Aruba, located in the Netherlands Antilles, is filled with white sandy beaches, clear water, colorful fish, and picturesque views. Pastel colored Dutch houses juxtaposed against the natural backdrop transport you to a tropical version of Amsterdam. But, like most other Caribbean islands, Aruba is very expensive. This destination is where grandparents and honeymooners go to relax – and the island caters to that end of the tourism spectrum. You’ll pay a premium for hotels, food, and activities in Aruba. However, by eating local food, staying in cheaper guesthouses, and cutting a few other expenses, you can make your trip to paradise a bit more affordable.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Aruba
3. Sail around
4. Scuba diving
5. Hike Hooiberg
Other Things to See and Do
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For a relaxing way to explore Aruba’s coast, try kayaking. Many hotels offer their guests free use of kayaks. Otherwise, expect to pay around 45 AWG per hour for a rental. The coastline has a lot of little coves to explore, so take your time!
2. Rent a quad
A quad really lets you get off the beaten track and explore some of the smaller beaches and jungles on the island. While getting a guide is an option, you are also free to roam around the island on your own.
Expensive holiday resorts and golfing go hand in hand, right? Expect to pay up to 180-285 AWG per round at the island’s Championship Course, Tierra Del Sol, or just 55 AWG for a round of 9 holes at the Aruba Golf Club.
4. Archaeological Museum
This museum displays a variety of stone, shell, and ceramic artifacts from Aruba’s native population that give you an idea of the island’s customs, deep-rooted beliefs, and old traditions. This museum is open from 10am-2pm on weekdays, 10am-5pm on weekends, and it’s closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
5. Find tranquility at the Peace Labyrinth
Sitting atop a bluff that overlooks the Caribbean Sea is the Peace Labyrinth, a place for silent and peaceful contemplation. Situated by a small chapel, you’ll find yourself suddenly tranquil when visiting this intricate outdoor labyrinth to walk mindfully through. The grounds are free to wander through.
6. Donkey Sanctuary
Once a major mode of transportation, donkeys have lived on the island of Aruba for over 500 years. After cars were introduced to Aruba and more widely used, donkeys became less needed and the population hit record lows. Now, donkeys live primarily in this non-profit sanctuary. This is a fun place to spend the afternoon, especially if you have kids. This sanctuary is open daily fro 9am-4pm. Admission is free but you can make a donation to help support the donkeys in Aruba.
7. The Collapsed Natural Bridge
Once extending over 100 feet across and 25 feet high, this bridge was carved into the coral naturally by the sea until it collapsed in 2005. A very popular tourist attraction, this is an awesome viewpoint and lookout. Despite the collapse of the main attraction, there are many smaller bridges surrounding it where many of the guided island tours stop for a photo-op.
8. Take a tour by Jeep
One of the best ways to view the island is by taking a 4×4 tour that allows you to see parts of Aruba that lie off the beaten track, including the rugged north coast of the island. Renting your own jeep is a better and cheaper way to do this – let the adventures begin! If you do book a tour, expect to pay 80 AWG per child, and 140 AWG per adult.