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Perfectly located outside the fringes of the hurricane belt, Aruba enjoys predictable, year-round, near-perfect weather - with average temperatures of 28 degrees. So anytime is perfect for a tropical getaway, wedding or honeymoon.
11 kms of sparkling, sun-splashed beaches are fringed by crystal-clear azure waters. The warm, sun-kissed days are cooled by refreshing trade winds whose constant breezes also shape the growth of the island’s famous Divi Divi trees.
Aruba’s infrastructure is unsurpassed in the Caribbean – you can even drink the tap water. The high standards of Aruba’s resorts and restaurants make for a “Miami-style” vacation coupled with tropical weather and island hospitality. And its sophistication is mirrored in the vast array of things to do for the visitor – Aruba is a playground in the sun with activities galore for everyone.
Aruba is easy to get to – it’s just a 5 hour flight from Toronto. WestJet, Air Canada Vacations and Signature Vacations all offer flights and a range of hotels and packages in Aruba. And be on the look out for Early Booking Bonuses when you book your Aruba vacation! There is something to accommodate every type of traveller, from intimate boutique style hotels to all-inclusive brand name resorts. Aruba’s wide variety of hotels offer a range of meal plans so you can manage your budget - but also sample the delicious and diverse local restaurants.
Aruba has over 200 restaurants and is a gourmet's paradise, with options from Brazilian steakhouses to local favourites. A recent innovation on the island is two exciting Chef’s Table restaurants. At The Kitchen Table by White, for instance, a 16 seats only dinner starts with a refreshing cocktail set against a back drop of a beautiful sunset and then takes you on a culinary journey with a 7 course Aruban-Caribbean meal.
And as the sun goes down, whether you have had an action packed day or whether you have slept on the beach – exciting casinos are found in nearly every hotel in the Palm Beach area, plus there is a stand-alone casino (the Alhambra) and 2 casinos in downtown Oranjestad.
Aruba is that it’s one of the very few Caribbean destinations that still gives visitors a choice between all-inclusive resorts and non-inclusive resorts where you are encouraged to go out and eat at the local restaurants. There are lots of accommodation options available from high end resorts to boutique hotels, apartments & condos, private villas and more.
RIU is a well-known name that has had a big impact in Aruba. They have two resorts here: the RIU Palace Aruba and the RIU Palace Antillas.
The RIU Aruba Palace is an immaculate, stylish beachfront resort located along the crystal blue water and pristine white sand of Palm Beach. It is an ideal tropical getaway to relax and unwind.
Recently renovated over the spring and summer of 2015, this immaculate resort ensures a comfortable stay for refined travellers. Bask in the sun on a poolside lounger with the comfort of free parasols, towels and waiter beverage service for an effortless day in the Caribbean. Active guests can enjoy a variety of complimentary sports and activities such as an in-pool scuba lesson, snorkelling and kayaking.
Delicious buffet meals feature live cooking stations or try an à-la-carte experience at specialty restaurants serving Italian, Japanese or Fusion cuisine.
The RIU Aruba Palace is right besides its sister hotel, the RIU Palace Antillas.
The RIU Palace Antillas is an adults only resort and exclusively for guests 18 and over. The adults-only Riu Palace Antillas is the perfect destination for a sophisticated getaway with friends or a romantic holiday.
Located along the idyllic white shores of Palm Beach, Aruba, this resort ensures a tranquil and relaxing vacation under the sun. Enjoy a welcome drink of bubbly Cava and then stay refreshed throughout your trip with unlimited local and imported beverages at lively bars, including the Aqua poolside swim-up bar.
Admire beautiful Caribbean sunsets while dining on the terrace of the Atlantis restaurant or try specialty cuisines at the steakhouse, Italian, Fusion or Mexican restaurants.
After dark, guests can keep entertained at the Pacha discotheque or head to the neighbouring Riu Palace Aruba for access to additional facilities like free entry to the casino.
