Oranjestad, Aruba, Oranjestad Harbor
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / vale_t | Oranjestad Harbor
Aruba, Caribbean, Divi Divi Tree
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / Nisangha | Divi Divi Tree
Aruba, Caribbean, tropical fish
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / vilainecrevette | Snorkeling at Mangel Halto
Aruba, Caribbean, pier
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / IvanAndreevich | Pier in Aruba
Aruba, caribbean, Arikok National Park
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / Nisangha | Arikok National Park
Noord, Aruba, Caribbean, Alto Vista Chapel
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / tiggerlily | Alto Vista Chapel

Aruba

Aruba, Caribbean, flamingo Photo credit: iStock.com / yanta | Renaissance Island flamingo

Chances are you'll have perfect weather during your port call in Aruba. Rain is rare on the colorful Dutch Caribbean island. Ships dock right in the heart of capital Oranjestad, so you can easily walk to dozens of shops and restaurants. At only 19 miles long, the island’s easy to explore by foot downtown or via bus from the terminal across the street.

What We Love

Aloe: Got too much sun? Pick up some creams from Aruba Aloe — the skin soothers have been made on the island since 1890. The factory is open for tours, and it also houses a museum.

Divi Divi Trees: These windswept trees that dot the island are supposedly natural compasses. No matter where you are, they all lean toward the Oranjestad port.

Best Known For

Arikok National Park: Pass the high-rise hotels, and you’ll discover the tangerine-hued sand of this wildlife-filled desert. You can explore via Jeep safari or horse, or hike the sandy terrain all the way to the rocky coastline.

Palm Beach: Aruba's action is all here, including casinos, clubs, and restaurants serving everything from Chinese to Creole cuisine. The 2-mile public beach is always busy, and if you need to get out of the sun, there’s a movie theater and bowling alley.

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Who It's Best For

Heat Hedonists: Aruba is close to the equator, so temperatures are frequently in the mid-80s F and up. If it rains, it lasts for 15 minutes and becomes the day’s topic of conversation.

First-Timers: This is an easy entry into the Caribbean for less-experienced travelers — the Oranjestad port is a short walk from the action, English is widely spoken, and U.S. dollars are accepted.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Taxis Are Expensive: Save money by taking the local bus for just a couple dollars each way. Buses run all along the hotel zone, and you can even get to destinations like Savaneta or Noord — check the schedule at the terminal.

Chanize Thorpe

Chanize Thorpe is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides and Uptown.

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Itineraries Including Aruba
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