7 Things to Do On Aruba

 Arikok National Park accounts for approximately 18 percent of the Island. Image courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authority.

Arikok National Park accounts for approximately 18 percent of the Island. Image courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authority.

 

From coastal helicopter rides to hand-feeding flamingos, here are the top things to do on Aruba

Located 15 miles north of Venezuela, Aruba likes to brag about its warm weather and warm people. The island’s slogan is “One Happy Island,” so I’m sharing the activities and attractions that brought a smile to my face during a recent visit.

What follows are my top picks for things to do on Aruba.

 
 

7. Eat Fresh-Caught Seafood at Zeerovers

At Zeerovers, a local fisherman’s wharf and restaurant, visitors order the fresh catch of the day and watch it get fileted, weighed and prepared right before their eyes. Fisherman tie up their boats to the restaurant’s docks and unload whatever they end up catching that day such as snapper, grouper or shrimp. Forget your diet: Everything at Zeerovers is fried, and the beers come by the bucket.

6. See a Carnival Performance

While Carnival season comes to a head in the spring, there are opportunities to see extravagant Carnival performances every Thursday in San Nicolas or at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Both celebrate the season’s elaborate costumes, Caribbean rhythms (tumba, salsa, Calypso) and decadent attitude. 

 Carnival is where the party's at. Image courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authortiy. 

Carnival is where the party's at. Image courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authortiy. 

5. Try Windsurfing

The 1980s are alive and well on Aruba. So try something that’s totally gnarly dude like a windsurfing 101 class with Vela Aruba. Lessons start at $45 per person and last for about an hour, with an additional hour allotted for independent practice after the lesson.

4. Dine With Your Toes in the Sand

Forget beachfront dining. Instead, dine right on the beach at Atardi. Part of the Aruba Marriott, Atardi is a contemporary Aruban pop-up restaurant that gets built every evening on Palm Beach just before sunset. Highlights of its new menu include macadamia-crusted grouper with coconut basil rice and a hearty bouillabaisse with saffron and coconut cream.

3. Take a Helicopter Ride

Heli Tours Aruba offers 15-minute flyovers of Palm Beach starting at approximately $90 per person. You’ll see the island in a whole new way and get some killer Instagram photos while you’re at it. Look for the bright yellow helicopter docked at the Seaport Helipad in downtown Oranjestad.

 
 

2. Meet the Ambassadors of Flamingo Beach

Flamingos prance and preen on the shores of Renaissance Island, a private island owned by Renaissance Aruba. Accessible by boat, the island is free for hotel guests and available to the public via a $99 day pass. 

1. Go On a Desert Safari

Jump in an open-air Land Rover and take a rollercoaster-like ride into the heart of Arikok National Park. De Palm Tours Aruba offers a half-day exploration of the park’s unusual landscapes and its Natural Pool, where guests can swim and snorkel if conditions permit.

Have you been to Aruba before? What else would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Aruba and other fun destinations around the globe. 

 
 Flamingo Beach is located on Renaissance Island and is accessible by boat. Image courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authority.

Flamingo Beach is located on Renaissance Island and is accessible by boat. Image courtesy of the Aruba Tourism Authority.

My trip to Aruba was made possible by the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino and my wallet. Views expressed are my own.