Your Cruise Guide Won’t Show You These Hidden Gems of Aruba

The island of Aruba is one of the most popular cruising destinations in all of the Caribbean. Cruise guests arrive in the port at Oranjestad and find themselves immediately immersed in the culture and native beauty of the island. Aruba is packed with fantastic activities, sights, and experiences, however, visitors often find themselves limited by the guided recreations provided by their cruise ship. They want to have the best experience possible and make use of their time as wisely as they can, but they don’t want to fall into tourist traps and miss out on the best of what the island has to offer.

The Royal Plaza in Oranjestad

The Royal Plaza in Oranjestad is a typical brightly-colored building

Thankfully, striking out on your own to explore the island of Aruba isn’t as scary as it may seem, and there are many gems hidden off the beaten path that visitors can easily access and enjoy. All you need is a rented Jeep for transportation and a taste for adventure.

So gather your courage and let us guide you to a few of the island’s best little-known attractions. You can use the interactive map at the end of the post, which has the location of each attraction clearly marked, to find your way.

Horseback Riding on Wariruri Beach

Horseback Riding on Wariruri Beach

A perfect day for horseback riding in Aruba (Photo by Rebecca Schley)

Tucked away on the island’s north shore, Wariruri Beach is a sandy cove accessible via the dirt road running north toward the Bushiri Gold Mill Ruins. All modes of transportation are permitted on the road, but the beach itself is only accessible by foot or on horseback. The absence of 4x4s and ATVs makes this spot one of the purest stretches of coastline on the island.

After you make the trek to Wariruri Beach, there’s plenty to see and do. This beach is a favorite spot for surfers and anglers, and there is an amazing naturally formed bridge on the right side of the beach.

Druif and Rodgers Beaches

Druif and Rodgers Beaches

A perfect day at Druif Beach (Photo taken by Timothy Valentine)

Unlike the more popular beaches like Baby Beach or Arashi Beach, the Druif and Rodgers Beaches offer all the beauty of a Caribbean white sand beach with none of the over crowding or hassle. These beaches are as close to paradise as you can get – gorgeous turquoise waters, flowing palms, and beautiful wildlife.

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

Photos taken by Jasperdo (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

If you’re interested in seeing the authentic cultural heritage of the island of Aruba, then Fort Zoutman is an ideal stopping point. Constructed by the Dutch Army in 1798, the fort is the oldest building on the island. The artifacts and documents preserved here are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. And there’s even an island welcome party every Tuesday evening beginning at 6:30pm. Just stop in and see the island’s rich history while experiencing a genuine welcome to the island!

Etnia Nativa

Etnia Nativa

The art gallery has stunning gardens you’ll enjoy wandering through (Photo by Etnia Nativa)

This native Aruban art gallery is a true diamond in the rough. Most tourists overlook it, but it’s packed with beautiful creations crafted by local artists. There’s no better way to get a feel for the island’s local art culture than to visit the Etnia Nativa.

The National Archaeological Museum of Aruba

The National Archaeological Museum of Aruba

Museum entrance (Image used with permission: National Archaeological Museum of Aruba)

Aruba isn’t just rich in art and history. It also has a surprisingly rich collection of fascinating archaeology. Secrets and uncovered mysteries about the very first inhabitants of the island are revealed in the museum’s ever changing catalog of exhibits.

For divers:

Aruba, aside from being a much traveled cruising destination, is also one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean. Here are three of the best dives in Aruba.

The Antilla Wreck

The Antilla Wreck

Fish are abundant at the wreck (Photo taken by star5112)

As the largest ship wreckage dive in the entire Caribbean, the Antilla wreck isn’t something scuba enthusiasts want to miss. The ship is surprisingly well preserved, and much of its interior can be explored. What’s more, there is a variety of amazing underwater plants and creatures to be seen.

The Jane Sea Wreckage

The Jane Sea Wreckage

Preparing for the dive (Photo taken by star5112)

Although it’s not the biggest, the Jane Sea wreckage is considered to be on the best shipwreck dives in all of Aruba. Diving connoisseurs come from around the globe to enjoy this amazing dive. It is a little deeper than the other dives in Aruba, so visitors should take that into account before planning their trip.

