Holidays, events, activities and souvenirs
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
On Christmas, Boxing day and New Year’s day we traditionally visit family and friends. As early as October 1st we begin decorating for Christmas in downtown shops and our homes. On Dec 31st, all businesses and houses also light up a “pagara”, a string of firecrackers to ward off all back luck.
New Year’s Day
Every year on New Year’s Day, music accompanied by guitars, accordion, washboard and drums marks the arrival of the Dande group, who move from house to house. You will be greeted happily and expectantly by the residents of the house, as the singers each perform their own variations of traditional songs, which contain good wishes and good promises for the coming year.
The Aruba Carnival began with a series of small street parties. And has meanwhile developed into a big island festival. As in Germany, the carnival season begins on November 11th at 11:11 am. Music plays a central role in most of the celebrations in Aruba – and of course at the carnival too. The multicultural music mix also lifts the mood of the audience and the costumed participants. The parades, competitions and street festivals drag on for over a month.
St. John’s Day
At the center of the songs and chants of St. John’s Day – Dera Gai – is a rooster as a symbol of renewal.
Bon Bini Festival (= Welcome Festival)
This traditional festival takes place every Tuesday from 6.30 p.m. in the historic Fort Zoutman in Oranjestad. Bon Bini in the Papiamento language means “Welcome”.
The festival begins with the greeting of the dancers and musicians dressed in traditional costumes.
St. Nicholas Day (Sinterklaas) On December 5th, the children receive various gifts from St. Nicholas.
In December, the chants of the Gaita groups give the starting signal for the holiday season. Gaita is the name of folk music that originally came from Venezuela and became native to Aruba.
Dande is a traditional New Year celebration. The word means – “dance”, “be exuberant” and have a “good time”. The celebrations have their origins as King Willem III. the Netherlands (1817-1890) declared the end of slavery.
At the tip of the island in the northwest is Aruba’s first world-class golf course. – It is an 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones II.. For relaxation, the club has a well-kept panorama restaurant and a pool. it is necessary to reserve in advance.
Tennis & Fitness
Many hotels in Aruba offer tennis enthusiasts world-class tennis courts. Most leading hotels even have their own tennis instructors and non-hotel guests are often welcome too. Most of the hotel pitches can even be played at night.
Sailing and boat trips
A fairly steady wind and, in addition, a little wavy sea offer ideal conditions for trips with sailing or motor boats. You can just relax and take a ride or charter a boat and play skipper yourself.
If you have a little courage and/or experience, you shouldn’t miss out on a parachute to look over the sea and the island.
drive-in cinema Aruba’s cinemas and the drive-in cinema show visitors the latest Hollywood films.
The warm water offers excellent conditions to experience the unique underwater landscape of the coastal regions with diving goggles, snorkels – and if possible with fins. You can also rent a boat to get to more remote snorkelling grounds. You can do that with Red Sail Sports – the water sports experts on Aruba, for example. Red Sail Sports offers half-day cruises at lunchtime and an afternoon cruise.
Tel.: 00297 – 586-1603
Wind and kitesurfing
Not least because of the continuously blowing trade winds, Aruba is extremely popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. A number of numerous rental companies are available for the necessary equipment. And there are good trainers for the uninitiated or beginner. Advanced or even professionals can choose from a large number of first-class areas on the north and south coast. Every year in June the “Hi-Winds Amateur World Challenge” takes place here – a 10-day competition with the best windsurfers and hundreds of amateurs. Information at:
A ride across the island through the dunes or the plains of the island is a very special pleasure. And riding experience is not even required. Some providers:
- The Gold Mine Ranch Freely plannable individual tours.
- Rancho Notorious This horse ranch offers three routes of different lengths.
- Rancho Daimari Excursions to Aruba’s Natural Pool.
- Rancho Del Campo Excursions through Arikok National Park. Including ride to the sights “Natural Bridge” and “Natural Pool”.
- Rancho El Paso trips inland and to the coast.
Those who already have a diving license can pursue their sport here under the guidance of experienced diving instructors. Diving courses are offered for beginners, which make it possible to take the appropriate exam for a first diving license in a few days.
