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Aruba Travel Guide: The Best Local Experiences | One Week Aruba Itinerary


by Elspeth Rudd



Welcome to Aruba, a Caribbean paradise known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and exceptional natural beauty. This idyllic island, located just off the coast of Venezuela, is a haven for travelers seeking a quintessential tropical experience.


Aruba offers a unique blend of Caribbean charm and Dutch influence, creating a distinctive cultural tapestry that sets it apart from other island destinations. With pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a year-round warm climate, Aruba is the perfect getaway for sun-seeking vacationers.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking to relax and unwind, Aruba has something for everyone. From exploring the colorful capital city of Oranjestad to indulging in thrilling water sports and immersing yourself in the local culture, Aruba promises an unforgettable experience.


As you plan your trip to Aruba, it’s important to make the most of your time on the island. This comprehensive travel guide and one-week itinerary will take you through the best local experiences and ensure that you don’t miss any of the must-see attractions.


Throughout this guide, you’ll discover recommendations for each day of your trip, including the top attractions, unique activities, and hidden gems that will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and spirit of Aruba. So pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an incredible adventure in the One Happy Island.


Day 1: Exploring Oranjestad

Start your Aruba adventure by exploring the vibrant capital city of Oranjestad. This charming city is a delightful blend of colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and bustling marketplaces.


Begin your day by taking a stroll along the picturesque waterfront promenade, known as L.G. Smith Boulevard. Here you’ll find an array of shops, restaurants, and cafes, perfect for grabbing a morning coffee or indulging in a delicious breakfast.


Next, head to the heart of Oranjestad and visit the iconic Fort Zoutman. This historic landmark dates back to the late 18th century and offers a fascinating glimpse into Aruba’s past. Explore the museum inside the fort, which showcases exhibits on Aruban culture and history.


After immersing yourself in history, take some time to shop for souvenirs at the nearby Royal Plaza Mall. This upscale shopping center is home to a variety of boutiques, jewelry stores, and duty-free shops, where you can find everything from designer brands to unique local handicrafts.


No trip to Oranjestad is complete without a visit to the vibrant Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory. Learn about the island’s rich history of aloe cultivation and witness the intricate process of turning aloe leaves into skincare products. Don’t forget to pick up some high-quality aloe vera products to pamper yourself or as gifts for loved ones.


In the afternoon, make your way to the famous Renaissance Marketplace. This lively open-air complex is the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat or enjoy a leisurely lunch. Indulge in local specialties such as fresh seafood dishes or try some Dutch-inspired cuisine.


After lunch, take a leisurely stroll through Oranjestad’s Main Street, where you’ll find an abundance of shops, boutiques, and jewelry stores. Take your time to browse for unique souvenirs or shop for iconic Aruban products like the famous Caribbean Larimar gemstone.


As the sun begins to set, head to the picturesque waterfront area known as Renaissance Island. Accessible by a short water taxi ride, this private island paradise offers pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views. Relax on the beach, snorkel in the vibrant coral reefs, or sip a refreshing cocktail as you watch the sunset.


End your day in Oranjestad by dining at one of the city’s many waterfront restaurants. Indulge in fresh seafood delicacies as you savor the ocean breeze and admire the beautiful city lights reflected on the water.


With a day of exploring Oranjestad under your belt, you’ll have gained a deeper understanding of Aruba’s history, culture, and vibrant atmosphere. Get ready for more unforgettable adventures in the upcoming days of your Aruba itinerary.


Day 2: A Day at the Beach

Aruba is renowned for its pristine beaches, and Day 2 of your Aruba itinerary is dedicated to experiencing the sun, sand, and surf that this island paradise has to offer.


Start your day by heading to Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With its soft white sand and calm turquoise waters, this beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Grab a spot under a shady palm tree and relax, or take a dip in the clear waters to cool off.


If you’re feeling adventurous, consider trying out some water sports at Palm Beach, just a short distance from Eagle Beach. From jet skiing and parasailing to paddleboarding and kayaking, there are plenty of thrilling activities to choose from. Take in the stunning coastline from a different perspective as you embrace the excitement of these water adventures.


After working up an appetite, head to one of the beachfront restaurants along Palm Beach and indulge in a delicious lunch with a view. Many of these restaurants offer delectable seafood dishes and refreshing tropical cocktails, allowing you to savor the flavors of Aruba while basking in the ocean breeze.


In the afternoon, venture to Baby Beach, located on the southern tip of the island. This intimate and serene beach is perfect for snorkeling due to its calm and shallow waters. Rent some snorkeling gear and explore the vibrant underwater world, filled with colorful coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. Don’t forget your underwater camera to capture those unforgettable moments.


