The motto of Aruba is One Happy Island, and there are many reasons why this island nation is one of the most cheerful in the world. From the friendly Aruban people to the sunny weather and delicious traditional food, there’s a lot to be happy about!
Aruba: One Happy Island
Aruba is not a huge island, being 20 miles long and 6 miles wide. However, this tropical paradise packs in a lot of attractions. These are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Aruba.
1. Sunniest Place in the Caribbean
Aruba has just 18 inches of rain each year and is considered to be the sunniest Caribbean island. The month with the most rain is December while March is the month with the least rain.
The island is safely out of the hurricane belt and there are rarely any major storms. Therefore, you can visit Aruba at any time of year.
Hotel prices tend to be higher from December to April, and it’s wise to book well in advance during this period.
2. Aruba Beaches
Known for its white sand beaches, Aruba also has crystal clear water. The sand doesn’t get too hot, as its composed of crushed shells.
Therefore, you don’t need to wear water shoes on the beach as your feet won’t burn. All the beaches in Aruba are public, however sun loungers are of course reserved for the guests of each resort.
Eagle Beach is famous for the trees growing out of the sand. Known as fofoti trees, they are shaped like bonsais, thanks to the coastal winds. This wide beach is consistently ranked as one of the top best beaches in the world in the 10 Travelers’ Choice TripAdvisor awards.
Some of the other great beaches in Aruba are Arashi Beach, Mangel Halto and Palm Beach. The latter is close to many of the island’s resorts and is popular with tourists for its beach bars and water sports activities.
3. Friendly Arubans
More than 90 different nationalities are present on Aruba, and everyone gets along well. It’s easy to communicate because most Arubans speak at least four languages.
The two official languages in Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento. Many people in Aruba also speak English, Portugese and Spanish.
The locals are very welcoming and Aruba is an LGBT-friendly destination. Activities and restaurants are also kid friendly.
Another friendly group are the pink flamingos of Aruba. You can see them by visiting Flamingo Beach on the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino private island. They’re not actually native to Aruba, so that’s why they’re only to be found on that particular island.
4. Eco Friendly Destination
Speaking of being friendly, Aruba is famous as one of the most eco-friendly destinations in the Caribbean. The island has banned single use plastics, while only sunscreens without oxybenzone can be sold.
In Aruba, natural health remedies are increasingly popular. Known as remedi di tera, these treatments can help to alleviate a wide range of ailments.
Aruba is the foremost producer of aloe vera in the world. The aloe vera plant has powerful skin healing and moisturizing properties. Visitors to the island can find out more about the plant at the Aruba Aloe factory and museum.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is the first resort in the Americas to be certified ISO 14001. They have the lowest electricity usage per-occupied room of all Aruba hotels. This adults-only resort doesn’t stint on style though, with a lovely pool and beach bar.
5. Snorkeling in Aruba
Another reason to be happy in Aruba is the abundance of marine life. The island is one of the best places for snorkeling in the Caribbean.
You can either snorkel directly from beaches such as Catalina Cove or Arashi Beach. If you’re a beginner at snorkeling, Palm Beach is a good option. There are many fish and several coral formations.
Aruba is also known for its shipwreck diving. There are 3 main shipwrecks: SS Antilla, Baboo and Kappel.
We took a catamaran trip with Pelican Adventures to the Antilla shipwreck. Dating from World War II, this wreck makes the snorkeling all the more interesting.
The boat cruise also stops at Catalina Cove. This is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Aruba.
6. Colorful Architecture
Aruba is known for its mix of architectural styles, with Mediterranean and Dutch influences. You can see many great examples of Dutch architecture in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba.
The Eloy Arends House which dates from 1925 is now Aruba City Hall. There’s even a Dutch windmill in the Palm Beach area! This famous Aruba landmark was shipped here from the Netherlands in 1960.
7. Delicious Aruban Food
Whether you’re into fine dining or traditional food, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Aruba. The cuisine here has many international infleunces, from Dutch to Latin American and Caribbean.
Aruba’s national dish is keshi yena. This tasty cheese and minced meat ball is served baked or steamed.
The seafood in Aruba is excellent, and you can enjoy some of the freshest fish caught at the dock in Zeerovers restaurant. Stew or stoba is another popular Aruban dish, despite the warm climate.
8. Aruba Festivals
Held every Tuesday inside Fort Zoutman, Bon Bini Festival celebrates the history and culture of Aruba. You can enjoy traditional Aruban art, dance, music and food dishes here.
Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is a popular week-long gathering held in May each year. This Aruban festival includes music, comedy and beach parties.
There are several other fun Aruban festivals including Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week, which normally takes place in October.
9. Amazing Aruban Art
There’s a long history of art and culture in Aruba. The Arawak Indians made cave drawings At Ayo Rock Formations and Fontein Cave which you can visit.
For some of the best modern art in Aruba, head to San Nicolas, where international artists have painted over 40 vibrant murals. On Bernard van de Veen Zeppenfeldstraat you’ll find ArtisA Gallery, featuring local Aruban artists.
10. Rest and Relaxation
Aruba boasts the biggest yoga center in the Caribbean and also has may great spas such as EFOREA at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino.
Paddleboard yoga is a fun activity that’s easy for all ages and levels of ability. We tried it at Vela Sports Aruba, located on Palm Beach.
Thankfully, the board is attached to a pole with a rope, so you won’t drift out to sea! Just remember your reef friendly sunscreen as it can get quite hot.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why Aruba is One Happy Island!
You might also enjoy:
- 21 Fun Things to Do in Aruba
- Best Over The Water Caribbean Bungalows
- The Best Islands in the Caribbean
Read all our Caribbean travel articles
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