Destination Spotlight: Aruba

Pink Flamingos - Renaissance Island - Aruba

Aruba, fondly nicknamed "One Happy Island," is a vibrant, sun-drenched gem nestled in the southern Caribbean Sea. It's a place where azure seas embrace powdery white beaches, where cultures blend, and the air is seasoned with adventure and relaxation. Here, tranquility reigns supreme as visitors bask under the Caribbean sun, with the gentle waves providing a soothing soundtrack. Yet, Aruba's allure extends far beyond its shores.

Aruba Cable Car - Oranjestad

Local Culture:

This small island is a melting pot of Indigenous, African, European, and Latin American influences, each adding unique flavors to the cultural fabric of Aruba. From the rhythmic beats of steel drums and the lively steps of traditional dances to the multilingual chatter that fills the air, Aruba's culture is a celebration of unity in diversity. The island’s biggest party, Carnaval, illustrates this beautifully, with extravagant parades and costumes showcasing the joyous spirit and creativity of the people. Beyond the festivities, Aruba’s culture thrives in its cuisine, blending Dutch, Spanish, and Caribbean flavors to create truly mouthwatering dishes. Art and craftsmanship also play a significant role, with local artisans drawing inspiration from their rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural surroundings. In every aspect, Aruba's culture embodies warmth, openness, and a deep-rooted sense of community, making it a captivating paradise where visitors are not just guests but part of the island's extended family.


Meet the People:

In Aruba, the smiles are as warm as the Caribbean sun, a testament to the genuinely welcoming spirit of its people. Arubans represent a harmonious blend of over 90 nationalities, creating a cultural tapestry as rich and vibrant as the island's landscapes. Proud of their heritage yet forward-looking, they embody a unique combination of friendliness, hospitality, and resilience. Communication with locals is delightfully easy, as Arubans are often multilingual, fluent in Papiamento—their native creole language—Dutch, Spanish, and English. This linguistic ability mirrors a broader openness to the world, while firmly rooted traditions and a strong sense of community underscore every interaction. Whether sharing stories, providing directions with a smile, or passionately recounting local legends, the people of Aruba infuse the island with a warmth that makes every visit unforgettable, inviting travelers to not just explore but become part of their vibrant community.

Aruba - Street Food

Local Cuisine:

Aruba’s cuisine is a delightful discovery, mirroring its cultural diversity. Dishes often blend Dutch influences with Caribbean zest, creating unique flavors. For a start, Keshi Yena—a lavish cheese ball stuffed with meat and spices—is a culinary emblem of the island. Seafood, unsurprisingly, figures prominently on menus, with local dishes emphasizing freshness and Caribbean flair. Street food also plays a vital role in Aruba’s food scene; vendors sell everything from arepas to pastechis (a slightly sweet traditional Aruban breakfast or snack), offering a taste of the island's soul. Local breweries and distilleries add to the island's flavor profile, with craft beers and spirits infusing local ingredients such as aloe.

Aruba - Beach


Aruba’s coastline harbors some of the Caribbean's most breathtaking beaches. Eagle Beach, renowned for its pristine, powdery sand and iconic Fofoti trees, provides a tranquil retreat. Palm Beach, in contrast, is the epicenter of energy, lined with high-end resorts, water sports centers, and vibrant nightlife. For those in search of tranquility, the lesser-known Rodger’s Beach offers a peaceful hideaway. Each beach in Aruba tells its own story, from bustling shores with every amenity imaginable to serene stretches of sand where time seems to stand still.


Planning a vacation to Aruba?
Contact us today!

Things to do and see:

  • Historical sites:

Aruba's historical narrative unfolds across its landscapes, from ancient caves bearing Arawak petroglyphs to remnants of Spanish and Dutch colonialism. The California Lighthouse, named after a steamship that wrecked nearby, offers not just panoramic views but tales of sailors and signal fires. Fort Zoutman, dating back to 1798, now houses a museum detailing Aruban history, while the ruins of the Bushiribana Gold Mill tell a story of fortune and enterprise, reminiscent of the island's brief gold rush era.

