A First-Timer’s Guide to Aruba

Located in the lower Caribbean is one of the favorite “return-to” destinations — Aruba. This island paradise boasts some of the world’s best beaches plus the world-famous fofoti trees, but travelers return to this island getaway time and time again for more than spectacular sands and turquoise waters. Find out what makes Aruba One Happy Island in this first-timer’s guide!



(More than) One Happy Answer

What makes Aruba so addictive?

Carnival Aruba

Aruba’s Carnival Danc

Perhaps it’s the unbeatable, 82-degree sunny days, more than any other Caribbean island! Plus, with its location outside of the hurricane belt, the island receives on average of 16 inches of rain a year, so your chances of not seeing the sun every day of your vacation are almost impossible.

Perhaps it’s the Happy Information Officers roaming about the island, making sure you have happy experiences. Many are located in favorite tourist places, like the city center, cruise terminal, and Palm Beach area. Just find the happy officer with a sea green polo shirt featuring the happy information slogan to have all your travel questions answered.

Related: Three Top Experiences in Aruba

Perhaps it’s the fantastic carnival, which rivals Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Also celebrated in February, the Carnival offers spectacular parades, starting with the Lighting Parade and continuing through the Children’s Parades, and the Grand Carnival Parade in San Nicholas before the final Grand Parade in Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad.

Aruba architecturePerhaps it’s Arikok National Park, which spreads across 20% of the island and features national pools, 4×4 adventures, limestone caves to explore, and even bat-monitoring in the “Tunnel of Love.” Don’t miss the authentic drawings on the cave walls or the tallest hills on the island for spectacular views.

Or perhaps it’s the enchanting blend of old and new in Oranjestad with its restored buildings, its Aloe Museum and Factory with island-made products, or its Bon Bini Festival every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. with traditionally-dressed folk dancers, local music, culinary delights, and local art.

No matter what the reason is, the One Happy Island is ready to make your vacation One Happy Trip.

Related: Dive into Love with Aruba


Where to Stay — Riu Palace Antillas and Riu Palace Aruba

Riu Palace Antillas

Located on the famous Palm Beach, Riu Palace Antillas offers the ultimate adults-only escape in Aruba, ideal for romantic getaways and couple retreats. Its oceanfront locale yields many enjoyable water sports, plus a sun terrace and a refreshing pool. Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, an on-site casino, and the Pacha discotheque make for exciting activities in between relaxing sessions at the Renova Spa or lounging on the pristine beach. Enjoy a romantic dinner on the sugar sands or the scrumptious flavors of Asian fusion, Italian, steak, or Mexican cusinine at on-site á la carte restaurants.

Riu Palace Aruba

If you’re bringing the kids, then enjoy a family getaway at Riu Palace Aruba, also a 24-hour all-inclusive resort. This property offers two freshwater pools, one children’s pool, one introductory scuba diving lesson, an aquagym, stand-up paddle surfing, snorkeling, and more. Live shows and music entertain the entire family, while the hot and cold buffets with live cooking stations are sure to please every palate. For the adults, four á la carte restaurants provide quiet and romantic dinners, perfect for relaxing on your vacation.


How about St. Martin?

Riu Palace St. Martin

If you’re looking for a Caribbean destination a little closer to home, then Renew with Riu in St. Martin! Only three and a half hours from New York, St. Martin is a culinary mecca with more than 300 restaurants, two nationalities, and duty-free shopping, and Riu Palace St. Martin offers a beachfront getaway with 24-hour all-inclusive service, an infinity pool, and themed buffets.

Related: Saint Martin Welcomes RIU’s Unique Experience

Whether heading to Aruba or St. Martin, find your ultimate escape with Riu Resorts now at your local travel agent!


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