Best Things to Do in Aruba

If you’re in the mood for a beach destination combined with a little adventure….. look no further than Aruba! For beach lovers, you’ll fall in love with the pristine white sand on Eagle Beach that stretches for miles. Adventure seekers can explore the Arikok National Park on an ATV, or on horseback. Foodies can enjoy a variety of international restaurants or traditional Aruban food.

For a Caribbean island, you’ll appreciate the Dutch influence that is especially reflected in the colorful architecture around the island. Aruba has everything you could desire in a beach getaway mixed with culture and adventure.

Enjoy my favorite picks of these must-see sights on the beautiful island of Aruba that you can accomplish in a three-day popover trip!

1. Bike Along the Water

Riding Bicycle On Beach
Love the Bike Rentals in Aruba

Aruba is very bike friendly. There’s nothing like going for a bike ride alongside the beach with a cool breeze on your back.  Or, if you’re looking for more adventure you can hop on one of the tours that offer mountain biking through the desert.

Many hotels have complimentary bikes,  but you can always rent one, as we did, from one of the self-service street-side bike rental stations that are found along the stretch of Eagle Beach.

2. Have an Açai Bowl at a Colorful Little Beach Shack

Eduardos Beach Shack Aruba
Eduardo’s Beach Shack Acai Bowls!

The quirky island vibe draws visitors to Eduardo’s Beach Shack, but once you try their smoothies you will be already making plans to come back.  The shack is located behind the Playa Linda Resort off of Palm Beach. If you start at Eagle Beach, it is a pleasant bike ride from Eagle Beach along the bike path to Eduardo’s-just long enough to make it worth the trip. 

Eduardo’s Beach Shack serves up fresh smoothies, juices and açaí bowls. The decor around the shack makes it the perfect tropical oasis to relax and enjoy your smoothie.

I ordered a large classic açaí  bowl and it was the perfect size for two people to share. We also tried their celery juice made with ginger, it was good but I prefer celery juice by itself without the added ginger.

Popover Tip: If you want your açaí bowl to come inside a fresh pineapple bowl you need to contact the shop to order one in advance.

3. Explore Arikok National Park on Horseback

Explore Arikok National Park
Riding Along the Beach With Rancho La Pondero

Aruba has a desert climate with a gorgeous landscape. One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the island is on horseback.

We went riding with Rancho La Ponderosa, and we loved working with their company from start to finish! Your horse is matched to you based on your skill level. They cater to riders with all different backgrounds, and offer a beginner instructions overview to new riders.

You’ll ride through the desert and eventually reach the Wariruri Cove Beach (the miniature “Natural Bridge”, and a historic gold mill. The whole ride takes around two hours, and is $80 per person.

4. Order the Catch of the Day at Zeerovers

Relaxing with Cold Beers at Zeerovers
Relaxing with Cold Beers at Zeerovers

 Ask any local where to find fresh fish and they’ll point you to Zeerovers. Zeerover means Sea Pirate, and it’s the place to go for an ice cold bucket of beers and fresh fried seafood at reasonable prices.

Zeerovers is a very no-frill laid back seafood shack at the southern end of the island in the heart of a fishing village. The fish of the day and shrimp are ordered by weight at the window. If you aren’t sure how much to order the staff is always friendly and will be glad to help you figure out how much for your group size.

You can also order local side dishes to go with your fried fish and shrimp including “pan bait” (Aruban pancakes), “funchi” (hearty cornmeal cake or fritters), and “banana hasa” (fried plantains).

Popover Tip: Zeerovers is cash only, and be prepared for a line no matter what time of the day. If you run into a long line have someone from your party grab a table out back on the dock.  We passed our time in line with cold beers from the bar-highly recommend.

5. Lather Up in Aruba Aloe

Walking in The Aloe Fields in Aruba
Aloe Plants Outside the Aruba Aloe Factory

Did you know that Aruba is the largest exporter of the aloe vera plant? The desert-like environment of Aruba actually enhances the aloe plant’s natural healing qualities and produces the best aloe vera gel in the world! If you’ve ever been sunburned you probably have used aloe to help heal your skin and ease the pain.

Be sure to visit the museum, factory, and store all in one to learn about Aruba’s history with the aloe plant. The factory tour is absolutely free, and I highly recommend it if you really want to learn more about the history of the aloe plant. They run every 25 minutes, and no reservations are needed.

No need to spend your money on touristy t-shirts, or shot glasses that will sit in a drawer.  Aruba Aloe is the perfect souvenir to bring back that you and your skin will thank you for.

Popover Tip: Aruba Aloe has stores around the island. If you’re not checking bags on your flight home they also have stores through security at the airport.