Debbie II

Debbie II

A lionfish, an uncommon, but beautiful sighting (Photo by Tambako the Jaguar)

This 120-foot oil barge was sunk intentionally in 1991 to serve as a natural coral growth environment and diving spot. Since it sits closer to the water’s surface, it’s considered a relatively easy dive – great for beginners. Also, the shallower depth makes for stunning coloration in the coral and fish seen by divers.

What are your favorite hidden Aruba gems? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!

Choose Your Own Adventure: a Driving Map and Daytrip Guide to Aruba

Vacationing in an unfamiliar location can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you’re working with a limited timetable. Despite the fact that Aruba is a relatively small island, there are lots of choices when it comes to how to spend your time.

Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up some local favorites to help you use your vacation time the best way possible. In fact, you can use this post as a one-day itinerary to guide your way. Simply start with the interactive map below to get a lay of the land, and then move on to your step-by-step guide to a fun-filled Aruban daytrip.

Hit the Beach

Spending some time at the beach is a must when you pass through any Caribbean island. But there are tons of options, and it’s not always easy to know which stretch of coastline is best. In situations like this, it’s best to follow the locals. These four beaches are favored by locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re interested in a refreshing swim, a snorkeling adventure, or just a few picturesque views, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here.

Lounging beaches:

Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach

Photo by Alexandre Breveglieri

If you’re in search of the iconic Caribbean beach experience, then Eagle Beach should be your first stop. Voted the #1 Beach in the Southern Caribbean by TripAdvisor, this is the absolute perfect place to bury your toes in the sand, dip your feet in crystal clear waters, and enjoy the extraordinary Aruban scenery the island is known for.

Arashi Beach

Less crowded and often overlooked by tourists, Arashi Beach is a short stretch of coastline located north of Malmok Beach and adored by locals. Relax underneath one of the beach’s grass huts or go exploring to see some of the exotic aquatic wildlife inhabiting its waters. And when you’re done enjoying the beach, you can visit the renowned California Lighthouse (mentioned below) just a few minutes away.

Snorkeling beaches:

Malmok Beach

Along the Malmok Coast, which is made up almost entirely of rocky outcroppings of limestone and groups of gnarled Mangrove, lies a short stretch of immaculate beach where exotic flora and fauna abound. Malmok Beach is the foremost snorkeling spot on the island, although explorers treading on foot will still find much to see.

Mangel Halto Beach

Mangel Halto Beach

Photo via Flickr

Supported by a rich and healthy ecosystem – filled with Mangroves, parrot fish, yellowtail snapper, and other wildlife – Mangel Halto Beach is a fantastic spot for snorkeling, fishing, or simply wading through the clear, pristine waters. Gorgeous reefs at depths of over 100’, which are home to morays, octopi, and barracuda, await more ambitious snorkelers, but there is plenty to see in the shallower portions of the beach as well.

See the Sights and Soak up Local Culture

After you’ve taken some time to enjoy the beach, change course and start discovering the beautiful sights and local culture of the island

Get Adventurous

Taking a few steps off the beaten path is a sure way to add unforgettable memories to your trip. After all, you didn’t come all the way to the Caribbean to sip syrupy cocktails on sterile resort beaches, did you? Unsurprisingly, Aruba is packed to the gills with activities and adventures that are perfect for the adventurous traveler. Make it a priority to explore these unique Aruban sights during your stay on the island.

Mount Hooiberg

Mount Hooiberg

Photo by David Stanley

As the only mountain on the island, Mount Hooiberg is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. However, even those who are less inclined to hiking will enjoy the Hooiberg experience, with just a casual 20-minute walk to the top where trekkers will enjoy breathtaking views.

The California Lighthouse

The California Lighthouse

Photo by Robert Gigliotti

As the only contender against Mount Hooiberg for the best view on the island, the California Lighthouse provides visitors with a distinct experience, mixing intriguing history with magnificent vistas. Unlike Mount Hooiberg, the California Lighthouse gives visitors the chance to see Aruba in all of its nighttime glory, should they decide to ascend its stairs after dark.

