Photo Credit: Vladimir

With great weather and some of the nicest waters and beaches this side of the Caribbean, Aruba has things to do that are both active and chill. Most visitors sunbathe for the duration and there are a myriad of fantastic beaches to choose from. The best are in the west where you can snorkel onto reefs from some.

Scuba is taken to another level in Aruba and is very accessible, year-round. You can do a full PADI course or day dive, and the uninhibited can enjoy the rich waters on a ‘snuba’ (mix of scuba and snorkeling). Taking a boat trip is a quintessential Aruban pastime, while horseback riding is a popular way to sightsee.

Laze on a beach. Beaches are the main attraction after all and are the best in the Netherlands Antilles. They range from the accessible, flat sands of the south and west to the rocky north shore. Palm Beach in the northwest is the most popular, backed by a myriad of resorts, such as the Marriott, and featuring plenty of facilities. Arashi Beach, farther north, is great for snorkeling and is also very accessible, while Manchebo Beach offers more space. For families, sheltered Baby Beach on the south coast is best.

The world renowned scuba diving and snorkeling is far and away the favorite pastime here. There are stunning reefs and wrecks near the shore, a huge amount of marine life, and consistently warm water with amazing visibility. Malmok and Boca Catalina are two of the best beaches to be based, but there is also good action in the south. Red Sail Sports has a variety of dive programs and is one of the main operators, while Aqua Windie’s runs smaller groups. Power snorkels and snuba can also be enjoyed at popular beaches.

The sailing in Aruba is exquisite on account of reliable winds, flat seas, and great weather. Boat trips are available for snorkeling, cruises, and sunset sails with dinner and dancing.They are best found in the northwest where most of the action is. Red Sail Sports catamarans leave from Palm Beach and are particularly popular, while other options include Jolly Pirates’ schooners, rentals with Aruba Watersports Center and Atlantis Submarines tours.

The waters off Aruba are deep, warm, and teaming with life. Fishing charters run year-round where tourists have access to a large variety of Atlantic game fish, such as tuna, kingfish, barracuda, marlin, and amberjack. Mahi Mahi Fishing Charters is one of the best-known outfits and has a large, comfortable, air-conditioned vessel. Most charters will take up to six guests.

The constant breeze makes Aruba a favored windsurfing site. May through July has the best conditions, and both Malmok and Hadicurari are great beaches to partake in the sport. In the south, Rodger’s Beach is also a good bet, while experts typically head to Boca Grandi in the east. The Hi-Winds World Challenge is a major windsurfing competition held in June.

Plenty of land-based things to do can be enjoyed in Aruba, too, including hiking, golfing, and horseback riding. Several outfits can take you along the beach on a trusty steed or head inland for some desert trail riding with Arikok National Park offering up some of the best scenery. Rancho Notorious offer tours daily.

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