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What To Do In Aruba: The Ultimate One-week Itinerary


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Myrna Rayner


Day 1: Exploring Oranjestad

One of the first things you should do when visiting Aruba is to explore the vibrant capital city of Oranjestad. This colorful and lively city is known for its Dutch colonial architecture, bustling markets, and beautiful beaches.


Start your day by taking a stroll along the waterfront promenade, known as L.G. Smith Boulevard. Admire the picturesque view of the Caribbean Sea and the charming buildings that line the street. Stop by the historical Fort Zoutman, which houses the Aruba Historical Museum. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and browse through exhibits showcasing artifacts, photographs, and documents.


Continue your exploration of Oranjestad by visiting the famous Renaissance Marketplace and Renaissance Mall. These shopping complexes offer a wide range of international brands, local boutiques, and duty-free shops. Make sure to indulge in some retail therapy and pick up souvenirs or unique Aruban handicrafts.


If you’re a food lover, Oranjestad will not disappoint. Head to the Wilhelminastraat, also known as “Restaurant Row,” where you’ll find an array of dining options ranging from traditional Aruban cuisine to international flavors. Satiate your taste buds with a delicious meal, and don’t forget to try some local specialties such as keshi yena (stuffed cheese) or pan bati (cornmeal pancake).


After lunch, make your way to the famous Queen Wilhelmina Park, a lovely oasis in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely walk through the park’s lush gardens, admire the colorful flowers and statues, and relax on one of the park benches. If you feel adventurous, rent a bike from one of the nearby rental shops and explore the city at your own pace.


No visit to Oranjestad would be complete without a visit to the iconic street market, known as the Aruba Souvenir Market. Wander through the vibrant stalls selling everything from local handicrafts to clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. Don’t be afraid to haggle and negotiate prices to get the best deals on unique items.


As the sun starts to set, head to the waterfront to catch a breathtaking view of the colorful Aruban sunset. Grab a seat at one of the waterfront bars or restaurants and enjoy a refreshing drink while watching the sky transform into a beautiful palette of oranges, pinks, and purples.


End your day by experiencing Aruba’s vibrant nightlife. Head to one of the many music bars or clubs in Oranjestad and dance the night away to lively Caribbean beats or enjoy live music performances by local bands.


With its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and stunning waterfront views, Oranjestad is the perfect place to start your Aruba adventure.


Day 2: Relaxing on Palm Beach

On the second day of your Aruba itinerary, prepare yourself for a day of pure relaxation on the famous Palm Beach. This pristine stretch of white sand and crystal-clear turquoise water is the epitome of paradise.


Start your day by soaking up the sun on the soft sands of Palm Beach. Grab a beach chair or towel and find your perfect spot to unwind. With its calm waters and gentle waves, Palm Beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, or simply floating in the azure Caribbean Sea.


If you’re looking for some adventure, you can also try your hand at various water sports activities available on the beach. From jet skiing and parasailing to paddleboarding and kayaking, there are plenty of options to satisfy your thrill-seeking side.


When hunger strikes, you won’t have to go far to find delicious food and refreshing drinks. Palm Beach is lined with beach bars, restaurants, and resorts offering a wide variety of cuisine. From fresh seafood to international dishes and traditional Aruban fare, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds.


After a satisfying lunch, take a stroll along the Palm Beach Strip, known as the “High Rise Area.” This bustling strip is home to luxury hotels, resorts, casinos, and shops. Indulge in some retail therapy at the high-end boutiques or try your luck at one of the casinos.


If you’re interested in marine life, head to Bubali Bird Sanctuary, located just a short distance away from Palm Beach. This protected area is a haven for a variety of bird species, including herons, egrets, and flamingos. Take a leisurely walk along the trails and observe the colorful birds in their natural habitat.


As the sun starts to set, Palm Beach transforms into a lively and vibrant scene. Enjoy a romantic beachside dinner with your loved ones or join the nightly beach bonfires organized by some resorts. These bonfires offer a cozy atmosphere and are perfect for lounging under the stars and listening to live music.


End your day with a serene beach walk, feeling the gentle tropical breeze on your skin and listening to the soothing sound of the waves. Let the tranquility of Palm Beach wash away your worries as you prepare for another exciting day in Aruba.


Day 3: Discovering Arikok National Park

On the third day of your Aruba adventure, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Arikok National Park. This expansive park covers nearly 20% of the island and offers a unique blend of desert landscapes, rugged coastlines, and diverse wildlife.


Start your day by venturing into the heart of the park, where you’ll find the famous Arikok Visitor Center. Here, you can gather information about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. Take some time to explore the interactive exhibits and learn about the efforts to preserve Aruba’s natural heritage.


Next, embark on a scenic hike through the park’s various trails. One of the most popular trails is the Cunucu Arikok Trail, which takes you through rolling hills, cacti forests, and ancient rock formations. Along the way, keep an eye out for native wildlife such as the Aruban whiptail lizard and the Aruban burrowing owl.