6. Have a Coconut at the California Lighthouse

California Lighthouse
California Lighthouse at the Northern Tip of the Island

For the best 360 degree view of Aruba head up to the California Lighthouse at the northwestern end of the island. The lighthouse has become one of Aruba’s scenic landmarks and offers a stunning view of the western coastline beaches and coral shorelines.

The easiest way to reach the lighthouse is by car, but many tour companies will stop at the lighthouse on an ATV, or UTV tour.

Grab a fresh coconut from one of the vendors at the lighthouse if you need a little pick me up! 

7. Visit a Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
Feeding the Donkey’s at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary

Want to know the secret of how to instantly make friends with a herd of donkeys? Bring a bag of carrots along! The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is completely free to visit, and a great place for any animal lover. 

Popover Tip: Be aware if you come with carrots the donkeys can get a tad aggressive. It’s best to stay behind the fence if you want to feed them.

8. Visit the Aruba Ostrich Farm

Aruba Ostrich Farm
Snack Time for the Ostriches at the Aruba Ostrich Farm

Meeting one of the largest prehistoric-like birds isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Aruba, but it’s worth a visit! The Aruba Ostrich Farm has around 80 emus and ostriches.

These animals were so interesting, and it’s worth the guided tour to see the animals up close. You’ll even have the opportunity to hand feed them and they’re always hungry!

Along the tour, you are also able to visit the incubator and the hatchery. You are invited to hold the ostrich egg- the largest egg in the world. 

9. Try Dutch Pancakes

Diana's Pancakes Place
Dutch Pancakes at Diana’s Pancake Place

The island of Aruba is a territory of the Netherlands. If you’ve ever been to the Netherlands you know you can’t leave without trying Dutch pancakes. Lucky for you Dutch-style pancakes have also made their way to Aruba.

The two most popular places on the island are Diana’s Pancake Place and The Dutch Pancake House. We ate at both, and we felt by far that Diana’s Pancake Place had better service, quality, and ambiance.

The pancakes can be both sweet, or savory. If you visit Diana’s Pancake Place, I loved the honey, walnut, and brie pancake. Their coffee was also excellent! 

10. Relax at Beautiful Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach
Highly Recommend Eagle Beach!

Eagle Beach is rated as one of the beach beaches in the world. My favorite part was how clean and spacious it was! It stretches for miles, and it never felt crowded at all.  Sink your toes in the powder-fine white-sand and enjoy the prettiest view of the aqua blue water on the horizon.

Eagle Beach is also a great spot to capture photos of the iconic Divi Divi trees that are native only to the “ABC” islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao). The Divi Divi trees are unique because they always point in a southwest direction because of the trade winds that blow across the island. Locals like to say that the Divi Divi tree is Aruba’s natural compass. 

11. Have Dinner with your Legs in the Water!

Flying Fishbone Aruba
Dining in the Water at the Flying Fishbone!

Dinner at the Flying Fishbone was nothing short of unforgettable. Flying Fishbone is a hidden gem on the island away from all the high-rise hotels toward the other side of the island. Don’t miss this wonderful island experience, and be sure to book a table right on the edge of the beach shore where water will come up to your legs around your mid-calf!

Flying Fishbone offers shoe stands to keep your shoes dry, as well as warm water and towels to dry off after your unique “toes in the water” beachside dinner in Aruba. Flying Fishbone is perfect for couples as well as friends and family wanting to celebrate a special occasion. At night they turn on blue lights near the water so you can see the fish swim near you-be careful they can get friendly if you start feeding them!

Flying Fishbone Aruba
Loved these Martinis Served in Fishbowls!

The food and cocktails are excellent. They made one of the best piña coladas I’ve ever had along with their martinis served inside a fishbowl! We ordered their fish of the day which was excellent! The highlight of dinner was a Baked Alaska for dessert that was flamed tableside!

Popover Tip: The Flying Fishbone is located in Savaneta (right near Zeerovers), and it can be a bit of a costly journey by taxi. Aruba is a great island to rent a car in order to avoid the high prices of taxis.

12. Admire the Dutch Colonial Architecture

oranjestad aruba
Downtown Oranjestad in Aruba

I have a weakness for colonial architecture, and the multicolored colonial buildings in Aruba were no exception! Plaza Daniel Leo is the name of the colorful colonial buildings that are located in Aruba’s capital Oranjestad.

Most of Aruba’s government buildings are in Oranjestad and it is also a great place for shopping along the seaside where you’ll find vendors selling Aruba art and local handicrafts.

When to Visit and Air Travel Tips

With Aruba’s location, the island is lucky enough to stay at a consistent average temperature of 83 °F ( 29 °C ) all year long with a continuous island breeze. Aruba is located outside the hurricane belt, and any impacts they have are usually very mild. Peak season is typically around December-March.

US passport holders can rejoice because in Aruba you’ll clear customs in advance which makes getting back home a breeze to the US if you have connecting flights. Pre-clearance does mean that you’ll have to arrive to the airport in Aruba extra with additional time allowed because you’ll have multiple levels of security to clear. 

