What to Do in Aruba – Best Tourist Attractions
Aruba has a well-deserved reputation for beauty. Many people think of the beautiful white-sand beaches, but visitors are often pleasantly surprised to learn that the island’s history and culture have also contributed to its current state of beauty.
Beaches are certainly one of the major reasons why travelers make a point of putting Aruba on their itinerary. The clear water and pristine sand are a breathtaking combination, and basking in the warm Caribbean sunshine is incredibly appealing. But there are other aspects of the island’s nature to stimulate visitors. The wild animal and plant life make Aruba a truly unique vacation spot, home to desert landscapes as well as iguanas, birds, and butterflies.
You’ll discover an abundance of beaches to enjoy on the island. Regardless of whether you prefer being around other people, or you prefer a quieter spot, you can find a beach that appeals to you. Just click on the name of the beach to get additional information concerning that beach.
A nice beach with snorkeling is Baby Beach. Accessible by taxi or car, Baby Beach is located on the southeastern tip of Aruba. There are parking opportunities along Baby Beach road.
Another top pick for snorkeling fans is Eagle Beach. Eagle Beach is a wide expanse of pristine white sand that stretches along Aruba’s coast for miles, hugging gentle waters with small waves. The beach is easily accessible and lined with hotels directly across the street.
Easily accessible by car (plenty of parking) and taxi. Public transport is also a nice option – the Malmok bus stop lets you off right at the beach.
Zoos and Aquariums
If the idea of spending part of a day with interesting animals sounds like fun, you should visit Aruba Ostrich Adventures. If you’re traveling here from the high rise hotels, take the A1 towards Oranjestad and take a left at the first traffic circle. Go straight through two more traffic circles, and turn left when you reach the fourth.
Bubali Bird Sanctuary
Located in the area surrounding Bubali Pond, Bubali Bird Sanctuary seeks to create a safe refuge for a variety of coastal birds, including pelicans, sandpipers, and storks.
Aruba Ostrich Adventures
Bushiribana, Central Aruba
Aruba Ostrich Adventures is one of the most enjoyable outdoor attractions. Ostriches may not be what comes to mind when one thinks of Aruba, but the Aruba Ostrich Adventure nonetheless is home to a number of ostrich that guests come from all over the island to see. If you’re traveling here from the high rise hotels, take the A1 towards Oranjestad and take a left at the first traffic circle. Go straight through two more traffic circles, and turn left when you reach the fourth.
3.6 mi. North-Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Another similar attraction is The Butterfly Farm. After the first Butterfly Farm in St. Martin experienced such great success, one of the owners, William Slayter decided to take the concept to the island of Aruba. This Butterfly Farm, co-owned by Tony and Lori Cox, has been open since May of 1999, and remains popular thanks in part to the beauty and majesty of the butterfly, and also in part to William’s quirky sense of humor.
Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is another attraction that provides a nice way to spend some time outdoors. Before cars became the main source of transportation in Aruba, donkeys were brought to the island to serve such a purpose. As motorized vehicles became more prevalent, the need for donkeys decreased, and their care did as well.
Cura di Tortuga
Aruba, 1.7 miles northeast of Shette; east of Oranjestad.
The Cura di Tortuga is Aruba’s natural pool, tucked away on the windward coast of the island. Clandestine and shaded, the Tortuga is a great escape from reality. The pool is surrounded by rough land that makes it accessible only to those who know the way, like the secret getaways of fantasy stories. To get here, you will need to hire a local guide and rent either horses or a vehicle with four-wheel drive.
Once one of island’s most important feats of nature was Aruba’s Natural Bridge, which was carved into the surrounding land after many years of rough surf pounding against it. This coral limestone structure rose 25 feet above sea level and crossed over 100 feet of water over a rocky and gorgeous area, full of exciting sea and animal life. Unfortunately, one night in September of 2005 the bridge was washed away. Despite the collapse, visitors still make the trek to the Natural Bridge where they can view the ruins and stop by the refreshment stand before making their way over to the smaller natural bridge nearby. Aptly named, the bridge has been dubbed Baby Bridge.
Although most people visiting the area are attracted by the beaches, those aren’t the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Aruba offers some interesting options, including 3 caves.