After your snorkeling adventure, take a short drive to San Nicolas, a lively town known for its vibrant street art. Explore the vibrant murals that adorn the buildings, transforming the streets into an open-air art gallery. Take your time to appreciate the creativity and talent showcased by local and international artists.


As the day comes to an end, don’t miss the opportunity to witness a breathtaking sunset at Malmok Beach. This secluded and picturesque spot offers unobstructed views of the horizon, allowing you to marvel at the vibrant colors as the sun dips below the sea. It’s the perfect moment to reflect on the beauty of nature and the magical experiences you’ve had so far.


End your day by having dinner at one of the beachside restaurants in Malmok Beach, where you can savor a delicious meal while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Allow yourself to unwind and relish in the peacefulness of the evening.


Day 2 in Aruba is all about soaking up the sun, enjoying the beaches, and immersing yourself in the natural wonders of this stunning island. Get ready for more adventures as you explore the unique attractions that Aruba has in store for you.


Day 3: Discovering Aruba’s Natural Wonders

On Day 3 of your Aruba itinerary, immerse yourself in the extraordinary natural beauty that the island has to offer. From rugged landscapes to stunning geological formations, Aruba’s natural wonders will leave you in awe.


Start your day by visiting Arikok National Park, a vast protected area that covers nearly 20% of the island. Explore the diverse ecosystems, including desert-like terrain, rocky hillsides, and lush vegetation. Take a guided tour or hike one of the many trails to discover ancient caves, like the famous Guadirikiri Caves, where sunlight filters through openings, illuminating the underground chambers.


Continue your adventure by visiting the Natural Pool, also known as “Conchi.” This hidden gem is nestled amidst volcanic rocks and can only be reached via a rugged off-road adventure or on a guided tour. Dive into the crystal-clear waters or simply relax and take in the awe-inspiring surroundings.


After an exciting morning, head to the Alto Vista Chapel, a charming and picturesque chapel located atop a hill. Step inside this small, white chapel and take a moment to appreciate the tranquility and panoramic views of the island’s north coast.


Indulge in a delicious picnic lunch at the nearby California Lighthouse, an iconic landmark that offers breathtaking views of the coastline. Enjoy your meal while taking in the stunning vistas and feeling the ocean breeze. Don’t forget to snap some memorable photos to capture the beauty of the moment.


In the afternoon, visit the Aruba Butterfly Farm, a tropical garden that is home to hundreds of colorful butterfly species. Walk among the lush vegetation and observe the fascinating life cycle of these delicate creatures. It’s both educational and a feast for the eyes.


For a unique experience, head to the Fontein Cave, famous for its ancient Arawak Indian petroglyphs. Take a guided tour and learn about the indigenous culture while marveling at the intricate carvings on the cave walls. The petroglyphs provide a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of Aruba.


End your day by experiencing the natural phenomenon known as the Natural Bridge. Although the original Natural Bridge collapsed, a smaller formation, known as the Baby Natural Bridge, still remains. Witness the power of erosion and marvel at the forces of nature that shaped this magnificent structure.


As the day comes to a close, reflect on the wonder and beauty of Aruba’s natural attractions. From the rugged landscapes to the hidden gems, Day 3 will leave you with a profound appreciation for the island’s unique and awe-inspiring natural wonders.


Day 4: Delving into Aruban Culture

Day 4 of your Aruba itinerary is all about immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of the island. From local traditions to delicious cuisine and lively music, you’ll get a taste of Aruba’s rich cultural heritage.


Start your cultural exploration by visiting the Aruba Archaeological Museum in Oranjestad. Here, you’ll discover artifacts that date back thousands of years, providing insights into the island’s indigenous people, the Arawak Indians. Learn about their way of life, beliefs, and customs through a fascinating collection of pottery, tools, and artwork.


Next, embark on a culinary adventure by trying typical Aruban dishes. Head to a local eatery or food truck and sample favorites such as keshi yena (a stuffed cheese dish), pastechi (savory pastries), and fresh seafood specialties. Taste the flavors that reflect Aruba’s diverse culinary influences, blending Caribbean, Dutch, and Latin American influences.


No exploration of Aruban culture is complete without experiencing the lively music and dance traditions. Visit a local bar or restaurant in the evening to enjoy an evening of authentic Aruban music, featuring genres like Tumba and Calypso. If you’re up for it, join in the dancing and let the rhythm move your feet.


Continue your cultural journey by visiting the Bon Bini Festival, held every Tuesday evening in downtown Oranjestad. This vibrant and lively street fair showcases the best of Aruban culture through music, dance, local crafts, and traditional food. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and experience the warm hospitality of the Aruban people.


