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?
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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