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The 20 Best Things to Do in Aruba for First Timers

Park beach Aruba

Aruba is a popular tourist destination in the Caribbean Sea. It is an island that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is known for its hot climate, stunning beaches, and an array of activities for both residents and tourists to enjoy, If you are going on vacation to Aruba, it is important to know about the attractions so that you can plan which you would like to visit during your time there. To help you plan your itinerary and make the most of your stay in this beautiful destination, the following are the 20 best things to do in Aruba for first-timers.

Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa

20. Visit the Spa at Manchebo Resort

For some relaxation, most people simply lie in the sun on one of the stunning beaches. However, this is not the only way that you can relax on the island. Treat yourself to a day at the spa at the Manchebo Resort. The spa section of the resort is open to the public, so it is not necessary to stay in this hotel to enjoy these facilities. It offers a range of treatments and therapies for the perfect day of pampering and relaxation.

Aruba Sunset Cruise

19. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise

If you are visiting Aruba as a couple, there are few things more romantic than watching the sun setting on the horizon. One of the best ways to enjoy this spectacular sight is on a sunset cruise. There are several companies offering cruises in the evening, and some of these have packages that include a meal and drinks during your cruise.

Zeerovers Aruba

18. Eat Fresh Seafood at Zeerovers

There are some amazing dining options in Aruba, and the locally caught seafood is the highlight of many restaurants’ menus. One of the best restaurants to try some seafood or traditional Aruban dishes is Zeerovers. It is not jd that makes dining in this restaurant special, it is also the beachfront location that makes this a memorable dining experience.

Aruba Aloe Company

17. Go to the Aruba Aloe Factory

Aruba is one of the natural habitats of aloe plants, which are known to have many health and cosmetic benefits. Aloe was first introduced to the island in 1840 by explorers, and the Arubans have been making products from the plants ever since. You can see how aloe vera is made when you visit this factory, and there is a chance to purchase some of the products to take home.

Spanish Lagoon Aruba

16. Kayak in the Spanish Lagoon

There are various ways that you can explore the waters surrounding Aruba, and Journalist on the Run says that kayaking in the Spanish Lagoon is an interesting way to see the coast from a different perspective.

California Lighthouse Aruba

15. See the California Lighthouse

One of the most significant landmarks on the coastline of Aruba is the California Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built circa 1910, and it is named after a British steamship that was wrecked off the coast of Aruba. The main reason to visit the lighthouse is to climb to the top so that you can enjoy the stunning panoramic views. It is free to visit the lighthouse.

Diving in Aruba

14. Dive Down to Pedernales Wreck

Aruba is a fantastic place to try snorkeling and scuba diving. If you choose to take to the water, then one of the best underwater sights along the coast of the island is the Pedernales Wreck. SS Pedernales was a lake tanker from the World War II era. A German U-boat torpedoed it, causing it to sink. It is now one of the most popular diving sites around the island. To see this underwater landmark, you will need to go scuba diving with one of the instructors from the island. Other than seeing the wreck, former divers have enjoyed seeing marine life during their dive. This is not a site that you should visit alone unless you are a very experienced diver.

Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations

13. Admire the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations

The Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations are two of the most interesting natural features on the island. The rock formations consist of boulders and cacti. They are quite an impressive sight, and it is worth taking some snaps from different angles, so don't forget your camera. Surrounding the rock formations, there are multiple hiking trails where you can explore some other aspects of the Aruban countryside and enjoy the views. This is a free activity that outdoor lovers on a budget can enjoy.

aruba Ostrich Farm

12 See the Ostriches at Aruba Ostrich Farm

If you are visiting Aruba as a family, then one of the best family-oriented activities that people of all ages can enjoy is a visit to the Aruba Ostrich Farm. Located on the east coast of the island, you will get to meet the ostriches at this attraction. US News says that you will also learn some fascinating facts about the big birds.

Hyatt Regency Aruba

11. Try Your Hand at Poker at Casino at Hyatt Regency Aruba

While many of the activities in Aruba revolve around the outdoors and the natural beauty of the island, there are also some indoor options where you can have some fun. Several of the resorts on the island have on-site casinos, and these are also open to the public even if you are not staying in the hotel. One of the best of these is the casino at the Hyatt Regency Aruba. There is everything you would expect to find in a casino resort, including poker tables, card games, slots, entertainment, and bars. You can also grab a bite to eat in one of the multiple on-site eateries.

