Aruba

Is Aruba Worth Visiting? An Honest Review

Have you ever asked yourself if Aruba is worth visiting? Then you are in the right spot.

Aruba has an amazing reputation: stunning beaches, cute flamingos, and amazing hotels. But it is also one of the most expensive destinations in the Caribbean.

So you are probably asking yourself by now if it is worth spending all that money. And the answer is: it really depends. Aruba is stunning, but there are similar islands that are a lot cheaper. If money is no issue then the answer is: yes, Aruba is worth it.

I spent several weeks in Aruba this year, and many more months in the Dutch Caribbean. If you want to hear more about my Aruba review, keep on reading.

I’ll also supply you with some cheaper alternatives at the end of the post.

Let’s get to it.

aruba sunset chairs in lots of colors on the beach

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Why Aruba is Worth It – In Short

All Caribbean islands that I have visited so far have amazing landscapes. Stunning beaches, beautiful cliffs, and amazing marine life.

But what sets Aruba apart from me, is how developed and safe everything is. Streets are in good shape, traffic is regulated and even taxis have fixed fares. The island is clean and you have great supermarkets, hospitals and more. Aruba has basically European standards.

You can walk around alone at night, without being scared. This was something new for me, after being in Curacao for so long. People are tourist-friendly and you won’t be scammed easily. Aruba is also outside the hurricane belt, which is amazing.

Aruba is without a doubt one of the best Caribbean destinations. So I am very inclined to say Aruba is 100 % worth it.

The only issue I have with Aruba is that it is so expensive. If you are on a budget, you won’t enjoy Aruba. I flinched every evening as we got the dinner bill, and excursions were not much better.

So my verdict is: if you have the money, go for it! Aruba will be amazing. If you are on a budget, I suggest you pick an alternative island.

Aruba Pros and Cons

Pros

❤️ Endless, white sandy beaches

❤️ Stunning national parks

❤️ Friendly locals

❤️ Safe Island

❤️ Streets and infrastructure are well

❤️ Lots of amazing restaurants

❤️ Great luxury hotels

❤️ Flamingos on the beach

❤️ Amazing marine life (snorkeling & diving)

❤️ Good water quality

❤️ Located outside the hurricane belt

❤️ Instagrammable

Cons

❤️‍🩹 Expensive

❤️‍🩹 Shallow water is sometimes cloudy and filled with a bit of seaweed

❤️‍🩹 Some beaches are full of party people

1. Aruba’s Beaches

My Verdict: 9/10

Aruba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, and Baby Beach are a few examples of prime spots for vacationers. And there is always Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island.

The water is warm, shallow, and without much current. Sometimes there is a bit of seaweed, but most of that is cleaned up quickly.

Aruba’s beaches are perfect, also for children.

You can snorkel from shore, go scuba diving, or try some water sports. The beaches are usually clean and you’ll have plenty of space.

Some beaches, like in front of the RIU Palace Hotel were quite noisy. People were drinking and playing music. I did not like that as much. Luckily, most beaches are not like this.

2. Price/Value Relation

My Verdict: 3/10

Aruba is extremely expensive. This is the only big drawback I could find in Aruba.

For a relatively normal dinner on the beach for two people, you’ll pay about USD 150,00. This is with a shared starter, one drink each, and a shared dessert. In Curacao or Bonaire, you’ll get the same for half the money.

Excursions are also pretty expensive. Most good excursions cost around USD 100,00 per person.

We spent 10 days in Aruba on our last trip, and it cost us about USD 5.000,00 for two people, without flights.

The high prices are the only reason that does not make Aruba worth visiting.

3. Safety

My Verdict: 8/10

Aruba is as safe as a Caribbean island can get. Walking outside the hotel at night is not a problem, not even for a female. Crime rates are super low.

Boulevards are nicely lit and lively in the evenings, so there is no danger there. People are friendly and helpful, and no one tried to scam us.

The only time we got scared a little was in our Airbnb in Savaneta (off the beaten tracks), when some stray dogs ran around the street and barked.

Even though the culture in Aruba is definitely South American, the safety is up to European standards. Aruba is definitely one happy island.

4. Excursions and Activities

My Verdict: 9/10

Aruba has a great offer of excursions and things to do. There are outdoor adventures, snorkel trips, ATV tours, submarine rides, and even a butterfly park.

You can explore the stunning Arikok National Park with or without a tour or take a walking tour through Oranjestad.

My favorite tour in Aruba is definitely the Aruba Sunset Sail. It is super romantic, and you’ll have an open bar.

One of the best things to do is get a day pass to Flamingo Bech on Renaissance Island. It is tricky to get one, but totally worth it.

Aruba definitely has something for everyone. The only downside, of course, is the price. Tours do not come cheaply, so you’ll need to pick and choose your favorites.

5. Weather

My Verdict: 9/10


Aruba’s weather is pretty awesome, especially if you love sunny, beachy vibes. It totally makes Aruba worth visiting year-round.

