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Aruba
If an island could be made entirely for relaxation, Aruba is one for the books. Welcoming travelers with soft sands, turquoise waters, and tropical vibes, it's a quintessential Caribbean experience (and a close neighbor of Curaçao and Bonaire, too). When you're not lounging on one of Aruba's 40 beaches, there's a vibrant Dutch Caribbean culture to check out. Stroll among the pastel buildings and shops of Oranjestad, the island's capital. Check out the National Archaeological Museum Aruba or stock up on incredible local eats like seafood or keshi yena (a cheese-covered casserole). And for nature of the non-beach variety, don't miss the Butterfly Farm—no explanation required—as well as Aruba's natural bridge and Conchi Natural Pool, both located in Arikok National Park. Check out more recs below.

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How to do Aruba in 1 day

White sand beaches, sure, but also great dining, art, and more
Read on

Aruba for art lovers

Aruba’s art scene can take a little work to discover since galleries on the island are few and far between. But there’s a network of talented local creators whose work pops up at regular art fairs and exhibits worth seeking out (and the island has vivid outdoor murals you don’t want to miss). Here’s my hitlist.
Susan Campbell, Montreal, Canada
  • Street Murals
    76
    The annual Aruba Art Fair held each fall has totally redefined the town of San Nicolas adding massive colorful murals to the area. There are now more than 50, some covering entire buildings—even entire blocks—with more added every year. It’s easily explorable on your own, but I recommend a guided walk with Aruba Mural Tours, who will teach you about each artist’s background and the significance of their works.
  • ArtisA Gallery
    14
    Designed to be more of a cultural meeting spot than a typical gallery, ArtisaA is a cool and inviting space for art workshops and socializing. You’ll find works in various mediums by both well-known and up-and-coming local creatives, as well as great food and art events.
  • The Atelier Aruba
    2
    Famous for her blown glass custom jewelry, Gaby Gonzalez has now banded together with other female creators to open a gallery in Paseo Herencia, as a new permanent home for their work. Each member takes shifts operating the gallery and the stunning and diverse artistic offerings are all locally made. My favorite finds include art made from recycled maps and old Aruban stamps.
  • Purely Aruban Artwork
    13
    I stumbled upon this hidden gem at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino Resort by accident. At first blush, it looks like a regular souvenir shop, but it’s far from it. The place is crammed with high quality art and crafts made by more than a dozen artists. Keep an eye out for original keepsakes like ‘lucky nut’ art and intricate mandalas.
  • Studio Murano Art & Restaurant
    78
    This amazing spot is an alfresco restaurant/bar and glass blowing studio all under one roof. I recommend watching a glass blowing demonstration while enjoying a meal. Or sign up for a workshop and create your own glass souvenir.
  • Lava Aruba Glass Studio
    40
    Aruba’s fascination for fine glass art has blown up big time. This new massive factory on Eagle Beach offers visitors the inside scoop on how the glass is created with free tours and a balcony perch from which you can watch the masters at work in real time. Don’t miss the gigantic showroom of treasures you can buy.
  • Elisa Lejuez Art Aruba
    2
    You’ll likely spot Elisa Lejuez's art around the island: Her bright pop creations using textiles and mixed media appear in resorts, galleries, and stores. But I recommend you check out her studio to see her personal collection (by appointment only), or sign up for a workshop with the artist herself. Lejuez also has a gorgeous clothing line. I especially admire her handmade scarves with iconic Aruban motifs.

Browse collections

A day at the beach

All the sand and sun you can handle

A taste of Aruba

Experience the island’s most vibrant flavors

Wild wonders

Natural pools, caves, and more

Splurge-worthy stays

Rooms with a view

Local culture

Amazing experiences you’ll only have here

Aruba Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips or experiencing Aruba

cranberries2313

Something we did do and recommend was rent a car and “beach hop.” I think this is something pretty unique to Aruba because you can drive around to any beach, park and enjoy the waters. Each beach has something different to enjoy.

lm31

There are often small cafes on the beaches where you can get the freshest fish cooked Antillian style that is really tasty. You can't get lost in Aruba — it's an island. You can only drive so far before you hit the ocean. So get yourself a map, ask some of the locals at the resort where you can do real Antillian things and off you go with some water.

arubamimi

Take a half-day trip through the national park! You won’t need a Jeep, though the roads are curvy. Look for wild donkeys. You will end up on the northern side of the island and the coast is beautiful.

Paul W

We all loved Aruba, and it has risen to the top for our favorite island. Love the weather and the cooling winds, we never felt unsafe, and there are plenty of things to do and places to eat.

Mark P

Going to the same destination twice is not something we do often, but Aruba was so good that we'll be back there or do the other ABC islands.

Johnbmtl

We spend our winters in Aruba and can attest to the fact that it is very safe. The beaches are great and there are many water activities for the kids. Our favorite non-water activity is renting a UTV and exploring the wild side of the island. It’s really like being on another planet. It’s called One Happy Island. You will love it!

What is the best way to get there?

flying

Reina Beatrix International Airport sees more than 150 flights from destinations in the U.S., Canada, South America, and Europe.

cruises

There are two ports in Aruba, Oranjestad, and Barcadera. Streetcars/trolleys run to/from the ports to beaches.

Do I need a visa?

Upon landing, you will need to provide a valid passport, a valid onward or return ticket. Some country’s citizens may be required to show proof of vaccination. To see if you need a visa to visit Aruba, visit here.

When is the best time to visit?

Winter: With its location south of hurricane zones, there is never really a bad time to visit Aruba, but escaping to Aruba over the winter is especially sweet. The average daily temperature is 82 Fahrenheit (28 Celsius), and while there is a slightly rainy season from October to January, the showers are usually short.

Get around

taxis

Taxis are readily available in Aruba, and they have fixed rates, not meters. For info, see here.

streetcar/trolleys

Aruba has two streetcar/trolleys that provide free transit to and from the cruise ship terminal and the main downtown area from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, see here.

bus

Buses are a great way to get around Aruba, and they run to all the beaches. For info, see here.

cars

There are several rental car companies in Aruba. For more info, see here.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Atlantic Standard Time, and it does not observe Daylight Saving Time

What are the voltage/plug types?

110 V/60 Hz as in the U.S.

What is the currency?

Aruban florin, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted.

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes, though some may only give out Aruban florin.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes.

Is it easy to find a bank?

Yes.

How much do I tip?

Tipping is not required as some bars and restaurants add a service charge to your tab, usually between 10-15%, so leaving extra for great service is up to you.

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking

The legal drinking age in Aruba is 18.

Greetings

Most residents of this Dutch island are fluent in English, but knowing a few words of its national language Papiamento is appreciated: Bon dia (good morning); bon tardi (good afternoon); bon nochi (good evening/good night); ayo (goodbye); masha danki (thank you very much) should get you started. Visit this link for more useful tips!

Sunbathing

While trade winds will help keep you cool on Aruba’s beaches, don’t get so comfortable that you forget SPF. The sun is strongest between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Attire

With its balmy tropical locale, keeping it casual will keep you cool during the day, but dressy casual is common attire for dinner, clubs, and casinos. Bikinis are only acceptable at the beach or pool.

Frequently Asked Questions about Aruba