1.6 mi. North of Central Butucu
You might want to visit Guadirikiri Caves, which is located in eastern Aruba. A tour of the caves takes guest into the damp, dark space, which features native cave drawings and a bat habitat.
1.2 mi. Northeast of Central Butucu
Another available option is Fontein Caves. It is situated in eastern Aruba. This cave is located near the Boca Prins on the northern side of Aruba.
Tunnel of Love
1.1 mi. East of Central Butucu
One of the many caves set at Arikok National Park, the Tunnel of Love was so named for its heart shaped entrance. A 300-foot passageway into the side of rock exists for flashlight-donning guests to explore.
Travelers interested in Aruba’s colonial past will find plenty of fascinating outlets for their curiosity. A host of museums showcase various artifacts from different eras in the island’s history while the architecture found throughout Aruba serves as a great example of the relationship it maintains with the Dutch. The presence of the Catholic church can also been seen in many of the historic cathedrals.
Aruba Aloe Balm Museum
1.5 mi. North of Downtown Oranjestad
One popular destination is Aruba Aloe Balm Museum. It is Oranjestad, in western Aruba. Take a free half hour long tour and see the factory which produces moisturizing Aloe Vera gel.
National Archaeological Museum Aruba
Another popular destination is National Archaeological Museum Aruba. It is located in downtown Oranjestad. Located in downtown Oranjestad, this is both museum and research institution whose purpose is to educate locals and tourists alike about Aruba’s colorful history and preserve that knowledge through the generations.
San Nicolas Community Museum
1.1 mi. Southeast of Central Lagoville
The main focus of the museum is indeed San Nicholas and Aruban history, showcasing exhibits that offer insights to how the people lived and how communities functioned. In addition though, the museum also features prehistoric fossils, original international art work, as well as first-hand accounts and primary sources of world events.
The topography of Aruba allows vacationers to choose between several different landscapes to explore. In one instant you can be touring the awe-inspiring wonder that is natural underground caves, and the next hitting the desert terrain of the northwest coast for some dune-sliding. Top it off with a dip in the hidden natural pool that is Cura di Tortuga, and you will have seen a myriad of natural wonders all in one trip.
3.8 mi. East of Central Noord
A landmark worth visiting is Bushiribana. It is located within Bushiribana, Aruba. The site of a two former gold smelters built in 1825 by the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company, these ruins are a popular stop for visitors on there way to visit the Natural Bridge, and can’t help but snap a few pictures of the unique rock formations.
Arikok National Park
Vacationers looking to locate a another great natural attraction should consider visiting places like Arikok National Park. At the center of the island of Aruba is Mount Arikok, and the surrounding Arikok National Park. The largest natural attraction on the island, this National Park is incredibly conscientious of the local eco-sytem, and invites guests to carefully enjoy Aruba’s nature via nature walks, camping (with proper permits), and more.
Many travelers also choose to visit Fort Zoutman. It is located within downtown Oranjestad. This fort warded off English attack in 1799 and is the oldest building on Aruba. Through the years it functioned as many important things, from police station to library.
Balashi Gold Mill Ruins
The ruins of an old gold mill, the old site today is a frequent stop for visitors exploring the area. However, there is little here other than the ruins, so you may need a guide or some background knowledge if you were hoping for historical context.
Looking for a bit of action? Those wanting to try their luck on the slots will find lots of places to go on the island.
Stellaris Casino, which is on the premises of Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, is the vicinity of Palm Beach, in northwestern Aruba. Stellaris Casino is one of the largest in Aruba. Forget about small rooms and crowded slot machines.
Wind Creek Seaport Casino
If you’re simply looking to play a few slots, you could give Wind Creek Seaport Casino a try. Enjoy a night of gambling at sister casinos Crystal and Seaport. Seaport Casino offers some of the best odds in Aruba, especially for gamers who get their hands on a Free Play Cash Card.
Copa Cabana Casino
Copa Cabana Casino has a selection of games for guests to play, including Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Other Games, and Poker – 3 card. You have hours upon hours of time to strike it rich at Copa Cabana, which is open daily from noon to 4:00 a.m.
Visitors who are eager to experience all of the sights and attractions that Aruba has to offer find that the small island packs a big vacation punch. From interesting wildlife to electrifying nightlife, there is plenty to see and do on the island of Aruba.