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There are plenty of things you can do in Aruba, but many people decide to hang around the beach and pool all day long, and never really leave their resort.

If you’re also visiting the island, but don’t know what you should do for fun, other than the beach, consider one of my many “one day in Aruba” itineraries. 

Things You Can Do in Aruba

Aruba is a small island, but the amount of things one can do doesn’t disappoint.

This itinerary doesn’t cover everything there is to do on the island, because you only have one day, but the following list of 7 exciting things you can do in Aruba promises, a feel for the islands landmarks, a taste of a local dish, plenty of relaxing time at a secret beach and great place to end the day!

If you’re not sure if you’re going to rent a car, think about it again, because you will need a car to visit these sites. Read more about our car rental rates here.

So what should you do, if you’re looking for things you can do in Aruba for one day?

things you can do in Aruba

Pin it, if you have pinterest!

1. Take A Tour at The California Lighthouse

The lighthouse was closed for many years, but there’s enough reason to see the tower now, because it has been completely refurbished recently and is open for the public.

So, after breakfast, head over to the northwestern tip of the island, for a guided tour and historic explanation about the California Lighthouse (tour starts at 8:30 AM).

things you can do in Aruba

Take a tour of the California lighthouse.

Why should you visit the California lighthouse?

For one reason only, to soak in the best view on the island from the highest point in this area!

Important to know….

  • Tour starts at 8:30 AM (and takes 45 minutes to complete)
  • Tickets can be bought at the lighthouse for $8.00 per person
  • You can buy refreshments at a nearby shaved ice truck
  • There’s also an Italian restaurant near the lighthouse.

Click here to read more about the California Lighthouse

2. See The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins

After seeing the spectacular backdrop at the lighthouse, make your way towards the northern coast of the island, to see the remainder of an abandoned gold mill that once processed ores during Aruba’s own gold rush in the nineteenth century.

This place is called bushiribana gold mill ruins and it’s a popular stop with the local tours, so you should see it too!

things you can do in Aruba

There’s still might be gold hidden around here.

Things you can do here: climb the rocks, take pictures and breathe the fresh air of Aruba’s coast.

There’s a truck right next to the gold mill ruins that sells refreshments (and they also have bathrooms you can use, for $1.00).

If you want to squeeze in another attraction, check out the natural bridge, on the same dirt road, not far from the gold mill.

3. Climb The Casibari Rock Formation

Head out from bushiribana to the city of Paradera, to climb one of Aruba’s wonders – a natural rock formation.

Walk around this beautiful park, to see the islands native flora and fauna.

The natural boulders are stacked on each other, creating the highest lookout point in Paradera. 

things you can do in Aruba

Climb the big boulders to get a beautiful view of the island.

How did these boulders get stacked on top of each other? I don’t know, that’s the mysterious thing about this site. One things I know for sure, the view from the top of the rock formation is breathtaking. 

There’s a bar, right next to the park entrance, they sell local souvenirs and refreshments. You can also use the bathroom here, if you need to.

Related – 21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba

4. Eat Fried Fish & Shrimps For Lunch

After you’ve seen some of the islands popular landmarks, it will be probably be in the middle of the day already, and if you’re like me, you’d be feeling hungry. So, what’s the best way to deal with your cravings? With one of the island’s favorite dish – fried fish! 

things you can do in Aruba

Enjoy your basket of fried fish, shrimps and a few cold Beers.

I’m sure you’d want to eat where the locals eat, and one of the many places locals like to go is to zeerovers, located in the city Savaneta.

The menu is simple (and inexpensive), but delicious! On the list of food they serve is fresh fish, shrimps, flatbread (called pan-bati), fries, plantains and their homemade tartar sauce. 

The place has a great local ambiance and is the perfect way to relax, so you can continue with the remaining activities in your itinerary.




5. Experience Peace Near Lourdes Grotto

When you’re done at zeerovers, drive to the south side of the island, to see the Lourdes grotto, one of the most religious sites in Aruba. Named in commemoration of the famous religious landmark in France, the Lourdes grotto is a unique Roman Catholic shrine built into the rocks.

There’s a statue of the virgin Mary in the rocks, and it is said to protect and bless all those who visit her.

things you can do in Aruba

A place to say thank you and refection.

Why should you visit the Lourdes grotto?

Because it’s a hidden gem in Aruba, so if you have the chance to see it for yourself, you should!

