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Baby Beach (½ day)

Aruba Baby Beach
One of the best places in Aruba to go snorkelling is Baby Beach at the southeast end of the island. There are tours to bring you there, but if you like to do it in your own pace, you need a car to go there. It is approximately a 30 minutes drive from downtown Oranjestad.

Locals and tourists frequent this shallow, sheltered man-made lagoon, located in Seroe Colorado. There is a restaurant and you can rent umbrellas and beach chairs. Or you can just put your towel on the sand for free.

The main part of the lagoon is perfect for kids and behind that shallow sandy area is a great reef for snorkelling. So bring your gear including fins but beware of the strong current around the reef.

Arikok National Park (½ day)

Aruba Arikok 1
The Arikok National Park takes up approximately 18 percent of the island of Aruba. It is home to popular hiking trails, covering all kinds of terrain from hills to gold mines, and even plantation ruins. But you don’t need to hike; you can drive around the park as well.

At the Arikok National Park visitor centre or at one of the other entrances of the park you have to pay the $10 entrance fee per person. The opening hours are daily from 8 am to 4 pm.

When driving around, go to Dos Playas, a beautiful sea turtle nesting place. This is a lovely beach, unfortunately swimming is not allowed because of undertow. Another great beach for a picnic is Boca Prins and although it looks very tempting, no swimming here either.

Another must see is the Natural Pool (see next travel tip).

Aruba Arikok 2
Fontein caves have the most beautiful Indian drawings. This cave closes at 3:45 pm. Wait for a guide to give you a quick free tour as it's hard to find the drawings yourself. You can also visit Quadirikiri Cave but beware of bats.

And when you’re done in the park, leave at Vader Piet entrance, drive to Baby beach and settle down there for the rest of the day.

Conchi Natural Pool (1-2 hrs)

Aruba Natural Pool
When visiting Arikok National Park, you have to visit the Natural Pool, one of the natural highlights of the island, or even better, dive in it.

If you like to go there, you have to pay the entrance fee to the Arikok National Park first (see previous travel tip). You can only drive to the pool if you rented a 4x4 car. If not you have several options: book an organised tour, go hitchhiking or walk to the pool. This walking tour will take you approximately 45 minutes one way. But it is definitely worth it.

The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba's most rugged terrain. Definitely go for a swim and wear water shoes to walk around especially near the water it is extremely slippery. Don’t rock climb, unless you know specifically where you can walk. And bring a snorkel and mask.

Renaissance Island (½ day)

Aruba Renaissance Island
The Renaissance Island is a private island owned by the Renaissance Hotel in Oranjestad. The island is has two horse shoe-shaped beaches. Iguana Beach is popular with families; Flamingo Beach is adult-only.

There are several places where you can get coffee, burgers, salads, grilled fare, and ice-cold tropical drinks.

Take shuttle boat to island from Renaissance hotel lobby in Oranjestad. The boat ride is 15 minutes and there is a boat leaving every 15 minutes from 9 am to 4 pm.

For hotel guests the entrance to the island is free. Non-hotel quests have to buy a day pass at the reception of the hotel at a cost of $75 per person, which includes lunch and one beverage.

Manchebo Beach (2 hrs)

Aruba Manchebo
An impressive strand of white powder is Manchebo Beach. This quiet spot is ideal for a leisure day at the beach. It is the first beach you will pass while driving from Oranjestad in the direction of Palm Beach, where all the high-rise hotels are.

One side of the beach has lots of waves and a varying current, which is a lot of fun. This is a great place to rumble with the waves. Manchebo can be a bit windy so be careful, as you can get sunburned easily.

There are a few resorts at the beach as well where you can order your food and drinks and if you really like it there, book a room.

Eagle Beach (½ day)

Aruba Eagle Beach
The last beach before the high-rise hotels at Palm Beach is Eagle beach, which boasts the widest beach in Aruba and is famous for its pristine and soft white sands. It is next to Manchebo beach but it is more happening. There are many water sports options. You can rent a long chair for $8 a day (or $5 if you say you are airline crew).

