Aruba Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Eat and More
Aruba has a nickname – One Happy Island, a well-deserved description. A former Dutch colony, this Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela is an extremely safe tourist paradise, filled with sparkling white sand beaches and endless entertainment options. Aruba also has a unique climate, combining the Caribbean tropics with a beautiful desert landscape. Travelers to Aruba will have a variety of outdoor and indoor activities to choose from, making the island an ideal destination for a romantic vacation or a family vacation.
Where to stay
As a tourist destination, Aruba is full of hotels and resorts. Whether you are traveling as a couple, with friends or with family, the range of choices on the island gives you great flexibility.
Palm Beach: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
The Aruba Marriott Resort is ideally located on prime real estate in Palm Beach, Aruba’s most famous beach. Due to the resort’s convenient location, guests can be at the beach within minutes from their rooms. Besides the beach, the resort also has two swimming pools (one for adults only) and several bars and restaurants like La Vista and Ruth’s Chris Steak House located on-site. The Aruba Marriott Resort also has a casino for those who wish to try their hand at slots or other casino games.
- Time: 18 minutes by car
- Distance from airport: 7.8 miles
Eagle Beach: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
This adults-only resort is the perfect splurge for couples on a romantic trip. The rooms and suites are very intimate with private balconies and an emphasis on environmental protection (solar-heated showers, local Aruban aloe bath amenities). One important aspect: Room rates don’t cover lunch, dinner, or drinks, although a free breakfast buffet is included.
- Time: 16 minutes by car
- Distance from airport: 6.5 miles
Oranjestad: Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort
This resort caters to both couples and families with an adults-only section and child-friendly suites. While there is plenty to do at the resort (two casinos, plenty of restaurants and bars), its location in Oranjestad (Aruba’s largest city) gives guests plenty of choices for dining, nightlife and more. shopping in the city.
- Time: 10 minutes by car
- Distance from airport: 2.9 miles
What to eat
For a relatively small island, Aruba has an incredible array of dining options. Almost all types of international cuisine are available in Aruba, ranging from Japanese sushi to Mexican tacos. The overwhelming majority of tourists to Aruba come from America. For this reason, Aruba has many American fast food and casual dining chains. Restaurant menus will also be in English, so language won’t be a problem.
Food in Aruba doesn’t come cheap. The prices of sit-down restaurants will be similar to those in any major American city. While affordable dining options are available, don’t expect your dollar to travel far in Aruba.
- “$” = Economical or inexpensive
- “$$” = average
- “$$$” = expensive
Better Atmosphere: Atardi
Atardi is a pop-up dinner-only restaurant located directly on Palm Beach at the Marriott Resort. The location is spectacular. Diners eat right on the beach, toes directly in the sand and the sun setting on the horizon. The food at Atardi is elegant cuisine, focused on seafood at its best, featuring the freshest seafood from the Caribbean. A highlight is the Macadamia Grouper, a crispy grouper fillet served with a succulent red curry sauce. For dessert, don’t forget to try the Tropical Coconut Cake, a perfectly sweet and balanced vanilla cake with layers of white chocolate mousse and coconut.
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Best Peruvian: Lima Bistro
Located just off the coast of South America, it’s no surprise that Aruba offers stellar Latin American cuisine. One of Aruba’s most exciting new restaurants is the Lima Bistro. Imagined by Chef Teddy Bouroncle, Lima Bistro showcases authentic Peruvian flavors and ingredients with a creative presentation and style. Try their local fish dish with black rice, a perfectly cooked piece of locally caught fish served with jet black squid ink rice. The cocktail program at Lima Bistro is also excellent, as evidenced by their exceptional Pisco Sour. The portions here aren’t too large, so hearty eaters should consider ordering appetizers to complement their entrees.
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Best Breakfast: Linda’s Dutch Pancakes
As a former Dutch colony, the influence of the Netherlands is still present in Aruba. For a taste, look no further than Linda’s Dutch Pancakes. Compared to American pancakes, these Dutch versions are thinner with a slightly crispy exterior. Dutch pancake syrup is also different. Instead of maple syrup, Dutch syrup is pure sugar and is similar to caramel in both texture and taste. At Linda’s, diners can choose between savory (bacon, mushrooms, cheese, etc.) or sweet (strawberries, apples, etc.) toppings. For the best of both worlds, try drizzling syrup over a bacon and apple pancake for a sweet and savory combination.
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Local crush: Zeerovers
Located on the beachfront, this no-frills seafood restaurant is a local favorite. Here, fresh fish and shellfish are transported directly from the boats to the restaurant. Diners can choose between fried fish or shrimp, all sold by weight with fries and tartar sauce. Be sure to ask for the local hot sauce, pica di papaya, an orange-colored elixir made from papaya to accompany your fried seafood. For the perfect meal, enjoy it all with an ice-cold bottle of Aruba Balashi beer, brewed right on the island.
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What to do
If there’s one thing travelers don’t have to worry about in Aruba, it’s not having enough entertainment options. The island has a wonderful mix of tropical beaches ideal for relaxing or practicing water sports. Of course, if you are tired of the beaches, there are other outdoor activities such as bus or UTV tours, allowing tourists to see Aruba’s unique desert landscape.
For indoor fun away from the tropical heat, Aruba also has plenty of shops located in Oranjestad, the island’s capital and largest city. For those looking for nightlife, Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are lined with bars and clubs filled with revelers and plenty of
Palm Beach is a perfect tropical beach. One look at the white sand and the warm water and it’s easy to see why. It is also a very active beach with a lot of people sunbathing or swimming throughout the day. At the Aruba Marriott Resort, hotel guests can reserve a beach palapa and order
UTV Tours in De Palm
For the adventurous traveler, book a UTV tour with De Palm Tours. While De Palm also offers jeep and bus tours, getting behind the wheel of UTVs is an experience not to be missed. A word of warning: this tour will take you off the beaten track over rugged and bumpy terrain, so an adventurous mindset is required. But it’s also the best way to see the whole island. Just make sure you have your driver’s license if you want to book a UTV tour.
San Nichols Murals Tour
Located in the town of San Nichols at the southern tip of Aruba, this tour is a visual feast. Founded by Tito Bolivar, the tour features street art and murals (40 in total and growing) painted on the sides of walls and buildings in the area. The artists come from all over the world, stemming from Tito’s vision of making San Nichols Aruba’s arts district.
How to save money on your trip to Aruba
There is no doubt that Aruba is possibly one of the best tropical places to visit, given its remarkable blond beaches and wind-sculpted sandy landscapes. Not to mention that it has the best wreck diving sites in the Caribbean. We also can’t forget the top notch local food and restaurants, the welcoming locals and the exceptional cultures of the island. For this reason, there are plenty of things to do in Aruba. Fortunately, has great, wallet-friendly offers so you can take advantage of these things without breaking the bank.
Of course, Aruba doesn’t just offer great blonde beaches. It also has the best and a wide variety of hotels and other accommodations, which are sure to have you relaxing – from the cheapest to the most luxurious, Aruba has it all. However, if you go for the former, has some of the best deals out there.
While public transportation in Aruba is cheap compared to urban areas, it is much more convenient to hire a car or jeep if you want to explore the wonders of the island. With a rental vehicle, you will be able to reach places that most tourists cannot reach. It also saves you a lot of time.Also offers some great deals if you decide to hire a vehicle and take a trip to Aruba.
Read more: The best places to visit