Steal away to the southern Caribbean on an amazing holiday to Aruba. This island is actually part of the Netherlands – and you can see the hallmarks of Holland in capital Oranjestad. The bright buildings clustered around continental squares could have been lifted straight from Amsterdam.
Thankfully, the weather here’s a little better than in the Netherlands; temperatures hover around the 31°C mark all year round and even in rainy season, showers are short-lived.
Aruba fans are hooked on the luxe hotels, great golf courses and designer shopping.
From beautiful Baby Beach to the stunning vistas at Eagle Beach, this island is blessed with some real sandy beauties, all lapped by turquoise waters, of course. Add in miles of natural good looks, carnival culture and awesome coral reefs and you’ve got one very special Caribbean island.
People go on holidays to Aruba all year round, thanks to its hot, tropical climate. There’s a rainy season between October and December, but even then, the showers are short and temperatures remain high.
If you can tear yourself away from the poolside or the pristine beaches, holidays to Aruba have got loads to offer. First up are the watersports, plenty of them, including windsurfing, sailing and boat trips. Go snorkelling and spot tropical fish darting in rainbow reefs, or head deeper under the Caribbean and see the enormous Antilla shipwreck. On dry land, try out hiking and horse riding or tee off on one of the top notch golf courses. Capital Oranjestad makes for a great day out, thanks to its pretty architecture and high-end shopping. If nature’s more your thing, venture into the unspoilt Arikok National Park; covering almost a fifth of the island, it’s a haven for rare wildlife. Fun family excursions include the butterfly farm and donkey sanctuary. Definitely more to do than lie on the beach, then.
A lot of Aruba holidays are all inclusive, meaning visitors tend to eat at their hotels. As well as the main buffet, some of the luxury hotels also offer a choice of international, a la carte restaurant. It depends on the hotel, but options include Japanese and Italian. Palm Beach and Oranjestad both have a wide selection of eateries serving up Dutch, American and local cuisine. Don’t miss the local specialities, including fresh seafood and tropical cocktails.
Most of Aruba’s beachfront hotels lay on their own entertainment, such as live music and shows. For the liveliest nightlife, head to Oranjestad, where you’ll find clubs, bars, casinos and lavish cabaret shows. If you’d prefer something a little lower-key, you can’t get more relaxing than dinner and drinks down by the beach.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.