gem in the Southern Caribbean and beloved by both cruise travelers and those who are spending their vacation solely in Aruba. This articles will give you a ideas for excursions and things to do as well as some background of Aruba.

Aruba is nicknamed ‘One Happy Island’. Why? It is a friendly and welcoming community. Aruba is best known for warm and sunny weather, beautiful white-sand beaches, and gorgeous turquoise waters.

Aruba is a small island located in the southern Caribbean Sea. It is about 15 miles north of Venezuela. Together, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao make up the ABC islands. Aruba is the smallest of the three ABC islands while Curacao is the largest of the three. All share the common language, Papiamento.

Did you know that the ABC islands are a popular destination for many Southern Caribbean cruises? Taking that a step further, many tourists who come to Aruba for vacation, first experienced the island while on a cruise.

While you will not find many all-inclusive resorts here, you will find some great resorts. For Aruba we typically recommend staying at a resort that is not all inclusive. Why? It gives greater opportunity to try local restaurants. Aruba has some great cuisine!

While the official languages of Aruba are both Dutch and Papiamento, most people speak both English and Spanish. Likewise, even though the official currency is the Florin, you can use the US dollar at most locations.

Lets explore why Aruba is a great choice for your vacation:

A pink flamigo walks on the beach at Flamingo Island, Aruba
Flamingo Island

The Beaches: Aruba has some of the best beaches in the world. The most popular beaches are Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, Flamingo Beach, Arashi Beach, Boca Catalina, Tres Trapi, and Mangel Halto. Each beach has a unique aspect to them. What are some of things to do at the beaches in Aruba? If you like to snorkel, check out Tres Trapi. Want to see flamingos? Get a day pass and head to private island at Flamingo Beach. Our personal favorite is Eagle Beach. It has public access. You can find Fofoti trees, which make for a fun picture you can use on social media.

The culture: Aruba has a rich and diverse culture. You can learn about the history and heritage of the island at various museums, monuments, and landmarks. We recommend going on a tour. For specifics of which ones we recommend, please schedule a consultation. Be sure to check out the California Lighthouse and Sasariwichi dunes.

The adventure and fun: Aruba has a lot of adventure and fun. Aruba's Natural Pool is one of the most popular natural attractions. It is located inside Aruba’s natural park, Arikok. Just a note: there is rough terrain surrounding it as was formed from volcanoes. In addition to water sports such as snorkeling, you can take ATV tours, jeep tours, bike tours, and a semi-submarine tours. You can hike at Arikok National Park or go to the highest point in Aruba, Hooilberg. Bonus: At Hooilberg you can find the divi-divi trees which are always pointed southwest.

The dining: Food tours are the best way to experience local culture. Aruba has a few local dishes that include pan bati (corn bread), keshi yena (stuffed cheese), and pastechi (fried pastry).

Are you ready to head to Aruba? What are you waiting for? Schedule a consultation here and discover why it is called One Happy Island!


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