Thinking of visiting Aruba?  Not sure what the experience might be like?  Let us tell you how amazing it is!  Aruba has easily become of of our most favorite spots in the Caribbean!  It has a climate that is a little more desert like than sweltering tropical heat. Even better is that this windy island lies outside of the hurricane belt.  But the best part?  Aruba is One Happy Island!

Aruba sets itself apart from other islands in the Caribbean in many ways!  Several other islands in the region experience underlying issues including crime against tourists and sometimes a general dislike of visitors, relentless approach by vendors selling their wares, catcalling, etc.  We never experienced anything like this on Aruba and felt incredibly safe and welcomed from the second we walked off the plane.
We also enjoyed the rugged beauty and the less intense humidity of the island’s climate. So, if you are looking for a beautiful, welcoming, and safe place for a beach vacation, we highly recommend Aruba. Curious where to stay, eat, and play while on this island?  We’ve got you covered!

Getting There

As part of the ABC island group, you have to travel pretty far south to get to Aruba.  In fact, this little island is only about 40 miles from Venezuela!  But, there are plenty of direct flights from the US.  Once you’ve landed and cleared customs, grab a cab and head out on your island adventure.

Where to stay and eat

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort. Not only did the property offer a ton, but the location was great too. Here, you will find impressive swimming pools with a waterslide and swim up bar, beautiful beachfront with palapas for rent, restaurants, activities and more. While there is a fee to rent some of the prime palapas, you can also reserve free ones which are a tiny bit further from the water via the hotel app.  We also liked that there was not a daily resort fee for all the things this property had to offer.  The hotel is located on idyllic Palm Beach, which offers more than 2 miles of area that is great for splashing and strolling!  And, all the beaches in Aruba are public, which we really liked as well.  Why wait? Book your stay at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort today!
While the restaurants onsite are expensive, there are plenty of options within a short walk from the property. We recommend Salt and Pepper, Diana’s Pancake House, and Craft. Or, if you want to go for breakfast a little further away in downtown Oranjestad, try the notable Dutch Pancake House. Make sure to get here early to avoid the lines!
There are plenty of things to do on this island and admittedly, we spent a substantial amount of time relaxing on the beach and enjoying time in the water.  We just really wanted to be beach bums!  However, we made sure to try our share of activities during our time here.

Golfing at Divi Links

We enjoy an occasional round of golf during some of our travels. While Aruba hosts two golf courses, we decided to play 9 at Divi Links. We picked a 7:00am tee time to avoid the mid-morning heat. While this was a rough early morning, it made for great temperatures during our game. We like this course because 9 holes went by pretty quickly, making it easy to enjoy the rest of our day.

Sunset Sail

Much like golf, we enjoy an occasional catamaran cruise in some of our island travels too. We are completely landlocked, so sailing is always a great experience for us. Because this particular trip was not only relaxing, but also romantic, this was the perfect way to spend an evening. While we did not book a dinner cruise, we were surprised to be offered a variety of appetizers, a cheese plate, and unlimited drinks. The staff was really friendly and we would highly recommend Pelican Cruises. As a bonus, this company sails every night whereas a competitor down the beach only sails a few nights per week. Keep this in mind for your planning purposes.


Off-Road Island Tour

Aruba can be a challenging island to fully navigate. This is not only because of expensive taxi service, but also due to the terrain. Much of the island is rugged coast. We decided to do this tour because it sounded like a great way to see a lot of things that were otherwise inaccessible to us. We were right! This tour, which lasted all day (about 11 hours) took us to so many places and was one of the best tours we have ever been on. We started with the California Lighthouse and worked our way across the north coast, eventually covering the perimeter of the island. Other stops on this tour include the gold mine ruins, natural bridge, caves, Baby Beach, and our favorite spot, the natural pool. Really, this tour is a “must do” while on the island, but make sure to book with ABC Tours for the best experience. Keep in mind however that this tour is off-road and extremely bumpy and dusty.
Words cannot describe how much we liked the Conchi di Tortuga (natural pool)!
The Alto Vista Chapel accommodates 25 people inside and over 300 outside. The priest conducts his service on the chapel steps so everyone can participate.
Although the big natural bridge collapsed in 2005, the island’s baby bridge is just as cool to visit.  However, the nearby beach was covered in plastic litter.  As the only sandy beach on the north shore of the island, this place collected a lot of rubbish.  Yet another reminder of why it is so important to reduce plastic usage and recycle when possible!
The exterior of the Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins.
Hiking to the entrance of the Quadirikiri Cave.
The California Lighthouse, located at the north end of the island.
Baby beach – not at all crowded during late November.

Aruba offers something for everybody. Downtown Oranjesaed offers high end shopping, as well as souvenir stands.  It is an island where visitors feel safe and welcome, and everyone is happy.  Whether you are a seeking the sun, sand, or some serious fun, this is truly one happy island!

Have you been to Aruba or are you thinking of going?  What would you do once you got there?!?!  Share your thoughts in the comments below!




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  1. I didn’t know anything about Aruba before reading your post so it was great to learn about somewhere new! Sounds like a great place to visit- love the sound of the boat trip and also the beach bum part of the holiday too -we like to relax but also enjoy trips too. The breakfasts look delicious!! #feetdotravel

  2. We enjoyed Aruba! I bought a lovely big beach bag with the words “One Happy Island” so hearing these words makes me happy. We only had a day there on a cruise so hit the beach, but the amount if activities surprised me! Great read, pinned. #feetdotravel

  3. Aruba is a place that is high on my bucket list. I would definitely go. The beaches look clean and I like how you feel safe there. Good recommendation on the hotel. I pinned for later use. #feetdotravel

    1. There really is a lot to do on this island. And, the weather is pretty balmy all year round, so it’s never a bad time to visit!

  4. Aruba looks fabulous! We haven’t had a chance to make it to the Caribbean yet but you’ve persuaded me to add Aruba to our shortlist. I love the idea of visiting the Conchi di Tortuga, that looks absolutely epic.

  5. You have sold me on visiting Aruba, your pictures are great and I think a few days in the resort would be nice. Are there other options for staying on the island, where we might get a more local feel?

  6. I love Aruba!! I didn’t see many of the historic places or monuments, as the beaches are so amazing! Next time, I’ll have to visit these spots!

  7. I’m not usually one for the resort type stay, after lots of travel planning over the last month or two – just booking into a resort and relaxing for a week might be on the agenda!

    1. Resorts always have their place in various travel rotations. For our trip to Aruba, it was the perfect choice! Sometimes they really are just what you need to relax and recharge!

  8. This sure is a bucketlist worthy place on earth, I have been wanting to go for years and years… the long flight from Sweden and of course the money is stopping me

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