Aruba Oranjestad Colorful Buildings
  • Beach activities:

The island’s clear, warm waters invite a myriad of activities. Snorkelers and divers revel in Aruba’s underwater gardens and wrecks, most notably the Antilla, the Caribbean's largest shipwreck. Surfers and windsurfers find their paradise near Hadicurari Beach, where conditions are perfect for catching waves. Those looking for a leisurely time can join a beach yoga class or seek pampering with a beachfront massage, making relaxation an art form.

  • Golfing:

Golfing in Aruba presents an unparalleled experience, where the striking beauty of the Caribbean serves as a backdrop to some of the most scenic golf courses in the world. The island boasts several top-tier courses, such as the Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf - the only 18-hole championship course in Aruba, offering challenging play amidst spectacular desert landscapes, ocean views, and breezy conditions.

  • Nightlife:

When the sun dips below the horizon, Aruba's nightlife awakens with an energy that captivates both locals and visitors alike. The island transforms into a vibrant playground, offering a diverse array of options to suit every taste. From pulsating dance clubs like Gusto Night Club or Club South Beach where DJs spin the latest beats, to cozy beachside bars like the Bugaloe Bar & Grill where the sound of waves accompanies live music, there’s something magical about nights in Aruba. Casinos, like The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton and Stellaris Casino, glitter with the promise of luck, while cultural shows offer a glimpse into the island's heritage. Whether you're toasting the night away with a handcrafted cocktail under the stars or moving to the rhythm of salsa and merengue, Aruba's nightlife guarantees unforgettable evenings filled with music, laughter, and the infectious island spirit.

Cruise Aruba Sunset

Getting There:

Arriving in Aruba is seamless and straightforward, thanks to its internationally acclaimed Queen Beatrix International Airport. Strategically located just a short drive away from the island's capital, Oranjestad, and the popular resort area of Palm Beach (both less than 10 miles from the airport) travelers can transition from plane to paradise in no time. For those arriving on a cruise, the island’s cruise port is situated in the heart of Oranjestad and offers immediate access to the vibrant city life - and is merely a stone's throw away from the white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts that Aruba is famed for. Whether you arrive by air or sea, the journey to Aruba’s sunlit shores is the prelude to an unforgettable escapade, with its major entry points serving as convenient gateways to explore all that the island has to offer.

Aruba Beach Resort


Aruba offers a wide spectrum of accommodations to suit every traveler's taste and budget, ranging from luxurious beachfront resorts to charming boutique hotels. Prestigious names like the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott line the pristine Palm Beach area, offering unparalleled service and amenities, including spas, gourmet restaurants, and private beach access. For those seeking a more intimate experience, boutique hotels in Oranjestad offer a blend of local charm and modern comforts, nestled within walking distance of vibrant markets and historical landmarks. No matter where you choose to stay, accommodations in Aruba promise a welcoming embrace into the island’s laid-back lifestyle and majestic beauty, ensuring every moment of your stay is as relaxing and enjoyable as the picturesque surroundings.


Local Etiquette:

Aruba’s laid-back charm comes with an unspoken understanding of respect—toward its people, culture, and environment. With that, here are a few etiquette suggestions visitors can adopt to enrich the travel experience and foster a genuine connection with the island and its inhabitants:

  • Greet Locals Warmly: A simple "Bon dia" (Good morning), "Bon tardi" (Good afternoon), or "Bon nochi" (Good evening) in Papiamento shows respect for the local culture and is always appreciated by the Arubans.
  • Dress Appropriately: While beachwear is perfect for the shore, it's polite to cover up when entering shops, restaurants, and public areas away from the beach.
  • Conserve Water: Aruba is a desert island where fresh water is precious. Be mindful of your water usage in hotels and public facilities.
  • Respect the Environment: Keep the beaches and natural areas clean by disposing of trash properly. Also, be conscious of local wildlife and plant life by not disturbing them.
  • Be Patient: Island time is a real thing. Services might not be as fast-paced as you're accustomed to, so embrace the laid-back lifestyle and enjoy the moment.
  • Tip for Good Service: Tipping is appreciated and often expected for good service in restaurants, bars, and taxis. A guideline of 10-20% is standard, similar to the US.
  • Use Public Areas Respectfully: When visiting public beaches, parks, or sites, be considerate of others by keeping noise to a respectful level and sharing public amenities amicably.
  • Ask Before Photographing People: It’s polite to ask for permission before taking photos of locals, especially in more secluded areas or when entering someone’s property.
  • Learn a Few Local Words: Besides the basic greetings, learning a few words in Papiamento, such as "Danki" (Thank you) and "Ayo" (Goodbye), can go a long way in showing respect for the local language.
  • Support Local Businesses: Whenever possible, shop at local markets, dine at local restaurants, and participate in tours or activities run by local companies to help support the Aruban economy.

