Aruba, in the Netherlands Antilles, is a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches, clear water, vibrant marine life, and breathtaking scenery. It is a famous vacation destination in the Caribbean and one of the best-known tropical resorts in the world.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
You’ll feel like you’ve landed in a tropical version of Amsterdam as you see the brightly coloured Dutch homes against the lush greenery of the island. However, there is much more to Aruba than its beaches and urban centres.
Aruba, like most of the Caribbean, is quite pricey. Since hotels, restaurants, and other attractions in Aruba are geared toward high-end tourists, such as honeymooners, you may expect to pay more.
However, this does not mean that a low-cost trip to Aruba is impossible; it simply necessitates advanced preparation.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
No matter how much money you have to spend, this Aruba travel guide will help you make the most of your time on the island.
5 Must-Dos and Must-Sees While in Aruba
1. Take a Snorkeling Lesson
The most popular activity on the island is snorkeling. Colorful coral, angelfish, clownfish, and even an occasional octopus can be found near the shoreline. Hotels frequently provide snorkelling gear to their customers at no cost (feel free to pack your own though). Boca Catalina and its neighbour to the north, Catalina Cove, are popular stops for snorkelling trips due to the abundance of fish and diverse marine life. Arashi Beach is suitable for beginner swimmers due to its shallow waters and sandy bottom. A two-hour, guided snorkelling experience will cost at least 100 AWG per participant.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
2. Visit the city of Oranjestad
Curved roofs and bright pastels are hallmarks of Dutch architecture in Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital. Downtown, where you’ll find the retail mecca, the National Archaeological Museum (free admission), and the Historical Museum of Aruba, is known as the Prince of Orange District, and it’s all accessible via a free tram (9 AWG). Fort Zoutman, constructed in the 18th century by African slaves, should not be missed.
3. Take a cruise
Snorkeling, sunset, dinner, and party excursions are all available on everything from little catamarans to massive pirate ships. For 180 Australian Dollars, you may have lunch and drinks on board The Tranquilo, one of the more all-inclusive cruise options. At 105 AWG, Pelican Adventures’ 2.5-hour snorkelling cruise is the bare minimum.
4. Take up scuba diving
Several sunken aircrafts may be found right off Renaissance Island, and the Antilla wreck, a German cruiser scuttled at the start of World War II, is just one of the many diving destinations in Aruba. Stingrays, moray eels, yellowtail snappers, and many other species of marine life can be observed here. If you are not a licenced diver, please do not attempt this.Starting at 155 AWG, divers can go on single-tank dives.
5. Hooiberg, Hike.
Hooiberg, which is located in the geographical centre of Aruba and is more commonly referred to by its alternative name, Haystack Mountain, offers spectacular vistas of the entire island. You can see the Venezuelan coastline on a clear day! If you want to escape the heat, you should perform this hike either very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon.
More Adventures and Attractions in Aruba
To unwind, go to the beach.
Sunbathing, snorkelling, and swimming are all great ways to spend a day on Aruba’s incredibly fine sand and crystal-clear waters. The extensive sections of Eagle Beach ensure that it is never too congested, making it the most popular beach on the island. Then there’s Drulf Beach, close to Oranjestad, and Flamingo Beach, where you can mingle with real flamingos on Renaissance Island. Andicuri Beach is a great spot to get away from it all, with its swath of sand and sheer cliffs that plunge into the blue water. Arikok National Park also contains Boca Prins Beach (which has incredible views but beware of the strong waves).
Put together a kayaking trip.
Paddling along the coast of Aruba is a peaceful way to see the island. Kayaks are available for free use at most hotels. If you must rent, you can anticipate paying about 45 AWG per hour. There are many secluded inlets along the shore that are worth exploring. On the flip side, Clear Kayak Aruba offers tours. Their kayaks have clear bottoms, allowing you to see the corals and coral below.Daytime guided paddle tours cost 120 AWG, while nighttime tours cost 270 AWG.
Step three is to rent a four-wheeler.
By renting a quad (ATV), you may escape the crowds and discover the island’s lesser-known beaches and woods. Although hiring a guide is recommended, discovering the island on your own is possible. Arubiana charges 199 AWG for a half-day rental and 229 AWG for a full day. The cheapest price for a tour is 215 Australian dollars (AWG) per person.
Play a round of golf.
Luxurious vacation spots and the sport of golf go hand in hand. Unfortunately, golfing in this area isn’t cheap. Costs range from 160 AWG to 300 AWG per round at Tierra Del Sol, the island’s championship course. Beautiful oceanfront 18-hole course.The Links at Divi Aruba is another alternative, and it only costs 162 AWG to play 9 holes there (club rentals are available for an additional fee).(aruba vs turks and caicos)
Go to the Archaeological Museum.