Many visitors (including some locals) don’t know this even exist.

Click here to read more about Lourdes grotto here.

6. Private Time At a Secluded Beach

Every itinerary needs to include some beach time, and this one features one of Aruba’s secret beaches.

Located in San Nicolas, there’s a secluded beach called Grape field. It’s perfect for undisturbed long walks, wading in the sea, or just to have a “private time” at the beach with your family.

Read more about Grape field beach here.

things you can do in Aruba

A private beach all to yourself.

7. Spend Happy Hour At Bugaloe

At the end of your private beach session, head back to your resort, and have your little moment to, relax, freshen up and put on your casual clothes for happy hour, at one of the island’s most popular beach bars – bugaloe! 

things you can do in Aruba

End the day with a bang at bugaloe.

Happy hour starts at 5:00 PM until 6:00 PM (special prices on selected drinks and beers).

Enjoy a nice dinner and drinks, on the pier overlooking the sunset in Aruba.

Enjoy the evening with live music and dancing as the rum keeps flowing until late into the night.

Read more about bugaloe beach bar here.

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Read More About Aruba

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21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba



One of the best things about living in Aruba is that I can go snorkeling when I feel like it. I just grab my snorkeling gear and head out to one of my favorite snorkeling spots in Aruba…

During all my years of underwater exploring I’ve found some really beautiful places to snorkel in Aruba.

Some beaches are known for snorkeling between locals and tourist. And other beaches are hidden gems among snorkeling spots in Aruba.

I want to show you 6 (of many other) snorkeling spots in this blog post…

6 Snorkeling Spots in Aruba You Should Visit

How the idea of writing about beaches that are good snorkeling spots in Aruba came about…

I was contacted by the digital content specialist from Aruba Tourism Authority (who is now a good friend of mine) and we came up with the idea to write about some of the most beautiful beaches that are good snorkeling spots in Aruba.

Aruba is small, but the amounts places to snorkel doesn’t disappoint…

The island has more than 6 beaches, so of course the list is incomplete (until I create the ultimate guide for the best snorkeling spots in Aruba).

So to make things easy for you, I chose to snorkel at 6 of the closest beaches to the hotel area (so you can easily find them). The beach in the number 6 spot is the only one that is far from the hotel area, but worth the trip!

My journey started early in the morning as I made my way near the hotel area. You should always come prepared when snorkeling, so I made a quick stop at a Chinese store where I bought bottled waters, snacks to munch on, ice to put in the cooler and a few cold beers for later in the afternoon…

After a short drive I reached my first stop – the beach (Arashi) near the California lighthouse.

Before 3 o’clock in the afternoon I was snorkeling by the last beach on this list.

snorkeling spots in Aruba

Holding a beautiful sea star

I wrote about this snorkeling trip that was featured on Aruba Tourism Authority’s blog (and made and awesome short shore snorkeling video.

Click here to check out the 6 beaches good for snorkeling in Aruba.

Fish Identification Guide

If you like to spot fishes during snorkeling check out my “Fish Identification Guide”.

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Are you looking for a peaceful time, because it’s too crowded at the beach? You should visit the Alto Vista Chapel. It’s the perfect place to have your own moment and relax!

When you find you need your alone time just go to the other side of the tropical side of the island into the dessert in Noord. You’ll find the bright yellow chapel between cactus and dirt roads.

But before you read more about the Alto Vista Chapel sign up to Vactions By Aruba Newsletter. It’s free. In my newsletter I share the best Aruba travel tips and news only to my subscribers.

 

Alto Vista Chapel

The name alto vista means high view. And when you stand in front of the chapel the back drop of the waves crashing against huge rocks is amazing!

Locals use the chapel as a place to pray. When inside you feel the peace and serene. No talking, barely a sound. Just peace and quiet in your own thoughts.

When you want peace and quiet come here.

The Alto Vista Chapel is more than 250 years old. And considered to be the birthplace of Aruba’s Catholic religion.

Alto Vista Chapel Has A Peace Labyrinth

Besides a gorgeous chapel there is also an amazing peace labyrinth to be explored.

It has an unique and interesting design. Maybe the the shape of the labyrinth contains the secret to peace. I know one thing for sure, this place is beautiful. Another reason why I’m proud to live here.

We’re all looking for peace in Aruba.

Plan a day to visit the alto vista chapel during your vacation – you won’t regret it.