There is a large selection of dive operators with the corresponding experienced instructors:
- Red Sail SportsTel.: 297 – 586-1603Fax: 297 – 586-6657
- Pelican Water SportsTel: (297) 587-2302Fax (297) 587-2315
- Water Sports RobertoTel.: (297) 593-2850/(297) 593-1550
- Unique Sports of ArubaTel: (297) 586-0096Fax (297) 586-0096
- SEAruba Fly ‘n DiveTel.: (297) 588-1150Fax (297) 594-0155
- Jolly PiratesTel (297) 583-7366/(297) 583-7355
- Dax DiversTel (297) 585-1270
- Aruba Pro DiveTel (297) 582-5520Fax (297) 587-7722
- Mermaid Sports Divers Aruba NVTel: (297) 587-4103Fax: (297) 587-4106
- Dive ArubaTel (297) 582-7337Fax (297) 582-1817
- Scuba PlusTel.: (297) 584-4292
- Sea Star Scuba SchoolTel: (297) 584-5058
- De Palm Water SportsTel.: (298) 582-4400Fax (297) 582-3012
- Scuba ArubaTel: (297) 583-4142
- Aruba Scuba CenterTel: (297) 582-5216
- Mi DushiTel.: (297) 582-8919/(297) 582-3513
- Aruba Water Sports CenterTel: (297) 586-6613Fax (297) 586-0524
- Rainbow RunnerTel.: (297) 583-1689
- Native DiversTel.: (297) 586-4763
The historical roots of Aruba lie in the Netherlands in Europe. Therefore, the visitor often finds windmills or wooden shoes in a Caribbean ambience as a souvenir. We also recommend (wooden) models of traditional Aruban country or farm houses – the Cunucu.
stamps Aruba’s postage stamps represent the history, culture and nature of the island in their artistic colors – but there are also postage stamps with themes from other countries.
The jewelery handicraft on the island uses many materials that are found on the island. In addition, classic jewelry work is of course also offered.
The aloe plant has had a major impact on the culture and landscape of Aruba since the 19th century. In the past, a third of the island was covered by aloe plantations. At the beginning of the 20th century, Aruba became the world’s largest producer and exporter of aloe. It is therefore advisable to take velvety creams, lotions and other products for skin and hair care home with you from here.
The local artists create wonderful works of art from clay. The visitor can find the works of art in local markets, hotels and resorts.
The visitor can buy CDs of local music here. It is certainly a special souvenir for friends back home. But you can also find classical music, salsa, jazz or reggae here.
Aruhiba is an elegant cigar produced in Aruba that is sure to surprise the cigar lover at home.
Aruba is located in the tropics, as a result of which it has a tropical climate. The average temperatures are between 22 ° and 30 °Celsius. The average temperature is around 28 °C. The mostly sunny weather makes the stay in Aruba very pleasant for most visitors. In addition, there is usually a pleasantly cool breeze blowing from the sea – and an average of just 410 mm of precipitation falls per year. It is also gratifying that the probability of hurricanes occurring in this region is low.
Museums worth seeing
Archaeological Museum (Archaeological Museum)
Originally housed in a residential building that was converted into a modern museum in 2009. This is where Aruba’s cultural heritage is presented. A noteworthy exhibit is a “Cunucu House” from 1870 or a manor house from 1929. The museum examines, documents and conserves finds from over 5,000 years of Aruba’s history.
Opening times: daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Museum of Antiquities
In the museum the visitor will find antiques and curiosities from the Louis XV era. (1710-1774). The exhibits are located in a building made of building materials from the 17th century. The roof and onion domes of the building house 23 exhibition rooms with exhibits from Aruba and South America.
Weekdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.,
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory
The aloe plant came to the island around 1840 and influenced life on the island from culture to architecture to health and healing. Sometimes two thirds of the island were covered with the plant.
The museum provides information on the 160-year history of aloe vera in Aruba. The visitor can find out about the production of the aloe gel using a centuries-old recipe.
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Museo di Deporte (Sports Museum)
The museum was founded by Francisco Chirino and is dedicated to past and present national and international athletes. The small museum presents 29 different sports – with around 2,000 exhibits such as B. scrapbooks, photos, trophies, sportswear or certificates.
Alto Vista 67
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 am -12: 00 pm and 5:00 pm-7: 00 pm
Sundays from 9:00 am -12: 30 pm
Here the visitor can find historical Bibles in Dutch and other languages.
Model Train Museum
The museum exhibits train videos and model trains with moving trains. There is also a collection of model trains, model cars and model airplanes.
The trains come from Germany, the USA and the Netherlands and date back to 1895.