The Casibari Rock Formation


Photo by Alex Headrick

Aruba is home to some of the flattest topography in all the Caribbean, which is why the Casibari Rock Formation is such a fascinating sight to see. The formation is a huge dome composed of tonalite boulders from which visitors can gaze far across the island and its terrain. Fortunately, there are man made trails, steps, and pathways that allow visitors to experience this spot to its full potential.

Grab Dinner and Drinks

At the end of your day, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Luckily, Aruba is a tiny island with an abundance of dining options. Here are three of our favorites.

2 Fools and a Bull

2 Fools and a Bull2 Fools and a Bull

Photo via 2 Fools and a Bull

In terms of fine dining in Aruba, 2 Fools and a Bull is one of the best in the business. Think of it less as a restaurant and more as a curated dinner party. Owners Paul and Fred admit a limited number of guests each night for a 5-course dining experience like none other.

This spot is priced on the higher end, but the experience is well worth the cost. Demand is high to get into this thriving eatery and availability is limited, so diners must reserve their spots (and confirm 24 hours beforehand) in order to be served.

Note: we were unable to include 2 Fools and a Bull on our interactive map, but their information can be found here.

Charlie’s Bar

Charlie’s Bar


Photo by Holger Zscheyge

If authentic island flavor and feel is what you’re after, Charlie’s Bar is the place to be. Charlie’s has been a major local fixture for years, and there’s no better place to get a genuine, relaxed dining experience.


To discuss restaurants in Aruba without giving a fresh seafood recommendation would be amiss, which is why Zeerover rounds out our list. This spot serves up exceptional seafood with a no-nonsense attitude. All menu items are caught fresh, fried to order, and served on a simple paper plate. Don’t let the lack of sophistication fool you; you’ll be hard pressed to find a fresher catch anywhere else.

We wish you all the best on your adventures in Aruba. Give our recommendations a try and send us your own!

Aruba Captures Your Heart – From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset
Close your eyes and imagine the ideal vacation location: white sands and crystalline blue waters; warm, golden sunlight; exotic wildlife; and adventure, action and relaxation all rolled into one perfect place – a perfect paradise. You’ve just imagined the enchanting island of Aruba.
A trip to Aruba offers endless possibilities for fun, exploration and relaxation. No matter what you’re looking for, Aruba is your ideal destination, offering a variety of exciting and unique activities. Don’t waste a moment. Plan your trip ahead of time to make the most of every minute, from dawn until dusk.

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset

Can you imagine a better way to start your day than by watching the sun rise over one of Aruba’s incomparably beautiful beaches? Lie in the warm sand and watch the sun paint glorious colors on the surface of pristine aqua waters while the breeze stirs the branches of the palm trees. For those who want to be closer to the action, Palm Beach, located near a string of high-rise hotels, or Eagle Beach, one of the most famous beaches of Aruba, are great options. For shallower, calmer waters and a less crowded atmosphere, Baby Beach will not fail to charm visitors.

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset
More laid-back vacationers may prefer to lie in the sand and soak up the sun while the peaceful drone of surging waves and warm breezes lulls them to sleep. (Don’t forget to slather on some sunscreen before you drift off to dreamland!) More adventurous visitors, however, should try diving or snorkeling, two of the most colorful and unforgettable experiences that Aruba can boast. Aruba is famous for its incredible underwater attractions: vibrant, brilliantly-colored natural reefs and lonely, haunting shipwrecks. The wrecked S.S. Pedernales, a British oil tanker sunk by a German submarine during World War II, is a popular shipwreck for snorkelers and divers. Many of the ship’s features, including fully-furnished cabins, can be explored just twenty-five feet below the ocean’s surface. Several snorkeling sites, such as the Arashi Reef or Renaissance Island, even display submerged aircraft. And of course, as you swim among the reefs, you’ll catch glimpses of all kinds of exotic aquatic wildlife – angelfish, crabs, octopi, grouper and many more.
While the day is still young and your energy level is high, take a trip to Mt. Hooiberg, a volcanic peak that offers a marvelous view of the island. Climb the 562 steps to the summit for a breathtaking glimpse of Oranjestad, Aruba’s colorful capital city. On clear days, you can even see the South American country of Venezuela. Don’t forget your camera. You’ll want to take pictures of the fantastic panorama that spreads out before you.