Occidental Resorts are now part of the Barcelo family – and that means a marriage of the very best of these two well respected hotel brands. And in Aruba the Occidental Grand Aruba and the Royal Club Grand Aruba Resort are also a marriage of a kind – because the Royal Club Grand Aruba Resort is a mini resort and a boutique hotel offering exclusive, luxurious services within the Occidental Grand Aruba. These are both great choices for your Aruba vacation.
This hotel is exclusive to Air Canada Vacations and received a certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor in 2013. The 368 room property is located is close to the capital city of Oranjestad and it is situated on Palm Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Aruba. Thanks to its stunning location you will experience beautiful sunrise and sunsets with strikingly intense colors.
Accommodation includes Deluxe rooms that are available with a pool view, garden view or ocean view. Bright and pleasant, these rooms feature two queen beds or a king bed. All Deluxe rooms have a balcony or a terrace. Family rooms (which are two connecting Deluxe rooms that accommodate 6 people) are perfect for larger families and multi-generational vacations.
Deluxe Lanai Pool View or Ocean View rooms are more spacious and also have a large outdoor terrace.
Deluxe Jacuzzi Ocean Front rooms are for guests looking for more space and privacy. These larger, well located rooms feature a jacuzzi bathtub where you can relax while contemplating the endless sea.
Grand Romance Deluxe Ocean View rooms offer guests special services and romantic amenities to make their stay simply unforgettable. Grand Romance rooms feature all the comforts and amenities of the Deluxe Ocean View room and include a King Size or two Double beds. But there is more! Upgraded amenities include: Bottle of Sparkling Wine, Chocolate covered Strawberries, Continental Breakfast in Bed, Nightly turndown service, Romantic Dinner on the Beach, One (1) 30 minute couples massage, 10% discount at the Massage Center, Surprise gift and Minibar (stoked every other day).
The cuisine at the Occidental Grand Aruba is excellent - there is a wide choice of international dishes, and a main buffet area that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also many restaurants and bars to choose from offering a variety of cuisine including Italian, Tex Mex, Pan Asian and Caribbean Fusion.
You will never run out of things to do as there are many activities taking place in the pool and beach areas. Your days will fill up with activities such as tennis, beach volleyball, water aerobics classes, snorkeling, kayaking and more.
At Occidental all-inclusive resorts there are plenty of fun and entertaining activities for the little ones in your family as well. While you relax on the beautiful Palm Beach your kids can enjoy supervised activities at the Kids Club. Aimed at children ages 4 – 12 years the Kids Club features a daily programs of varied and supervised activities so that they can have the time of their life while you can relax on the beach or at the spa.
In the evening there is entertainment in the Grand Ballroom that the whole family will enjoy. You will experience shows such as La Reverie, Latin explosion and Grease, as well as live music in the in the Lobby bar. Plus there is a weekly Aruban night celebration with BBQ and live entertainment on the beach and fun for all. And with a casino and DJ sessions on the dance floor, you will lose all notion of time!
This mini resort is part of the Occidental Grand Aruba hotel but represents a Royal Club upgrade. It gives you a boutique hotel within a hotel with approximately 35 rooms plus 8 suites, located on the top floors of the north tower.
The luxurious services provide a premium all-inclusive experience, including wi-fi access and private check-in/check-out Lounge.The Royal Club Grand Aruba also offers an exclusive restaurant with top-notch cuisine and a lounge area to enjoy premium drinks and a gorgeous view of the hotel.
Plus you enjoy your personal concierge services for dinner arrangements, spa appointments and booking tours – so you enjoy the ultimate, pampered vacation.
Honeymooning couples have always received the red carpet treatment in Aruba. And if you are looking to get married in Aruba you’ll find a modern infrastructure with lots of support for your big day.