For a deeper understanding of Aruban history and culture, visit the Casibari Rock Formations. These unique rock formations are not only a testament to Aruba’s geological wonders but have also served as a spiritual site for the island’s indigenous people. Explore the trails and pathways, admire the fascinating rock formations, and soak in the serene atmosphere.


End your day by enjoying a sunset cruise along the coast of Aruba. Sip a refreshing cocktail and watch as the sun paints the sky with vibrant hues. Relax on the deck of a catamaran or a classic sailboat as you take in the breathtaking views of the coastline and enjoy the soothing sea breeze.


Day 4 offers a glimpse into the lively cultural fabric of Aruba. By exploring the island’s traditions, cuisine, music, and history, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the warmth and vibrancy of the Aruban culture.


Day 5: Outdoor Adventures

Get ready for an action-packed day of outdoor adventures on Day 5 of your Aruba itinerary. From thrilling water sports to exploring the island’s natural wonders, this day is all about embracing the great outdoors.


Start your day by venturing to De Palm Island, a private island that offers a range of exciting activities. Snorkel in the vibrant coral reefs, where you’ll encounter an array of colorful fish and marine life. Take a ride on a banana boat or try your hand at parasailing for an adrenaline rush and breathtaking views of the coastline.


For those seeking a more relaxed water adventure, embark on a catamaran cruise to the famous Antilla Shipwreck. This World War II-era German freighter now rests on the ocean floor, creating an extraordinary diving and snorkeling site. Explore the wreckage and marvel at the marine life that has made it their home.


If you prefer staying on land, lace up your hiking shoes and head to Hooiberg, also known as Aruba’s Haystack. Embark on a challenging hike to the summit of this volcanic formation and be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire island. Capture postcard-worthy photographs and marvel at the beauty of the Aruban landscape.


For a unique adventure, consider visiting the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. This sanctuary provides a safe haven for abandoned and abused donkeys and allows visitors to interact with these gentle creatures. Feed and pet the donkeys while learning about their stories and the conservation efforts to protect them.


Another must-visit destination is the Ayo Rock Formation, a natural geological marvel. Explore the labyrinth-like formations and discover the ancient drawings etched into the rocks by the indigenous Arawak people. These engravings offer a glimpse into the island’s pre-Columbian heritage.


In the afternoon, head to Boca Prins, a stunning stretch of coastline along Aruba’s rugged northeastern shore. Take a leisurely walk along the pristine sandy beach and feel the power of the crashing waves against the cliffs. It’s a perfect spot for capturing dramatic photographs and rejuvenating amidst nature’s beauty.


End your day with a spectacular sunset horseback ride along the beach. Experience the tranquility and beauty of the coastline as you ride through the sand and watch the sun sink below the horizon. It’s an unforgettable way to conclude your day of outdoor adventures.


Day 5 in Aruba is all about embracing the thrill of outdoor activities and immersing yourself in the island’s natural landscapes. Whether you’re snorkeling, hiking, or simply enjoying the beach, this day is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.


Day 6: Relaxation and Wellness

After days of adventure and exploration, Day 6 of your Aruba itinerary is dedicated to relaxation and wellness. Take time to rejuvenate your body and mind as you indulge in spa treatments, yoga sessions, and serene beachside relaxation.


Start your day with a peaceful morning yoga session on the beach. Meditate with the soothing sound of the ocean waves and feel the gentle sea breeze. Join a group class or find a secluded spot to practice your own yoga routine. It’s a perfect way to align your mind, body, and spirit for a day of relaxation.


Afterward, treat yourself to a well-deserved spa day at one of Aruba’s luxurious wellness retreats. Unwind with a soothing massage, indulge in a revitalizing facial, or enjoy a pampering body treatment. Let skilled therapists nourish your body and provide a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation.


For a unique relaxation experience, visit the Natural Pool at Arikok National Park. This natural pool is formed by volcanic rock formations and is surrounded by stunning landscapes. Take a refreshing dip in the clear waters and feel the healing energy of nature as you soak in the serene atmosphere.


Indulge in a healthy and delicious lunch at one of Aruba’s wellness-focused restaurants. Choose from a variety of options that cater to different dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices. Nourish your body with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and savor the flavors of wholesome cuisine.


In the afternoon, head to one of Aruba’s tranquil beaches, such as Baby Beach or Andicuri Beach. Find a comfortable lounge chair or spread out a beach towel on the soft sand. Take a dip in the calm waters, read a book, or simply bask in the warm Aruban sun. Allow yourself to completely unwind and let go of any remaining stress.