Fort Zoutman/Historical Museum
The museum gives a good insight into the history of Oranjestad and Fort Zoutman. A few hundred years ago, a port for trading with Curaçao and Venezuela was established in Oranjestad. To protect against pirates, the fort was built around 1798, which is named after the Dutch admiral Admiral Johan Arnold Zoutman. Curiously, the admiral himself was never in Aruba. The museum displays large clay vessels in five rooms – some of which contain the remains of Aruba’s indigenous people. Antique tools and utensils give a good idea of the work and other life of the first settlers.
Opening times: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Numismatic Museum (
Coin Museum) The Coin Museum exhibits approximately 33,000 coins and other means of payment from Aruba and the rest of the world. It all started when Mario Odor found a coin from the late 18th century in his garden and then systematically began to look for and collect coins.
The museum is located in a yellow house just behind the bus terminal in Oranjestad.
Special natural beauties
Arikok National Park
The Arikok National Park covers over 18% of the area of the island. The visitor can explore the park on hiking and biking trails. You pass cactus fields, rocky coastal slopes, white sand dunes and imposing cave and rock formations. There are also interesting historical and cultural sites to visit – such as the houses of the early settlers or the rock paintings from the indigenous people.
Although the island is rather flat and sandy, some spectacular rock formations have formed:
- Casibari Boulders These large boulders that rise immediately out of the sandy and flat surroundings are located near by. Some of the formations can be climbed, which then opens up a wonderful view over the island.
- Ayo Rock FormationsThis formation consists of a series of closely spaced boulders, the surroundings of which were previously considered sacred by the residents. Easily accessible paths make it easier for visitors to explore this rock formation.
The Guadirikiri Cave is known for its two chambers lit by sunlight. The light comes into the cave chambers through openings in the ceiling. Bats live in the dark part of the cave.
This cave has a special archaeological treasure – there are drawings by the Arawak Indians on the ceiling, which give an insight into the history of the island
The Huliba Cave has a length of around 100 m and is also known as the “tunnel of love” because of the heart-shaped entrance, because the entrance is heart-shaped.
Here, the waves of the Caribbean hit the rocks in such a way that the water splashes high into the air. And in the middle of the rocks there is a natural pool, which the islanders call “Conchi” or “Cura di Tortuga”.
The Gegeng can only be reached on foot or with a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Visitors are always surprised to find extensive sand dunes here in the Caribbean – on the northeast coast of the island. The dunes may only be entered on foot – all types of vehicles are prohibited here.
Particularly noteworthy are the extensive “California dunes” near Hudishibana in northeast Aruba. The dunes were named after the US ship “California”, whose wreck is here lies on the ocean floor.
Animal farms, bird and donkey sanctuary
An ostrich farm is more likely to be expected when visiting South Africa. Around 50 animals live on the local ostrich farm. A guide gives the visitor a lot of information about these animals and the Australian emu. Those who not only want to see the eggs but also to eat can do so at the Savanna Lodge Bar & Restaurant.
Tel.: 00297 – 585-9630
Fax: 00297 – 585-9629
In the “Bubali Bird Sanctuary”, bird lovers can observe over 80 different species of birds from a lookout tower – including various species of ducks and herons, scissors bills, cormorants and water fowl. The water required for two linked artificial lakes is supplied by a water treatment plant – the small and large bird ponds.
farm Yes, there is even a butterfly farm in Aruba. It is located in a tropical garden where butterflies from many parts of the world can be admired. In addition to the colorful butterflies, the visitor can also learn a lot about the life cycle of these animals.
The farm is located on Palm Beach opposite the “Aruba Phoenix and Aruba Resort Hotels”.
All year round from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The donkey sanctuary has existed since 1997 and goes back to the commitment of the “Initiative Save Our Donkeys”. In the past, the animals were used as pack animals. But this use faded into the background with the increase in cars and the like. As a result, many animals were simply abandoned and then had to look for food and water. Around 40 animals are currently being cared for in Santa Lucia. The sanctuary in Santa Lucia can be visited and guided tours provide information about everything to do with the animals. There is also the opportunity to have snacks and drinks and to buy refreshments and gifts with donkey motifs. The profit made will benefit the foundation. For more information about the protected area,
call: (00297) 584-1063
Beaches on the island
The beaches of Aruba are downright gorgeous and are among the most beautiful in the world – and that’s saying something. The constantly blowing cooling trade wind is also pleasant
Arashi Beach is located north of Malmok Beach on the edge of an architecturally attractive residential area. It is also bordered by a desert landscape and the road that leads to the California lighthouse.
