Low crime and humidity, a relative lack of rainfall, cool breezes and year-round sunny weather have all contributed to Aruba’s longstanding tourism appeal. This Caribbean island—which is actually less than 25 miles long--what many consider to be the best white sandy beaches in all of the Caribbean plus surf that’s rarely ever rough and plenty of activities to participate in from snorkeling to scuba diving and windsurfing.
Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda and Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (also recognized as Aruba’s first governor) were the two men responsible for acquainting Europe with Aruba back in 1499. It went through several years of Spanish rule before it was occupied by Great Britain during the early 1800s. During World War II, the island became one of the primary exporters of oil and a few of its inactive refineries can still be seen on the island. Today however, Aruba’s economy relies more on tourism and its phosphate and gold mining.
The desert-like landscape of Aruba is worth checking out not only because of the acclaimed beaches but also because of the wealth of nature and animals that exist away from the Aruban beachfront. Iguanas, cacti, unusual rock formations, sand dunes, and limestone cliffs near the northern Aruba coastline can be found throughout the island and are great alternatives to explore after a trip to the beach.
Aruba’s prominence and evolution into one of the Caribbean’s foremost tourism destinations has slightly affected its history and culture. While museums and historical sights like the old town of Savaneta and the California Lighthouse landmark do exist, they’re somewhat scattered when compared to the abundance of state of the art accommodations that range from all inclusive resorts to traditional hotels and small boutique motels in the three major areas of Oranjestad, Eagle Beach and Palm Beach.
Activities available on land that don’t involve Aruba’s beaches or the water include horseback riding, golfing, or even driving across through the island’s outback in one of Aruba’s all terrain vehicles. There is also a healthy nightlife scene from casinos to live shows that evoke the elaborate lavishness of those frequently shown in Las Vegas. Nightclubs, bars, themed parties and frequent cruises offer something for everyone. The large array of Aruba restaurants are also among the most diverse in the Caribbean.
To really get a feel for the Aruban way of life, get to know one of the island residents. Like other Caribbean islands, the people of Aruba are extremely friendly and often welcome visitors with open arms, a quality that has earned Aruba the nickname of “One Happy Island”. Besides the official languages of Papiamento and Dutch, most residents speak English and Spanish so it’s not hard to quickly get acquainted and get around upon arrival.
Aruba’s tourism practically requires the Aruba real estate market to offer a wide assortment of property to choose from and it certainly does. Traditional houses, apartments, vacant lots, commercial property, villas, they’re all available either for rent or purchase.
For something modest, a two bedroom home in Oranjestad comes with one bedroom but offers plenty of square footage as well as a patio and front porch. These smaller homes emphasize privacy and are therefore often tucked away in the secluded neighborhoods of Oranjestad but still remain close to businesses.
Five bedroom Aruba villas are also available and they often come with an included apartment which makes them ideal to purchase and use as short term rentals if the owner doesn’t plan on living in them full time. The large sizes also make these Aruba properties quite flexible, allowing them to comfortably accommodate entire families, a large number of guests or function as a home office of sorts. Inside the properties there are five bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, expansive living rooms, and a porch and patio as one would expect. The extra apartment also includes its own kitchen. These villas are located less than five minutes from the Aruba beaches and sports activities like tennis.
Aruba apartments are often located within condominium buildings so in addition to a one bedroom and bathroom residence, owners also receive additional amenities and features like gated security, swimming pools, and the convenience of a concierge service.
Aruba’s famous beaches and desert-like terrain means that the majority of vacant land for sale is located right on or near the beachfront. In Noord for example, a lot spanning over 10,000 square feet offers a waterfront location while remaining near Aruba’s hotels. Buyers and investors can also opt for something located near a more remote area of Aruba; the real estate options are quite flexible on the island.
Amsterdam Manor Aruba Beach Resort
Aruba Bucuti Beach Resort and Tara Beach Suites and Spa
Aruba Divi Phoenix Beach Resort
The Aruban florin (AWG) is the official currency of Aruba.
Calling Code: +297
Top Level Domain: (.aw)
Cable providers: Cable TV Aruba
Saint Eustatius is an island in the Netherlands Antilles, which is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Valid Travel Documents: Required upon exit and entry
Government Issued Photo ID: Required
Aruba’s climate rarely fluctuates, maintaining warm summer-like weather practically all year round, usually around 82 degrees. Rainfall is also rather scarce, seeing less than 25 inches during an entire year.
Language: Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages but English and Spanish are spoken throughout Aruba.
Tips for when you get there:
There are no private ferries to Aruba so you'll need to arrive either by cruise ship or airplane. Direct flights are available to Aruba and transportation is readily available upon arrival. Plenty of taxis are available to the city or resort areas, but if you're interested in exploring the more remote northern coast of the island you'll need to rent a car.
What to do
Aruba has a variety of attractions like beaches, museums, historic sites and natural scenic vistas. They also have popular events such as jazz festivals, wind surfing competitions, harvest festivals and a Heineken sponsored catamaran regatta.
Aruba's main attraction is obviously its beaches and weather, but its easy accessibility and relatively large size for being a Caribbean island has led to it hosting popular events such as the Hi-Winds Pro-Am Windsurfing Competition that brings large crowds to Eagle Beach in Aruba. It also has a catamaran regatta that is a treat for boat racing fans.
The island's historic sites and scenic vistas are popular tourist attractions. The California Lighthouse is nearly one hundred feet high and over a hundred years old, making it a sightseer favorite with conveniently placed restaurants within walking distance. Additionally, the Aruba Numismatic Museum provides Aruban history with artifacts dating back to the third-century B.C.