It’s got a tropical climate, which means it’s warm and sunny most of the year. The average temperature usually hangs around 82°F (28°C). It’s perfect for swimming or chilling by the beach.

One cool thing is that Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt, so it doesn’t get hit by hurricanes. This makes it a great spot for a vacation pretty much any time of the year.

We visited Aruba in September, and we had one bigger storm. That meant some rain, thunder, and a little flooding in our hotel. It did not really impact our vacation tho. September is pretty much the worst time you can go (rain-wise), but we still found it awesome.

6. Oranjestad

My Verdict: 8/10

Oranjestad is one of the coolest capital cities in the Caribbean.

The houses are colorful, cute, and Instagram-worthy. You can find luxury boutiques, souvenir shops, and even a beachfront casino.

The capital city is clean and orderly and you can find cheap parking everywhere. There is even a free small train that goes around the city.

The only downside of Oranjestad is, that driving is a bit of a mess. There are often small traffic jams and chaos.

And, of course, things are expensive.

7. Hotels

My Verdict: 8/10

Aruba has an insane amount of luxury and mid-priced hotels. Many of them have private beach access and stunning ocean-view rooms.

There is definitely no shortage of accommodation in Aruba. We chose to stay for 5 nights in a nice hotel on Eagle Beach and the other 5 nights in a fancy Airbnb. Absolutely amazing!

Again, Aruba is expensive. So you won’t easily find cheaper hotels, at least not beachside.

Secret tip: if you have the money, you NEED to stay in the Renaissance Aruba, so you get free access to Flamingo Beach. It is pricey but worth it.

8. The Locals

My Verdict: 9/10

The locals in Aruba, known as Arubans, are known for being super friendly and welcoming. They have a rich mix of cultures. They have African, European, and Indigenous influences.

Dutch and Papiamento are the main languages, but many Arubans also speak English and Spanish, so communicating with them is super easy.

Their lifestyle is laid-back and community-oriented. They love their music, dance, and festivals.

This was a pretty harsh contrast to Curacao for me since the locals there are pretty hostile against tourists.

We did notice that Arubans don’t like the Spanish visitors as much, because they share a difficult history.

The locals are the number one reason why Aruba is worth visiting – that makes all the difference.

Alternatives For Aruba

If you came to the conclusion, that Aruba is too expensive for you, I’ve got good news.

Aruba has two sister islands, Bonaire and Curacao, that are much cheaper to visit.

Both Bonaire and Curacao have flamingos as well (not on the beach tho) and cute capital cities. They have as much to offer as Aruba landscape-wise.

The only downside is, that both of those islands are not as safe as Aruba. Ultimately, they were still pretty safe, but you need a little more caution than in Aruba.

If you have a lot of time, why not go island hopping in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao?

Conclusion: Is Aruba Worth Visiting?

Yes, Aruba is worth visiting. This post showed you, that there are so many upsides of visiting Aruba. There is only one downside, really: Aruba is expensive.

I think, the amazing beaches, beautiful restaurants, and friendly locals totally make up for the price tag. But there is also no point in going there and then not being able to afford all these things.

So unless you are on a budget, Aruba is definitely worth the hype! You need to put it on top of your bucket list.

If you don’t feel like going there for a long time, you can always visit Aruba on a cruise.

FAQ

Is Aruba Worth the Hype?

Yes, in my opinion, is Aruba definitely worth the hype. The tropical paradise in the Dutch Caribbean has everything to offer: pink flamingos on the beach, stunning blue waters, and lots of fun luxury hotels. Aruba is expensive, but if you are not on a budget, it is definitely worth it.

What is so special about Aruba?

There are two things that are super special about Aruba: one being the flamingos on the beach of Renaissance Island, the other one being the fact, that Aruba is totally up to European standards what safety and infrastructure are concerned. You get to experience Caribbean charm, without having to give up any of the amenities you are used to.

Is Aruba dangerous for tourists?

No, Aruba is not dangerous for tourists. The lovely island is one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean. You can walk outside the hotels at night and have every freedom possible. There are also no really dangerous areas that you need to avoid at all costs.

What is the cheapest month to go to Aruba?

The cheapest time to visit Aruba is usually during the off-peak season, which runs from mid-April to mid-December. During this period, you’re likely to find better deals on flights and accommodations since it’s not the high tourist season. Among these months, September and October often have the lowest prices. This is technically rainy season, but the weather is still amazing.

Is Aruba Worth Visiting?

Yes,
Aruba is a fantastic destination with stunning, clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches like Eagle Beach, perfect for relaxing or snorkeling. Its unique desert-like landscape with cacti and divi-divi trees offers a different kind of natural beauty to explore. Plus, the island’s rich cultural mix, friendly locals, and vibrant nightlife make it a great spot for both adventure and relaxation.