ARUBA Yacht Charter Guide
Representing letter A of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), Aruba is a picturesque Dutch island boasting the best weather in the Caribbean. Outside of the hurricane belt, the island is warm and dry, with perfect cruising conditions found around its calm waters. In other words, a superyachting paradise.
Nestled in the Lesser Antilles, Aruba’s striking scenery is quite different from its neighbours – a flat landscape dominated by cacti. In fact, its arid climate and early separation from the mainland of South America mean this island has host of unique endemic flora and fauna that is sure to excite nature lovers. The geology of this tiny island paradise is equally impressive, and days can be spent exploring its caves, cliffs, rock formations, natural pools and sand dunes. Settled since at least 2000BC, Aruba is also rich in human history, with everything from decorated rock formations to abandoned gold mines to discover. Although there is no main city on this tiny island, there is no shortage of amenities, with Oranjestad and Palm Beach the place to enjoy casinos, duty free shopping and world class restaurants.
With the Atlantic Ocean on one side, and the Caribbean Sea on the other, the island has two very different coastlines. The west and southern shores of the island feature endless swathes of white sand beaches dotted with fofoti (divi divi) trees which are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and watersports. The east and northern coasts form a rugged, virgin coastline battered by Atlantic waves, with excellent surfing and a stunning national park. Prepare to indulge in all Aruba has to offer.
Key Cruising Areas: At just 20 miles long and six miles wide, a superyacht charter can easily incorporate the many superb beaches dotted along the west coastlines, as well as Aruba’s two private islands – Du Palm and Renaissance, home of the famous pink flamingos. For a more extensive cruise, enjoy all three of the ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.
Don’t Miss: Getting close to nature. Explore the huge California Dunes on the northern tip of the island, kayak through mangroves, admire the Casibari Boulders and Ayo Rock Formations, dive the many coral reefs, or try to spot some of the island’s wildlife, for example the native ‘Shoco’ - an adorable burrowing owl.
Best Spots for Wining and Dining: There is no shortage of fine dining on the island, particularly around Eagle Beach. Here, enjoy Caribbean-Peruvian fusion at The Kitchen Table or classic fine dining with a twist at Senses. For a romantic meal, watch the sun set from a private beach palapa at Elements restaurant, or head to the pier at Pinchos Bar and Grill for a cocktail with a view.
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Local Culture: Aruban’s are proud of their rich cultural history, and hold a weekly celebration of this at the lively Bon Bini Festival in Oranjestad. There is also a healthy art scene in the coastal town of San Nicolas, otherwise known as Aruba’s sunrise city - where street art and galleries are found on every corner.
Best Beach: It is hard to pick a favorite from Aruba’s many white sand beaches. The natural lagoon of Baby Beach is a heavenly swim spot, Arashi Beach offers superb snorkelling and sunsets, Mangel Halto is a local favourite, and the views from Eagle Beach make it the most Instagram-worthy spot on the island.
IYC recommends: Arrive at Arikok National Park to explore the natural wonders and ancient Arawak cave art found in the Guadirikiri and Fontein Caves, before journeying on horseback through a series of rocky gullies to reach a natural pool, known as ‘Conchi’ in the local language of Papiamento. This natural salt water pool on the east coast of the island, is protected from the sea by volcanic rocks. Soak in the ethereal waters as you watch the Atlantic waves crash against the cliffs.
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