If you’re seeking more active relaxation, try Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP). Explore the calm coastal waters, balancing on your board and taking in the beautiful surroundings. SUP is not just a fun activity but also a great way to improve your core strength and balance while being surrounded by the beauty of Aruba’s nature.


As the day comes to a close, embark on a sunset sailing cruise. Glide across the turquoise waters, taking in the stunning sunset views. Relax on the deck, sip on a refreshing drink, and revel in the tranquility of the moment. It’s a perfect way to end your day of relaxation and wellness.


Day 6 is a day dedicated to self-care and rejuvenation. Take advantage of the serene atmosphere of Aruba, indulge in wellness activities, and allow yourself to find deep relaxation, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized for the final day of your Aruba adventure.


Day 7: Farewell to Aruba

It’s your last day in Aruba, but there’s still time to make the most of your remaining moments on this beautiful island. Day 7 is dedicated to bidding farewell to Aruba while savoring its beauty and creating lasting memories.


Start your day by catching the sunrise at one of Aruba’s stunning viewpoints. Head to the California Lighthouse or Alto Vista Chapel and watch as the sun paints the sky with vibrant hues of orange and pink. Take a moment to reflect on your time in Aruba and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.


Afterward, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at a local cafe or restaurant. Indulge in traditional Aruban flavors or opt for a hearty international breakfast to fuel your day’s activities. Savor the last tastes of Aruba’s cuisine and reminisce about the incredible experiences you’ve had during your stay.


For your final adventure in Aruba, embark on a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion. Explore the underwater world one last time and swim alongside colorful tropical fish and coral formations. Take in the beauty of the marine life and create lasting memories of your time in Aruba’s crystal-clear waters.


After the water activities, spend your remaining time on the beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying the pristine surroundings. Take a leisurely walk along the shore, go for a swim, or simply relax with a refreshing drink in hand. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and peace of the beach, cherishing the final moments on this paradise island.


As the day progresses, visit the local markets or shops to pick up some souvenirs and gifts for loved ones back home. Aruba offers a wide range of unique and authentic products, from local artwork to handmade crafts and jewelry. Support local artisans and take a piece of the island’s spirit with you as you bid farewell.


End your day with a delightful dinner at one of Aruba’s finest restaurants. Indulge in a feast of delicious cuisine, savoring the flavors and relishing in the warm Aruban hospitality. Raise a glass to your time in Aruba and toast to the memories made and the adventures you’ve embarked on during your stay.


Take one last stroll along the beach, feeling the sand between your toes and the gentle caress of the ocean breeze. Allow the beauty and serenity of Aruba to leave a lasting imprint on your heart as you bid farewell to this tropical paradise.


As your Aruba adventure comes to an end, cherish the memories, the experiences, and the connections you’ve made. Depart with a sense of gratitude for the beauty of the island and the warm hospitality of its people. Until we meet again, Aruba!



As you conclude your journey through Aruba, it’s time to reflect on the incredible experiences and unforgettable moments you’ve had on this beautiful island. From exploring the charming streets of Oranjestad to relaxing on pristine beaches, diving into underwater wonders, and immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture, Aruba has left an indelible mark on your heart.


Aruba’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality sets it apart as a truly special destination. The stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes create the perfect backdrop for adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re seeking outdoor thrills, cultural immersion, or simply unwinding in a serene environment, Aruba has it all.


Throughout your one-week journey, you’ve experienced the best of Aruba’s local experiences. You’ve marveled at the colonial architecture of Oranjestad, witnessed spectacular sunsets, discovered hidden natural wonders, tasted the flavors of Aruban cuisine, and connected with the island’s rich cultural heritage.


From the idyllic shores of Eagle Beach to the adventurous trails of Arikok National Park, Aruba’s diverse attractions and activities have captured your imagination and left you with precious memories. You’ve snorkeled among colorful coral reefs, explored ancient caves, hiked to panoramic viewpoints, and indulged in moments of pure relaxation and wellness.


But it’s not just the natural beauty and exciting adventures that make Aruba special—it’s the warmth and friendliness of the Aruban people. From the lively Bon Bini Festival to the genuine smiles and welcoming nature, the island’s residents have made you feel at home and embraced you as part of their community.


As you bid farewell to Aruba, take a moment to express gratitude for this remarkable journey. Cherish the memories, the friendships, and the experiences that have enriched your life. Let the spirit of Aruba stay with you as you venture back to your own corner of the world, inspired to explore, embrace new cultures, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.


Aruba will forever hold a special place in your heart—its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality will remain etched in your memories. Until we meet again, One Happy Island.