If you’re an animal lover, there are plenty of ways for you to sneak a peek at Aruba’s wildlife. Visit Arikok National Park to see birds, iguanas, snakes, lizards and many other animals amid the beautiful scenery of Aruba’s sand dunes, caves and cliffs. Your whole family, kids included, will enjoy the Ostrich Farm and Donkey Sanctuary, where you can learn about, meet and feed these endearing animals.

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset

During the heat of the afternoon, you may want to make your escape to one of Aruba’s cooler attractions, the enthrallingly mysterious caves located within the Arikok National Park. While these caves certainly are geologically impressive, there’s more to them than stalactites and stalagmites. You’ll be transported back in time by viewing the ancient artwork of the Arawak Indians at Fontein Cave. Take a romantic trip through the Huliba Cave, also known as the Tunnel of Love because of its heart-shaped entrance. Watch out for bats, though. While these soft, squeaky creatures won’t do you any harm, they can be skittish!

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset
If you’re hoping for a complete view of Aruba, don’t miss Aruba’s famous helicopter tour. You’ll be issued headphones to communicate with the pilot and other passengers, and from the clear skies above Aruba you can look down on the island’s cities, beaches and landscapes. For a closer look, rent an ATV or, if you’re athletically inclined, a bicycle.



As the day begins to wane, visit Oranjestad to get a feel for Aruban culture. Walk the streets and enjoy the quaint, pastel buildings. Soak up some local color at the two-hour Bon Bini Festival, an Aruban tradition featuring lively music, dancing, costumes, food and drink. Stop by one of Oranjestad’s shops or malls, such as Renaissance Mall, but be aware that many stores close by 6 p.m.

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset
When your stomach begins to remind you that it’s time for dinner, don’t miss an opportunity to sample Aruba’s finest cuisine. Marandi, on the Laguna Bay pier, features Caribbean flavors and an open kitchen (in case you’re curious about how the food is made). The Screaming Eagle provides a more urban, contemporary atmosphere with French-fusion cuisine. If you just can’t stand to tear yourself away from Aruba’s addictive, beautiful beaches, try Barefoot, a restaurant founded on the ideal of dining literally on the beach, with sand between your toes and a cool ocean breeze on your face.

Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset

As the sun sinks below the horizon, don’t miss a chance to catch a final glimpse of the Caribbean sky streaked with pink and orange. Savor the last few fleeting breezes as the stars begin to glisten above and the waves endlessly surge up on the shoreline.

Your day in Aruba is complete, and your heart and mind are full.
Aruba Captures Your Heart - From Glorious Sunrise to Brilliant Sunset
Aruba’s charms are for anyone searching for the ideal vacation spot. The athlete, the “beach bum,” the tireless adventurer, the chic shopper and the wildlife-lover will all fall in love with this destination. From the moment the sun first peeks up over the ocean horizon to the second it slips back into hiding, Aruba’s endless opportunities have the ability to captivate and enthrall, gifting visitors with memories that can never be forgotten.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Conchi, or the “Natural Pool,” of Aruba

Hidden away on the northern coast of the island is a deserted stretch of coastline, enclosed in the Arikok National Park, that contains an amazing naturally-formed attraction: the Conchi or “Natural Pool” of Aruba.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Conchi, or the “Natural Pool,” of Aruba

Along the remote coastline, which is only accessible by horseback or 4×4, the rocky terrain of the coast forms a circular shape, creating a protected pool in the midst of an otherwise fierce and unswimmable sea.

Often overlooked by cruisers and other tourists, the Natural Pool is an incredible sight that will delight and amaze any traveller.

Despite the beauty of this natural wonder, there are few official resources to guide visitors on how best to enjoy it. That’s why we compiled this complete guide for prospective Conchi visitors.

