With its all-inclusive resorts (including the spectacular Barceló Aruba), sun-kissed beaches and unique culture, it’s no wonder that Aruba attracts millions of visitors each year. But there are still spots on this small Dutch-Caribbean island that remain undiscovered and underrated. Here are just a few of your hidden gem options.
Aruhiba Tobacco Farm
Whether you’re a serious cigar aficionado or new to the scene, the Aruhiba Tobacco Farm – the only hand-rolled cigar maker on the island – is a fascinating Aruba attraction. On a tour of the grounds, you’ll learn all about the history, culture and care that goes into each and every Aruhiba cigar. Then, you’ll be instructed by the masters on how to roll your very own cigar.
The Antilla Wreck
This one’s literally hidden – beneath the waves! Just a short distance off the coast from the all-inclusive Barceló Aruba is the resting place of the SS Antilla, the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean. At 400-feet long, the Antilla is now an underwater playground, suitable for all levels of scuba diving experience. Over the years, the ship has become an eco-system in its own right, providing a home for colorful tropical fish and coral. Dive in and see …
Black Stone Beach
It’s a fact known the world over: Aruba has no shortage of beautiful beaches. Black Stone Beach is a little bit different, however. As its name suggests, the beach’s coastline is lined with tiny, shimmery black stones that have been eroded over the centuries to create a truly unique landscape. For Black Stone Beach at its best, set your alarm and head over at sunrise – when the light hits the sand, it’s a dazzling sight.
The north coast of Aruba is the most well-populated part of the island. But during your getaway, you might want to take a little time to explore the south coast – especially the town of San Nicolas. Here, you’ll find a thriving local arts scene; the astoundingly colorful street murals are amazing, as are the many galleries and authentic artisanal shops. And if you’re traveling with younger kids, don’t miss Baby Beach; with is calm, clear waters, it’s perfect for little ones to splash around in.
Located in the amazing Arikok National Park on the northeast coast of Aruba, Boca Prins is a pristine natural landscape with dramatic cliffs, windswept waves and gorgeous sand dunes. It’s an ideal spot to discover, away from the crowds. Nearby, you’ll have the chance to descend into the Fontein Cave, with ancient rock formations and impressive pictographs, etched on the walls by Amerindians centuries ago.
Tip: After you’ve uncovered some of Aruba’s hidden gems, take a dip in Barceló Aruba’s Splash Pool Bar, offering exotic tropical cocktails and a lively atmosphere. The perfect end to a perfect Aruba day.