Aruba’s 10 Best Beaches
Aruba is one of the most famous islands in the Caribbean, which has become widely known for its white-sand beaches and clear jade waters. The local arid climate means that the sea is not polluted by runoff from the land, and so the coastal waters are a paradise for divers of all kinds. There are even shipwreck sites not far from the shore. The original native tree, Cesalpinia tannicum, or Divi Divi by the locals, grows in a highly unusual way, leaning to one side. This is due to the dominance of northeasterly winds, which attracts surfers and kitesurfers to Aruba from all over the world. The most popular beaches for tourists are concentrated along the west coast of the island and the south. There are excellent conditions for swimming, diving, lazy sunbathing, and surfing. To see the real power of the ocean, head to the northeastern part of the island. The local shores are constantly battered by the waves, which complements the coastal cactus landscape beautifully. Given the serious swell, swimming in the area is not recommended. Almost all of Aruba’s beaches are public. Many are complete with thatched gazebos to escape the scorching sun. As you walk along the beach, be careful not to damage the turtle nests. Usually, though, they are fenced in. One species that lays its eggs on the island is the leatherback turtle. If you are lucky, you may see them crawling out of the sand after sunset.
1. Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach is among Aruba’s most enticing tourist destinations. It is surrounded by coconut palms, sea grapes, and Cesalpinia tannica trees. Here and there among the white sand are straw gazebos, and across the street from the beach are low-rise houses (most of which rent apartments to tourists) and restaurants. The water in the area of the beach is truly beautiful: clean emerald shoals very picturesquely flow into the deep blue sea. The water is calm and safe for swimming even on windy days. Holidaymakers make full use of the jetpacks in the northern part of the beach, so we recommend to head to the other side of the site, where it is quieter and calmer. Right on the sand near the beach is a luxurious resort complex, focused exclusively on adult guests and responsible to the environment. There is also a romantic restaurant overlooking the ocean. If a turtle’s nest appears on the beach, it is quickly fenced off. If you see such a fence, that means you have a chance to observe turtles as well. Usually, they emerge from the sand around sunset or at night. There are two special Cesalpinia trees growing at the northernmost end of the beach, which are notable because they are the ones you see on most of Aruba’s tourist brochures.
2. Palm Beach (Palm Beach)
This beach is located just north of Eagle Beach. It is one of the most popular beaches and boasts the most developed tourist infrastructure due to the presence of high-rise hotels and luxury tourist complexes. If you crave to be in the center of the action, this is the right place. Restaurants and souvenir shops are scattered all over the beach. A variety of water sports await you here: inflatable banana boat rides, water skiing, paragliding behind a motorboat, and even water jetpack rides. Many of the gazebos, umbrellas and sun loungers are owned by the larger hotels, so you should hurry to get the best spot. There is a large selection of stores, restaurants and other tourist attractions within walking distance of the beach. The tropical atmosphere of the beach is perfectly complemented by the palm gardens belonging to the hotels. Perhaps you want to be close to Palm Beach, but would like to live in a more secluded and less expensive location. That’s not a problem, as there’s a great offer of detached cabins placed in a beautiful tropical garden just a short walk away.
3. manchebo beach.
Located slightly south of Eagle Beach, Manchebo Beach is less lively and more tranquil than its famous neighbors. This beach is the widest on the island. Its white sand is lined with straw gazebos and umbrellas, and there are several small, low-rise resorts nearby. Contributing to the overall tranquility of the beach is the fact that there are no motorized water activities. Note that such things are also forbidden on South Druif Beach. Food and drinks are available from the many tents along the beach. Many cafes are set up so that the tables have a great view of the beach and the ocean.
4. Arashi Beach
Located just north of the Boca Catalina area, Arashi Beach is the last sandy stretch before the California Lighthouse. With its calm sea and clear waters, the beach is good for swimming. It’s also the best place on the island for snorkelers, as there’s plenty to see even close to shore. Lots of different exotic fish snorkel here between rocks and soft corals, and the sandy bottom in the center of the beach makes it popular with swimmers. The number of gazebos is limited, so bring an umbrella to hide in the shade from the scorching sun. An umbrella is also handy if you decide to stay on the beach for a long time and organize a picnic, because there is no service here. North of the beach, the landscape changes to a wild rocky wasteland, resembling a moonscape with cacti.
