The family cruise is planned and the kids are exited about the trip. In a few days you’ll be setting foot for the first time on the island. However, you don’t have a lot of time to explore the island, because the cruise ship is only docking for a couple of hours. You want to experience the island as much as possible, but you have no clue of what to do. So you’re wondering what to do on a cruise stop in Aruba?

Here are some tips to make your cruise stop on Aruba an ever lasting memory.

Explore the picturesque downtown buildings

Take a walk in the downtown area and notice all the colorful buildings that boasts some of the most beautiful dutch colonial architecture. They’re eye catching and a must see for architecture fans. Buildings featuring dutch designs are Royal Plaza, Town Hall, Census Building, Willem III Tower, Plaza Daniel Leo, Archaeological Museum, Ecury House and the Aruban Courthouse.

Shop till you drop

The downtown area of Aruba has a mile long stretch of shops. It’s literally a shoppers paradise. The main-street is filled with local shops, famous boutiques and jewelry stores. You can buy just about anything your heart desires. From souvenirs to bring back home to luxury items only found on the island. Stores open from Monday to Saturday (8:00 AM-6:00 PM).

Look for souvenirs at the flea market

The wharf-side flea market is a great place to get a taste and feel of Aruban culture. Here you can find hand made souvenirs crafted by locals. Whether you’re looking for artworks, t-shirts, slippers, hats or mugs from Aruba – you’ll find it all. Farmers usually bring fresh fruits to sell. And fisherman bring their catch of the day. If the kids are thirsty you can buy a some refreshing coconut water from a nearby shack.

Bring some single dollars, because they only accept cash.

Go fishing

Is your family adventurous? Then rent a charter boat for some fishing fun at the Renaissance Marina. The Renaissance Marina is a walking distance from the cruise port.You can choose between bottom fishing and Mahi-Mahi fishing just to name a few options. You might just hook a big fish.

Visit the I love Aruba sign

Aruba started a movement with the I Love Aruba sign. Now, every other island in the Caribbean has their own sign, but Aruba’s sign is the most popular one in the Caribbean. The sign is about a 10 minute walk from the cruise port (in front of Renaissance Marina).

Get the whole family in front of the sign and take a picture.

Take a dip by surf-side beach

Feeling like taking the kids for a dip in Caribbean waters? You can do so at surf-side beach. It’s a quiet family beach next to the highway between the airport and downtown area. You can walk it from the cruise port. Walking to this beach is also a nice treat, because you can walk next to the sea shore where the waves just keep kissing your feet as they come and go.

It’s a perfect spot to relax under a tree, watch the kids play and take a dip.

Still wondering what to do on a cruise stop in Aruba?

There are many activities around the island. However, visiting these places of interest requires you to rent a car, take a taxi or use public transportation. We always advise a family to rent a car, even if it’s for a few hours. Because it’s less stressful than public transportation. And more handy and cheaper than taking a taxi.

With that said here’s some extra options for what to do on a cruise stop in Aruba. 

Island Excursion

If you’re family wants to see the rugged part of Aruba, than a tour around the island is the best way to do it. In front of the cruise port you will find different tour bus companies that offer island expeditions. Let them guide you around the country side to explore Aruba’s desert like nature and wildlife.

They’ll bring you back to the cruise port after the tour before boarding time.

Beach Hopping

Pack your backpacks with bathing suits, towels, sunblock, snacks and plenty of water. Visit the sun-kissed beaches on the island and find out for yourself why Aruba’s beaches make the top 10 list every year. Visit Eagle Beach and Palm Beach to experience the most popular stretches of beaches on the island. For more secluded beaches visit Malmok, Arashi and Mangel Halto.

This concluded our list of what to do on a cruise stop in Aruba.

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I hope this article was informative and could help you build an itinerary on what to do on a cruise stop in Aruba.

Please leave us a comment to let us know when you’re family will be in Aruba and what you’re looking forward to do with your family on Aruba during your cruise stop. We can always provide additional advice in our comment section. 

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