1. Arikok National Park
Did you know 20% of Aruba’s land is a protected national park? Arikok National Park is the perfect place to experience Aruba’s gorgeous desert landscape and breathtaking coastline. Tickets are $11 per person and you can purchase them when you arrive. You’ll need to either pay a tour guide to take you around the park or you can bring a 4×4 vehicle and go off-roading on your own. We rented a jeep for two days in Aruba and explored the park without a guide. It was such a memorable experience!
Website: Aruba National Park
2. Flamingo Beach
Renaissance Private Island is the epitome of paradise. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach while enjoying the company of these majestic creatures. The flamingos are extremely tranquil and will eat out of the palm of your hand. This beach is located on a secluded island, so if seeing the flamingos is on your bucket list, you’ll need to plan ahead. Check out my blog post “How to See the Flamingos in Aruba” for all the details!
3. Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge is one of Aruba’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a naturally formed bridge that was created by the ocean pounding away at a massive sheet of limestone. It stands over 23 feet above sea level and is over 100 feet long! The bridge collapsed in 2005, but has since been rebuilt. This enormous structure will take your breath away.
4. Baby Bridge
Located relatively close to Natural Bridge is the lesser known Baby Bridge. This beautiful formation is known as the “daughter bridge” of Natural Bridge due to their close proximity and because Baby Bridge is smaller. It spans 25 feet long and 3 feet above sea level. We actually preferred this location over Natural Bridge because it’s more secluded. Approaching Baby Bridge feels like you’re discovering a hidden gem rather than finding a tourist attraction.
5. Alto Vista Chapel
Deep in the desert, surrounded by nothing but cacti, sits the cutest little chapel in Aruba. The Alto Vista Chapel was originally established in 1750, making it the first church on the island. It is known as the “Pilgrims Church” and is stated to be the site where the Aruban Indians were first converted to Christianity. The contrast of the chapel against the surrounding desert makes it a captivating place to take pictures.
6. Donkey Sanctuary
If you’re an animal lover, you’ll want to stop by the donkey sanctuary. Donkeys have been in Aruba for over 500 years and were actually the primary mode of transportation until cars were introduced to the island. Unfortunately, after this change occurred, the donkeys would frequently get injured by cars. The sanctuary is a safe place where the donkeys can live their lives receiving lots of love and having all of their needs met. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to help provide food, water, shelter, and medical care for these precious animals.
Website: Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
7. Baby Beach
Baby beach is a gorgeous sandy oasis stunningly shaped like a half-moon. The turquoise water is crystal clear and very shallow, making it a perfect spot for families and swimmers wanting to snorkel. It’s important when going to Baby Beach to make sure you have a car or taxi arranged to take you home. The public bus was not running to this part of the island when we visited due to low tourism.
8. Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
The Bushiribana Ruins are the remains of an abandoned gold mill that was used during Aruba’s Gold Rush of the 19th century. Gold was discovered in Aruba in 1824 and the gold mining industry was able to produce over 3 million pounds of gold! The industry was active until 1916. Today it serves as a unique historical landmark that you can climb and explore on your own.
9. Palm Beach
Palm beach is THE place to stay in Aruba. This is where all the high rise hotels and resorts are located and where you can do a number of fun water activities. The beach is in pristine condition and has soft white sand and beautiful blue water. We enjoyed relaxing under the palapas, tubing in the ocean, and booking a private dinner on the beach.
10. California Lighthouse
The California Lighthouse is a famous tourist attraction named after the S.S. California which sank before its construction in 1910. The lighthouse is located near the island’s northwestern tip. It’s open every day from 9:00am to 7:00pm. You can pay a $5 admission fee to go to the top and see a spectacular 360 degree view of the island.
Check out my Aruba Vlog on Tiktok to see how we spent our week in paradise!
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