Located on the western end of Aruba’s southern coast, Oranjestad is the largest city – and the capital – of this island nation. The town sprang up around Fort Zoutman near the end of the 18th century and quickly became the official capital of the island. Today, the city of Oranjestad is a popular port of call for many major cruise lines. Therefore, the city is full of touristy shops, plenty of restaurants and many other great amenities. All around Oranjestad, visitors can partake in snorkeling – which is tremendously popular all over Aruba – or go for a dip at one of the area’s many gorgeous beaches. Whatever mood you’re in, there’s sure to be something worth seeing or doing in Oranjestad.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
There’s so much fun to be had in Oranjestad that it would be a real waste to simply sit on the ship and miss out. There are plenty of beaches located conveniently close to the cruise ship terminal – why not get out there and splash in the surf for a bit? Oranjestad is also chock full of great places to eat, drink and be merry so you can experience a bit of the local flavor. A multitude of shops makes finding a great souvenir easy to do in Oranjestad, so head on out and see what the capital of Aruba is all about!
There is truly a bounty of things to do in and around Oranjestad. Most people simply want to rest, relax and rejuvenate themselves along the area’s lovely white sand beaches, but there are plenty of other things to enjoy:
If you’d like to soak up a little bit of fun in the sun while in Oranjestad, you can take your pick from several different exemplary beaches. Palm Beach is a great choice for people who want to enjoy beach sports, while Eagle Beach is the place to go if you simply want to lay out and experience the quintessential Aruba experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran at snorkeling or have never spent more than a second or two below the surface, there’s an opportunity for everyone in Oranjestad. There are snorkeling excursions for people with all levels of experience; Baby Beach is great for newbies, while Rodger’s Beach is challenging enough to please experienced divers.
The Butterfly Farm
The Butterfly Farm is a very popular attraction in Oranjestad. It is a large, enclosed tropical garden where hundreds of different species of butterfly can be viewed and enjoyed. This is an excellent choice for everyone, but it’s especially great for families. Watching the colorful butterflies do their thing is a really fun experience.
The Numismatic Museum
Learn about the history of Oranjestad – and of Aruba and the Caribbean in general – by stopping in at the Numismatic Museum. What began as one man’s personal coin collection has turned into a really compelling museum with more than 45,000 different separate pieces. It’s an unforgettable way to enjoy your time in Oranjestad.
The huge number of duty free shops that dot the landscape of Oranjestad are definitely the places to be when you want to do some serious shopping while at this port of call. Right after getting off the ship, you can easily find a duty free shop that is sure to have something you’ll love. Indeed, it shouldn’t take long at all for you to zero in on a shop that suits your fancy in Oranjestad.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Look for some of the handmade crafts that are so plentiful in this Caribbean city. Homemade driftwood candles are a popular favorite, and they will always remind you of your experience in Aruba and Oranjestad.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
Seafood reigns supreme in Oranjestad, as it does all over Aruba. If you only try one local delicacy, though, you should consider oyster soup. Sometimes referred to as Perla di Aruba, it can be found in many restaurants around Oranjestad and is well loved by locals and tourists alike. Fresh ingredients are one of the key features of this creamy soup, as are the special mushrooms that go in it. Before heading back to the ship, then, be sure to try out some oyster soup in Oranjestad.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
Aruba truly is blessed with incredible weather virtually all year round. If you have to choose a time to come to Oranjestad, though, January through March tend to be the most popular times. That has less to do with how great the weather is during those months than it has to do with the poor weather in more northern climates during that time of year.
Where You’re Docked
The cruise terminal for ships stopping in Oranjestad is conveniently located right downtown. Therefore, it’s very easy to get off the ship to enjoy some of the local attractions and activities – no major commute is necessary.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
The vast majority of the major cruise lines have itineraries that feature stops at Oranjestad. A few of the main cruise lines that stop in Oranjestad are P & O Cruises, Princess Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. However, there are plenty of other options available in terms of ships, dates, in port and days at sea when it comes to Oranjestad.