What You Need to Know About Going to Aruba

Sapphire & Elm Travel co-founder Carly enjoying Aruba's beaches

Sapphire & Elm Travel co-founder Carly enjoying Aruba's beaches

Aruba's motto is One Happy Island and it's easy to see why.

The white sand beaches leading you into tranquil blue waters are breathtaking. The locals are friendly and welcoming and the island gets nearly 365 days of sunshine a year!

Aruba is one of only three Caribbean Islands located outside of the hurricane belt, meaning they see nearly perfect weather year round! Aruba sits at a consistent 81 degrees F (27 degree C) and has very few rainy days each year. That's quite a departure from typical Caribbean weather that's usually plagued by tropical storms from late spring through the fall.

And this means there is no bad time of year to go to Aruba!

Aruba is a windy island, so even in the hotter summer months it's never too hot to lounge on the beach or explore the island.

TIP: The hottest month in Aruba is usually September.

Aruba is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is located in the Southern Caribbean sea about 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Although it's a Dutch territory, due to its proximity the South America, Latin influence can be felt around the island.

Language: Aruba's official language is Papiamento, a mixture of Portuguese, West African languages, Dutch, and Spanish. Most locals I encountered also spoke both English and Spanish.

Currency: The official currency on the island is Aruban Florin but U.S. dollars are accepted on the island. We didn't even change money as you can pull U.S. dollars out of ATMs. Major hotels and Casinos have ATMs and they are very accessible.

There are so many reasons to love Aruba so we're sharing some of our favorite thins to do on the island.

Lounge on the Beach

Is it really a vacation if you're not lounging on the beach? Maybe, but in my opinion some quality relaxation beachfront is a necessity to any great vacation!

Either way, Aruba has some simply stunning beaches to check out.

Aruba's beaches are pristine, with soft white sand and piercing blue water. In 2017, Aruba's Eagle Beach landed 3rd on the TripAdvisor Traveler Award for Best Beaches in the World!

My favorite beach in Aruba? Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island. It's the only private beach in Aruba and the beach is crawling with Flamingos. Nothing makes you feel like your in a tropical paradise more that wading in the surf with a flock of flamingos.

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Get Social

Aruba is a tiny island, just 70 square miles but it is jam packed with casinos, 18 on the island to be exact. Most major hotels have an adjacent casino. So whether you are a high roller or a casual slots player, you can beat the heat in the Casino and try your hand at winning big.

Aruba is a very lively island whether you're at a beach bar or nightclub. I lost track of how many Piña Coladas I had on my first day. I don't even like Piña Coladas but they are just that much better in Aruba!  If you're looking for some cocktails and spot that can take your from day to night, MooMba Beach is your spot. Eat and sip cocktails in a bar over looking the beach.

If your looking for a night time spot, head to Gustos. The night club has three dance floors and features some of the islands best DJs. Bottle service is available if you want a true VIP experience.

Explore Town

Aruba's capital and largest city is Oranjestad. Oranjestad is in the southwest part of the island and located a few minutes from the airport. The city center is adorned with colorful, ornate buildings.

Oranjestad is home to a slew of restaurants, bars and shops. High end luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada have stores in Oranjestad.

Getting around town is simple with the new tram system that runs from the cruise port to the center or town.

Tip: Sunday is a day of rest and stores in town are closed

Get Married

Destination weddings are all the rage and for good reason. How romantic is this intimate beachfront alter? Aruba is the perfect spot to tie the knot since you won't have to worry about bad weather ruining your special day.

Aruba has long been considered a romantic destination and in 2017 they really upped the ante. Aruba hosted the largest vow renewal ceremony in the Caribbean. Couples from all over the world flocked to Eagle Beach to participate in the mass ceremony. The ceremony took place at sunset and participants were provided with complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres.

Aruba is also a killer spot for a Honeymoon.

Eat & Drink

Eating local food is one of my favorite parts of any vacations and Aruba has top notch dining options. Aruba is an island, so naturally seafood is a staple. Grouper is one of the most popular dishes on the island.

We had a tasty French meal at Le Garage in the Oranjestad marketplace. If you're into fishing and looking for an ultra fresh meal, check out Driftwood. The restaurant can arrange a fishing charter and after you're finished, they will set you up with a table and cook your catch .

There's Always Room for Activities!

 

As pristine as Aruba's beaches are, there's also plenty of opportunity to get a little adventurous.

Since Aruba has nearly constant trade winds, it's the perfect spot for kite surfing and windsurfing. Hotel's like the Divi Aruba offer guests windsurfing lessons.

One side of Aruba has tranquil beaches while the other has vast, rugged terrain. This offers the perfect opportunity to rent ATVs and explore some of Aruba's harder to reach gems.

If you prefer to get your kicks below the water, you can scuba dive or snorkel. Aruba's calm coves and crystal clear water are perfect for snorkeling newbies. Additionally, Aruba is also known as on of the top dive destination to see shipwrecks! There are 11 wrecks in the waters surrounding the island. I don't scuba dive but I was able to see a shipwreck on a snorkeling excursion.

For the yogi's out there, Rachel Brathen's (aka Yoga Girl) yoga studio, boutique and cafe called Island Yoga which just opened in January of 2017, and is located in the town of Noord.

If hiking is more your speed, head to Arikok National Park. The park makes up 20% of the island. It's a good spot to hit the trails on foot, horseback or via mountain bike. Hike up to Jamanota Hilltop, the highest point on the island. The views do not disappoint. 

 

Ready to experience One Happy Island? Contact us to start planning your next great adventure today.

 

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