Set just 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela, the tiny Lesser Antilles island of Aruba is packed full of world-class beaches, gourmet restaurants and Vegas-style casinos all wrapped up in a European influenced, cosmopolitan lifestyle and vibrant Caribbean flair.
Unlike most other Caribbean islands, its arid, sculpted landscape is scattered with rocky deserts, clusters of cacti, blue vistas and the iconic Divi Divi trees contorted by the winds, forming a unique character that offers an unforgettable cruising vacation.
The Dutch influence in the main town of Oranjstad is strong, with its charming, pastel-hued colonial buildings and plethora of chic boutiques, designer stores, intimate bars, live music combined with a lively yet relaxed Caribbean atmosphere. The island’s ‘Gold Coast’ plays host to a medley of beaches and resorts including the impressive stretch of powdery sand connecting the famous Palm Beach and the quieter Eagle Beach. These clean, wild beaches are perfect for snorkelling amongst colourful parrot fish whilst pink flamingos stand majestically on the shores.
To avoid the crowds, cruise around to the east side of the island where the wild, untamed coastline is fringed by windswept palms, secluded coves, unspoilt beaches and cliffs carved out by the crashing waves. Venture beyond the sands to a handful of restaurants offering up fresh seafood and a wide variety of internationally influenced cuisine. Watersports and sailing enthusiasts are drawn to Aruba’s near-perfect climate with constant Atlantic Ocean trade winds that form perfect conditions whilst its charming towns and divine beaches offer something for everyone else.
- For some beach side glamour head to the Malmok beach that is backed by Miami-style villas.
- The calm waters and soft sand of the aptly named Baby Beach in the south is perfect for children to paddle and play.
- Visit the deserted Andicuri Beach on the east coast for stunning natural beauty and striking black pebbles.
- Dive in and explore the World War II Pedernales Wreck.
- The torch parade in January that lights up the streets of Oranjstad to kick off the Carrnival celebrations.