There is never a shortage of things to do in Aruba, from relaxing on one of many beautiful beaches, to land tours to, water sports, to shopping and more.
One important factor for choosing Aruba as our destination wedding location was making sure there was a wide variety of activities for our guests. There was such an assortment of things to do in Aruba that all of our wedding guests enjoyed their vacation, almost as much as the bride and groom enjoyed their honeymoon. (grin!)
Aruba is a small island, but it is loaded with beauty and natural wonders. There are several tour companies that offer island tours by Jeep, horseback, or ATV. We opted to rent a Jeep and explore on our own. Unfortunately, we never found the Natural Pool, which we learned is almost impossible to find without a guide.
It wasn't until later, that we found out about the Natural Pool Jeep Adventure that takes you right up to the Natural Pool.
I originally posted driving directions to the Natural Pool via an Aruba blogger friend of mine, Gabriel. (There are no street signs, and the dirt trails and paths were not intended for public use.)
But, in 2010 the government restricted access to the road and trail to the pool and you could only get there through Arikok National Park. In 2011, they opened the previous public access, exclusively for tour operators.
If you choose to visit the pool without a tour group, you will need a pass to the National Park. As of 2018 the cost is $11 (USD) per person and $28 for a Year Pass. Children under 17 years are free. (The entrance cost for Aruba Residents only is AWG 5 per person and AWG 28 for the year, and must show a local ID for the discounted price.)
*Opening hours and ticket prices are subject to change* Please check the Arikok Park Website for the most current information.
If you plan to spend more than 3 days in the park during your trip to Aruba, you may want to opt for the full year pass. There are quite a few things to see inside Aruba's National Park.
There are Aruba tours for every mood and activity level - walking tours, Jeep tours, tours on horseback, water tours, helicopter tours, glass bottom boats & submarines.
There are even snorkel tours that will take you to various places to see the best fish and sunken vessels.
I had heard about this underwater tour called Sea Trek offered by De Palm Tours on their private island. I really wanted to try it. Scott was a little anxious about walking around on the sea floor, 20 feet under water with nothing but a “fishbowl” on your head. It took a little persuasion to get him to go, but, afterwords, he couldn’t stop talking about it.
Baby Beach was the perfect place for Scott to learn to snorkel because the water is calm and fairly shallow.
I had done some snorkeling in the lakes of New Hampshire when I was a kid but, it didn’t prepare me for the amount of colorful fish that we would see in Aruba.
We also did some snorkeling at De Palm Island where the friendly Blue Parrot Fish are plentiful. These large bright blue fish are so used to snorkelers they swim right up to you. The water was a little rough in the snorkel area, so I am glad that we had gotten some practice in at Baby Beach first.
The Jolly Pirate Tour is an old fashioned wooden sailing ship that takes you out to several different popular snorkel sites around Aruba, including the 400 foot WWII shipwreck Antilla. The German Ship was sunk by its captain at the beginning of WWII to avoid capture, and it is now populated by awesome marine life. Several of our friends who stayed in Aruba after the wedding went on this tour.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it. Scott had gotten a bit too much sun and was quite pink! Neither of us wanted him to be sick with sun poisoning on our honeymoon so we opted to stay inside that day. Just a reminder folks! Bring plenty of WATERPROOF SUNSCREEN, and re-apply it often.
A great site if you want to learn more about snorkeling and scuba diving is scuba-snorkeling-adventures.com, a site solely dedicated to underwater sports. Here you will find tons of helpful information on scuba and snorkeling activities including:
I highly recommend that you check them out. They know their stuff.
One of the things to do in Aruba that we did not get to do is SCUBA. Some resorts offer SCUBA lessons, and include a beginner’s dive tour.
We wanted to learn to SCUBA dive, but there was just not enough time on this trip. I have been told that the tours of scuba dive sights around Aruba are absolutely incredible!
Aruba has 3 golf courses. Neither my husband nor I are golfers, but my dad, brothers, and a few other wedding guests are. I was told that the Tierra del Sol Golf Course was an absolutely gorgeous, 18-hole, par-71 course. But, apparently no one brought their clubs.
Most of the hotels and casinos have their own nightly entertainment, nightly entertainment, from Las Vegas style shows, to stand-up comedians.
There are also several party bus tours that take their passengers to night clubs all around the island. Our favorite was the Kukoo Kunuku party bus.
Water sports make up a good portion of the things to do in Aruba. Every sports-lover can take their pick of various water sports like kite surfing, para sailing, wind surfing and others. The constant trade winds that pass over Aruba make it the perfect conditions for any wind/water sport.
A bunch of our friends and I went on a para sailing adventure. None of us had ever done this before. But, after seeing the first person in our tour group do it… a 10 year old girl… we knew that if any of us backed out now, we would never live it down. EVER!
Once I got over the initial adrenalin rush of not having anything under my feet, it was absolutely peaceful. For about 10-15 minutes, you are flying over the sparkling turquoise surf, and you can see much of the island.
I had a great view of the California Lighthouse, and Hooiberg (Mt. Haystack in Dutch).
I would have liked to have the chance to try wind surfing, or kite surfing. But, that will have to wait until our next visit.
In the resort areas, you can find lizards and iguanas galore, and even some flamingos. In our Jeep exploration of Aruba, we saw signs for The Donkey Sanctuary and the Ostrich Farm. There is also a Butterfly Farm and a Bird Sanctuary on the island.
Oranjestad - The capital city of Aruba is full of quaint shops and boutiques to fill all of your souvenir needs. And the street is lined with vendors with all sorts of knickknacks, t-shirts, local crafts, jewelry and art.
And just when you thought there were no more things to do in Aruba...
Some things to do in Aruba entail doing nothing at all.
If you want to relax and be pampered, there are spas galore! My Maid of Honor and I had manicures & pedicures and our hair done before the wedding at the Mandara Spa in the Marriott Ocean Club Resort. And some of our guests enjoyed treatments at the Intermezzo Day Spa in the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.
And of course the best thing we did in Aruba...
If you are planning a romantic wedding or renewing your vows, Aruba has
enough selection of activities for your guests, fantastic food services,
and incredible scenery to make any special occasion perfect.
These were only a few reasons why we chose Aruba for our wedding. Read more here.
So, to say the least, there is NO LACK of things to do in Aruba. In fact there were just so many things to do in Aruba that we did not get to do everything that we had wanted to. But, that only means that we have to go back! (grin)