Let me know in the comments below if you are planning a trip to Aruba, or have been before! I’d love to answer any other questions you have about this beautiful island! 


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12+ Best Unique Things to Do in Aruba Vacation | Aruba Travel Guide Blog

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    1. Sounds like a really cool place to visit. Love the Ostrich farm. Sounds like an awesome place to visit. It sounds like a great spot to put on my list of destinations. Who doesn’t love Dutch pancakes. Really informative read. Thanks for sharing. #glt

  1. I really like how you included some relaxation, adventure and food because we know great trips include a little of all! The travel tips were also great. I haven’t been to Aruba yet, but will save this list for when I finally get there. Thanks!

    1. Yes! So true. I think what makes up a good beach destination spot is a little of all of those. It’s always hard for me to visit island that just have you stay on the beach the whole time. I’m so glad you liked the guide! Be sure to let me know if you ever go and have questions!

  2. The Dutch influence looks (and surely tastes) awesome. I have never been to Aruba but your post makes it sound beautiful. I would love to ride along the beach…what a dream!

    1. It’s such a blast Nina! Riding along the beach on a horse, or a UTV/ATV is definitely the way to go! If you ever go let me know!

  3. Such a fun post! I’ve been hearing more and more about Aruba lately, and seeing all your tips really makes me want to go. You have lovely pictures, by the way! Pinning this for later 🙂

    1. Thanks Katie! It’s such a great place! The best part is it’s outside of the hurricane belt too so you don’t need to worry too much about crazy weather during hurricane season!

  4. Love all the colorful photos and the food and fresh fruit looks amazing. You are so cute and happy in your photos.

    1. Thanks Cherene! The fresh fruit is amazing! The slogan of the island is “One Happy Island” it’s so hard not to be happy in Aruba!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it Claire! The donkey sanctuary and the ostrich farm won’t break your bank either!

  5. Sounds like a really cool place to visit. Love the Ostrich farm. Sounds like an awesome place to visit. It sounds like a great spot to put on my list of destinations. Who doesn’t love Dutch pancakes. Really informative read. Thanks for sharing. #glt

  6. What a great post! I’ve never been to Aruba but would like to go in the future. The places you chose to visit were beautiful and your pictures were awesome. I’ll definitely use this as a guide if I ever get to Aruba.

  7. We had a cruise stop there, but it wasn’t enough time to really see and experience all of this. I’d love to go back and see more!

  8. I want to go there right now just for the açai! I love açai so much! I travel everywhere for it 😂

    The donkeys look super cute too!!!

  9. How have I never been to Aruba?! I’ve fallen in love with all of your pictures – the architecture is so stunning! Thanks for giving me some major beachy inspo for when the world returns to normal again!

  10. Aruba looks amazing! (and I totally have the Beach Boys stuck in my head now!) I absolutely love the idea of dining with my feet in the water – that must’ve been so much fun! The whole place looks so beautiful!

  11. Looks like such an amazing trip! I’m hoping to go here sometime next year, I’ll save this post for when I do! 😁

  12. Oh wow! I think that açai alone is enough to convince me to come visit Aruba soon. Your pictures are really beautiful and I enjoyed reading this guide so much! (Def saving for when I finally get to go)

  13. This has been my favorite blog so far when researching all things Aruba! Thank You! Question for you , did you rent a car, was it necessary?

    1. Hey, Katie! Thanks so much! That means so much. We did rent a car because parking was free with the condo we were staying at. It really made it easy when we wanted to go to the Flying Fishbone for lunch or visit the CA Lighthouse. I would recommend it if you’re not staying at one of the larger resorts. Parking is easy to find too!

  14. We will be traveling to Aruba at the end of this month, barring any issues with COVID tests. We did an all-inclusive at the Divi. We are celebrating 50 years of marriage. Our age might hamper us from some of your suggested stops. Any specific advice for us?

  15. Dining with my toes or calves in the water sounds so interesting and weird that I simply have to try it!! Also, those cocktails look insane!!!! I’d love to go to Aruba one day and sample a bit of the Netherlands in the Caribbean! Great post!

  16. I have been to Aruba many times, it’s so beautiful and relaxing! Take out 1/2 your clothes and add 3-4 more bathing suits instead! Go snorkeling! Take a sunset cruise on a catamaran or a “booze cruise” on the Jolly Pirates! Go to the casino, climb the hooieberg, the only mountain on Aruba! Tour the island brewery Balashi! Bring a hat that won’t blow off your head, bring reef safe sunscreen that’s at least 70spf! Aruba is close to the equator and the trade winds make it windy no matter the season!

  17. Would you recommend booking the tours such as the ATV, in advance? Or do them once you’re there?

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