Aruba has a destination Celebration Registry - so your wedding guests can forget the toaster and present you with a sunset sail while in Aruba instead! The Celebration Registry also covers all those other special events from Milestone Birthdays to Anniversaries, Baby Moons to Family Reunions - and more!
If you are celebrating a special anniversary, or just looking for special time together, Aruba offers the real deal when it comes to vacations for lovers and your resort will pamper you. Treat your honey to a sunset sail on a luxury catamaran - or a sunset cocktail at a beach bar. Who could resist a moonlight dinner for two, right on the beach? Reconnect and luxuriate in couples treatments and massages at a relaxing spa. Hike hand in hand or go horseback riding together. Or paint the town red and go Latin dancing, try your luck at the casino or chill in a late night piano or martini bar……
Check out a calendar jam-packed with cultural celebrations and music, art and culinary festivals. Carnival events run throughout January and February. The Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is in May and the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival is in September. And sports aficionados have lots to see and do with the Aruba Hi-Winds amateur windsurfing and kiteboarding event in July, and the Aruba Regatta and Aruba Pro-Am Golf Tournament in August. And this list just scratches the surface!
No matter what time you visit, the weekly Carubbian Festival takes place in San Nicolas every Thursday night from 6pm-10pm, showcasing the multicultural charms of Aruba's "Sunrise City." Visitors can relax and enjoy a diversity of cuisines from the region plus a parade of local entertainers. The main street becomes a pedestrian mall filled with colorful booths selling local food, handicrafts and logo souvenirs.
For Culture Vultures the weekly Bon Bini festival has folkloric music and dance and is is the perfect introduction to the warmth and hospitality of Aruba’s people. It takes place in the outdoor courtyard of Fort Zoutman, Aruba’s oldest building, which is downtown in the capital city of Oranjestad. Enjoy the flavor of the island, its history people, music and cuisine. The great thing about Bon Bini is that it takes place every week – so if you miss the Aruba Carnival (Jan – March) you can still get a taste of the excitement and party atmosphere.
Aruba offers a true wellness experience - so you are sure to return from your vacation relaxed and restored. Healing, pampering experiences and gentle exercises for the mind and body await you! Here are some ideas to make your stay in Aruba healthy for mind and body.
Aruba's beaches stunningly beautiful. Digging your toes into the sugar-white sand surrounded by palm trees, soaking up the Caribbean sun, and enjoying the refreshing trade winds—now this is truly wellness! And don't forget—you're not limited to the stretches of beach found in the resort areas. Venturing south to Mangel Halto you can feel free to luxuriate in the peace among the tangle of mangrove trees, or journey a bit further to Baby Beach to visit one of the most beautiful seascapes on the entire island. To really get away from it all, venture to the island's north coast and settle into one of the many secluded little coves. Just make sure to take plenty of water, and don't forget to pack some Aruba Aloe sunscreen, made right on the island!
The sea can be so healing, especially when combined with a fun, get-your-body-moving activity. Featuring flat seas and favorable wind conditions on the leeward side of the island, Aruba is one of the best places in the world to windsurf. Kitesurfing has become quite popular in more recent years, especially among thrill-seekers. Those looking for a more relaxed way of playing in the water can choose from other more relaxing water activities like standup paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Yoga and Meditation
Aruba features a number of studios and organizations that offer yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation classes, each of which promises an incredible wellness experience. The yoga options alone are impressive—from gentle yoga, to hot yoga, power yoga, SUP yoga, sunset yoga, you name it! There are also a growing number of yoga experiences that draw on Aruba's natural beauty as well, offering perfect options for a day-long, or multi-day wellness retreat. Join a jeep tour that takes you to various breathtaking spots along the island's north coast to practice yoga, or do yoga on the beach under the full moon, followed by a drum circle. Pure magic!