Read on to start planning your visit!

#1 Don’t Go Alone

Due to the remote location of the Natural Pool and the rough, rugged terrain you must cross to get there, all tourists should be accompanied by a guide. Navigating a 4×4 through the precarious path to the pool is a truly daunting task, one that should only be executed by an experienced guide who knows the terrain. Even when venturing to the pool by guided tour, the ride isn’t for the faint of heart!

Plus, most 4×4 rental businesses on the island require a signed waiver stating that renters will not attempt to drive themselves to the Natural Pool. Trust the locals and leave the driving up to the pros.

#2 Finding a Guide

Since the Conchi is a lesser-known hidden gem of the island, finding a guide to lead your way isn’t as simple as going to Google or opening up the phone book. Many guides operate on a rather informal basis, and word-of-mouth is often how the best are found.

You can find the perfect guide by working with Prestige Realty’s concierge services or browsing sites like TripAdvisor.

#3 What to Expect and What to Bring

First and foremost, you can expect to see and experience some beautiful scenery at Aruba’s Natural Pool. However, there are a few other things you should know to help plan for your trip:

Be aware of the weather and season before scheduling your tour – Because of the Natural Pool’s geography and location, its conditions are affected greatly by the season and daily conditions. A small change in tide or wind speed could mean the difference between safe swimming and being relegated to snapping photos from the shore (not to say that you won’t still enjoy yourself viewing the Natural Pool without jumping in). Furthermore, it’s important to take the time to check the weather, consider the season, and call your guide ahead of time to make sure that the pool’s conditions will suit your expectations.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Conchi, or the “Natural Pool,” of Aruba


Bring plenty of water – The journey to the Natural Pool and back is a long and hot one. Regardless of whether or not your guide supplies water and ice, it’s crucial that you bring plenty of your own water to make the trip. It’s not a bad idea to bring along some snacks and a change of clothes as well.

Wear durable, waterproof footwear – There is little sand at the Natural Pool. In fact, most of the area surrounding the pool is made up of rough, slippery rock. In order to avoid falling or hurting your feet, wearing tough, waterproof footwear is a must.

#4 Safety

Although taking a guided tour of the Arikok National Park and visiting the Conchi is a relatively safe excursion, there are still a few important notes on safety to keep in mind. As is true of any outdoor adventure, a few rules and a little common sense can go a long way:

Always obey your guide – No matter how smart you think yourself to be, you should always follow the instructions of your guide. Swimming in the pool is done at your own risk, however most guides will tell you when conditions are safe and when they aren’t. If your guide instructs you to stay out of the water, disobeying them could be the last bad decision you make.

Stay within your comfort zone – Even if the waters of the Natural Pool are deemed safe by your guide, it’s important to know and respect your own limitations. If you feel uncomfortable taking the plunge or swimming to deeper waters, listen to your instincts and stay where you feel the safest.

Never venture outside the pool – The Conchi is enclosed by natural walls of rocky coastline. These outcroppings are what allow the inside of the pool to be calm and swimmable. The waters that lie outside of them are rough, powerful, and filled with strong currents. If you are lucky enough to visit the Conchi on a day when swimming is safe, it’s imperative that you stay within the walls of the pool at all times.

#5 Have Fun!

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Conchi, or the “Natural Pool,” of Aruba

After you’ve prepped for your visit and reviewed the necessary information, let loose and have fun. Visiting the Natural Pool is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy it to the fullest!

The Complete Guide to the Golf Courses of Aruba

With just 69 square miles of land area, the tiny island paradise of Aruba simply doesn’t have the space for numerous golf courses with sprawling fairways and enormous greens. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality. Between the island’s three courses, there’s plenty of premium course acreage to make it a fantastic golf getaway destination.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Aruba’s golfing destinations for your next visit to the island, and check out the interactive map at the end of the post to guide your way to your next round.


Tierra del Sol

Tierra del Sol

As the only 18-hole, PGA-approved course in Aruba, Tierra del Sol is a must-play for any golf enthusiasts vacationing on the island. The course’s holes range from par 3 to 5 and run roughly 6000 yards long in total. The course incorporates plenty of scenic island water features, and there’s enough challenge to satisfy golfers of all skill levels.

