As a couple, Aruba was my husband and I’s favorite trip to date.
So many reasons why come to mind: traveling with friends, endless sunshine, good food, nice locals.
The most memorable reason, however, is the variety of unique things that there are to do in Aruba. Aruba has a great selection of activities that range all the way from pure relaxation to adrenaline-rushing adventure.
Since our trip, I’ve shared our Aruba itinerary with friends and now I’m sharing it with all of my blog friends as well!
A COUPLE OF ‘BY-THE-WAYS’:
#1| This itinerary won’t include trip details like what we ate or where we stayed.
This Aruba itinerary is strictly about our daily activities.
#2| Aruba isn’t what I would call a budget destination.
Activities cost a lot on this island when compared to, say, Mexico. Some of the activities I share below cost a good amount of money so budget accordingly!
If budget traveling is more your style, you would like: How I Did 7 Days in Paris For Less Than $1000 Total
Aruba Itinerary: DAY #1
Daytime | THE JOLLY PIRATES SNORKELING TOUR (+ ROPE SWING)
We booked a morning (to afternoon) snorkeling cruise with the Jolly Pirates.
The cruise stopped at 3 different snorkeling locations (one of which includes a shipwreck).
After snorkeling all 3 sites, a delicious BBQ lunch was served, the bar was opened and they turned on the music!
After a tiring morning of snorkeling, everyone relaxed and it became like a party cruise! Finally, they pulled out the rope swing and we all took turns swinging into the water.
There’s one thing I have to mention…
I AM NOT A SWIMMER!!! I had to use a life vest to snorkel and frankly, I didn’t know if I would get the hang of it. (Now that I think about it, it was a little ambitious for my first time to be in the middle of the ocean!).
The staff and other cruise goers were SO nice about teaching me and they helped me to feel safe and confident. I even jumped in the water twice using the rope swing (with the life vest on, let’s not get crazy).
This was easily one of the funnest activities in Aruba and I would HIGHLY recommend this tour.
Evening | ARUBA RAY’S COMEDY CLUB
In the evening, we picked up our friends at the airport, ate dinner and headed out to Aruba Ray’s Comedy Club, located in the Marriott.
This is the most popular standup comedy show on the island and they sell out every night.
We had to do a little waiting for them to fit us in but once we were in, it was a lighthearted, relaxing evening.
And if you want more to do after the show, the Marriott also has a casino, restaurant and bar.
Aruba Itinerary: DAY #2
Daytime | MOOMBA BEACH WATER ACTIVITIES
On day #2, we hit one of the beaches closest to our AirBnB. We made quick friends with a local that got us deals on some of the beach activities we wanted to do.
For your beach itinerary, you can either book activities ahead of time (see a list of tour companies below) or you can book on the spot from one of the MANY vendors available right on the beach. We booked on the beach and chose the following activities:
- Water Jet Boarding / Flyboarding (this was expensive but it’s certainly a unique thing to do)
- Jet Skiing
- Relaxing on Ocean Floats
Evening | NIGHT OUT ON PALM BEACH
At nighttime, we dressed up a little and hit the nightlife near Palm Beach.
We walked around and eventually, an amazing live performance at the Hard Rock Cafe drew us in. We danced and ate dinner there.
Afterwards, we continued the evening at a nearby bar and shopped for souvenirs (all in walking distance).
Aruba Itinerary: DAY #3
Daytime | FLAMINGO BEACH
(alt: submarine tour)
The flamingos live exclusively on a private island owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort. If you stay at that resort ($$$), you may visit the island for free. If you don’t, then you have to buy one of their (limited) day passes (which were $125 at the time). Because the passes are limited, you want to be one of the first people in line, so I was waiting at about 6 am.
The day pass comes with lunch and a drink on the island.
While there, I met new friends and we explored the island (which included a short hike) together. It was a great experience that I would recommend for first timers who don’t mind the price.
***The others took this submarine tour while I was on Flamingo Beach.
Afternoon | DAIMARI BEACH / NATURAL POOL
The natural pool is a swimming hole made by nature out of rocks and volcanic material. It is on the other side of Aruba- in Arikok National Park.
Some people get there by ATV but we drove as far as we could and then hiked down the rest of the way by foot. It was a steep hike and won’t be appropriate for those with difficulties walking.
We stopped at Daimari Beach, which is on the way to the Natural Pool. For some reason, there was no one there when we arrived so we had it completely to ourselves.
Though it was a tough drive (we thought about turning back multiple times), our last minute trip there was extremely worth it. You get to see a whole different side of Aruba apart from the beach. Also, being there by ourselves was hauntingly beautiful.
I would recommend this activity to anyone that wants to go a bit off the beaten path and explore an authentic, less commercialized part of this beautiful island.
Evening | DINNER ON THE BEACH
For our last supper in Aruba, I made reservations for a fancy sunset dinner right on the beach (toes in the sand and all).
At the time, there were 2 nice restaurants offering dinner on the beach at night: Barefoot & The Flying Fishbone.
We reserved a table at Barefoot and it was a fantastic experience.
I can’t remember much about the food but the sunset view and the experience of eating on a warm and lightly breezy beach was truly top notch.
Aruba Itinerary: DAY #4
Morning | BABY BEACH
Located on the opposite side of the island (from Palm & MooMba Beach), Baby Beach was our farthest drive across the island.
One of the locals (turned-friend) convinced us to visit Baby Beach before leaving. According to him, Baby Beach is the beach that the locals most enjoy; it is much less populated and therefore cleaner than the other beaches.
Because it’s less populated, there are also a lot less activities happening on this beach. What we did find though, was an excellent restaurant to have lunch.
I highly suggest Big Mama’s Grill – they treated us well and the food was delicious (with large portion sizes).
Afternoon | SEABOB-ING
We just couldn’t resist. We went back to Moomba Beach for a little more fun before our flight at night.
This time, we rented a SeaBob which let us scuttle across the water like dolphins! This is definitely on my list to do again (and often) on my next trip to Aruba.
After this, we prepared to go home.
Still looking for other things to do in Aruba?
- 10 Adrenaline-Pumping Activities
- 20 Outdoorsy Things to Do in Aruba
- Relaxing & Fun Things To Do On A Momcation in Aruba
- For UTVs & Jeep Tours, check out ABC Tours
- For a great variety of tours, check out Shore Excursions
- Want even more options? How about Project Expedition
As you can see, Aruba was a PACKED trip!
From relaxation on the beach to adventurous hiking and exploration, our itinerary had it ALL!
I had a great time and am hoping to go back for even more fun.
So… Does this itinerary inspire you to book an island getaway or what?
By the way, don’t forget to subscribe!
Wow this post made me want to go to Aruba like NOW. My husband and I just got back from Europe a couple of weeks ago, but we’re planning a cruise to the Caribbean for next summer so this was very helpful and definitely makes me want to make sure Aruba is one of the places we visit! The snorkeling/party cruise and flamingo island sound like so much fun!
I haven’t traveled extensively across the Caribbean but I truly enjoyed the vibe in Aruba. People were TRULY pleasant and the island felt very safe.
And yes yes yes to the Jolly Pirates snorkeling cruise! Don’t miss it!
Emily Ryan says
This is such a well written post, you’ve given me wanderlust! I would love to visit, especially now. Thank you for sharing ?
Yayyy! You are welcome Emily!
I’m going to Aruba in September and I’ve booked dinner reservations based on your review at Barefoot. I also cannot swim but want to do snorkeling badly when I go. Thanks for your blog
You’re so welcome! Have fun!