Connecting with nature in Aruba's desert terrain filled with cactuses, huge stacked-up boulders, wild goat herds, and other unexpected curiosities—and perhaps the best way to explore it all is by foot. One of the best places on the island to do some nature hiking is within Arikok National Park. This sprawling nature preserve covering almost 20% of the island, is crisscrossed by a number of walking paths. While you're in the park, take the time to explore several caves, a freshwater spring, several beautiful beaches, and the famous Natural Pool. This is a true relaxing wellness experience!
Ahhhhhh...now we're talking! Spas offer the ultimate wellness experience, and Aruba's spas are on par with some of the best in the world. Whether you’re looking for a luxury spa retreat, or a simple day spa, it’s all on the menu in Aruba! Spa-goers can choose from a wide range of treatments, including massages, body wraps, scrubs, hot stone therapy, and aromatherapy treatments. Vichy showers, saunas, cold plunge pools, and other amenities round out the spa experience, providing a perfect opportunity to experience some serious wellness. A collection of Aruba's spas take part in Aloe Wellness Month in June.
Healthy Caribbean Food
A huge part of wellness is eating fresh, healthy food. In Aruba’s restaurants, visitors can choose from many healthy food offerings, including locally caught fish, organic fruits and vegetables, vegetarian dishes, and more. Stop at one of the many local “batido” stands for a fresh fruit shake, or ask the hotel bar to whip up something healthy and delicious. The larger supermarkets also carry gluten-free products and other special health-food products for those requiring restricted diets. During Aloe Wellness Month Aruba, the chefs at participating hotels will also be giving cooking demos featuring healthy preparation
Why not dance yourself to wellness? Not only is dancing excellent exercise, but it's the perfect way to channel the inner child within who just wants to let loose and be free! On Aruba, you can get your dance on at one of the island's sizzling night clubs. Alternatively, feel free to grab a partner and take a salsa lesson from one of the island's professional salsa dancers. And don't worry—even if you have two left feet, you're still certainly going to have fun!
The Island of Aloes
It's no surprise that Aruba has earned the nickname “The Island of Aloes”. Aloe Vera grows wild all over the Island and has an incredible number of health benefits. Aruba Aloe, one of the oldest aloe companies in the world, harnesses the wellness benefits of Aruban-grown Aloe Vera by blending it with other fine ingredients to create world-renowned health and beauty products. Make sure to visit Aruba Aloe's Factory and Museum to see how the company creates wellness in a bottle on a daily basis, and pop into one of Aruba Aloe's 16 retail stores to sample the company's wide variety of awesome products.
Sure, a game of classic tennis is a great way to get in some heart-pumping exercise and body wellness, but on Aruba, beach tennis is the way to go! This sport has become so popular on the island that Aruba now hosts one of the biggest international beach tennis tournaments in the world every year. Head on over to the Tropicana Beach Tennis Club or Moomba Beach to play a few matches or even take lessons from one of the top-ranked players in the world.
Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience and certainly cultivates emotional wellness. While vacationing on Aruba, you can choose to partake in a wide variety of volunteer activities. Are you an animal lover? Lend a hand at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary or the Aruba Animal Shelter. Interested in protecting the environment? Beach cleanups are organized both annually and monthly. Several other volunteer activities are offered throughout the year at the hotels—just ask your concierge for details.
Activities range from windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and wet’n wild fun to golf, tennis, touring and off road adventures – and don’t forget the fabulous duty-free shopping! So with all the water and land based activities you could wish for - if you're a golfer, a spa-goer, a wine-lover, or just a kid looking for a good water park- Aruba has it all.
During your Aruba vacation you should venture off the beaten path and try out these signature Aruba Experiences:
Cool off in Conchi
Nestled at the base of the northern shore cliffs within Arikok National Park is the natural pool of Conchi, one of Aruba’s most exclusive experiences and hidden gems. It is accessible only by off-road vehicle, bicycle or horseback. For those who want to indulge beyond the scenery, the calm and clear waters of the Caribbean pool are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The rugged and wild journey to Conchi rewards travelers with breathtaking views accompanied by excitement of crashing waves created by the shell-shaped pool.