Aruba’s convoluted history can be attributed to the several colonial nations that have occupied the island at various times. This home has been converted into a museum where visitors can view relics from Aruba’s long and varied history, some of which date back to 2,500 BCE and are made of stone, shell, and pottery. Stay and watch the film about ancient indigenous life on the island if you wish to learn more about the island’s long history. It doesn’t cost anything to get in.
Get some peace and quiet in the Peace Labyrinth.
A bluff overlooking the Caribbean is home to the Peace Labyrinth. You can use this outdoor stone labyrinth as a form of meditation by walking slowly and deliberately through it next to a small chapel. After years of neglect, the entire labyrinth finally received a makeover in 2019 thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers. In other words, you’re free to roam about the grounds as you please.
Go See a Donkey Rescue Center
Donkeys have been a part of Aruba’s culture for almost 500 years, and they were once relied upon as a primary mode of transportation. The introduction of automobiles led to a precipitous decline in the donkey population. As of right now, the majority of the residents of this animal refuge are donkeys.
Check out the natural bridge that has since collapsed.
This “bridge,” which was carved by nature into the coral limestone, once measured more than 100 feet in width and 25 feet in height before it collapsed in 2005. It’s still a popular destination for sightseers thanks to its prominence as a vantage point over the landscape and the fact that a dirt road leads directly there. You should also see the nearby “Baby Bridge,” which is still standing after all these years.
Go on a Jeep excursion.
Taking a four-wheel-drive tour of Aruba is a great way to see the island, as it will take you to places that aren’t on most visitors’ itineraries, such as the island’s rough northern shore. Multiple tours offered by ABC Tours provide opportunities for high-octane fun as you tear into the wilderness, stop to explore caves and beaches, and more. The price for tours begins at 150 Australian dollars per person.
Go on an expedition in Arikik.
Arikok National Park, located in the northeastern region of the island, is home to the vast majority of Aruba’s vegetation and animals. Approximately one-fifth of Aruba, it spans 34 square kilometres (13 square miles) and is home to a wide variety of geological features like volcanic hills and limestone rocks made from fossilised coral. Also in Arikok are the caves Cunucu Arikok and Fontein Cave, where you can observe ancient Caqueto rock art. About $20 AWG is the price for a day pass.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
Visit a lighthouse in California
From the top of this lighthouse, you can see miles of beautiful west coast beaches and coral shorelines. Before the lighthouse was constructed in 1910, it was given the name S.S. California. It can be found in the “Hudishibana” region of northwest Aruba. You can see one of the island’s most beautiful sunsets if you visit at that time. entry after 9 p.m.
Aruba Travel Costs
Aruba has almost no true hostels and very limited affordable accommodation alternatives, despite its idyllic location in the Caribbean. Private rooms in the lower price range cost about 100 AWG each night. Some inexpensive hotels even feature swimming pools and free Wi-Fi.
Aruba is not a camping destination.
Rates at inexpensive hotels
Hotels in the Oranjestad region start around 170 AWG per night, while those closer to the seaside resort districts are more like 225 AWG. Low-cost hotels usually have free Wi-Fi and swimming pools.In some cases, breakfast is on the house.
Prices for private rooms on Airbnb start at $80 AWG per night, while those for complete homes or flats are closer to $400 AWG. It’s in your best interest to plan ahead and reserve your accommodations as far in advance as possible to avoid paying inflated rates afterwards.
Aruba’s cuisine is a fusion of Dutch, Caribbean, and South American influences.Cool soup (a cold soup made from fruits), sopi mondongo (a stew prepared with tripe or bone marrow), cala (a spicy fried snack), and fried plantains should all make appearances on your table.
Seafood in a casual restaurant will set you back around $30 AWG.A combo lunch at a fast-food restaurant (like McDonald’s) will set you back about 17 AWG. On average, a dish of Chinese food and a drink will set you back about 25 AWG per person on the island, while a large pizza will run you about 45 AWG.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
Three courses and a drink in a mid-range restaurant will set you back about 90 AWG (upscale places cost upwards of 100 AWG).
A latte or cappuccino has 6 AWG, while a beer has 8–9 AWG. Water in bottles runs about 2–3 AWG.
The average cost of goods for a week of home cooking is about 130 AWG. Rice, pasta, seasonal fruit and vegetables, and a small amount of meat or fish are included. Large supermarkets are preferable to convenience stores like mini-marts because of their lower prices and wider selection.
You should try the seafood at Zeerovers if you have the chance. The food tastes great!
Backpacking in Aruba: Proposed Spending Plans
To get the most out of your time on Aruba, I recommend allocating 145 AWG each day for your travel budget. This is if you stay in a hostel or low-priced Airbnb, prepare all of your own meals, restrict your alcohol consumption, rely on public transportation, and spend most of your time swimming, lounging, and reading. Budget an extra 10–20 AWG every day if you want to imbibe.
