The goal of this blog is to help me through my journey to visit all 50 states, but I love travel in general, so I’ve been outside the U.S. quite a bit as well. Aruba is one of my favorite vacation hot spots.
Aruba is easily one of my favorite Caribbean islands, and I’m waiting for the day I get to go back! Whether you want to relax on the same beach all week or go on thrilling adventures, Aruba has something for you.
Aruba is right off the coast of the northern tip of Venezuela, which is to say – it’s close to the equator, and it gets HOT. Bring some strong sunscreen & sunglasses and your favorite bathing suits and HAVE FUN! Let us know in the comments how you spent your time in Aruba!
ABC Jeep Tour & Natural Pool
Like most Caribbean islands, Aruba has a host of day trips and guided tours for you to choose from. We chose the ABC Jeep Tour because it was highly rated on Trip Advisor, and we didn’t regret it.
No one in my family is in perfect shape, no one had ever driven an ATV on a beach before, and none of us are extremists, but we wanted an adventure. It was perfect!
I’m not going to lie to you, the Aruba ABC Jeep Tour is a bit of a bumpy ride. To be able to drive the jeep yourself, you have to know how to drive stick. A guide will lead you and a handful of other jeep groups around your destination of choice. We went on the Natural Pool excursion, which took us to the famous natural bridge, the organic gold mill ruins, and the Arikok park (plus whatever we saw along the way).
We also drove through an old village where the fences are made of cacti and the roads are pure dirt. This unexpected taste of Arubian culture was honestly one of the best parts of the day. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the luxurious hotels and crowded beaches are NOT what Arubians experience every day.
Even if you don’t want to take a jeep tour, I recommend seeing some of those places…especially the natural pool. I don’t even normally like getting in the water when I go to the beach, and I don’t like it when fish touch me in the water. However, I couldn’t ignore this one. The water is wonderfully warm, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience (unless you see yourself visiting Aruba often). Be careful, though – the natural pool is NOT for non-swimmers. There are sudden drops in the pool floor and the water can be a bit wavy.
This is where our resort was, and it is right in Oranjestad, the capital and largest city of Aruba. Enjoy the bright blue Caribbean water and smooth sand with a drink in your hand. Expect tourists, though. This is not a private beach. This is not something that you should expect to see, but I happened to be there on the right day and saw sea turtles hatching. Local marine biologists blocked off the area for the turtles and a crowd gathered among the barriers. I felt like I was on the set of The Last Song and I loved it.
I won’t sit here and list every beach in Aruba, because they are all beautiful, but this was a fun stop. We took a bus from our resort, so naturally this beach was also filled with tourists, but it was still a blast. It’s not a bad way to see the other side of the island, either.
Aruba would be nothing without the tourism economy, so there are gift shops literally everywhere. No matter where you are staying, I guarantee you will be close enough to a shopping center, casino, beach, and restaurant, which brings me to my next point.
The menus are all relatively similar. There is a lot of seafood, and it’s all good seafood. But, there will be something for you if you’re not into that. I’m not a big seafood person and I always found something. All the Divi resorts have their own bars and restaurants, and they all have shuttle services that will take you between resorts so you can check out the other restaurants, pools, and golf courses that Divi has to offer. Don’t forget to tip your shuttle driver.
This post was originally published on November 24, 2015, and last updated on January 19, 2020.