While we were braving the harsh winter months in our hometown of Florida (60 degrees Fahrenheit is cold for us!), we decided to take a last minute trip down to the country of Aruba for an extended weekend. As soon as we arrived, we knew we had made the right decision coming here.
Aruba’s slogan is “One Happy Island,” and it doesn’t take long to understand why. Warm water, beautiful beaches, and towering palm trees greet you at every turn. And if that wasn’t enough, the people of Aruba are so friendly that it was often hard to tell who lived there and who was actually just on vacation.
Read on for our Aruba travel guide, including our favorite restaurants, swimming spots, and more…
What To Do
Rent a Jeep
This is one thing we highly recommend. Aruba is very small and easy to get around, if you rent a car. There are so many beautiful beaches to discover! We decided to rent a Jeep because almost half of the tiny island is a national park that doesn’t have paved roads. This park is where the natural pools and caves are that we loved visiting!
Explore the beaches
Aruba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Eagle Beach, where we spent most of our time, even shows up on many travel websites as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! The water here is turquoise, clear, and has a long stretch of white sand. It’s not as crowded as the main tourist beach on the island, Palm Beach. Our other favorite beaches we visited were Mangel Halto and Baby Beach. Look for the donkeys on the side of the road on your drive down to Baby Beach!
Take a boat tour
There are plenty of options to choose from on the island, whether you’re looking for a day trip or sunset cruise. We decided to book a snorkel and sail cruse with Pelican Adventures Aruba. They took us to two different snorkel spots, one of them being a 400 foot World War II shipwreck. Oh and they had unlimited rum punches the entire time!
Visit Arikok National Park
You can easily spend half a day exploring this national park, which is located on the south side of the island. Highlights for us were Quadirikiri Cave (a beautiful cave with an island legend attached), Andicuri Beach, and the Natural Pool. Tip: the park rangers start closing the entrances to the caves around 3pm, so head over around noon to make sure you get to see them!
Where to Eat + Drink
A local favorite, Zeerovers is a casual lunch spot with views of the boats that bring in the fresh fish that is served. You’ll order before sitting down, and choices include: the catch of the day, shrimp, and a variety of tasty sides. This was some of the freshest fish we’ve ever tasted!
Pinchos Bar + Grill
This restaurant is located on its own dock underneath string lights and with views of the coast. It’s the perfect choice for a romantic dinner on the water with an incredible view of the sunset. Trust us, you’ll want to order their catch of the day (we had the mahi mahi and it was amazing).
Eduardo’s Beach Shack
From acai bowls to green juices to poke, this is the spot to grab a healthy, casual lunch and enjoy it right on the beach. It’s located right in the middle of Palm Beach.
We stopped here for lunch as it wasn’t located very far from where we stayed in Eagle Beach. We loved the rustic atmosphere and the outdoor seating right on the water.
MooMba Beach Bar + Restaurant
If you’re in Aruba on Sunday, then this is the place to be. Located right on the beach, they take pride in having the best Sunday Funday spot on the island. Live music, great food, and killer drink specials. We had a blast visiting this place!
Where To Stay
Most of the hotels are located near Palm Beach, which is right in the middle of everything. There are tons of restaurants, bars, and things to do in that area. But we decided to stay in Eagle Beach, which is a few miles south of Palm Beach, to get away from all of the hustle and bustle. We were definitely glad we did. It was only a 5 minute drive up to Palm Beach so we weren’t far away at all.
We found an AirBnb called Bubali Bliss Studios. It wasn’t located directly on the beach, but it was only a short 10 minute walk to the white sand. We ended up saving a lot of money by not staying at a hotel right on the beach. We loved our stay at Bubali Bliss. It was located right next to a huge supermarket that we visited almost everyday!