As you make your way deeper into the park, you’ll encounter unique geological formations such as the natural limestone bridges and caves. The most famous natural bridge, known as the “Baby Bridge,” offers a breathtaking view of the crashing waves below. Explore these fascinating formations and marvel at the power of nature’s creations.


Take a break from hiking and cool off in the tranquil waters of the park’s natural pools. These natural swimming holes, such as the popular Conchi or “Natural Pool,” are tucked away along the rugged coastline and provide an idyllic spot for a refreshing swim or snorkel.


If you’re interested in cultural history, make a stop at the Fontein Cave, where you can see ancient Amerindian drawings carved into the cave walls. These petroglyphs offer a glimpse into the island’s past and its indigenous inhabitants.


After a day of exploration, head to the Boca Prins viewpoint to witness the stunning sunset over the dramatic coastline. The golden hues of the setting sun against the crashing waves create a truly mesmerizing spectacle.


For a memorable dining experience, make reservations at the park’s restaurant, located near the visitor center. Enjoy delicious local cuisine as you reflect on the day’s adventures amidst the serene surroundings of Arikok National Park.


With its rugged landscapes, diverse wildlife, and intriguing geological formations, Arikok National Park offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and discover the untamed side of Aruba.


Day 4: Snorkeling at Baby Beach

Get ready for an unforgettable day of underwater exploration on Day 4 of your Aruba getaway as you head to the stunning Baby Beach. Located on the southeastern tip of the island, Baby Beach is known for its calm and shallow waters, making it the perfect spot for snorkeling.


Start your day by getting acquainted with the beach and its surroundings. Baby Beach is named after its gentle and shallow waters, which create a natural pool safe for even the youngest swimmers. The pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters create a picturesque backdrop for your snorkeling adventure.


Once you’re ready, equip yourself with snorkeling gear, including a mask, snorkel, and fins. Take a moment to adjust your gear and get comfortable before entering the water. As you wade in, you’ll be greeted by stunning coral formations and an abundance of marine life.


One of the highlights of snorkeling at Baby Beach is exploring the vibrant coral reef that envelopes the shoreline. Swim among colorful fish, such as parrotfish, angelfish, and sergeant majors, as they dart between the coral formations. You might even spot some sea turtles or rays gracefully gliding through the water.


Take your time to leisurely swim and observe the underwater wonders. Keep an eye out for hidden gems, like small caves and crevices, which often serve as shelter for various marine species. Remember to respect the fragile ecosystem by avoiding touching or disturbing the coral or marine life.


If you’re new to snorkeling, there are snorkeling tours and guides available at Baby Beach to help you navigate the underwater world with ease. They can provide valuable insights about the marine life and offer tips to enhance your snorkeling experience.


After an exhilarating morning of snorkeling, take a break and bask in the sun on the soft sand. Baby Beach offers plenty of shaded spots with picnic tables and beach huts where you can relax and recharge. Pack a picnic lunch or grab a bite from the nearby snack bar to refuel for more snorkeling adventures.


As the day winds down, make sure to catch the mesmerizing sunset over Baby Beach. The golden hues illuminating the water create a stunning backdrop as you bid farewell to another amazing day in Aruba.


Snorkeling at Baby Beach is an experience you won’t want to miss. It offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the underwater world and discover the incredible marine diversity that calls Aruba home.


Day 5: Sightseeing at California Lighthouse

On the fifth day of your Aruba adventure, embark on a scenic journey to the iconic California Lighthouse. Situated on the northern tip of the island, this historic landmark offers breathtaking panoramic views and a glimpse into the island’s past.


Begin your day by heading to the California Lighthouse, named after the steamship “California” that sunk off the coast in 1891. This picturesque white lighthouse stands tall at 100 feet and is an architectural gem that showcases Aruba’s rich maritime history.


Climb to the top of the lighthouse for a mesmerizing view of the surrounding area. From the observation deck, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of the rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and the vast expanse of the Caribbean Sea. On a clear day, you might even spot neighboring islands such as Bonaire and Curacao in the distance.


As you explore the area, take a moment to appreciate the tranquility and natural beauty that surrounds the lighthouse. The rugged landscape and towering cacti create a unique backdrop against the azure sky, providing ample opportunities for stunning photographs.


After visiting the lighthouse, take a short stroll to nearby Hudishibana, a scenic rocky coastline that provides a stunning contrast to the sandy beaches elsewhere on the island. Dip your toes in the sparkling waters or simply sit back and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the nearby Archeological Museum of Aruba is a must. This small but informative museum showcases artifacts, pottery, and tools dating back thousands of years, providing insight into the island’s indigenous Arawak people and their way of life.


While in the area, consider visiting the iconic Alto Vista Chapel, a serene and spiritual place of worship perched on a hill overlooking the countryside. This 18th-century chapel is a symbol of Aruba’s deep-rooted Catholic heritage and offers a peaceful retreat for quiet reflection and prayer.


