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7 Excursions in Aruba for Aruba Adventure Lovers

By Alice Teacake

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Within 5 days, you can experience 7 excursions in Aruba which will exhilarate, challenge and amaze you. This was my first time ever in the Caribbean! I was ridiculously excited to land on this desert island just 480 miles from Venuzuela. Nicknamed ‘One Happy Island’ by the locals, I was itching to discover the wild things to do in Aruba.

I stepped off the plane. The sun immediately hit me. ‘Let’s do this!’ I declared.

It was time to fling myself into the activities in Aruba. I raced through the desert, snorkelled above a dreamy shipwreck and gleefully face-planted into waves whilst windsurfing. In San Nicolas I gawked at street art, kayaked around the deep blue coast and screamed at the top of my lungs whilst clutching the sides of an accelerating, rogue jeep.

You don’t have to be as mad as me to try all of these adventures in Aruba, but you’ll have an awesome time with whatever you choose! I’ll show you everything I experienced, and throw in the all-important Aruba beaches and best places to eat on the island.

Bike Tour to California Lighthouse

The beauty of Aruba island is how its appearance drastically changes from one side of the island to the next. One minute you’re in the hustle of bustle of modern Oranjestad, sipping on Aruba Ariba cocktails and getting down with night owls in Gusto nightclub. Yet, head north in the morning and you’re suddenly in the Caribbean version of Breaking Bad.

Excursions in Aruba on a bike

Off to the California Lighthouse on the north of the Aruba island

It’s hot. Wild. Secluded, undeveloped and stunning. I went on a bike ride to California Lighthouse with Aruba Active Vacations from their base at The Fisherman’s Hut. What a journey! You’ll laugh at me, but this is the first time I’ve seen a cactus the same size as me. In England, they’re usually in a plant pot, standing no taller than half the size of my hand.

Excursions in Aruba Cactus in the desert Excursions in Aruba Cactus in the desert

California Lighthouse on one of the excursions in Aruba you can do California Lighthouse on one of the excursions in Aruba you can do

Excursions in Aruba Cactus in the desert Excursions in Aruba Cactus in the desert

If you’re up for seeing panoramic views of Aruba from the lighthouse, I recommend the California Lighthouse Guided Tour. It’s named after an English steamship that became shipwrecked off the coast.

Lunch at Moomba Restaurant

Once you’re finished, from here I recommend grabbing lunch at the open-air seaside Moomba Beach Bar & Restaurant. Their fish is top-notch; it was one of my best things to eat in Aruba. Sip your cocktail, say hi to the odd iguana and check out the port before you go.

Taking a break from my Excursions in Aruba at the Moomba Beach Bar & Restaurant

Enjoying the beach next to Moomba Beach Bar & Restaurant

If you’re back here in the evening, grab their buffet! I happily pigged out. It will compliment the hip and happening live music going on here at sunset.

Natural Pool Aruba Off Road Adventure

When they told me to put my seat belt on and double-checked it, I didn’t think anything of it. When they warned me to remove my bandanna from my head, I felt they were overreacting. It’s windy in Aruba, but not that windy right? Yet, the minute the land rover’s power ignited and our driver slammed his foot on the accelerator, I was screaming for mercy. If you fancy seeing your life flash before your eyes and the historic sites of Aruba, the Aruba Natural Pool Off Road Adventure is for you!

Natural Pool Excursions in Aruba

Stopping off at the Natural Bridge on the Natural Pool Aruba Off Road Adventure

Highlights include Arikok National Park, the Natural Pool, Natural Bridge, Alto Vista Chapel and California Lighthouse. Worth every goddamn dollar.

Excursions in Aruba: Natural Bridge lookout on the natural pool Aruba Off Road Adventure

Looking out from the natural bridge in Aruba

Dinner at Papillon Restaurant

After calming your nerves, go and relax in one of the top Aruba restaurants: Papillon Restaurant. It’s French, it’s next to Eagle Beach and the onion soup is to die for. Feeling like you have an ounce of energy left? Hit the nightclubs next door!

Windsurfing Aruba

The first day may have hit you hard, so take it a little easier (just a little easier) today. I started my morning off with some Aruba windsurfing. It was my first time ever trying to windsurf, but Aruba is apparently one of the best spots in the world to learn! I arrived early in the morning raring to go.

One of the best excursions in Aruba is going windsurfing

Trying to get my sail up windsurfing in Aruba!

I face-palmed the sea a lot but the joy of finally being able to stand up and be carried by the wind was pure pleasure! Yes, those shocking tan lines are real. I applied sunscreen like a saint but I still burnt to the point of a crispy slice of bacon. Be careful in the sun!

Lunch at Charlie’s Bar Aruba

For lunch, I ordered a Jeep for the day from Amigo’s Car Rental and headed off to Charlie’s Bar Aruba.

What to wear in Aruba Packing List

Quite possibly my most favourite bar in the whole wide world (truth) I could have spent all day in here. The food and drink are top-notch but what really makes it special is its decor. I’ve never seen anything like it. Head to San Nicolas Aruba and experience it for yourself!

Street Art Aruba

Discovering Aruba’s street art is an adventure in itself. The Aruba Art Fair started in 2016 to encourage tourists to come to the quiet area of San Nicolas after the oil refinery closed down in 2009. Many murals later and it’s working! You can spend a good hour hunting for all the art and it’s 100% Instagram worthy!

Street Art Excursions in Aruba San Nicolas

This iguana in Aruba was made by rubbish collected from the streets and sea!

