I have been to many Caribbean islands, but never Aruba.
Aruba is a small island off the coast of Venezuela, located in the majestic Caribbean Sea. The island is only 20 miles long, but that doesn't take away from the amazing white sand beaches, vibrant culture, turquoise waters and gorgeous weather.
Looking for a week of family fun? A romantic getaway? A girl's vacay? No matter what you're looking for in a vacation, Aruba's got it. There's truly something for everyone!
10 Reasons You MUST Visit Aruba
1. Get some sun, sand and surf – Aruba's beaches are perfect for everyone. You'll love basking in their 82 degree average weather, getting some sand in your toes, and surfing, swimming, snorkeling and more. The west coast is lined with resorts and bustling with activity. The opposite side is not for swimming, but affords a tranquil beach setting that is less traveled.
2. Activities and Excursions – With plenty of activities available in Aruba, you'll never be out of things to do. Various companies across the island offer scenic tours, horseback rides, fishing, golf, skydiving, water sports, museums and more.
3. Slots, Poker, Blackjack – You can get your gamble on at one of Aruba's 12 casinos. Most are in large resorts in Palm Beach or the country's capital, Oranjestad.
4. Enjoy an all-inclusive – Aruba has plenty of resorts, but some like to take the all-inclusive route. I have been drooling over Riu Palace, a beach front property in the Palm Beach area.
5. Take in a little retail therapy – Aruba has plenty of what you need, all at about 10-35% lower price than in the U.S. Shop for the top brands, jewelry, electronics, apparel, beach wear, souvenirs, and cosmetics at upscale malls and downtown shops. The Renaissance Mall has high end merchandise, while the Palm Beach Plaza Mall, Aruba's largest, has just about everything.
6. Wildlife and Natural Wonders – Visit one of Aruba's natural habitats and sanctuaries. Choose from Arikok National Park, Bubali Bird Sanctuary, Ostrich Adventures, A Butterfly Farm, and even natural caves, rock formations and pools. These are kid approved.
7. Party Hardy Nightlife – "When the kids are away…" Tourists and locals mingle at casual beach bars, happy hours, and cocktail parties. They are found up and down the southwest coast. You can also jump on a barhopping bus or walk the strip as it comes alive at night.
8. Spa and Total Wellness – Massage services are synonymous with vacation, at least in my book! Many of the resorts have spas in them, where you can rejuvinate. Wraps, body scrubs, massage, aromatherapy, and yoga are all available.
9. Eat – One of my favorite things to do when I travel it to taste the local cuisine. You'll find every type of food served in resorts and restaurants on the island, but be sure to sample the local delights downtown and off the beaten path: plantains, empanadas, seafood, meats, rice and stews.
10. Carnival! – If you've never been to Carnival in the Caribbean, you've got to get yourself out there! These traditional events are full of life. Celebrate Carnival in Aruba in November, and take part in fancy pagentry costumes, live music, and grand parades that shut the cities of Oranjestad and San Nicolas down!
Ah, and the bucket list grows. I will make it a point to take an Aruba vacation before my days are over, believe that! For Aruba travel information, visit their website or connect with the island of Aruba on Facebook.