Aruba is a flat beautiful island known for its white pristine beaches. Sporting a constant temperature of 27 °C, it’s ideal for a winter holiday. Aruba has two coasts; the northeast and southwest. The southwestern coast is white sands and warm waters, while the northeast is rougher with cactus, rocky coastlines, and tumultuous seas.
Oranjestad is the capital of Aruba, and the most populous city. Check out the Oranjestad marketplace for souvenirs and fine handmade art and crafts. Visit the Fort Zoutman Historical Museum, which is Aruba’s oldest standing building from the 1800’s. You can buy fish straight off the wharf down at the docks, and bring it to a restaurant for grilling.
For the racier traveler, Saint Nicolaas is the brothel district. Think of it like Amsterdam, but on a sunny beautiful island where you won’t catch a cold! It goes without saying this is an adult only trip.
Gambling is available to those over the age of 21, mostly at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino; a resort predominately aimed at young couples and families with young children. You can also have lunch at the Paddock to look at the cruise ships coming in, local vendors sell skewers and kebabs during lunchtime.
Many festivals take place in Oranjestad throughout the year, including parades and carnivals. In winter you can catch the Dande Festival, one of the biggest traditional music events in Aruba. In fall see the Mrs. Carnival Election, and spring the Aruba Piano Festival is in full swing, along with the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival.
Noord is an isolated part of Aruba. Here you can see the Santa Ana Church, which has been rebuilt three times since 1776. Since it’s isolated, the beach here is tranquil and you won’t find too many people around. You can horseback ride with Rancho La Ponerosa, where you can hire horses and trail guides or go it alone. Glass boat tours are available with Aruba Adventures who also offer sailing and snorkeling. For local flavor visit the Café De Pijp, a karaoke and darts. The Old Cunucu House Restaurant is a real country cottage with locally sourced food.
The first capital of Aruba, Savaneta is now a beautiful seaside community that welcomes tourism. Like most of the Southwestern Coast, it has sandy white beaches, but these tend to be less crowded than more frequented parts of the island. You can see the salt ponds fill up after the yearly rain, and watch exotic birds gather here.