Dazzling white beaches, designer shopping and hardly any rain – holidays to Aruba have certainly got a lot to offer. This beautiful island in the southern Caribbean is home to luxury hotels and some of the best beaches in the world. Aruba is actually a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – and this couldn’t be more apparent than it is in capital Oranjestad. Plaza Daniel Leo is edged with colourful buildings that look like they’re straight out of a scene from Amsterdam. There’s plenty to do on Aruba holidays, from snorkelling in the awesome coral reefs, to exploring the island’s abundant wildlife. Of course, you might choose to spend your time here simply kicking back, enjoying the sunshine and the cooling Caribbean breeze. Visit between January and March and join in with the vibrant atmosphere of Carnival season. With so much to offer, it’s little wonder this paradisiacal gem is such a favourite with couples and families alike.
As youd expect from a getaway in the Caribbean, Aruba holidays offer plenty of chances to try watersports. The coral reefs and shipwrecks surrounding the island offer wonderful snorkelling and diving opportunities (in fact, the Antilla wreck is the largest in the Caribbean.) Above the surface, popular activities including windsurfing and sailing. On dry land, there are plentiful sports, including golfing, hiking and horse riding. Arikok National Park covers approximately 18 per cent of Aruba and is home to spectacular rock formations and rare wildlife. Children (and grownups) love days out at the islands donkey sanctuary and butterfly farm. In Oranjestad, shopping is one of the most popular ways to pass the time the bustling cruise port is famous for its designer malls and boutiques.
Most hotels in Aruba offer up their own entertainment, including music and dancing shows. In Oranjestad, youll find a host of late night venues, including cabaret clubs, discos and casinos. The most famous of these is the 24/7 Crystal Casino in the Renaissance Hotel. As well as the roulette wheels, this glittering place is home to a dazzling show with costumes, music and dancing to rival the Rio Carnival. If you prefer your evenings a little lower key, grab a table at one of the island beach front cafes and enjoy a meal beneath the stars.
Most hotels in Aruba offer all inclusive holidays, so youll find a good selection of places to eat on site. Restaurants vary according to individual hotels, but in the larger, more luxury establishments, youll probably find a la carte outlets as well as the main buffet. These usually offer themed, international cuisine with everything from Italian to Japanese cuisine available in some places. If you want to eat away from your hotel, there are plenty of restaurants serving up a variety of international treats and local specialities in Oranjestad and Palm Beach. When it comes to drinks, local cocktails are popular, as is the Dutch beer.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.