We all need a happy island escape, so here are some reasons to go to Aruba

Bon Bini, Papiamento means welcome. In Aruba, you can not only hear this sentence often, but also really feel it. Speaking of all the best reasons for visiting Aruba, this friendly atmosphere prevails. This country promotes itself as “a happy island”, which is different from most marketing slogans, which is certainly not exaggerated.
I like Aruba very much. Although Baisha Island, with relaxation as its main purpose, is not always my first choice because I am very upset, Aruba provides a lot of adventures and activities for more than a week due to natural parks, water sports and cultural products, as you will see in my Aruba one-week travel guide.
For many reasons, as well as many more, I actually nominated and wrote Aruba as one of the best tourist destinations of Lonely Planet in 2020. Although unfortunately, what 2020 means to most of us, all these reasons are still true, and — given the situation last year — visiting one of the happiest islands in the world may be what we need now — so let’s go directly to some of the best reasons for visiting Aruba!

There is a private dining cabana on the white beach of Aruba
There are countless white sand beaches on Aruba Island

The beautiful beaches

I’m going to take a guess that most visitors to Aruba are coming for the star attraction, the beaches – and boy are they beautiful.

Whether you want to lounge up with easy access to water-sports and beachside cafes or find a completely hidden spot surrounded by mangroves, you are covered on all bases in Aruba.

Having been to a few different Caribbean islands now, the beaches on Aruba have so far been my favourite. The sand is delightfully soft and white, beaches stretch in all directions, and (certainly, none that I visited) have an entry charge – something I noticed in other islands. This is also great as you can take long walks along the vast stretches, without having to come inland to get around a private resort.

Some of my favourites include Mangel Halto, a bit below the capital and devoid of others when I visited, and Arashi Beach, sitting in front of the sand-dunes which lead to the California Lighthouse. Even the main resort spot of Palm Beach felt pretty relaxing, and as the ‘high-rise’ section of the island is minimal and well managed, you never feel like you are lounging in front of a concrete jungle of resorts like you might in other places. Bottom line – the beaches are ace – some of the best I’ve ever seen.

The crystal clear waters of the reef

The dreamlike temperature throughout the year
Aruba is located under the hurricane belt, making it a safe destination throughout the year, and one of the most suitable islands for tourism — this is a very attractive product in this part of the world.
Although rainfall and some storms are common during the period from September to December, the warm temperature has been maintained for a whole year (except for the average temperature between 20 degrees Celsius). In these months, showers are often very short. This is a destination you can plan to visit at any time, and good weather is a pretty sure bet.
A warm welcome
As I mentioned above, the welcome ceremony in Aruba is super friendly (when we arrived, there was even a band playing at the airport!). When you want to go to an official holiday, you want this relaxed welcome ceremony.
I have never been to any place. The locals are proud of their island slogan “A happy island”. Although it is perfect everywhere, from the perspective of tourists, you will think it is perfect. Bright smiles, lots of laughter, lots of rum and friendly service make it a very relaxing paradise.

Environmental protection certificate
One of the main reasons why I nominated Aruba as the “Best Tourism Award” is its ongoing work and commitment to more environmental support. Although it is sad that under the current circumstances, single-use products are increasing due to health and safety reasons, Aruba has many initiatives, including the transition to 100% renewable energy.
The work of banning the use of disposable plastics (tap water is drinkable) on the island should be completed by 2020. However, due to the current situation, this is likely to be put on hold. However, since the protection of coral reefs is the most important, the use of sunscreen containing oxybenzone has been banned. There are many eco-certified accommodation products on the island, where you can see that people are really proud of the island and are making collective efforts to become a completely green tourism destination.

Erik National Park
Take a jeep through Alikuk National Park
Adventures in Alikuk National Park
However, the landscape in the inland area is in sharp contrast with the beach. Arikuk National Park’s arid inland areas are complemented by rocky beaches and golden sands. The National Park covers an area of about 20%, part of which is an ecotourism destination and part of which is a research site.
Hiking and bicycle lanes provide a sustainable development option, instead of exploring in a four-wheel drive vehicle, you can easily spend a whole day or more in the park. When visiting the cave, the golden sun shines through the hole in the ceiling, and you can see the cave paintings of the earliest residents of the island, the Cacteau people.
Outside, walk or bike through the cliffs and the scenery consumed by cacti, and then relax on the remote Dospraya beach. But the blue coastline is not just for appreciation. There is a natural swimming pool for bathing, and there is a place where turtles nest nearby.

Aruba Cave
Water sports and diving
The famous white sand and lapping waves on the island provide a large number of seaside leisure activities, but water sports enthusiasts can immerse themselves in a large number of choices, from SUP in calm waters to kite surfing on the stormy coast. Most of the popular beaches on the island have plenty of surfboards and equipment to rent, and the price is quite reasonable in the Caribbean region, so you can pay directly and take it when you want to go out.
Along the coastline, there are many sunken ships, making Aruba a major diving destination, with many trusted outlets, tour guides and diving masters providing travel and various language courses. I think this is actually a good place to learn scuba diving, because the water here is warm and relatively calm, and you have unique attractions, such as the sinking of the US Navy Antilla, and even an underwater aircraft, which can be enjoyed after passing the test.

