6 minutes reading time Aruba
The country of Aruba is one of the most scenic and tranquil destinations that travelers will ever visit. From its gorgeous white sand beaches to vibrant culture, Aruba has no shortage of fabulous things for you to do and see. My short time on the island introduced me to the most well-diverse food, music, landscapes, and culture. Here are the top nine reasons why you need to add Aruba to your bucket list.
1. Stunning Beaches
Known as “One Happy Island” it is no wonder that Aruba takes the cake for some of the most phenomenal beaches. Almost every beach is filled with turquoise water, white sand, and towering palm trees. What makes Aruba beaches so fun is that there is an unlimited amount to choose from. Whether you are looking for family-friendly relaxation, surfing, or snorkeling. Rest assured that you will find the perfect one for you. My personal favorite is Black Stone Beach. This is a hidden gem even among Aruba natives. Tucked away between the coastline, this black sand beach is accessible by hiking through the rock formations.
Some Favorite Beaches:
Devi Beach, Eagle Beach, Baby Beach, Boca Catalina, Black Stone Beach
2. Low Crime Rate
Aruba is known for being one of the safest islands to visit throughout the entire Caribbean. It is a very rare occurrence for any sort of violent crime to happen to the large numbers of tourists that visit every year. You will find that locals like to help and will try their best to make you feel welcome and safe. Of course like anywhere, Aruba does experience pickpocketing in crowded areas. For this reason, I recommend using a backpack, purse, or bag with some sort of seal.
3. Variety of Transportation
The Bus: Getting around Aruba can be a daunting task. However, there are a number of ways in which tourists can easily use a variety of transportation. Although many locals own cars, it is quite expensive to travel back and forth throughout the island on a daily basis. Therefore, many people rely on the bus and encourage visitors to use the local transportation as well. This is the cheapest option for those on a budget. Round trip bus tickets for Arubus (the name of the bus) cost only $5 per person.
Scooter & Car Rental: Perhaps the best way to use transportation in Aruba. Scooter and car rentals are easily available and cost-efficient. Scooters are fun and easy to manage. Even those that have never driven one will be able to quickly get the hang of it. For those on the more experienced side, motorcycle rentals are also available.
– Renters must be eighteen and hold a driver’s license in order to obtain a rental.
Boat Rental: For people that enjoy traveling by sea rather than by land, renting a boat is a great option. Aruba has a number of reliable rental companies that allow you to find the perfect boat for you.
4. Perfect for Digital Nomads
There are many reasons for someone to want to visit Aruba. If you are thinking of visiting as a digital nomad you may be curious if Aruba is accessible and/or if a visa is required.
Luckily Aruba is a fabulous location for all sorts of remote workers. There is no shortage of places to find reliable wifi in cafes, restaurants, hotels, and other areas. Sim cards are available for purchase in all major stores and airports.
Aruba uses a program called the “One Happy Workation,” for United States travelers working as digital nomads. The program partners with hotels and resorts while digital nomads complete their work. The visa allows for a 90-day stay and the ability to work abroad and soak up all that Aruba has to offer.
5. Bustling Cities
Although Aruba is fairly small in size, it is exceedingly important where you chose to stay on the island. Some parts of the island are more crowded and more expensive. Oranjestad is the capital and is perfect for a first-time visit. The city is most recognizable from its colorful buildings. The downtown is walkable and has a dependable taxi service. Keep in mind that it is expensive the closer to downtown that you get.
If you’re looking for a less conventional stay, San Nicolas is a small city known for its artistic history and lively nightlife. If you do decide to stay in San Nicolas, I recommend eating at Charlie’s Bar and Restaurant for some live music and quality food. As their saying goes, visit Charlie’s for some “Good Food, Good Booze, Good Friends.”
6. The Netherlands Influence
Aruba’s history is fascinating as it has been owned by The Netherlands for over 200 years. Because of this, there is a strong Dutch influence that makes for an eccentric destination. Many Aruban natives have a rich history that translates into their culture. The Dutch language is spoken throughout and many people speak it as their first language. The Netherlands architecture is prevalent throughout the island as well.
7. Flamingo Beach
The Renaissance Hotel, also known as Flamingo Beach, is very famous in Aruba. The beach is the only privately owned beach in Aruba and is accessible only to those staying at the hotel or who rent a day pass. The beach draws in crowds due to its colorful inhabitants. The hotel’s flamingo guests are very tame and beautiful to see. They are mostly friendly and will likely come to expect a treat from you. They are also extremely photogenic so long as you are calm and they love to take selfies with the beach visitors.
8. Flavorful Cuisine
If there is one thing that all who visit Aruba can agree on, it’s that the food is absolutely delicious. Aruba is brimming with delectable foods that range in all forms. Beef and goat stews are traditional dishes that are often served with potatoes and some form of seafood. If eating shark is on your bucket list then look no further than Aruba’s Keri Keri dish.
Spices ranging from bell peppers to annatto so you can rest assured that Aruban food is well suited for those that like extreme heat. As someone that easily finds things to be spicy, there were moments I had to politely decline a meal.
Arubans are proud of their dishes and enjoy getting to share them. Make sure you look out for food markets that sell fresh vegetables, fish, and spices.
9. Tours & Excursions
Picking and choosing what to see and do in Aruba can be challenging given the vast amount of activities to do. Fortunately, there are guided and self-guided tours and excursions to participate in.
Recommendations: Kukoo Kunuku (For Nightlife), Palm Pleasure Snorkeling Tour (For Snorkeling), UTV & ATV Aruba’s Secret Beach & Cave Pool Adventure (For Excitement), Scenic Aruba Boat Tours (For Relaxing).
Aruba is an incredibly beautiful island that has a unique culture and diverse history. Make this your year and take a visit!