Aruba may be best known for its beautiful Caribbean beaches and all-year round summer, but have a little venture off the sand and you’ll find so many attractions and adventures for you to take part in. Whether it’s snorkelling, scuba, hiking, windsurfing, kitesurfing or paddle boarding there is something for everyone on this action-packed and fun-filled island. The island is full of history, culture, rugged landscapes, exotic local dishes (read my food recommendations here) and fun activities so here are my favourites.
The Windsurfing World Championships were being held whilst we were there and it was wonderful to see both windsurfers and kite surfers whizzing across – and above – the water like enormous seabirds.
My fellow travellers had a go at stand-up Paddle Boarding with Dennis Martinez of Aruba Surf and Paddle School and did very well, especially as a rainstorm hit just as they were getting into their stride.
I’ve never seen so many colourful fish, minus the Great Barrier Reef as we did on the reefs near Baby Beach, Aruba. Beautiful fish coloured in pink and purple hues with lime green and yellow stripes. There is also opportunity to snorkel on the Jolly Pirates Boat Trip, which I didn’t go on but my fellow travellers said was great!
One of the most popular ways to see the island is on a 4×4 Safari Tour which we did on the Monday of our trip. We booked in for the half-day Natural Pool Land-Rover Adventure with De Palm Tours. We travelled in convoy from the north to the south of the island going past many of the highlights the island has to offer including California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, Wariruri Beach, Bushiribana Gold Mill and the ruins of Natural Bridge, before we embarked on the best bit; a breath-taking bumpy ride over the rocks and sand dunes of Arikok National Park to the Natural Pools.
For something unique you could try SNUBA; an underwater breathing system that combines snorkelling and swimming and allows you to explore a three-dimensional world you cannot enjoy while snorkelling. All you do is breathe through a simple regulator while your air supply floats on a comforting support raft at the surface. There are many diving schools across the world and one resides in Aruba!
Aruba is home to Arikok National Park which comprises 20% of the Aruba’s surface area. It has a great history in the area as you can see from the island’s geology and there is also an abundance of wildlife including rattlesnakes, iguana, exotic birds and cacti of all shapes and sizes. The island is also famous for the well-known divi-divi tree, aloes and wild flowers, all of which have added to the distinctiveness and uniqueness of the island. Throughout the national park there are also many historic sites including 1000-year-old cave paintings by the Caquetio Indians and small farmhouse huts that were once used across the island.
Hire a car
One of the best things to do in order to see the island at your own pace is hiring a care whilst you are here. You can take your time as you make your way from one end of the island to the other, exploring all the tourist’s spots and those off the beaten track. But remember some of the top places to visit on the north of the island are not suitable for cars and instead you must take a jeep or safari tour.
Relaxing at the spa
Escape to a world of peace and tranquillity at one Aruba’s many spas. The spas all offer a multitude of signature treatments and massages to revive and rejuvenate your mind and body. Choose from a bountiful menu of island-inspired treatments, including aloe-based treatments, drawn from Aruban aloe. Couples, bridal and honeymoon packages as well as personal pampering packages are created to suit every guest and are designed specifically for you.
Aruba allows you to try a different activity every day and pedal kayaking is no exception. Jump on a Pedal Kayak & Power Snorkelling trip from different locations around the island and explore the waters of the Caribbean. You can see a great abundance of healthy corals & tropical fish.
There are lots of places to swing you golf club in Aruba and you needn’t leave that behind back in England. There are a couple of courses on the island including the championship golf course of Tierra del Sol. The course proves both a challenge and an extreme pleasure whilst you set off with the ocean in the background. Golf is made memorable in Aruba.
Aruba is home to some of the world’s best yoga teachers and offers beautiful views from which you practice the teachings. You will be offered tools and insights to balance body, mind & soul, whilst also learning breathing techniques and mindful teachings. The well-trained yoga teachers will guide you during these sessions across different yoga styles like Hatha yoga, Vinyasa flow, Dru Yoga, Quantum Yoga and Egyptian or Japanese yoga.
Aruba’s geology means it is a great place for some horseback riding! It offers a variety of exotic locations for adventurous visitors, from the challenging sand dunes to the desert-like plains that will make you feel like the star of your own western motion picture. Tours include The Gold Mine Ranch, Rancho Daimari, Rancho La Ponderosa and Rancho Loco.
Read all about my time in Aruba here.
If you’d like to find out more have a little look at the Aruba Tourist Board website. A big, big thanks to our host Amayra and the tourist board made our trip super fun and one I will always remember.
My visit to Aruba was complimentary as part of a blogger press trip in July 2016. All views are my own.