The beach can be found opposite Amsterdam Manor. You can even go there by bus from Oranjestad. The bus stop is in front of Amsterdam Manor. Check the Arubus website for routes and timetables. Line 10 serves the area from Oranjestad.

Lucky Star Charter (½ day)

Aruba Lucky Star
Had enough of relaxing at the beach? And are you into more action? Go catch your own lunch or dinner. Lucky Star charter offers deep-sea fishing. You can do a ½ day or full day tour.

Renting the boat including equipment costs $300 for four passengers for four hours. Departures are at Marina Seaport in the heart of Oranjestad. For more information and bookings, visit their website.

Boca Grandi kite surfing (think as kite surfer, there is no time…)

Aruba Kite surfing
When driving to Baby Beach, you should make a stop at Boca Grandi, which offers a long stretch of white sandy beach. Steady trade winds and challenging waves making this a Caribbean Beach paradise for advanced kite surfers.

The current is strong here; therefore swimming is strongly discouraged. But for sure you’ll get some great picturesque moments while watching the beach hunks.

Palm Island (1 day)

Aruba Palm Island
Palm Island is a small private island serving as a tourist attraction. The island is a 5-minute ferry ride from the mainland. The island includes a small beach and a water park. Check this website to see what you can do at Palm Island.

You can drive to the Palm Island ferry in ten minutes from Oranjestad. Coming from Oranjestad driving in the direction of Savaneta, if you see the Balashi brewery on your right, turn right and follow the signs. There is a huge parking next to the ferry.

De Palm Tours offers packages including transportation as well. A half day at the island costs $114 per person and a full day $124. Without transportation it costs $10 less. Go to their website for all pricing and information.

Drive to California Lighthouse (2 hrs)

Aruba California Lighthouse
While driving around the island, you should make a stop at the California Lighthouse located on the northwest tip of Aruba. This lighthouse was named for the steamship California, which wrecked nearby in 1891.

From there you get great views of the ocean and the island. There are some stalls selling drinks and fresh coconuts. There is also an Italian restaurant, El faro Blanco (see our Shopping, Entertainment & Restaurant section), which is open for lunch and dinner.

Alto Visto Chapel (½ hr)

Aruba Alto Visto
One of the most peaceful places on Aruba is the Alto Visto Chapel, which is a small Catholic chapel that stands on the hills above the north shore of the sea. The chapel was stated to be the location where conversion of Aruban Indians to Christianity started and the religious history of Aruba began.

It is a must see for worshippers and it also gives you great views on Aruba and the Caribbean Sea. So when you are driving around during daytime, don’t forget to drive to the village called Noord and from there to the Alto Visto Chapel.

Travelling around

Aruba Bus
Aruba is just a small island. It is 33 kilometres long and seven kilometres wide at it’s widest point. So there’s not much to travel at the island. In Oranjestad itself everything is in walking distance. If you like to travel longer distance take taxi, which costs you only a few dollars.

Aruba has a well-organised bus transportation system as well. Busses will take you to almost every part of the island except the uninhabited parts like Arikok national park. Check the Arubus website for routes and timetables.

There are some great points of interest outside Oranjestad and Palm beach as you can see at this website, so renting a car or scooter for one or two days is definitely a lot of fun.

Rent a car or scooter

Aruba Rent a Car
There are many car and scooter rental companies on Aruba. Most of them have offices at or around the airport. Most companies offer a shuttle service between their pick-up point and your hotel. And if you drive a car yourself, remember some basic rules.

  • Speed limits are indicated in kilometres.
    • No right turns on red are permitted.
    • All vehicles coming from the right have the right-of-way.
    • Pedestrians always have the right-of-way.
    • Be aware of wild donkeys and goats.
    • Wear seat belts in vehicles and helmets on motorcycles, scooters and TVs.

Things not to do:

Collapsed Natural Bridge

Aruba Natural Bridge
One of Aruba’s landmarks used to be the Natural Bridge. This was a large, naturally formed limestone bridge on the island's north shore.
It was a popular tourist destination until its collapse in 2005.

There is still a small baby bridge and a restaurant. Only go to this place if you are around and have plenty of time. Otherwise skip it.

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Language of the world

Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here and here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken on Aruba.