When searching for your next vacation destination, Aruba should be at the top of the list.

Adventures Through Artsy Aruba

Known for its turquoise waters and white sand beaches, Aruba makes a dreamy getaway – which is why it is the ultimate honeymoon destination. Don’t have a honey? That’s okay – Aruba has an abundance of activities to enjoy with your pals. From land to sea, Aruba covers all the bases. Shop ‘till you drop in Downtown Oranjestad, snorkel at one of the many beaches or UTV through the desert.

Aruba is part of the ABC islands, along with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba being the most well-known of the bunch. There is a 20-minute flight distance to and from each of the islands. While the Dutch have provided the main influence, Aruba is a melting pot with more than 65 nationalities. The main language is Papiamento, but don’t worry if you aren’t fluent – locals also speak English, Dutch and Spanish. The island of Aruba is only 26 square miles, making it easy to explore. The weather is summer year-long with only 20 inches of rain. January through March is its busiest season for travelers, so make sure to plan accordingly if you want the beach to yourself.

While the beaches are beautiful, Aruba has a whole other side to offer. In San Nicolas you can find more than 50 colorful murals, with new work being added each year. If you want to brush up on your art skills, head over to Cosecha. Enjoy the locally made crafts or create your own. A skilled artist is there to guide you on your creative adventure.

A short walk from Cosecha you can find Charlie’s Bar which is a fun, family-owned restaurant decorated floor to sealing with international memorabilia. From European license plates to cowboy boots, Charlie’s boasts a number of special keepsakes. The unique bar has been an island favorite since 1941, serving up cold beer, plenty of meat and seafood options and their famous Honeymoon Sauce.


While in San Nicolas, stop in the Museum of Industry, located inside the Water Tower. The museum features colorful exhibits with an interactive map of Aruba. The museum provides information on Aruba’s history, including the predominate sources of income: tourism and aloe.

The Aruba Aloe Factory was founded in 1890 and is the oldest aloe company in the world. They harvest the aloe vera by hand, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Aloe vera has numerous health benefits, with a major one being burn treatment – perfect for long days spent in the sun. Aruba’s main export is aloe, which is being used in everything from cocktails to shampoos.


On land there are plenty of activities to experience, but the De Palm Tours UTV excursion is a must. This is one of the best ways to see the whole island, which takes about six hours. The UTV tour is not for the anxious traveler or those who are accident-prone. Feel the adrenaline pump through your veins as you power through the desert. The tour starts on land, bringing adventure seekers through the city of Oranjestad. Get a taste of Aruban driving while seeing where the locals reside. From the street to the desert, drivers are able to explore the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, Three Bridges and Blackstone Beach, Alto Vista Chapel, California Lighthouse and cool off in the Natural Pool. Treck over the rocks and enjoy the views, from donkeys to cactus to the sea.

Take off the dust mask, wash up and head over to Pinchos. This waterfront restaurant makes for the ultimate romantic evening. Located on the pier, guests are able to enjoy the ocean views while watching the fish below. The menu includes a variety of meat and seafood options. Everything Pinchos creates is cooked to perfection and garnished beautifully.

From rentals to resorts, there are numerous accommodations in Aruba. In Palm Beach there is a row of hotels, all overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is seven miles from the Queen Beatrix International Airport and centrally located on the Palm Beach strip. The Marriott staff makes vacation a breeze, providing top-of-the-line service, amazing eateries and plenty of outdoor activities.

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has 414 guest rooms and 24 suites, all overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Each room features rain-style showers, contemporary furnishings and a large balcony.

If you are looking for an adults-only stay, the Aruba Marriot Resort & Stellaris Casino’s Tradewinds Club is a must. Guests must be 18 years or older. Tradewinds guests receive complimentary food service five times a day, the private Tradewinds Club Lounge, a secluded beach area and access to the H20asis pool. Tradewinds Club is perfect for adults seeking a childfree vacation…or honeymooners.

The beachfront property hosts anything from weddings to conferences, accommodating up to 880 people. From indoor to outdoor venues, there are a number of packages to choose from and the wonderful Marriott staff is there to assist with planning. Get down to business in one of the meeting spaces or say “I do” with your feet in the sand and coconut drink in hand. The turquoise waters make for an unforgettable backdrop.

The Mandarin Spa, located on property, offers 300 different treatment options from massages to facials to teeth whitening. Grab your pals and get ready for your big day or go solo and treat yourself.

There are two pools on property, the main pool and H2Oasis. The main pool features a swim-up bar and cascading waterfalls. The H20asis has a full bar, plush cabanas and is adults-only … perfect for a peaceful afternoon. Unwind by the pool or take a few steps and you’re on the beach. The beach has plenty of palm trees and palapas, ensuring a true island atmosphere. Stellaris Casino is the on-sight gaming area with more than 500 slot machines and 32 tables. The casino is open 24/7 and offers live music and sports games.

There are 10 dining options at the resort: Atardi, La Vista, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Starbucks, The Lobby, Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant, Gelato & Co., H20asis Bar, Pool Bar and Waves Beach Bar & Grill. Pop into The Lobby for creative cocktails, a sushi bar and live entertainment. Champions Sports Bar & Grill boasts 33 TVs, making it the perfect spot to refuel and watch sports. Waves Beach Bar & Grill is the perfect lunch experience, with ocean views, light bites and piña coladas.

For a dreamy dinner, head over to Atardi. Enjoy the gorgeous ocean views of this outdoor eatery with your feet in the sand. Atardi specializes in seafood but everything on the menu is incredible. There are no wrong decisions. Make sure you check when the sun sets so you can capture a picturesque photo.

La Vista is another oceanfront restaurant offering both indoor and outdoor seating. La Vista is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers buffet style dining. From land to sea, there is an abundance of options. La Vista hosts the Caribbean Carnival show on Thursday nights. Grab one of the delectable desserts and sit back and enjoy the ornate costumes and amazing dances. Sit too close to the stage and they might call you out to join in on the fun, so bring your best moves.

Aruba is an ethnically diverse country with predominately Dutch influences, so before you hop on a plane home, head over to Linda’s Dutch Pancakes for some authentic cuisine. Celebrated for its oversized pancakes, Linda’s lets guests create their own or pick from a list of favorites.

Aruba has some of the most sought after beaches in the world and is one the friendliest islands of the Caribbean. Aruba truly earns the name ‘One Happy Island’ with an endless amount of adventure, romance and beauty. Boni Bini to your next vacation!

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Adventures Through Artsy Aruba

by Caitlin Pieh

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