I have no choice but to love Aruba! I’ve been going to Aruba since I was three years old, so I’m basically a local. This Dutch island has everything you need in the perfect Caribbean vacation—breathtaking beaches, mouth watering food, the perfect breeze and happy people. Aruba has a little something everyone would enjoy—from adventurous outdoor activities to a fun nightlife.
This trip was special to me because it was my first time back in 8 years! It also was my chance to show my boyfriend the place I spent so much of my life enjoying. The island was way more developed, commercialized and expensive than I remember. Although, I wasn’t bothered by the changes, I embraced them. Aruba is one of the few places I can frequently revisit, and feel the same sense of happiness every time!
When to Go
Unlike many other islands, Aruba is outside of the hurricane belt and very close to the Equator. Meaning that the weather is spectacular year round, it’s consistently warm and sunny. Aruba claims to have the most sunny days per year of all the Caribbean islands. Although, the winter months are the most crowded, prices will be the highest then. My favorite times to go are during the summer and fall.
Where To Stay
We stayed at Caribbean Palm Village, which is where my family has a timeshare. In terms of hotels, I recommend staying at one that fits your budget. Aruba has numerous hotels, Airbnbs, and apartment rentals that are gorgeous. I recommend not doing all inclusive, just because there’s countless delicious restaurants and beaches all over the island.
Like even the McDonald’s there is different! There’s a series of beautiful hotels to choose from like the Holiday Inn, Hilton, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, etc. I also recommend renting a car if you want to explore the best beaches and various parts of the island.
Where To Eat
Depending on where you go the restaurants can get expensive. Thus, make sure to budget accordingly. Here’s a list of restaurants I recommend:
1. Linda’s Dutch Pancakes – They serve delicious Dutch pancakes, a food I fell in love with in Amsterdam.
2. Diana’s Pancakes Place – Another Dutch pancake restaurant I enjoyed. Also, this place has a happy hour on Friday and Saturday night where the more you drink the cheaper it gets, which was a fun pregame spot.
3. Blossoms – The best Chinese/Japanese food on the island.
4. Texas De Brazil – An amazing all-you -can -eat Brazilian style steakhouse with grilled meat carved tableside.
5. Zee Rover – A favorite among locals, this place serves up freshly caught seafood served on a platter
6. The Lazy Turtle Aruba – A yummy outdoor restaurant where I had the best mushroom cheese burger!
7. Tango Aruba – An Argentinian restaurant that is the perfect date night spot with live music outside and amazing surf and turf.
8. Big Mama – (the best restaurant on Baby Beach) I had a delicious gouda cheese filled Johnny cake and yummy seafood sandwich.
9. Salt + Pepper – This restaurant is fairly priced and serves a tasty happy hour deal with tapas and drinks.
10. The Paddock – This restaurant has an epic view of the harbor and we even feed some fish here, however the food was pretty average.
11. Papillon – A French Caribbean fusion restaurant with spectacular dishes.
Where To Drink
Overall, the drinks in Aruba were good. We opted to buy our own bottles at the airport but we did check out a couple bars for the fun nightlife. Here’s the ones I recommend:
What To Do
1. Check out the numerous beautiful beaches on the island
My favorites are ranked some of the best beaches in the world:
2. Rent a jeep and go off-roading at Arikok National Park
My favorite activity this trip. Here you can explore Fontein Cave and Quadirikiri Cave, see original Indian rock drawings, swim in a natural pool, and check out some epic views of the island’s natural wonders
3. Go snorkeling and engage in other water activities
4. Shop at the The Royal Plaza Mall
5. Check out the California Lighthouse – It costs $5 to walk up the lighthouse and see the beautiful view
Lastly, check out my boyfriends vlog on our stay in Aruba. Also, subscribe to his channel because he’s incredible and provides valuable content.