5. Baby Beach
A 45-minute drive from the main tourist area of Palm Beach, on the southern tip of the island is Baby Beach. It is a beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of white sand adjacent to a turquoise lagoon. This beach is a good choice for families with young children. Its waters are calm and not deep, and dangerous currents pass outside the lagoon. Divers will be happy to find that the lagoon is home to some small fish species. This makes the beach a great place to teach kids how to snorkel and practice the necessary skills. In season, there are plenty of sunshades and gazebos set up on the beach. There are also colorful thatched stalls selling snacks. If you turn away from the water, the landscape is spoiled by the silhouette of an oil refinery. However, the view of the bay itself is quite beautiful. Do not forget to bring your camera to capture the beautiful play of colors of the water. This is the beach where locals come on weekends. Remember that its section adjacent to Rogers Beach (Roger’s Beach) is almost always slightly less crowded. A short drive from Baby Beach is Boca Grande, a popular spot for surfers and kiteboarders. However, the waters here are choppy and therefore swimming is not recommended.
6. Boca Catalina
Boca Catalina is a small area south of Arashi Beach near the California Lighthouse. This place is very popular with divers and is included in almost every cruise itinerary. The pebble beach is relatively small and close to a busy road. However, divers can find a variety of tropical fish and starfish right off the shore. You will probably see a few tourist boats with divers anchored off the coast. There is no service on the beach other than a couple of thatched huts from the sun. If you plan to stay here for a while, take food with you.
7. Malmok Beach
Malmock Beach is a stretch of rocky area with hard sand, which makes it somewhat different from the classic beach. Across the street is an area of expensive villas. The most notable element of the local landscape is the rusty carcass of a ship thrown ashore after a shipwreck. The ship used to lie deeper in the water and was used as a viewing object for divers, but a storm in 1999 tore it from its place and carried it closer to shore. North of the wreck is the most popular dive site on the entire island. The water here is clear and calm with an abundance of small fish. During the day, sailing boats with tourists who want to go scuba diving constantly flit around the area. There are no restaurants or large hotels in Malmok Beach. However, a large selection of hotels are only a four-minute walk away. And Palm Beach, with its well-developed infrastructure, isn’t far either – a few minutes by car. Surfing aficionados prefer an area called the Fisherman’s Hut, just south of the beach. During June and July, it hosts the largest surfing event in the entire Caribbean, the Aruba Hi-Winds.
8. Savaneta Beach
A half-hour drive from the main resort area, on the way to Baby Beach is Savaneta Beach. It is a relatively quiet place with white sand, clear water, sea grapes and the original Cesalpinia trees. The area is beloved by fishermen, while there are almost no tourists here. Locals spend most of their time on the beach, but there are some excellent seafood restaurants nearby, as well as a couple of small hotels and rented houses. Another quiet spot popular with locals, Mangel Halto Beach, is a two-minute drive from Savaneta Beach. If you decide to snorkel here, you’ll see plenty of colorful fish and sea sponges.
9. Boca Prince .
The wild and windswept beach of Boca Prince is located on the northeastern tip of the island in Arikok National Park. This spot contrasts strongly with the calm and clear waters of the tourist area. To get to this rocky beach with hard sand, you will need a 4 X 4 vehicle. However, once you get here, you can just sit somewhere and enjoy the raging power of the ocean colliding with the rocks. Many tourists come here for a picnic or to eat at a nearby restaurant overlooking the imposing cliffs. You can also go down the stairs to the sandy shore, where you can walk. But you can’t swim here because of the dangerous waves.
10. De Palm Island
De Palm Island is a five-minute ferry ride from Aruba. There are several small sandy beaches, as well as a number of opportunities for other activities. Tourists are handled on an all-inclusive basis. The island is popular with family vacationers with children, as there’s plenty for them to do: spiral water slides, pools, banana boat rides, beach volleyball, and dancing and diving lessons. Drinks and food are included in the total bill without any restrictions. For an additional fee, you can go scuba diving in a classic diving suit with an oversized helmet or book yourself a relaxing massage. Two types of tours to the island are most popular: half-day and full-day.
