Only 18 miles from the coast of Venezuela, Aruba is still a territory belonging to the Netherlands. Unlike most of the Caribbean islands, Aruba is mostly arid. But the Dutch vibe is strong, making it one of the most unique islands, historically and culturally, in the region. Temperatures soar year-round on the tiny island, which at its longest is only around 20 miles.
Despite its diminutive size, the island does fantastic tours to suit all tastes. Here at TravelMag we decided to rifle through them all and present a selection of the five best to you. Our criteria during our research included price, duration, quality of the itinerary and the reviews of previous travellers.
FROM: $57/per person
There is one way to truly appreciate the beauty and serenity of Aruba, and that is from the deck of a catamaran, with an open bar, as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. The luxury cruise lasts around two hours, and during the trip the crew provide entertainment with stories and music. When you’re tired of dancing, head back to the bar for another free drink. The boat heads back to port once the sky is dark and the lights of port are illuminated.
From $80/ per person
One of the best ways to handle the rugged Aruban terrain is by ATV, or quad bike. Not only is it one of the more fun ways to move around, it also allows you to see much more of the island in a short time. Tours last approximately 3.5 hours and take in sights such as the ruins of Bushibara Gold Mine, Baby Bridge and other natural or historical sites of interest. Drivers must be at least 18 years old.
From $70/ per person
Another great way to experience the coast of Aruba without having to walk is on horseback. Over 90 leisurely minutes the horses tread into the hills and through the arid landscape where wildlife such as iguanas, cacti and vultures can be spotted. Then head along the white sand beach and over the rocky northern shore to view the coral shorelines and sand dunes. After the horseback ride, a private island tour in an air-conditioned minivan is provided with a local guide.
From $45/ per person
During this four hour tour there is a pleasant mix of sightseeing and visits to important cultural sites of the island. See the highlights of the island, such as the Natural Bridge, Alto Vista Chapel and pay a visit to the Aruba Aloe Vera Factory. Complimentary hotel pick-up and drop-off is included in the price. Air-conditioned transport is provided along with the local guide as part of the price.
From $75/ per person
If you prefer travelling the rugged northern shore of Aruba in something more robust than an ATV or on horseback then the 4×4 is the final great option to access the more remote sections of the shoreline. For 4.5 hours the tour is pretty comprehensive and manages to include a good deal of the island. Local guides explain more about the local history and culture, adding context to the experience.