Park beach Aruba

10. Spend the Day at Park Beach

Although Eagle Beach is the best known of the beaches in Aruba, it is not the only option. Another fantastic beach to visit is Park Beach. While Eagle Beach is known for its water sports, Park Beach is the better option if you prefer swimming. This beach is also more peaceful than Eagle Beach, which attracts larger numbers of tourists. You will find it much easier to sunbathe and relax on this beach, and it is also a nice spot for picnicking or playing with the children.If you are planning on spending a full day there, you can take a stroll around the surrounding area, visit the shops, and grab a bite to eat in one of the local cafes.

Arikok National Park

9. Enjoy Your Surroundings in Arikok National Park

The stunning landscape of Aruba is one of the top reasons that people choose this as their holiday destination, and one of the best places to fully appreciate this beauty is at Arikok National Park. According to US News, this park is home to a wide variety of species, including iguanas, donkeys, goats, migratory birds, and many more creatures. In addition to wildlife spotting, there are also sand dunes, caves, and limestone cliffs to explore. This is a nice place to simply sit and admire your surrounding, so take along a picnic on your visit.

Off Roading Aruba

8. Have Some Fun at Aruba Off-Road

If you want to have some fun and adventure during your visit to Aruba, then why not try an off-road experience? This is a thrilling activity that will test your driving skills and allow you to explore some of the rugged landscape of Aruba. It is important to note that age, health, and safety restrictions apply, so it is possible that not everyone in your vacation party will have the chance to enjoy this activity. Therefore, this is something you should check in advance.

Butterfly Farm Aruba

7. Admire the Butterflies at the Butterfly Farm

Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Butterfly Farm, where they can admire the beauty of a vast array of butterfly species. There are examples of butterfly species from across the globe alongside the native Aruban species, monarchs. If you take the 20-minute guided tour during your visit, you can learn more about each of the species.

Aruba Museum

6. Have a Historical Experience at Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

If you are more interested in culture and history than lazing around on the beach, then one of the top attractions in Aruba is the Fort Zoutman Historical Museum. At this attraction, visitors are encouraged to explore the history of western Montana. The museum has both indoor and outdoor features that are spread over 32-acres. This is a fun, interesting, and educational activity that all the family can enjoy. There are also events held throughout the year that relate to the themes of the museum. It is worth checking what is on at this venue before embarking on a trip to Aruba.

Aruba Donkeys

5. Meet the Donkeys at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary

If you are an animal lover, then one of the best attractions to include in your vacation itinerary is a visit to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary. This is a non-profit organization that cares for unwanted or neglected donkeys. Visitors to the sanctuary can learn more about their care and pet the donkeys. This is a fantastic attraction for families, and it is located approximately eight miles from Eagle Beach along the northeast side of the island.

Gold Mill Aruba

4. Go to the Balashi Gold Mill Ruins

An interesting activity to enjoy while in Aruba is the Balashi Gold Mine Ruins. Located in Oranjestad, this attraction is the ruins of the old gold mill, and it is a place where visitors can learn about gold mining in Aruba. The landscape around the ruins is also interesting, and you can spend some time exploring the area during your visit. This is a free activity, so it is one that those on a limited budget should include in their itinerary.

Stellaris Casino

3. Play the Slots at the Stellaris Casino

In the daytime, you will probably want to spend most of your time outdoors to make the most of the gorgeous weather. However, in the evenings you can head indoors to have a different kind of fun. There are several casinos in Aruba, and one of these is Stellaris Casino. Although this is within a hotel, it is not necessary to be a guest to access the casino. There are slots, poker games, roulette wheels, live entertainment and much more to enjoy in this casino. Also, there are several dining options on-site, so you can take a break from the casino to enjoy a meal before returning to try your luck in another part of the casino.

Natural Pool

2. Go to the Natural Pool

Another fantastic activity that you should include in your vacation itinerary when visiting Aruba is a visit to the Natural Pool. Also known as Cura di Tortuga or simply ‘conchi’, the Natural Pool is a pool of water that is located on the east coast of Aruba. The pool is surrounded by volcanic stone circles and rocks. This means that the best way to access the pool is on foot. Visitors are allowed to swim in the water, and it is also a nice place to enjoy the sea views. It is worth taking your camera along to capture some of the views to commemorate your trip.

Eagle Beach

1. Spend a Day at Eagle Beach

According to The Crazy Tourist, the best thing to do in Aruba for first-timers is to spend a day at Eagle Beach. If you are staying in one of the large, chain hotels, then it is likely that you will quickly become accustomed to this stretch of Aruba’s coastline as many of the hotels are located on the waterfront and have direct beach access. This is one of the most popular tourist beaches on the island, and it has the perfect white sands and azure water that you would expect to find on a Caribbean island.Eagle Beach is one of the liveliest stretches of beach along the coast of Aruba, and it is the best place to try some water sports.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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