5 Days in Aruba
Sunning, sailing, diving, dining, and partying—in the vast Caribbean, Aruba is the epitome of vacation fun. It’s the Caribbean of your dreams, an island of azure seas, brilliant beaches, dazzling resorts, and fun in the sun. By fun, we mean dozens of island pursuits from heart-pounding water sports to shopping and sunbathing. And that's just for starters. There’s so much you can do, but what if you have only five days to do it? No problem. We’ve got your perfect itinerary down.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel. After checking in, head straight to one of Aruba’s world-class beaches—Palm Beach. You probably won’t have more than a short stroll to reach it, as the majority of resorts make their home here. On two gorgeous miles of ivory sands and calm waters, you can bask, swim, dive into myriad water sports, gaze in wonder at the unique divi-divi trees, and witness one of the world’s greatest sunsets. Dine under the stars nearby at The Restaurant at Tierra del Sol, featuring an award-winning international menu.
After breakfast at your hotel, join a guided all-terrain utility vehicle (or UTV) tour to explore Aruba’s many natural wonders. The island’s most remote, yet most popular natural attraction, is the soothing Natural Pool in Arikok National Park—a tranquil spot in a unique rock formation where volcanic stone forms a small depression. Also explore the Ayo Rock Formation, Blackstone Beach, Andicuri Trail, Natural Pool, Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, and Alto Vista Chapel on your all-day adventure.
Get up early for a day of snorkeling in the waters off Aruba, which has more sunny days than any other Caribbean island. Hit the surf at Arashi Beach, Malmok Beach, or Boca Catalina, all on the northwestern side of the island. You’ll meet barracuda, spinner dolphins, blue parrotfish, angelfish, and starfish. If you dive at daybreak, you’ll probably spot some turtles, too. Just south of Arashi Reef, you'll find the Caribbean's largest shipwreck, the 394-foot German freighter Antilla, sunk during WWII. The wreck is in shallow waters, so snorkelers can peer right into its fractured hull. Break for lunch, Aruba-style, at Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant in San Nicolas, serving Creole squid, homemade fish soup, steamed shrimp, and fresh catch of the day in this charm-filled “dive bar” established back in 1941.
Change things up a little today by venturing into Oranjestad, the capital overlooking the western shores, and joining a walking tour of the city’s downtown area. Learn about the history of Aruba while seeing first-hand the Dutch influence that’s apparent throughout the city in fascinating restored landmark buildings. Check out traditional artisan crafts for sale, try some tasty Aruban specialties, and chat with locals. Sit down for top-rated cuts at L.G. Smith's Steak & Chop House, across from the cruise ship dock, which serves Certified Angus Beef® and an extensive selection of international wines. After the sun sets, make your way over to Heart Music Bar or Naranjas Bar Discoteca to dance the night away.
Head out to the sands again. It’s time to have some fun on top of the waves! After all, Aruba is a small island surrounded by the warm Caribbean, and that’s why you’re here. Rent a WaveRunner for high-speed thrills or take advantage of Aruba’s constant trade winds and sail a Hobie Cat. Exercise your wings with some paddle boarding or learn to windsurf in the same waters that play host to international competitions. A great way to end your Aruba getaway is set sail for the evening of a lifetime on a catamaran sunset dinner cruise along the scenic coastline while enjoying a Caribbean buffet-style dinner.