Aruba best beaches
The best beaches on the island of Aruba are in the south. By a strange coincidence, in the southern part of the island are also: the industrial area, the seaport and the airport. The northern coast of Aruba is completely devoid of bays, resulting in poor protection of the beaches from the waves.
But luckily Aruba’s wind rose (the proximity to the continent of South America) blows from the north, so the south coast is to the leeward side and the waves on the beaches are mostly small, if at all.
An important note about your location on Aruba. If you’ve rented a car in Aruba (car rental in Aruba), you shouldn’t worry about where to stay on the island of Aruba – the island is small.
Baby Beach & Lagoon Beaches
Baby Beach, as well as the neighboring Rodger’s beach are located on the east south coast of Aruba (if you look at the map of the island – below). The beach got its name for the safety of children – they are brought here on weekends by buses. The sea here is calm (the lagoon is protected from possible waves by a reef) and shallow.
Baby Beach is considered very photogenic. Most likely due to the color of the water – it is here uniformly azure color. The beach is fine white sand. The seabed is also sand.
The beach is public, but there is shade from the bushes. There are also beach mushrooms made of straw and a couple of cafes. The parking lot at the beach is quite large and free. There have been no cases of theft from cars in the parking lot.
One of the attractions that diversifies Aruba’s rather sparse landscape is the oil refinery. Its cracking columns look from the beach like an unfinished Moscow City.
Mangel Halto Beach.
Mangel Halto is after the industrial zone and before the airport. The beach is not remarkable except that part of the beach is overgrown with mangroves, bushes which create a natural vip glades, where tourists or locals put beach chairs, coolers with beer and relax. The beach is shallow and not very pretty.
The beach near the airport (Surfside beach).
The beach is located at the end of the runway of the Aruba airport. This beach does not have any distinctive merits. Is only a children’s sea park with inflatable slides. Landing here planes are quite high and it is not interesting to photograph them.
The main advantage of this public beach is that you can enter it by car. There is some shade, but no sun loungers, showers…nothing. It is a beach to take a dip once and then drive on.
Nice Divi beach
The next beach on the way west is Divi beach. Here there are already beach hotels of budget price category and most importantly – they are small. The beach is equipped, but it is also public. White sand, good entrance to the sea.
Not impressed. What opened up the view – not beautiful. But the hotels here have the best location – you can go swimming at Divi Beach when there are no waves or at a nearby Eagle Beach.
Good Eagle beach
This is an extension of Manchebo and Divi Beach, but on the other side of the beak, a promontory jutting out into the sea. This beach is the widest of any beach in Aruba. White sand and palm trees.
Several large, but low-rise hotels are concentrated here. The place is probably the most picturesque on Aruba. You can park your car in the parking lot of the restaurant and go swimming.
The beach is at the hotel, but everyone has access to it. Only sun loungers can not be used. Examples of beach hotels with high ratings on Eagle Beach are Bucuti & Tara Boutique Beach Resort and Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa. It’s cheaper to look for apartments or B&Bs across the street – as I wrote above – having a car doesn’t care how far from the beach to live. For example Sasaki Apartments are next to a supermarket, which is much more interesting than a room in a beach hotel.
This is a concentration of expensive, high-rise hotels on Aruba. The place is not interesting, so we only came here in the evening to eat at a Brazilian restaurant. The beach is narrow, the hotels are big. The whole space is crammed with sunbeds.
Budget accommodations are away from Palm Beach. For example Salina Cerca Apartments and everything nearby. You can check out what the private rentals on Aruba offer on Airbnb. We stayed in the large Sunset Residences apartments – I can recommend this place, the apartments are modern and fully packed.
Hadicurari beach for kiteboarders
Next door – where the hotels have not yet been built – are the places where kite surfers race. The sea is shallow and calm.
Malmok beach for snorkeling
This is not a beach in the proper sense of the word. But you can swim here: there are gaps in the rocky shore and you can go down into the water here. The sea is calm and clean. This beach is positioned as a beach for snorkeling – that’s right, you can’t put sunbeds here. And the swimming is very good.
There is accommodation right on the beach: Villa Bougainvillea Aruba and The Beach House.
Arashi beach is a nice beach.
A nice deserted beach. Last in line with the beaches of the south coast of Aruba. The westernmost beach. The rest is not swimmable and dangerous.
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