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.
A typical brightly colored building in the town of Oranjestad
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
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.
The Butterfly Farm
There are very few places where you can experience the splendor of hundreds of butterfly and moth species like you can at Aruba’s Butterfly Farm. The farm offers guided tours that show off the fascinating nature of these creatures in every stage of their life cycle, and you’ll get the chance to wander among the many winged beauties in their natural habitat.
The Butterfly Farm is a great spot for visitors of all ages, and once you pay for entry you’ll get a pass for free return visits any time during your stay. Have a look at some of the butterflies you can see at http://www.thebutterflyfarm.com.
Rodgers Beach and Baby Beach
If privacy is your priority, then Rodgers Beach is the place to be. Few tourists find their way to its beautiful white sands and gorgeous waters, because the Valero Refinery is somewhat visible from the water. Don’t let that scare you away though. The quality of Rodgers Beach is top-notch, and seeing the refinery off in the distance is a small price to pay for the solitude and seclusion that you’ll find at this spot.
Baby Beach is another local favorite. It isn't too crowded compared to other popular beaches, such as Palm Beach, and snorkeling in the bay is a great excursion. However, venturing outside the bay is not advised, as there are strong currents. Baby Beach's clear, shallow (no deeper than adult waist height) waters extend 50 feet from the shore, making it a great spot for younger beachgoers and small children too.
What are your favorite hidden Aruba gems? Let us know and we’ll be sure to spread the word!