Ultimate Sand Bar Island
Aruba offers 25+ toes-in-the-sand and floating dock dining experiences for visitors to enjoy. Guests who love seafood or simply the sea can make it a mission to spend their entire vacation eating only at restaurants on the water. Explore where you can indulge in the Ultimate Sand Bar Experience!
Mangel Halto Drift
Tucked away along the western coast in the Pos Chikito district near the Spanish Lagoon, Mangel Halto is beloved for its beauty and seclusion. Locals retreat to this secret spot to “drift” on the water during a stand-up paddle board excursion or snorkeling adventure. Or “drift” off to sleep under the mangrove trees after a relaxing afternoon picnic. Beach-goers should bring their own towels, food and equipment unless they’ve signed up for an activity through a tour operator.
Of course Aruba has endless fun for Water Babies - including exploring coral reefs and shipwrecks on the Atlantis submarine. Travel 130 feet below the Caribbean in a real submarine for an unforgettable experience.
Glass bottom boat rides are another comfortable way to view beautiful underwater scenery and you can snorkel off any of the beaches on the South and West coast. De Palm Island is an adventure for all ages – buy an all-inclusive half or full day pass including food and beverage. There is a full water park, snorkeling, and activities like the Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Walk and Snuba – both of which are “easy” ways to explore underwater.
Adrenalin junkies can experience “JetLev” - a water propelled jetpack ride over the ocean. And Aruba’s trade winds make it perfect for wind surfing and kite surfing. But there is almost no end to the ways you can get your pulse racing – with sky diving, parasailing, jet skis and more!
History buffs will enjoy the Archeological Museum, which houses Indian artifacts dating back to the pre-ceramic period of 2500 BC. You can also explore Aruba’s oldest industry at the Aruba Aloe Museum and Store. The beautiful Aloe lotions provide a great opportunity to mix history with Aruba’s other top activity – shopping. And one of Aruba’s most precious landmarks is the Chapel at Alto Vista - the Island’s first Catholic Church. Built in 1750 and renovated in 1953 the site also offers dramatic views at sunrise and sunset.
If you want to explore nature – head for Arikok National Park. An area consisting of nearly 20 % of the island of Aruba, the park is home to rare and indigenous flora and fauna such as the Aruban burrowing owl, Aruban rattlesnake, Aruban whiptail lizard, and Aruban parakeet. Caves are also found in the park - The Fontein Cave is the most popular of the caves as it has mysterious drawings on the ceiling, made long ago by Arawak Indians.
There are plenty of opportunities for sports on Aruba. Aruba boasts an 18 hole championship golf course (Tiera de Sol) and a 9 hole course (The links at Divi). There is also horseback riding, tennis, cycling and hiking to name a few.
Aruba has a justified reputation as a great family destination – hardly surprising as it is a very safe and welcoming Island. Aruba also offers fabulous children’s facilities and high standards at its resorts, plus there are all kinds of dining choices on the island to satisfy even the pickiest eaters (including familiar favourites such as TGI Friday’s, Tony Roma’s and Senor Frog’s). There is a wide range of activities for all the family - and you can even drink the water!
Children will love the wide beaches with white sugary sand and warm, gentle waves. The climate is particularly benign with low humidity and cooling trade winds. Often the breezes even blow away the pesky mosquitos! The excellence of most resorts also extends to their Kids Clubs, which are well managed and keep the youngsters busy and happy all day long.
Family attractions include the Butterfly Farm, teeming with colourful butterflies from around the world – it provides fun, educational programs on the life cycle of butterflies and conservation. The Donkey Sanctuary is also a perennial favourite, with the chance to interact with the enchanting, floppy-eared inmates.
Many resorts cater particularly well for families with special kids activities, excellent KIds Clubs and special offers for families. Plus the island has a One Happy Family package at participating resorts.