Baby and Rodgers Beach
Baby Beach is located at Seroe Colorado at the southeast end of the island. The executives and their families lived here during the oil refinery operations in the 1950s. The sea is shallow – which is particularly suitable for children. But further out there are dangerous currents.
Boca Catalina is a small, secluded cove that is accessed via steps.
The Druif Beach near Oranjestad is a quiet, relaxed place to swim, bathe, sunbathe and relax. This is where Aruba’s boutique hotels are located.
Eagle Beach is a stretch of beach with clear, sparkling water, shady picnic areas, straw umbrellas, a wide range of motorized water sports and ample parking. On the other side of the beach road there are a few hotels that provide their guests with cabanas () and lounge chairs.
The Hadicurari Beach is rocky and an Eldorado for windsurfers and kite surfers break the horizon.
In the area around the sandy Malmok Beach you will find a number of simple accommodations for windsurfers. The rather flat, clear water here makes the beach section a popular snorkeling spot. Catamarans and sailing ships anchor near the coast for snorkeling and diving trips, as the nearby reefs and a number of sunken wrecks offer excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Manchebo Beach is behind the boutique hotels. The beach section was named after a chief named Arawaks. On this stretch of beach you will find palm trees and a beach lounge.
This beach is located in Pos Chiquito on the southwest coast of the island. Because of the shallow water with few waves – with its abundance of fish and mangrove growth – the section is well suited for snorkeling and diving. The beach is popular for its white powdered sugar sand and shady shelters for picnics.
At the edge of the reef you can admire a yellowtail snapper, striped sergeants, parrot and doctor fish as well as corals, sponges and sea anemones and – in the deeper water – octopuses, moray eels and barracudas.
There are numerous international hotels on this stretch of beach. In addition to jetties, there are water sports providers, beach bars, restaurants and shops here. You can also swim or snorkel in the local sea.
Special buildings and structures
The stone built “California lighthouse” is located on a hill above the sea in Hudishibana in the area of the “California dunes – in the northeast of the island. The tower got its name from the wreck of the US ship” California ” The lighthouse is one of the landmarks of the island, from which the visitor has a unique view over parts of the island. It should be unforgettable to experience a sunset here. It is reported by visitors who burst into tears should be.
Churches, Lourdes Grotto and Synagogue in Aruba
Alto Vista Chapel (Catholic)
The Alto Vista Chapel is a special religious gem in Aruba. It also has an almost spectacular location above the sea. The chapel was consecrated in 1750 and was the first Roman Catholic place of worship in Aruba. The visitor reaches the bright yellow chapel via a street lined with white crosses, which are supposed to symbolize the stations of the cross of Jesus.
Santa Ana Church (Catholic)
The Santa Ana Church is located in Noord – near Oranjestad. It was consecrated in 1776 and became the second most important religious center of Aruba’s Catholics after the Alto Vista Chapel. The church had to be rebuilt twice – in 1831 and 1886. The last renovation was carried out in 1916. A special attraction is the hand-carved oak altar in neo-Gothic style. San Francisco Church (Catholic)
The majority of the Arubans profess the Catholic faith. This can also be seen in the many churches that are all over the island. On the drive from San Nicolas to the northeast coast you will pass a Catholic shrine that is embedded in the rock. This grotto is located in Seroe Preto (Black Hill area). The Lourdes grotto, named after the famous pilgrimage site in France, was created in 1958 under the leadership of the priest Erkamp. There is a 700 kilo statue of Mary here. Every year on February 11th, a procession from the St. Theresita Church in San Nicolas makes a pilgrimage to the grotto and holds a service.
Other churches and synagogues in Aruba include:
- Church of San Nicolas (Catholic)St. Theresiaplein 8
- Immaculate Conception Parish (Catholic)Santa Cruz 41
- Protestant Church Wilhelminastraat 1Oranjestad
- Bible-Way Baptist Church Bernhardstraat 18San Nicolas
- Church of Christ Pastoor Hendrikstraat 107San Nicolas
- Evangelical Church Jasmijnstraat 7San Nicolas
- Holy Cross Anglican Church Seroe Preto 31,San Nicolas
- Methodist Church Tel: 584 5243
- Wesley Church LongfellowstraatOranjestad
- Christ Church Amalia van Solmsstraat 3San Nicolas
- Beth El Church Brasil 24A
- Faith Revival Center Rooi Afo 10Paradera
- Baha’I Faith Bucutiweg 19
- New Apostolic Church Goletstraat 5AOranjestad
- Beth Israel Synagogue Adriaan Lacle Blvd 2