And there’s no shortage of prestige at Tierra del Sol. The course was designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones II, and it has received a 4.5-star “Place to Play” rating from Golf Digest.

Learn more about the course and check tee times for Tierra del Sol here.


The Links at Divi Aruba

The Links at Divi Aruba

You can get in a shorter round of prime Aruba golfing by visiting The Links at Divi Aruba. Tucked inside the luxury community of the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort and winding along the water, this course gives players the perfect opportunity to experience the local flora and fauna.

The course is comprised of 9 holes, but don’t let the length cause you dismiss it. Each hole is packed with challenging and entertaining game play opportunities.

Take a look for yourself and find tee times by visiting The Links at Divi Aruba online.


Aruba Golf Club

Aruba Golf Club

If you’re looking for a lower key option, the Aruba Golf Club is the perfect choice for a relaxing round. The club was built all the way back in 1941 for employees of the old Lago Refinery, and it’s the oldest course on the island. Native wildlife, such as goats and donkeys, roam the course, and the indigenous features of the island really show through on each hole. For example, due to scarcity of water and the island’s arid climate, the course’s greens are composed of oiled sand and there is little grass on the fairways. Once you hit the green, you’ll need to mark your ball then use a roller to smooth a path to the hole. As strange as that sounds, it actually plays quite well, much like the average quality green.

Although you won’t experience the highest end course conditions at the Aruba Golf Club, you’ll have the chance to play on a piece of history. You can find contact information and other details for the course on the Club’s Facebook page.

The Best Music Festivals of Aruba

The Best Music Festivals of Aruba

Whether you’re a vacationing tourist soaking up the tropical sun or an island native looking to turn up the weekend heat, these music festivals deliver electrifying entertainment set against the idyllic backdrop of Aruba’s pristine beaches, sweeping seaside views, world-class nightlife and thriving arts scene.

Upcoming Festivals

Aruba Summer Music Festival — June 26 & 27, 2015:

Aruba Summer Music Festival -- June 26 & 27, 2015:

This event, taking place at the Harbor Square Arena, blends exotic Latin flair with laidback island vibes. The multi-cultural lineup includes both local Caribbean artists and international headliners such as Cuban-influenced rapper Pitbull, Colombian singer-songwriter Carlos Vives, Puerto Rican salsa sensation Jerry Rivera, reggaeton hitmaker Nicky Jam, and Latin Grammy Award-winner Elvis Crespo. Featuring a wide range of genres and eclectic beats, this festival appeals to various musical tastes that will have audiences dancing up and down the aisles.

Electric Festival — September 3-6, 2015:

This 3rd annual event, also taking place at the Harbor Square Arena, represents a creative intersection between Central and South America. The 4-day extravaganza features cutting-edge industry seminars, Q&A sessions with music game-changers and trendy pop-up parties, all culminating in Aruba’s largest outdoor music festival. Attendees will enjoy an uptempo fusion of Latin and Caribbean electronic dance rhythms, while rubbing elbows with some of the world’s foremost DJs, producers, label executives, and even up-and-comers on the indie scene.

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival — September 25 & 26, 2015:

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival -- September 25 & 26, 2015:

This event, taking place at the Renaissance Marketplace, combines diverse music styles with a vibrant atmosphere, friendly bars and food stands serving local fare. A unique medley of jazz, soul, funk and Latin sounds will fill the balmy night air, creating a one-of-a-kind festival experience. In addition, audiences can look forward to this year’s headlining acts: Grupo Niche, an internationally touring salsa band, and Earth, Wind & Fire Experience, a Los Angeles-based group known for reviving their namesake’s iconic hits for a new generation of fans.

Dande Music Festival — December 27 & 28, 2015:

Dande Music Festival -- December 27 & 28, 2015:

This event, whose location has yet to be announced, is Aruba’s most celebrated musical tradition, historically observed to ring in the New Year. “Dande” refers to a troupe of wandering musicians who travel from door-to-door spreading cheer with infectious tunes. In the spirit of this meaningful custom, the annual festival invites people of all ages to join the revelry, with the first day devoted to children and the second day reserved for adults. Attendees just won’t be able to resist tapping along with native island instruments such as the tambu, wiri and raspa.

