The best action-packed activities to do in Aruba
By Hannah Barnard on 23rd January, 2018
Combine an undeveloped desert interior with two coasts of startling contrasts: one calm and resort-peppered, and the other, rugged and wind-whipped, and you have all the makings of an eclectic range of activities and sports. Here’s the lowdown on the best action-packed activities to do on Aruba.
While some prefer the sublime relaxation of quiet lounging, kayaking, swimming, yoga or standup paddleboard, others prefer to be where the action is. Exuberant games of beach tennis and volleyball work up a thirst. The beach assumes a life of its own with a frenetic array of jet skis, WaveRunners, banana boats, motorized tubes and water-propelled jet packs. Luxury catamarans offer cruise, swim and snorkel excursions, including lively music, open bar and food.
Aruba ranks high as a windsurfing destination in light of its flat-water locations, challenging wave conditions, extensive shallows and constant trade winds averaging fifteen knots year-round. Avid windsurfers slice the water and kitesurfers flirt with the trade winds. Hadicurari Beach (also known as Fisherman Huts), located just a few minutes from Palm Beach, is the place to put athletic skills to the test. Spots along the windward coast attract more experienced bodyboarders and surfers.
Diving on Aruba
Good visibility, shallow reefs, and captivating shipwrecks give divers an array of options. Most sites are on the southern, or leeward, coast. Reef, shore and wreck diving reveal a brilliant underwater panorama. Aruba is touted as the wreck-diving capital of the Caribbean; the entire south coast is a coral reef with twenty dive sites and eleven diver-friendly wrecks. Reef, wreck and night diving can be arranged.
For deep-sea fishing, half and full-day excursions go five to seven miles offshore. Game fish catch includes sailfish, blue and white marlin, dorado, wahoo, shark, barracuda, kingfish, and tuna. Enjoy bottom fishing and reel-in snapper, grouper, triggerfish, and squirrelfish.
Arikok National Park
On land, extreme sports enthusiasts can begin with the 400-step climb up the Hooiberg. Arikok National Park is a natural preserve that covers about one fifth of Aruba, home to a wealth of fascinating flora and fauna, the three geological formations that shaped the island, and interesting historical sites. There are 29 miles of rocky hiking trails with three different hiking levels. Along the way, adventurers soak up otherworldly rock formations, Indian caves, and other natural phenomena.
While horseback riding near the hotels is scenic and sociable, rides along the windward coast are best left to seasoned equestrians. Bikes are available for rental at bike shares and bike shops. Cyclists and mountain bikers will encounter strong whipping wind, and rugged, hilly and rocky terrain. For off-road adventure and thrill seekers can explore wild outback on a 4×4 Jeep Safari, ATV or UTV, negotiating canyons and jagged rocks, and dodging cacti while exploring the rugged beauty of the island’s northern shore.
Aruba’s golf courses can be more than challenging with constant breezes and tropical sun. Tierra del Sol is a championship 18-hole desert golf course with panoramic sea views. Steps away from the beach, The Links at Divi Aruba, a nine-hole course, boasts manicured emerald greens, play over water, and beautifully landscaped lagoons.
Whether you decide to work out or chill out, you’ll find the perfect menu of land and sea activities that suit your level of energy and fitness.
Read more: 7 awesome things for kids to do on Aruba