Aruba is an island full of stunning beaches, sandy shorelines and azure, crystal clear water.
“One happy island”, as the locals call it, is located in the south of the Caribbean Sea (near Venezuela), outside of the Hurricane Belt.
Out of roughly 700 islands in the Caribbean, Aruba consistently ranks as having the least amount of rainfall and you can enjoy the excellent weather all year round.
- Road traffic regulations: Right hand traffic applies. You must to be at least 21 years of age to drive a car.
- Currency: Florian Aruban, but almost everywhere you can pay in dollars or credit card.
- Vaccination: No vaccination required
- Languages: Dutch, English, Spanish and local dialect.
- Transport: Taxis or local buses (average cost of a bus ride to the city center is $2.60 from each side of the ‚island)
My favorite beaches:
- Divi Beach
I still remember how with bated breath I was looking at the fabulous view in front of me. ‘Divi’ has stolen my heart from the beginning and invariably is my favorite beach in Aruba.
This beautiful beach is full of palm trees, leaning over soft, white sand.
The sea has azure, crystal clear water with waves that attract surfers.
The surrounding area is overgrown with Divi Divi trees. They are characteristic elements of the landscape in Aruba. The Divi beach belongs to private resorts, but you can walk here from the neighboring beaches.
- Eagle Beach
This incredibly wide and vast beach is considered as one of the most beautiful in the world! The sand is perfectly white and the water shimmers with all the shades of blue.
Although it can get busy during the day, there is never a problem to find a spot.
On the beach’s coast there are hotels and resorts offering deckchairs and umbrellas, as well as the possibility of renting jet skis or diving equipment.
- Palm Beach
This beach is located in the west part of the island.
It is the perfect spot for families and people who enjoy being lazy on the white, warm sand.
The sea is very calm and there aren’t many opportunities for water sports here.
Around the beach there are plenty of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. Palm Beach is a little more crowded than other beaches.
- Baby Beach
This is another offer for families with children. The water at the shore is very shallow, so even the youngest children can swim here without fear.
Unfortunately, the view here is not as idyllic as on other beaches in Aruba. What attracts me to this place is the interesting stories, that help me to get know the history of the island’s inhabitants.
The story began in 1924 when the Canadian Pan-American Oil Company signed a contract with the Dutch government for building an oil refinery.
First, they built a fort for tankers that supplied oil extracted from the Maracaibo Lake area in northern Venezuela.
The production processes required constant access to cooling water, so the idea of building a refinery on the seashore was a priority.
(It never occurred to anyone that in 60 years’ time, Aruba would become a popular tourist destination and the constructions could deter potential guests.)
At the same time as the refinery, they built the „Seroe Colorado” estate, dedicated exclusively to white employees from the USA (separated from the local populace by a wall).
It housed a cinema, hospital, school, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Americans (outside of normal salary) received housing in exchange for employment.
When it was booming, the refinery provided jobs for over two thousand people (Americans, Arubans and inhabitants of neighboring islands).
The first closure of the refinery took place in 1985; over two thousand people lost their jobs overnight.
The unemployed Americans started to leave the island and „Seroe Colorado” began to slowly turn into a ghost town. Developer Company tried to sell houses to native Aruban residents, but they weren’t interested.
Over the years, the refinery changed owner several times, but nobody managed to recover its former glory and all attempts to resuscitate it ended in failure.
In October 2016, the Aruban government signed an agreement with the Venezuelan authorities to reactivate the refinery.
Unfortunately, to this day, no significant steps have been taken to rebuild the refinery.
- Surfside Beach
This beach is located only 25 minute walking distance (or 5min by car) from the airport, so if you only have a few hours between connecting flights, it’s a cool place to visit. You won’t experience paradise views here, but you will still be able to see the Caribbean azure waters and relax in the rays of hot sunshine.
An additional attraction can be the planes that fly just above the beach.
Near to Surfside beach you can take a photo of the characteristic ‚Aruba’ sign.