Oranjestad is a small and cheery capital with candy-colored Dutch architecture. Every day, large cruise ships pull into its port and hundreds of passengers flood its street. Oranjestad has plenty of tourist-oriented offerings to keep visitors entertained. Splurge in the malls and diverse shops, stroll the sunny waterfront boulevard and explore its past at interesting museums.
Prior to the arrival of European explorers, Oranjestad was just a small fishing outpost used by the Arawak Indians. Spanish explorers arrived in the late 15th century and it was later colonized by the Dutch in the mid-17th century. With the exception of a brief British interlude, it has remained under Dutch control to this day.
Delve into the past at Fort Zoutman, the oldest building on the island. This defensive fortress was built in 1798 and was designed to protect the city from pirates. Be sure to see the Willem III Tower, once a lighthouse, and the Historical Museum, which houses a permanent exhibit tracing the history of the island. For a look at the island’s pre-colonial history, stop by the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba.
Take a walk down the waterfront L.G. Smith Boulevard, where shops, restaurants and busy marinas dominate the scene. Just a few blocks inland, Main Street offers more shopping opportunities, with everything from independent boutiques to internationally recognized luxury brands. For a shopping experience with more local flavor, go to the Flea Market near the harbor, where locals barter at open-air kiosks selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to fish.
Recharge at the Queen Wilhelmina Park, where manicured lawns look out over fishing boats bobbing in the water. Nearby beaches, including Druif Beach and Manchebo Beach are good for sunbathing and swimming. Wait until evening to check out the elegant Town Hall, also known as Stadhuis, which is lit up after dark.
Oranjestad is located on the south coast of Aruba. Make use of the city’s free tram system to get around. It runs from the cruise terminal through the downtown area. Hop on and off as often as you please.
Beaches, Excursions and Islands
Spot fish swimming in the crystal-clear waters, look for turtle nests on the shore and photograph Aruba’s famous windswept divi-divi trees.
Once a residence for a well-to-do local family, this impeccably restored landmark mansion now serves as a government building hosting civil wedding services.
With its floury sands, swaying fronds and warm tropical waters, this beach is a picture of Caribbean perfection.
Ascend the stepped pathway up this mountain for a sensational outlook that extends as far as Venezuela on a clear day.
The oldest building on the island, this 18th-century Dutch fort once warded off attacks. Now, it contains a museum devoted to the island’s history.
Learn about the culture and customs of the indigenous inhabitants of Aruba through a series of intriguing archaeological exhibits.
Please take note that our Waterpark, Zipline will be closed from August 19th till December 22nd due to renovations. Spend a day in paradise with a trip to De Palm Island with all-inclusive access to enjoy everything the island has to offer.
Natural Pool at Arikok natural Park UVT Tour Experience the wild side of Aruba in your Personal UTV – a 4by4 Off-road vehicle! Visit one of Aruba’s top natural attractions, the Natural Pool, a unique natural rock formation in the form of a pool.
Splash straight into fun at Splash Park Aruba, a unique inflatable water park located just off of Surfside Beach. Promising nonstop entertainment for the whole family, this jungle gym of floating tracks and obstacles is an engaging way to experience the Caribbean.
See spectacular coral reefs, a vast assortment of colorful marine life, and 2 dramatic shipwrecks in the waters of the Caribbean. A trained submarine pilot takes you just off the coast of Aruba, where you find fascinating underwater ecosystems, including coral reefs and shipwrecks.
Take a scenic tour of Aruba's jaw-dropping coastline during a half-day safari excursion. The Natural Pool Safari experience takes you to the island's most visually striking destinations, showing you first-hand why Aruba is such a beloved getaway.
Embark on a coast-to-coast tour of Aruba and marvel at everything this striking island paradise has to offer. This off-road jeep excursion takes you to some of the island's most secluded locations, showing off every aspect of its pristine natural beauty.