Aruba is a rather small island, comparable to the German island Fehmarn. And yet, Aruba can be roughly divided into three regions where hotels and activities are concentrated or you can find a beautiful landscape with almost no hotels at all. All three holiday regions have their own advantages and disadvantages.
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Where should you stay?
If you are planning your dream vacation in Aruba, you should first consider whether you would rather spend your vacation in a quieter or livelier area. Also the question of whether it should be a hotel, a holiday apartment in a large hotel or holiday apartment complex, a smaller condo or maybe even a holiday home must be considered before choosing where you will stay.
Ingeneral, the individual regions are also assigned to different beaches and some of them are very different. Some are rather quiet, others offer not only a great beach but also a lively nightlife. In addition to a short introduction of the individual holiday regions, I will also introduce you to some hotels on Aruba.
Palm Beach and High Rise Area - beach at day, party and shopping at night
The region around Palm Beach is commonly known as the “High Rise Area”. Many of the first-class and high-priced hotels on Aruba rise high into the sky and promise the greatest of luxury. In the High Rise Area are many different restaurants, from fast food to the most exquisite restaurants. Along the more than 700m long main street you will find a variety of entertainment: In the evening you can go shopping in Palm Beach Plaza or enjoy the Waltzing Water Show. Or you can enjoy a game of roulette in the Copacabana Casino.
Probably the most luxurious hotels in Aruba includind the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino* or the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino* are located here. Not directly at the beach, but therefore a bit cheaper, is the Brickell Bay Beach Club Boutique Hotel & Spa* (adults only). The Playa Linda Beach Resort* is also very beautiful with its ingenious pool landscape.
Eagle Beach and Low Rise Area - the quieter beach region
Eagle Beach and the Low Rise Area, which is actually located south of Eagle Beach, are way quieter than the High Rise Area. Also, the hotels not build as high.
The Eagle Beach, Manchebo Beach and Divi Beach are more than 2 kilometres long. You can walk from one end to the other in pure white sand.Hotels are mostly on the other side of the beach road and not as big as in High Rise.
We were so happy with “our” beach at the end of Eagle Beach where it becomes Manchebo Beach, that we did not visit Palm Beach except for dinner. In Low Rise, you also find a small mall, the Alhambra Casino and some good restaurants, although there are less than in High Rise. On the other hand it is much quieter here in the evening and not so crowded at the beach. We came to Aruba in June and even when there was a cruise ship in Oranjestad, the beach was still quite empty.
We have lived in a beautiful holiday apartment in the Sunset Residence for our holidays on Aruba near Eagle Beach. Two bedrooms, an open kitchen, balcony and a beautiful pool area. It was maybe a 5-7 minuters walk to the beach. We paid only about 3200€ for 15 nights four adults in June (no catering as we decided to buy our own breakfast and eat out every day). The apartment complex was very clean, green and quiet. Restaurants, the Alhambra Mall, medical care and bus stops were all within 10 minutes at most. The Superfood supermarket was 20-25 minutes walk away (or you go by taxi which would cost around 11$).
The Bucuti & Tara Boutique Beach Resort* is located directly on the beach and for adults only. You can also find cheaper studios in the Divi Studios*. The entire Divi complex is located at Divi Beach. However, a shuttle will take you from the Alhambra through the complex and directly to the beach, past the All Inclusive – Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort*. At the northern end and almost in the High Rise Area there is the the Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort*, a great, large resort directly at the beach.
Oranjestad and Renaissance Island
Even though Oranjestad is the capital of Aruba, it’s not exactly what you would expect of a capital. Except when there’s a cruise ship in the harbour. The Royal Plaza Mall, jewelerys and souvenir shops and also some clothing stores are basically all there is to see here.
Additionally, there are some restaurants and bars. Then there is also the Renaissance Mall that contains designer shops as Burberry and Louis Vuitton. But then, you reach Aruba’s beaches from Oranjestad very well by bus or taxi.
Oranjestad is home to the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino*, which also includes the famous private “Renaissance Island”. By the way, there are several flamingos living on the island, which you can watch and feed. The island is also said to have the most beautiful snorkelling spot of all Aruba. But since the entrance fee for non-guests is 99$, we did not visit the island.
You can live in Oranjestad for a really cheap price, compared to the beach areas. Relatively close to the city and really cheap are for example the Aruba Paseo Apartments.
While you’re in town, you must definitely take one of the Downtown Trolleys. The open double-decker trams are free of charge and will take you through the city centre to the harbour. The trams are available in blue, red and orange.
South of Oranjestad - small beaches
Most hotels are located between Oranjestad and Palm Beach. The south is quieter than the northern beach areas. But there are less beaches which are usually also smaller than the ones in the north.
At the most beautiful beach in the south, the Baby Beach, there are no hotels (apparently it is planned to build one nearby by the end of 2022). But there is an accommodation at Mangel Halto, a small beach between the mangroves, where you can snorkel very well. If you are looking for peace and quiet and want to enjoy your holiday away from all the tourists, then the Anaté Beach Apartments* might be just what you are looking for.
Have you already been to Aruba? Which region would you recommend? Which one would be your favourite, if you haven’t been there yet? Tell me in a comment! Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so that you will always get the latest blogposts.