Aruba is a pearl of the Caribbean with a variety of towns and resorts that embrace that status by offering relaxing island vibes and plenty of things to do. Whether you're looking to visit specific communities, resorts, or larger regions, it's easy to cater your Aruba vacation exactly to your preferences.

    Across this island, you'll find beachfront towns, communities farther inland, and entire regions with seemingly endless activities to enjoy. Take a look at the 10 best towns and resorts in Aruba you may want to visit during your next trip to the island.

    1

    Oranjestad

    See the capital

    Oranjestad is the capital city of Aruba and home to colorful buildings, plenty of landmarks, shops, cultural centers, and vibrant parks. The city is located by the harbor, so you can shop a variety of stores set up by the water and offering luxury items, local handicrafts, and dazzling jewelry.

    If you're more interested in the island's history, this is one of the best towns to visit. The oldest building, Fort Zoutman, dates back to the late 18th century, while the lighthouse and clock tower structure is a mid-19th-century work. A history museum is situated between the tower and the fort. You can see it all for yourself along the island's western coast.

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    photo by Navigator334 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    2

    Palm Beach

    Enjoy swimming and watersports

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Palm Beach is one of the best towns to visit if you're looking for an Aruba vacation centered around watersports or the beachfront in general. It's easy to find thrilling adventure and relaxation in equal measure in this town, from water activities at the stunning beaches to pampering in glamorous hotels.

    The waves here are calm enough for swimming, making it an ideal destination for families with kids. If you're looking for a bit more adventure, however, you can take advantage of the crystal-blue waters and go snorkeling. You can get to this beach town in the Noord region on the island's northwestern coast.

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    3

    Eagle Beach

    Relax in a pristine beach town

    • Couples
    • Families

    Eagle Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Aruba, though it's known for its relaxing atmosphere and stunning views rather than an array of activities. The soft, white sands and sparkling waters offer unparalleled relaxation at the beach, especially with the shaded areas and beach huts.

    When you visit this beach, you'll likely notice the iconic Fofoti trees often used in showcasing the landscape of Aruba. Plus, its location on the western coast makes it a premier destination for watching the sunset. You can find it just south of Palm Beach.

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    4

    Santa Cruz

    Visit a town by the park

    Santa Cruz, a mostly residential inland town, lets you feel like a local when you visit and offers convenient access to Arikok National Park. In the residential area, you'll find quaint homes alongside numerous restaurants and shops where you can get a taste of Aruban cuisine and culture.

    When you visit the park, you'll find yourself at some of the most stunning natural features of the entire island. Several hiking trails are available in the area, but the most famous is the Hooiberg trail, which offers picturesque views after about 550 steps. You can get to this town by heading a few miles east from Oranjestad.

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    photo by Boy Lawson (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Arashi Beach

    Go snorkeling

    Arashi Beach is one of the best beach towns for snorkelers, swimmers, and visitors looking to do some sunbathing, offering gentle waves and soft sands. The mild currents and clear waters make it a favorite for visitors looking to spot colorful marine life when snorkeling.

    You'll find an overall laid-back atmosphere here since many of the area establishments, including the local bars and restaurants, strive to maintain a beach vibe. Live music is especially common at bars around the beach. You'll find it all by Arashi Bay on the western side of the island.

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    6

    Noord

    Experience the quintessential island vacation

    Noord is the northern region of the island that's home to everything Aruba is best-known for, including high-end resorts, casinos, beaches, bars, and natural splendor. Translating to "north" in Dutch, the island's northern region is likely where you'll find yourself if you're looking for a more luxurious vacation experience.

    Being the center for travelers and industry, Noord is notably populated, so expect crowds throughout much of it. Despite its desire to appeal to a global audience, however, this region still showcases Aruban culture throughout its shops and restaurants. You'll find it all north of Eagle Beach and Paradera.

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    7

    Malmok

    Explore a limestone coast

    • Couples
    • Families

    Malmok is a beach town with a notable limestone coast that features small, secluded bays where you can go for a swim or go snorkeling. The water here is both clear and shallow, and the area is adorned with gorgeous reefs and sunken shipwrecks you can spot. Of course, you'll have to go diving to get closer.

    The rest of the beach town found inland is quite relaxing and consists mostly of residential homes and rentals. Both biking and hiking are popular throughout the area if you're looking to stay active. It's located on the northwestern coast of the island.

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    8

    Savaneta

    Spend time in a historical town

    Savaneta was the first capital of the island and is one of the best destinations to explore local history and immerse yourself in Aruban culture. The oldest house in Aruba can be found here, dating back about a century and a half, and it's still standing despite being a cas di torto, or mud hut.

    Given the town's proximity to the beach, fishing is a popular pastime here. Local fishers are happy to mingle with you at the roadhouse, where you'll find fresh seafood available for sale. You can check it out along the southwestern coast, south of Arikok National Park.

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    photo by Caribiana (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Paradera

    Take in iconic landscapes

    • History
    • Adventure

    Paradera is a small town that's best-known for its iconic landscapes you can explore, including a mountain and fascinating rock formations. The mountain is known as Hooiberg, which means "haystack" in Dutch. It's about 540 feet tall compared to the center of the island, and it'll take 550 or so steps to reach the peak.

    The rock formations here have been important for the local people since before the town was founded. Arawak petroglyphs dot the area, showcasing the importance of these stones for the island's early residents. See it all for yourself just a few miles north of Oranjestad near the center of the island.

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    photo by Ginafromaruba (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    San Nicolas

    Discover where tradition meets innovation

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Adventure

    San Nicolas is a popular city on the island that holds true to its cultural traditions while also embracing modernity with museums, art, and watersports. There are 3 museums in this city alone, and each showcases something special about the local culture, such as industry, community, or carnival.

    When you visit, you won't have to travel far to immerse yourself in the local culture. The art scene is spread throughout the city, visible enough among murals painted on the sides of buildings. For a taste of adventure, you can head to the coastal part of town for some windsurfing. It's all located on the island's southern tip.

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    photo by Rafa-Barragan (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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