Aruba – Things to do

Things to do in Aruba

You’ll find so much to love about Aruba, a pint-sized Dutch island located just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. This island excels in boutique-style hotels, upscale restaurants and of course, pristine beaches. However, its beautiful Arikok National Ppark, well-preserved traditions and colourful capital city will also satisfy your appetite for culture and the great outdoors.

Arikok National Park

This astounding park covers nearly 20% of Aruba and features diverse landscapes. You’ll find nearly 8,000 acres of desert like scenery with sand dunes and cacti, old gold mines and rock formations forged by lava, quartz and limestone. Explore Fontein Cave and its Arawak Indian paintings and the 100 foot deep Guadirikiri Cave. Don’t miss the Natural Pool, formed by volcanic stones and set on a deserted stretch of coastline.

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Oranjestad is Aruba’s colourful capital which is filled with pastel coloured buildings from Dutch colonial times. Ride the tram to Main Street for shopping, explore the Historical Museum to learn about Aruba’s heritage or check out an art gallery. By night, there’s a buzzing atmosphere with lively clubs, bars and casinos. You can even see a show at the Cas di Cultura, the country’s national theatre.

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Aruba hosts festivals throughout the year, but none is more spectacular than carnival. The main celebrations take place in January and February with street parties and music competitions. Watch the Grand Parade in San Nicolas, complete with glittering costumes and floats. The celebrations end on Shrove Tuesday when locals burn an effigy of King Momo.