Cruise Port Atlas | Oranjestad, Aruba Day Trips | Attractions

Oranjestad, Aruba Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Oranjestad: Star Clippers, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Seabourn, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean

Key Attractions: Aruba Archaeological Museum, Eagle Beach, Arashi Beach, Baby Beach, Mangel Halto Beach, California Lighthouse, Casibari Rock Formation, Alto Vista Chapel, Natural Bridge, Arikok National Park, Natural Pool, Divi Golf, Tierra del Sol Golf, Aruba Golf Club, De Palm Island, Phillips Animal Garden


Port to Aruba Archaeological Museum - 0.6 KM, 7 minute walk
Port to Fort Zoutman - 0.9 KM, 10 minute walk
Port to Shopping and Casinos - 0.4 - 1.0 KM, 5-10 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Oranjestad is the capital of Aruba and nearly 1 in 3 Arubans live there. It was built around Fort Zoutman, established by the Dutch in 1798 and the oldest building on the island. The fort contains the Historical Museum of Aruba and features the Willem II tower. Pastel colored Dutch style buildings add a quaint atmosphere to the town near the docks. These building house restaurants, stores with tourist items, especially jewelry and casinos. The Archaeological Museum offers artifacts from the pre-Columbian era when the Cacietia and Arawak peoples inhabited the island.



Photo of Oranjestad by Andre Engles

Aruba Beaches

Port to Eagle Beach - 6 KM, 10 minutes
Port to Arashi Beach - 12 KM, 15 minutes
Port to Baby Beach - 23 KM, 33 minutes
Port to Mangel Halto Beach - 12 KM, 16 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Aruba's beaches have long been its main attraction. Beginning just north of Oranjestad an almost uninterrupted stretch of beaches continues to the northern tip of the island. Starting with Divi Village the first stretch of sand is dominated by old and new resort hotels. The beaches are public but easier access can be found at Eagle Beach, which features a wide variety of water sports, food, beverages and facilities. At the far northernwest corner of the island is Arashi Beach and several others with less sand, but excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities including the Antilla shipwreck. At the southern tip of the island is a protected bay known as Baby Beach, so named because the water is shallow and calm making it ideal for small children. It has a small snack bar and is a nice place to learn to snorkel. Mangel Halto Beach is one of the less touristy beaches on the calm western shore of the island. The eastern (windward) side of the island also has beaches, but these are less accessible and more rocky.



Photos of Eagle Beach and Arashi Beach by CruisePortAtlas

Aruba Views

Port to California Lighthouse - 13 KM, 19 minutes
Port to Casibari Rock Formation - 6 KM, 12 minutes
Port to Alto Vista Chapel - 11 KM, 16 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Short bus tours of the island will usually feature vista points such as the Casibari Rock Formation, the Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse. The Casibari boulders are a rock formation in Hoolberg, central Aruba that provide an excellent vantage point for much of the island including the cruise ships in Oranjestad. Built originally in the mid-18th century by the Caquieta native peoples was used by Domingo Silvestre, a missionary who visited the site several times a year to convert the locals. The current church was built in 1952. The California Lighthouse was built after the 1891 wreck of the steamship California on a promontory at the far north end of the island near Arashi Beach. Visitors cannot enter the lighthouse, but the views from the hill offer coastal views on 3 sides and an island view to the south.



Photo of Alto Vista Chapel and Casibari Rocks by CruisePortAtlas

Arikok National Park

Port to Arikok National Park Caves - 16 KM, 23 minutes
Port to Natural Pool - 14 KM, 40 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The large Arikok National Park covers a large portion of the southern end of Aruba and almost 20% of the entire island. The park offers hiking trails that give visitors and opportunity to see the natural desert landscape, a few historic sites including an old plantation and native pictographs, geological variety including lava and limestone caves and a few native species including a pit viper, a burrowing owl and a green parakeet. Accessible by hike or all-terrain vehicle is the Natural Pool, where visitors can swim in the quiet waters adjacent to the dramatic windward shore.



Photo of Arikok National Park by $Mathes94$, Photo of Natural Pool by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Aruba Golf Courses

Port to Divi Golf - 3.3 KM, 9 minutes
Port to Tierra del Sol Golf - 12 KM, 16 minutes
Port to Aruba Golf Club - 23 KM, 31 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Aruba offers more golfing opportunities than most Caribbean islands with 2 9 hole courses and one championship course. If you are looking for something different, try the Aruba Golf Club, which has 9 holes, oiled sand greens and goats. This is the least expensive option on the island. In the middle of Divi Village, just north of Oranjestad is the Links at Divi which offers a beautiful 9 hole course. At the North end of the island is the Robert Trent Jones designed Tierra del Sol. Similar in style to the Arroyo courses of the southwest US and Mexico, the course is a well-regarded challenge with intense winds and local animals wandering with you among the cacti.



Photo of Tierra del Sol Golf by CruisePortAtlas

Other Aruba Attractions

Port to De Palm Island - 10 KM, 30 minutes
Port to Phillips Animal Garden - 11 KM, 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Philip's Animal Garden is an exotic animal rehabilitation park that offers visitors the opportunity to see a variety of animals. Caimans, macaws, Bengal cats, Capuchin monkeys and alpaca are among the animals housed there. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

De Palm Island is a recreational all-inclusive island offering watersports and a waterpark with all-you-can eat and all-you-can drink passes for half-day and full-day prices. Half-day tickets including transportation (bus plus short ferry ride) are $99 per adult and $79 per child. Full day tickets are $119 and $93.



Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible