Despite its diminutive size, the Caribbean island of Aruba offers many fantastic tours to suit many tastes, including sailing, off-roading and horseback riding.
Located only 18 miles from Venezuela, Aruba, unlike the majority of Caribbean islands, is mostly arid. Temperatures soar year-round on the tiny island, which at its longest is only around 20 miles. But the Dutch island’s rugged, rock and cacti-studded interior, coupled with its stunning, turquoise-fringed coastline, make it a joy to explore and experience. Here are five of the best tours to get to know Aruba better. Our criteria during our research included price, duration, quality of the itinerary and the reviews of previous travelers.
Discover Aruba Bus Tour & Snorkeling
Climb aboard this air-conditioned tour bus for a 4.5-hour guided trip around Aruba’s highlights. Along the way you’ll stop off at natural landmarks, such as Casibari Rock Formation, the historic Alto Vista Chapel, Catholic Aruba’s first church, and learn about the local economy at the Aloe Vera Factory. The tour ends at the beautiful white sands of Arashi Beach where you can borrow snorkeling equipment (included in the price) and experience Aruba’s subaquatic marvels too. From $51 per person.
Aruba Sunset Catamaran Cruise
From the deck of a catamaran, you can appreciate Aruba in a very different way at sunset. kick back and look out over the Caribbean with a drink in hand from the open bar, as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. This two-hour luxury cruise includes live entertainment from the crew who regale passengers with stories and music. And when/if you get tired of dancing, head back to the bar for another complimentary cocktail. The boat heads back to port once the sky is dark and the lights of port are illuminated. From $60 per person.
Noord Afternoon Sailing Trip with Open Bar
Another popular sailing tour in Aruba is this three-hour afternoon trip aboard a catamaran. You’ll explore the coastline around Noord, the northern region of Aruba. Highlights in this area are the wreck of SS Antilla, which you can see up close via a spot of snorkeling. Next, jump back onto the boat for a drink from the open bar and eat a few light snacks as you head to the tranquil Boca Catalina Bay. Spend some time in the sun or snorkel a little more before a final cocktail on the way back to Noord. From $70 per person.
Aruba Sightseeing Tour by ATV
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, but it also allows you to see much more of the island than you might see on any of the other tours. These ATV trips last approximately four hours and take in sights such as the ruins of Bushibara Gold Mine, Arikok National Park and the Baby Bridge, a natural rock formation at Wariruri Beach. Drivers must be at least 18 years old. Daily departures. From $77 per person.
Private Beach & Arikok National Park Horseback Riding
Another great way to experience the coastline of Aruba, and Arikok National Park, 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 (aka wara wara) can be spotted. Then head along the white sand beach and over the rocky northern shore to view the sand dunes. After the horseback ride, a private sightseeing tour of Aruba in an air-conditioned minivan is provided with a local guide. From $90 per person.