You could stay in a private Airbnb or budget hotel, eat out for two meals, buy a few drinks, take the occasional cab, and do some paid activities like scuba diving or a snorkelling trip on a daily budget of 300 AWG.
With a daily “luxury” budget of 560 AWG or more, you can do whatever excursions and activities you like, stay in a hotel, eat out for every meal, drink to your heart’s content, drive around in a rented car or quad, and more. But this is only the first level of opulence. Nothing can stop you now!
Use the following table to estimate your daily budget based on the number of days you plan to be away. It’s important to remember that these are daily averages and that some days will cost more than others (you might spend less every day). Our goal here is just to help you get started on a rough budget. The prices are in AWG.
- Accommodation. 80
- Food. 25
- Transportation. 20
- Attractions. 20
- Average Daily Cost. 145
- Accommodation. 15
- Food. 75
- Transportation. 35
- Attractions. 40
- Average Daily Cost. 300
- Accommodation. 275
- Food. 125
- Transportation. 75
- Attractions. 85
- Average Daily Cost. 560
How to Save Money on Your Trip to Aruba
Unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to save money in Aruba because the island is geared toward tourists and high-end visitors. In Aruba, there are just a few options to cut costs.
- If you’re looking to save money without sacrificing quality, try ordering some of the island’s specialty fish dishes. Don’t buy anything imported.
- Take some time to appreciate the great outdoors by visiting a beach, hiking, or watching a sunset. The stunning scenery of Aruba is completely free.
- If you want to go diving or do any other pricey activity, look for deals online before making your reservation. Some businesses will give you a discount if you book directly with them.
- Couchsurfing isn’t very popular in this area, but if you can locate a local to put you up for free, you can significantly reduce your travel expenses. And it’s a terrific way to get to know the
- The tap water is drinkable, so fill up a reusable water bottle before you arrive to save money and cut down on wasteful single-use plastic bottles. Since the LifeStraw brand’s water bottles include built-in filters, I always use one of those.
- Preparing your own meals can save you money, so if you’re planning on travelling on a budget, it’s best to find a place to stay that has a kitchen where you can store your food and cook meals. It’s not going to be fancy, but it will be more affordable!
Where to Stay in Aruba
Budget accommodation is limited here so be sure to book early. Here are my suggested places to stay in Aruba (all located in Oranjestad) are:
in-town Aruba transportation strategies
public bus system
The Aruban public bus system connects all of Aruba’s major destinations. You may see all of their schedules and routes posted on their website, arbus.com. Tickets are 8.75 AWG one way, or 17.50 AWG for unlimited rides for the day. On-board payments are made to the driver.
The length of the main roadway in downtown Oranjestad is serviced by a free, open-air trolley. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., it leaves every 25 minutes. On days when cruise ships are in port, the trolley will likely be rather crowded.
Aruba’s taxis are trustworthy and well-maintained, but they don’t use metres because the government sets the fares. This is why ride-sharing services like Uber do not operate on the island. The base rate is 12.60 AWG, but you should confirm the final price with your driver in advance.
For a few days, you can rent a car for about 75 AWG. Renting a car in this country does not necessitate an International Driving Permit (IDP), though drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held their licence for at least two years. Discover Cars is the place to go if you want to save money.
It’s perfectly fine to hitchhike in this area, although you won’t see many people doing it. You should prepare for long wait times by being adaptable with your timetable. Hitchwiki is a great resource for information about hitchhiking.
Aruba When to Visit
Average temperatures in the upper 20s °C (mid-80s °F) characterise the peak season of January through March. Because of this influx of visitors, hotel rates will likely skyrocket, and the island will be bustling with activity.
I recommend visiting Aruba between April and August, when it is not peak season and rates are lower (there are fewer tourist crowds also). The island of Aruba is largely protected from tropical storms because it lies outside the Caribbean’s hurricane belt. The typical high is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).
The humidity is bearable, though, because of Aruba’s characteristically strong trade winds.
Guide to Personal Safety in Aruba
As a small island with a comparatively low crime rate, Aruba has earned a reputation as one of the Caribbean’s safest tourist destinations. Don’t leave your things out and unguarded on the beach (or anywhere else, for that matter) to prevent the risk of petty theft.
Avoid going to San Nicolas late at night if you’re travelling alone.
Because of these factors, it is safe for solo female tourists to visit this area. To be safe, though, you should exercise the same caution as you would anywhere else (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). More detailed advice for women travelling alone may be found on any number of travel blogs.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
It’s important to keep in mind that there may be powerful currents present when you’re in the water. Don’t go swimming or doing anything else in the water up by the island’s northern tip because of this.
Though scams are uncommon in this region, you can learn about some of the most prevalent tourist cons here.(aruba vs turks and caicos)
Help is only a phone call away if you dial 911 in an emergency.
Keep in mind that your first instinct is usually correct. Stay alert at all times, and stay away from deserted regions late at night. Make duplicates of your passport and other forms of identification.
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