10 Best Beaches in Aruba
Whether you’re looking for a secluded stretch of sand perfect for sunbathing or a lively spot with plenty of water sports, there’s an Aruba beach for every type of traveler.
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Oith so many idyllic stretches of sand and secret, pristine coves, all open to the public, Aruba is practically made for days at the beach. Whether you’re looking for a day filled with water sports or a place to relax with postcard-worthy views, this tiny island has a beach for you. Even the north coast beaches, which are no-swim due to strong currents, have the allure of solitude and spectacular wilderness, perfect for secluded picnics or long walks that give visitors the feel like the only inhabitants of the planet.
Aruba is very protective of its beach and reef treasures. There are laws banning single-use plastics from ending up in the water and a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone, which harms coral. (All over the island, it’s easy to find reef-safe sunscreen that also contains some of Aruba’s famous aloe.) There are also several beach and reef clean-up activities that visitors can participate in, the most important of which is Aruba Reef Care Foundationthe annual event each July.
So grab your refillable water bottle and your sense of adventure and explore the diversity of Aruba’s gorgeous beaches. Below, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorites to help you plan the perfect day.
If there was ever a stretch of sand made for long romantic walks, it’s Eagle Beach. Often ranked among the best beaches in the world, it offers a dazzling mile of silky white sand and watery surf, fringed by Aruba’s famous fofoti trees. There are a few places to rent chairs, but the beach isn’t full of water sports outfitters, so you can expect peace and quiet. Just walk past the small area where jet skis sometimes roar and you’ll find a long stretch of serene coastline with excellent swimming.
Although technically part of Eagle Beach, this vast expanse of blindingly white sand is more often referred to as Manchebo, after the low-rise resort of the same name that claimed the spot more than five decades ago. . Today, Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa is a health and wellness hotspot, where even non-guests can enjoy yoga classes in an open-air pavilion overlooking the beach. After finding your Zen, head to the sand, which four species of sea turtle use as a nesting ground every year (if you see a red and white barricade, its purpose is to protect a nest). Food and drink spots abound, especially directly behind the beach at Shops at the Alhambra.
Named after a forest of sea vines that once grew here, Druif Beach is separated from Eagle Beach by the tiny Punto Brabo peninsula. It is also known as Divi Beach because it faces a resort of the same name. Whatever you call it, visit and you’ll find a scenic, undeveloped stretch of beachfront for peaceful swimming. After a dip, head to Divi’s beach bar (in front of which motorized water sports are prohibited) for a cold local beer and a burger. Stick around until dusk to see silhouettes of pelicans show off their fishing skills against the setting sun.
Lined with high-rise resorts, Aruba’s busiest beach may not offer much solitude, but it has almost everything else. More than two miles of calm surf are lined with restaurants, bars, and chair rental outlets, as well as every type of water sport outfitter imaginable (except surfing). To take the plunge in an eco-responsible way, turn to Vela Aruba for SUP yoga. The company can also take you next to Hadicurari Beach to go windsurfing, kitesurfing or wing foiling, a new water sport that involves holding an inflatable wing and catching the breeze while standing on a board.
A short drive from Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, towards the airport, is Surfside Beach, a great place to spend the afternoon after exploring the city. You can also access the beach with joggers and cyclists via the paved linear park that runs along the coast from Wilhelmina Park to the airport: take a bike from the green bike sharing station in Oranjestad or an electric scooter using the Evikes application. Rental of chairs and umbrellas is available at Beach bar by the surf and Beach Club Reflectionsbut there is plenty of shade under the trees that border the park.
Boca Catalina Beach
In Malmok, a five-minute drive north of Palm Beach, look for Boca Catalina Beach, a hidden bay where residents enjoy swimming and snorkeling. It is known for its abundance of colorful marine life, but bring your own snorkel gear as there are no rentals available. (Also bring water shoes as the narrow opening to the water is surrounded by rocks and cacti.) For the best sightings, hike south to Tres Trapis Cove, reached by a few small sunken steps into the rock, and dive into the underwater cavern to spot sea turtles and starfish. The water here is crystal clear, but be sure to plan your visit in the morning before the snorkeling tours arrive. apnea and things get crowded.
A 10-minute drive from Palm Beach, Arashi is a favorite spot for local families, especially on Sundays. Bring your own snorkel gear to explore the small reef close to shore, bodysurf in the gentle waves or just relax on the wide stretch of sand. When hunger strikes, head to Arashi Beach Hut for tropical cocktails and a saltfish burger with fried plantains or fried polenta-based funchi slices. The restaurant also offers chair and umbrella rentals, so you can comfortably return to the beach when you’re done eating.
Mangel Halto Beach
Just 10 minutes from downtown Oranjestad, in the rural town of Pos Chiquito, you’ll find a serene mangrove forest fringed by limestone cliffs, as well as a secluded stretch of sand known as Mangel Halto Beach. . The beach is a favorite with locals and SUP enthusiasts (although there are no board rentals available), and it’s also popular for shore diving – there’s a resplendent reef and a sunken boat to see offshore. Experienced divers can also visit the reef, but keep in mind that currents can be strong, so if you’re not a confident swimmer, it’s best to explore the area on a clear bottom kayak tour.
Outside of San Nicolas is Baby Beach, a sparkling white crescent with calm, shallow waters ideal for children. For those who want an adult-only experience, head to the chic Rum Reef cocktail and grill bar, where an infinity pool and spacious deck offer views of sea turtles on the sand. For something more active, rent snorkeling gear from JADS Aruba and discover the small reefs just offshore (but heed the warning signs as the current becomes dangerous beyond the barrier), or ask a local how to find the entrance to the completely secluded Rodger’s Beach right next door .
Wariruri Beach on the north coast of Aruba is worth a visit to watch the hypnotic crash of the waves against the limestone cliffs. Sometimes you’ll even spot professional bodyboarders and surfers in the water, although the beach is strictly no swimming. While Wariruri is accessible by 4×4, the best way to experience the area and the other nearby natural wonders is on horseback. Book a small group tour with Rancho Ponderosa and go for a comfortable ride atop a Paso Fino horse with an excellent guide and incredible scenery.