Street Art Excursions in Aruba Street Art Excursions in Aruba

Yellow Peacock from street art activities in Aruba Yellow Peacock from street art activities in Aruba

Street Art Aruba Street Art Aruba

Relax on Baby Beach Aruba

After street art hunting, spend the rest of the afternoon on Baby Beach. The waters are warm, calm, shallow and easy breezy. On the beach next door, you can also find some epic Aruba kitesurfing! Watch the experts do their thing and consider it as an activity for yourself!

Kite surfing excursions in Aruba

Watch the pros kite surf in Aruba

Aruba Pub Crawl

Aruba’s nightlife is banging. As a solo female traveller, I’m always looking for the perfect opportunity to go and party with others. The Aruba Pub Crawl  will sort any solo traveller right out. They’ll give you a shot at each stop and they pick you up and take you home! Just make sure to eat something before you go. I recommend self-catering this night. There are plenty of supermarkets in Aruba which you can stop at and grab something.

Arikok National Park Aruba Caves

A cactus-fest golden landscape with a wonderful array of indigenous wildlife; Arikok National Park covers one fifth of Aruba’s land. It is the perfect place to go hiking.

Excursions in Aruba Caves

Checking out Gaudirikiri Cave

What particular excites me about this area is the chance to see the island’s earliest inhabitants’ marks left in the Fontein and Gaudirikiri caves. The drawings are at least 1000 years old! Switch on your phone’s torch to make your way into the depths past the bats…oh and watch your step for snakes when you come back out.

Lunch at Boca Prins Restaurant

Dining at Boca Prins Restaurant is a given if you’re in Arikok National Park. It’s in the middle of nowhere and boasts some pretty awesome views.

Antilla Aruba Snorkelling (i.e Booze Cruise)

I stepped onto the Palm Pleasure to be an underwater Indiana Jones and check out the famous World War II Antilla shipwreck. I thankfully managed that. Yet afterwards, I also became the equivalent of Rhianna on a booze cruise.

Aruba

With an open bar, this is the perfect time to sample Aruba’s infamous cocktail, the Aruba Ariba! Vodka, rum, creme de banana, orange, cranberry and pineapple and your underwater experience will double in pleasure immediately. The water is crystal clear and the shipwreck fascinating. Get down there and opt for the snuba option if you want to go further!

Dinner at Papiamento Restaurant

Out of all the places I ate at in Aruba, Papiamento Restaurant is the creme de la creme of restaurants in Aruba. The food is original, divine, fresh and taste-tingling excellent. You’re also dining outside in a garden around a beautiful swimming pool. Treat yourself!

Kayak in Aruba along Mangel Halto

Mysterious hidden caves and lush mangrove forests await you on this kayaking adventure! This particular Aruba Kayak Adventure was a challenging one as the waves were so rough the day I went! It added to the thrill for me and I really did have to row.

Kayak Excursions in Aruba

Kayaking in Aruba

Dinner at Barefoot Restaurant

To top your trip off, how about taking your shoes off, sinking them into the sand and going for a delicious sunset dinner at Barefoot Restaurant. The views are glorious and the food scrummy!

Other Excursions in Aruba

There are so many other Aruba excursions that I would have loved to have tried. Interested in horseriding, a seabob tour, diving, getting in a submarine or extreme mountain biking? Go check out the other things to do in Aruba!

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Essential Aruba Travel Information

Make sure to check out these 50 facts about Aruba. Aruba is bloody hot. Bring sunscreen. The drinking water is safe and tasty! The main languages are Dutch and Papiamento but locals speak English and Spanish too. You can use dollars, there’s ATM’s everywhere and internet access is easy peasy.

Want to know more about visas, flights, etiquette and getting around? Make sure to check out my Aruba Travel Tips (coming soon) and Aruba Packing List.

The best place to stay in Aruba

I’m a solo female traveller. When looking for accommodation, I want to stay in a place which is ideal for one, yet allows me to meet the locals and other guests. I’m always on the look out for somewhere safe, homely, price-friendly and with the option to cook. Aruba Sunset Beach Studios in Noord are a true slice of paradise.

The best accommodation in Aruba from which to take excursions in Aruba everyday

The house rules of Aruba Sunset Beach Villas

They’re just 100 feet from the beach and they have a lovely little pool and jacuzzi there. Being able to drink my morning coffee in the tropical garden was a total bonus! They’re super nice people too. How can you not follow their house rules?

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This trip was made possible by the Aruba Tourism Authority. My opinions as always are completely honest.

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About Alice Teacake

I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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7 Excursions in Aruba for Aruba Adventure Lovers

  • I was curious – do you have some of the exact locations of the San Nicolas Art? I know it’s all over but I was specifically looking for the Lionfish Mural and the Iguana.

    1. Hi Amber. You’ll need to get off the main road to find these. It’s been a while since I’ve been in Aruba now, but I remember the Iguana being on the right hand side of the main road if you’re driving from the city towards San Nicholas! You will need to look for it – it is on a wall which does not run parallel to the road :) If you really get stuck, give Aruba tourism a tweet. They are ace and will help you out!

  • Hello! I have just booked plans for Aruba! I’m glad I ran into your blog. Were there many other solo travelers there when you went?
    Thanks,
    Ivey

    1. Hey Ivey! Yay I’m so excited for you! Yes, don’t you worry, there will be plenty of people to meet :) Getting stuck into the Aruba activities will be a great place to meet people – as well as on the beach and in the different eating places. Come back here and let me know how it went when you return!

    1. Yes! It is an island I had never really heard of before but once I landed I was immediately impressed. They appear to have a lot of peeps enjoying their all-inclusive there but there are so many adventurous activities you can do there too and I wanted to show that :D