Relax in the Caribbean: Aruba

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Curated By

Casey Stein

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  • Adventure Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Aruba

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Entertainment

An aerial view of the sea during sunset.
Curator’s statement

Aruba holds a special place in the hearts of my family and me. Aruba is the definition of a beach vacation with its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and gentle breezes, creating a perfect environment for relaxation and fun.

The island offers adventure, relaxation and an amazing culinary scene. Adventurous travelers can partake in activities such as snorkeling, windsurfing or off-roading, adding a thrilling dimension to their Aruba experience. For those seeking tranquility, unwind by the beach or poolside. Elevate your trip by scheduling a rejuvenating spa appointment. In the evening, treat yourself to an extraordinary dining experience, setting the stage for a night of excitement in the vibrant, electric atmosphere of the casinos.

Aruba is undeniably a must-visit paradise that offers something for everyone, creating a memorable blend of adventure and relaxation. There's a reason my family keeps going back year after year.

The Fora Difference

Book with Casey to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Aruba

Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa And Casino

A lush, relaxing hotel with newly-designed rooms for the contemporary traveler.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Beautifully-styled resort boasting spacious accommodations on the sunny beaches of Aruba with exceptional amenities and a 24-hour casino.

The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Aruba's best, the Ritz-Carlton is a well-rounded sanctuary of relaxation fronted by spectacular beaches.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Casey to book your trip.

Things to do in Aruba

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Relax at one of the many beaches:

Unwind by the shore, soaking in the sun and listening to the soothing sound of waves lapping against the sand.

Embark on an Off-Road Adventure:

Explore Aruba's natural wonders by renting a jeep or joining an organized ATV tour that takes you to the island's hidden gems, including the breathtaking natural water pool and the mesmerizing Aruban desert.

Water Sports:

Indulge in the excitement of various water sports, whether it's tubing, riding the banana boat, or jet skiing. Dive into the water and have a blast while enjoying the thrill of these exhilarating activities.

Jolly Pirate Sailing Cruises and Snorkeling:

Embark on an unforgettable boat day aboard the Jolly Pirates Sailing Cruises & Snorkeling ship, where you can revel in a day of drinks, fun, and fantastic snorkeling adventures. Experience the thrill of a rope swing off the boat and, for a truly magical experience, consider timing your excursion to catch the breathtaking sunset views.

Gamble

Immerse yourself in the excitement of the casino floor, where thrilling games and lively entertainment await, offered at most hotels.

Day Trips:

Flamingo Beach

Visit Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island, where you can stroll alongside graceful flamingos, offer them food, and capture stunning, up-close photographs of these magnificent birds.

Places to eat & drink in Aruba

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Breakfast/Lunch:

EDUARDO’S BEACH SHACK:

Absolutely, this beachside shack is a beloved hotspot for a reason! Despite the bustling line, their incredibly fresh açaí bowls, refreshing smoothies, and fantastic poke bowls make it worth the wait. It's the perfect spot for a convenient breakfast or lunch that you can enjoy right at your beach chair while soaking up the sun. The refreshing and healthy dining options make it a go-to choice and rest assured, the line moves swiftly, ensuring you won't have to wait long to indulge in these delightful treats.

Dinner:

GIANNI’S

Gianni’s Ristorante Italiano stands as the epitome of fine Italian dining on the island. Their must-try dish, Spaghetti Al Formaggio Parmigiano, is a culinary masterpiece prepared table-side in a massive cheese wheel, promising a fresh and unforgettable dining experience. For my family, it's always the first stop in Aruba, with a diverse menu ensuring there's a dish to satisfy every member of the family's taste buds.

CHALET SUISSE:

Chalet Suisse truly stands out as a timeless gem in Aruba's dining scene. Despite its indoor-only setting, this restaurant is a must-visit, thanks to its exquisite cuisine. The Chalet Chicken, a personal favorite of mine, is so delightful that I've tried replicating it at home. Additionally, their Rack of Lamb is an irresistible choice that you simply can't overlook. And, of course, saving room for their decadent chocolate fondue dessert is an absolute must for a perfect dining experience at this classic establishment.

OAK RESTAURANT & BAR ARUBA

Discover a superb restaurant where the staff feels like friends, and their impeccable style adds to the ambiance. This culinary gem boasts an outstanding wine selection. Don't miss out on the delectable escargots, the indulgent lobster pasta, and the mouthwatering Churrasco Steak—a true delight for any food enthusiast.

WILHELMINA

My personal favorite restaurant in Aruba! With a menu full of superb options, it's a haven for food enthusiasts. The Wilhelmina’s Ravioli is so incredible that sometimes you can't resist ordering it twice, and the Simply Truffle Pasta or the “Funghi” Risotto are must-haves for any truffle aficionado. The Catch of the Day, offered to be prepared in two delightful ways, never fails to impress. Beyond the delicious dishes, the restaurant's vibes create an incredible dining experience, making it a perfect spot for anyone seeking exquisite cuisine and a fantastic atmosphere.

MADAME JANETTE

This spot is perfect for large groups, offering generous portions that satisfy even the heartiest appetites. It embodies the essence of the island, making every visitor feel like they're on a dreamy vacation. Personally, I can't get enough of their famous Bang-Bang Shrimp, and the Original Almond Grouper is an absolute must-try!

PAPIAMENTO:

This stunning restaurant, situated poolside, offers a perfect setting for both intimate dinners and large gatherings. Their expertise extends to crafting a superb dirty martini, allowing you to unwind as you prepare your personalized "Stone Special." Here, your chosen meat or fish arrives on a sizzling hot stone, allowing you to cook it to perfection, ensuring a unique and interactive dining experience.

YEMANJA:

This woodfired grill restaurant is another island gem, offering a diverse menu of delectable dishes. Ideal for large groups, it encourages sharing, allowing you to savor a variety of flavors. Personal favorites include the exquisite tuna tartare, flavorful filo dough with goat cheese, and the mouthwatering ribeye steak (add some shrimp to make it a surf-and-turf). Save room for dessert, as their must-try chocolate molten lava cake is the perfect sweet ending to a delightful meal!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Jen Disler's guide, Guide to Celebrating a Milestone Birthday in Aruba

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Travel Advisor

Casey Stein

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Aruba.