As the day comes to an end, make your way back to the lighthouse to witness the magical sunset. The warm glow of the setting sun against the backdrop of the lighthouse creates a truly captivating scene and is a perfect way to end your day of sightseeing.


Visiting the California Lighthouse is not only an opportunity to appreciate its architectural beauty but also to immerse yourself in Aruba’s stunning natural scenery. Soak in the breathtaking views and embrace the sense of wonder as you explore this iconic landmark.


Day 6: Exploring the Natural Pool

On the sixth day of your Aruba adventure, get ready to venture off the beaten path and explore the enchanting Natural Pool, also known as “Conchi.” This hidden gem is nestled within Arikok National Park and offers a secluded and breathtaking setting for a day of exploration.


Start your day by making your way to the trailhead that leads to the Natural Pool. The trail itself is an adventure, weaving through rocky terrain and desert landscapes. It’s recommended to rent a 4×4 vehicle or join a guided tour as the path can be challenging, adding to the thrill of the journey.


Upon reaching the Natural Pool, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning sight. This natural formation is a secluded rocky pool that is shielded from the crashing waves of the surrounding coastline. The pool is fed by the sea through small openings in the rocks, creating a tranquil and refreshing oasis.


Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the surroundings. The Natural Pool is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and offers panoramic views of the sparkling blue ocean. It’s truly a sight to behold and a perfect spot for capturing memorable photos.


For the adventurous souls, take a dip in the Natural Pool and swim in its crystal-clear waters. The serene setting and the feeling of being surrounded by nature create a truly magical experience. Be sure to bring your snorkeling gear as the pool is teeming with marine life, perfect for underwater exploration.


After enjoying the serenity of the Natural Pool, take some time to explore the surrounding area. Arikok National Park is home to various hiking trails that lead to scenic viewpoints and hidden treasures. Embark on a hike to discover ancient caves, unique rock formations, and panoramic vistas.


As you explore, keep an eye out for the diverse flora and fauna that call the park home. Aruba is known for its distinctive cacti, desert shrubs, and native creatures such as lizards, birds, and even wild goats. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature as you explore the park’s hidden wonders.


After a day of exploration, find a comfortable spot by the Natural Pool to relax and unwind. Take in the beauty of the surroundings, savor a picnic lunch, or simply bask in the peaceful ambiance of this natural oasis.


As you make your way back, don’t forget to admire the stunning sunset over the rugged Arikok landscape. The colors of the sky reflecting on the calm waters of the Natural Pool create a picturesque moment that will stay with you long after your visit to Aruba.


Exploring the Natural Pool is an adventure that will take you off the beaten path and give you a true taste of the island’s natural beauty. Discover the magic of this secluded oasis and create unforgettable memories in the heart of Arikok National Park.


Day 7: Enjoying Water Sports at Eagle Beach

On the final day of your Aruba journey, make your way to the world-famous Eagle Beach for a day of thrilling water sports and relaxation. Known for its pristine white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Eagle Beach is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of Aruba’s coastal paradise.


Start your day by setting up your spot on the soft sand of Eagle Beach. With its gentle waves and warm Caribbean waters, this beach offers the ideal conditions for a variety of water sports activities.


If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at windsurfing, one of the most popular water sports on the island. The steady trade winds and calm waters of Eagle Beach make it an ideal spot for beginners and experienced windsurfers alike. Rent equipment from one of the nearby shops and hit the waves for an exhilarating experience.


For those who prefer a more leisurely activity, rent a paddleboard and explore the calm waters of Eagle Beach at your own pace. Enjoy a peaceful morning gliding across the surface, taking in the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the tranquility of the sea.


If you want to explore the underwater world, snorkeling is a must-do activity at Eagle Beach. Slip on your mask and fins and enter the vibrant underwater world teeming with marine life. Swim alongside colorful fish and marvel at the coral formations just a short distance from the shore.


If you’re an adrenaline junkie, consider trying your hand at jet skiing. Hop on a jet ski and zip across the crystal-clear waters, feeling the rush of the wind in your hair as you navigate the waves. It’s a thrilling way to explore the coastline and add some excitement to your day.


After participating in water sports, take some time to relax and soak up the sun on the beach. Settle into a comfortable beach chair or lay out your towel and enjoy the warmth of the Aruban sunshine. Read a book, listen to your favorite music, or simply take a nap as you let the stress melt away.


As the day starts to wind down, make sure to witness the spectacular sunset over Eagle Beach. The colorful skies against the backdrop of the palm-lined beach create a truly magical and romantic atmosphere. Capture the moment with photographs or simply cherish the beauty in your memory.


Wrap up your day by indulging in a beachside dinner at one of the many restaurants and cafes that dot the shoreline. Savor delicious seafood or international cuisine as you listen to the tranquil sounds of the ocean and reflect on your incredible week in Aruba.


Eagle Beach offers a perfect blend of thrilling water sports and serene relaxation, making it the ideal destination to wrap up your Aruba adventure on a high note.