Planning a vacation to Aruba?
Contact us today!


In Aruba, the local currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG), characterized by its unique symbol ƒ, reflecting the island’s blend of Dutch heritage and Caribbean flair. While the Florin reigns in local transactions, U.S. dollars are widely accepted throughout the island, making it convenient for tourists to make purchases without the hassle of currency exchange. ATMs are readily available, and credit cards are accepted in nearly all establishments, from luxe resorts to quaint cafes. To get the best of both worlds, visitors generally find carrying a mix of both Florins for smaller, local vendors and U.S. dollars for other expenses practical. The exchange rate hovers around 1.79 USD to 1 AWG for cash transactions, offering visitors a straightforward conversion that adds to the ease of exploring this sun-soaked paradise.

Aruba Florin

Time Zone:

Aruba operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) throughout the year, placing it consistently four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4). It's important to note that Aruba does not participate in Daylight Saving Time, setting it apart from many locations that shift their clocks. For visitors from the United States east coast, which observes Eastern Standard Time (EST) and does switch to Daylight Saving Time, the time difference varies throughout the year. In the winter months, when New York is on EST (GMT-5), Aruba is just an hour ahead. However, during Daylight Saving Time, from spring to fall, Aruba and the eastern US share the same time, making the adjustment for travelers between these two locations seamless and convenient for planning and communication.


Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Aruba is from mid-December to mid-April, during its peak tourist season, when the island showcases its most idyllic weather—warm, sunny, and dry, with a constant sea breeze that makes even the hottest days comfortable. This period, escaping the colder climates of North America and Europe, brings clear skies and perfect beach conditions. However, it’s also the busiest and typically most expensive time to visit. For those seeking a quieter getaway with fewer crowds and potentially lower prices, consider the shoulder months of May to August. The weather remains delightful, with slightly higher humidity and the occasional, brief rain shower adding to the island's tropical allure. No matter when you choose to visit, Aruba's outside-the-hurricane-belt location ensures a sunny, welcoming escape nearly year-round.



On our scale of 1-to-beachfront luxury, an Aruban vacation comes in at about a 6. However, Aruba offers a range of experiences that cater to both budget-conscious travelers and those seeking luxury, making it a versatile destination in terms of affordability. Dining can vary from upscale restaurants in high-end resorts to local eateries serving delicious, authentic meals at lower prices. Accommodation options sprawl from lavish beachfront resorts to budget-friendly hotels. Activities too, range widely in cost; while private tours and water sports like scuba diving might command a premium, many of the island's natural wonders, such as its breathtaking beaches and public parks, can be enjoyed for free or a nominal fee. Shopping and transportation on the island offer similar flexibility, with options suitable for various budgets. Smart planning and off-peak travel can further enhance the affordability of a trip to Aruba, proving it to be a destination where lavish splurges and savvy savings can coexist to create the perfect vacation experience.


Does this whet your appetite for an Aruban vacation? Aruba is more than just a destination; it's an experience that captivates the heart. Whether it's the allure of its beaches, the warmth of its people, the richness of its culture, or the myriad of activities it offers, Aruba promises a getaway that's as relaxing or adventurous as one desires. With each visit, the island reveals more of its charms, inviting travelers to return time and again to its welcoming shores. 

Contact us today and we'll get working on an Aruban vacation for you!

Aruba - Beach Resort