Weekly Festivals

Bon bini Festival — Tuesday Evenings, 6:30-8:30 PM:

Bon bini Festival -- Tuesday Evenings, 6:30-8:30 PM:

This event, taking place in downtown Oranjestad, pays tribute to song and dance from time-honored Caribbean folklore. These warm, welcoming reverberations call to mind the distinct history, flavors and cadences this tropical paradise has to offer. Both locals and visitors alike are encouraged to come together and salsa the night away in the open-air courtyard of Fort Zoutman, Aruba’s oldest building. Admittance is only $5, so this weekly music festival is an affordable, entertaining way to become richly immersed in the culture’s creative roots.

Carubbian Festival — Thursday Evenings, 6-10:30 PM:

Carubbian Festival -- Thursday Evenings, 6-10:30 PM:

This event, taking place in San Nicolas’ southern tip, brings the energy of the internationally renowned Carnavale celebration to life. Although the actual Carnavale only occurs once a year, its trademark pomp and ceremony can now be enjoyed every week. This festival showcases live music, artisan crafts, traditional cuisine, and exotically costumed stilt walkers and street performers. Family friendly activities attract a diverse crowd of native islanders and tourists from around the globe, producing a colorful melting pot in Aruba’s “Sunrise City.”

Aruba Sinatra Show — Thursday Evenings, 7:30-10 PM:

Aruba Sinatra Show -- Thursday Evenings, 7:30-10 PM:

This event, taking place at the Old Cunucu House, transports the legendary croonings of Frank Sinatra to the tropics. Preeminent vocalist Fred de Jong serenades audiences with such favorites as “Luck Be a Lady,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” Guests are wined and dined while listening to this resonant voice and world-class orchestra recreate Sinatra’s big band classics. Tickets cost $15 per person (food, drinks and gratuity not included), making this dinner show the perfect option for a romantic date that won’t break the bank.

Music Festivals in 2016

Grand Final Tumba Contest — January 24, 2016:

This event, taking place at the Piedra Plat Entertainment Center, gives local bands and musicians an opportunity to compete for the Tumba King or Queen title. These emergent talents will perform their original compositions live in front of an audience, keeping the island’s dynamic arts appreciation alive and well. This music festival is named after the ritualistic Afro-Caribbean tambu drum, whose eclectic rhythms characterize Aruba’s annual Carnavale. Highlights of this contest include community bonding, spirited competition and extraordinary vocals.

International Jazz Day — April 30, 2016:

This event, taking place at the Renaissance Marketplace, perpetuates the global jazz movement to unite different nationalities through this transcendent genre. In recognition of this initiative, Aruba plans to present a free concert that will expose attendees from various backgrounds to jazz’s timeless, fluid and cross-cultural chords. The featured entertainer at this festival will be Leona Helm, a distinguished jazz expert who holds a Master’s degree in music performance. This lively evening is open to the public and supports worldwide artistic collaboration.

Soul Beach Music Festival — May 20-25, 2016:

Soul Beach Music Festival -- May 20-25, 2016:

This event, taking place at the Harbour Arena, is a multi-faceted experience offering live jam sessions, beach parties, club raves and comedy shows in one sizzling bash. It doesn’t get much better than an oceanfront music festival on white sandy shores. Even celebrities attend this soulful spectacle that tops the list of Jetsetter Magazine’s “Best Caribbean Summer Festivals” and lands the fourth slot on USA Today’s “10 Caribbean Celebrations” countdown. International headlining acts will rock the stage during these five nonstop days of fun in the sun.

Music is intrinsically connected to the vibrant, lighthearted Aruban lifestyle. As you can see, this island oasis boasts such a versatile festival scene that the entertainment options are virtually endless. Many even occur continually throughout the year, so regardless of your budget, schedule or musical preference, Aruba has a festival that will fit perfectly into your travel plans.