Aruba stargazing
The colorful capital, Oranestad
Auranestad, the capital of Aruba, is full of colorful colonial buildings in various pink and even almost neon colors.
This is a city that is very suitable for walking exploration, but even so, the colorful free tram service runs through the whole city, so you can travel around more easily, and the novelty alone is worth jumping.
This is a safe city. I like to come here in the daytime, and also like to walk in the evening and enjoy the local food. There are many entertainment activities in the evening, from the live music in the restaurant to the late night bar, as well as enough museums and historical attractions, which can make people spend a lazy day.
Although there are many stores you expect in a popular cruise destination, such as high-end designer boutiques, there are still many local stores and artisan shops, which are just a little far away from the first-tier marine shopping malls – community art centers are good places to buy some local souvenirs.

Aruba Oranjestad
Dutch architecture in Oranestad
The culture, carnival and creativity of Saint Nicholas
The carnival in Aruba is a major event. The celebration activities of the carnival have accumulated for more than one month. The largest carnival is held one week before Ash Wednesday in February.
If you don’t have enough luck to visit Aruba during the carnival, don’t be afraid, because the cultural center city of Saint Nicholas provides a lot of color and art.
In the south of the island, Saint Nicholas has been greatly revitalized in recent years. Street art from local and international artists is now decorated with walls, buildings and squares. At the same time, a special carnival museum and an art space can also be found here.
Under the guidance of the local guide, you can walk around the city and try to participate in a “small carnival” activity with live music, street dance and delicious local food.
Street Art Tour in St. Nicholas, Aruba
Aloe Vera Farm and Luxury Care
Aloe vera in Aruba is a complete industry. It transports this plant on the island to luxury face cream, gel and other products – coconut flavor lipstick has been in my travel bag these days. Interestingly, Aloe Vera Aruba is actually the oldest Aloe Vera company in the world
Although it is possible to visit Aloe Vera Farm and give you a brief and useful introduction to the industry, it may be the best enjoyment in the spa and a little care – which is not lacking in Aruba.
In Aruba, most high-end and mid-range hotels offer spa services, such as massage and treatment at the beach. You can also go to many of these spas for one-day tours or treatment. The outdoor treatment at the Okeanos Spa in Renassance and the Intermezzo Day Spa are two sure choices.

Aruba Altovista Church

California Lighthouse, Aruba
Pocket peripheral travel
California Lighthouse, Alto Vista
To tell the truth, when the weather is warm, I don’t always want to trek all day in the high temperature and check many different scenic spots. Since Aruba has never been far from the beach, and popular tourist attractions are small-scale, you can easily spend half a day visiting scenic spots, or combine them with beach tours.
For example, the California Lighthouse stands on the dunes of California, next to the beautiful Lan Beach. You can enjoy some time on the beach and then walk gently towards the lighthouse. From the top, you can enjoy some amazing scenery of the whole island and get good photos.
Similarly, the chapel of Alto Vista is also a popular photo spot, or the butterfly farm and donkey reserve provide an animal-friendly scenic spot. If you can pull yourself off the beach, there are many pocket activities that can enrich your time.
A range of delicacies
Aruba is an island full of different cuisines, from typical American cuisine to cuisine influenced by the Netherlands and Indonesia, because the island used to be a Dutch colony. Whether it’s a typical fast food, luxury resort food, or a picnic bowl on the beach, you can find almost anything, from cheap street food to super expensive and unique choices.
Nevertheless, there are still a lot of local dishes worth tasting, from sweet flat bread (Pan bati) to warm stew. Considering the climate of the island, these dishes may look a bit inappropriate. Kabrito Stoba and Keri Keri are two popular choices.
To learn more about the island’s history and multicultural cuisine bit by bit, you can take a walk around the capital of Aruba, including the cost of tasting various dishes in local restaurants. Oh, don’t forget all the rum!

Relax in a luxurious swimming pool
Resort pool in Aruba Gold Coast
Ideal choice for everyone
Last but not least, whether it’s traveling with your partners, as a couple, or as a family, I just can’t imagine that someone will dislike Aruba.
The climate is pleasant, but not too hot. The beach is the ideal choice for lazy days, and those who want to hike or take risks can. You can easily stay in the most primitive hotel or book a private apartment. The food scene covers almost everything you want.
Therefore, I really think it is a very safe holiday destination for everyone. Although other islands in the Caribbean dazzle me in different ways, such as the lush hiking in Dominica or the seemingly endless beaches in Antigua and Barbuda, they do not seem to evoke so many boxes or provide so many satisfying choices.
Therefore, if you are looking for a relaxed, relaxed and most importantly happy island holiday, Aruba may be the most perfect ticket!


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