Things to do in Aruba + Ferry to Caracas

Aruba is an Island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, the capital is Oranjestad.  Things to do in Aruba;

  • Central Oranjestad
  • Aruba Sign
  • Aruba Beaches
  • California Lighthouse
  • Alto Vista Chapel
  • Bushiribana and Balashi
  • Fort Zoutman
  • Hooiberg

There are a few large casinos and resorts around Palm Eagle Beach.  A lot of people stay here in resorts adjacent to the beach.  Alternatively, a few solo travelers choose to stay in central Oranjestad.  It doesn’t really matter where you stay as Aruba is a small island and it’s easy to get around.

Central Oranjestad

Things to do in Aruba - Central Oranjestad

In central Oranjestad there’s is a shopping mall, western restaurants and several lively bars.  In addition, there are several iconic Dutch landmarks.  Oranjestad is a more colorful, cleaner and safer alternative to Paramaribo, Suriname.

Aruba Sign

Things to do in Aruba - Aruba Sign, Oranjestad

You can’t miss the huge I Love Aruba sign in Oranjestad.  A picture with this is a must to let your friends know you’ve been!

Aruba Beaches

Things to do in Aruba - Palm Beach

The most popular of things to do in Aruba is visit the beaches.  As you can see from the picture above, the beaches are incredibly beautiful.  Welcome to the Caribbean!  The water is clean, clear and warm, just as it looks in the travel brochures.  For this reason, I award the beaches as the top Aruba Instagram spot.

California Lighthouse

Things to do in Aruba - California Lighthouse

At the north west tip of the island is the California Lighthouse.  I don’t expect you’ll go all the way to Aruba to see it but it’s worth stopping for if you’re driving past.  Finally, it’s named after Steamship California which sank nearby.

Alto Vista Chapel

Things to do in Aruba - Alto Vista Chapel

The Alto Vista Chapel is the oldest church in Aruba.  It’s history actually dates back around 300 years and it’s where Christianity started on the island.  Furthermore, it’s a colorful church which photographs beautifully at sunset.  Again, it’s not a reason to visit Aruba but worth stopping at if you’re driving by.

Bushiribana and Balashi

Things to do in Aruba - Bushiribana and Balashi

Bushiribana and Balashi were built to extract gold from the nearby gold mine.  Today they lie in ruins and make interesting stop.

Fort Zoutman

Things to do in Aruba - Fort Zoutman

Fort Zoutman is the oldest building in Oranjestad at over 200 years old.  In addition, it now houses the Aruba Historical Museum.  It’s surrounded by firing cannons and tourists often pose for pictures with them.


Things to do in Aruba - Hooiberg

If you are all beached out, you can take a visit to an old volcanic rock formation which is visible from virtually anywhere on the island, it’s called Hooiberg.  It’s about 165 meters in height but very easy to climb.  In fact, there are steps all the way up and a few picturesque cacti.  The views from the top will give you a good perspective of the island and how small is really is.  They say on a clear day it’s possible to see Venezuela, unfortunately it wasn’t visible the day I went up though.

Iconic Red Phone Box

Things to do in Aruba - Traditional red phone box, Oranjestad.

I have a travel tip for you here.  When you’re away from home for a long period of time, keep in touch!  As a result, both you and your family will feel better.  I was lucky enough to find a traditional British red phone box in Oranjestad, which meant I could call my mum for the price of a local call.  Lastly, these red phone boxes are one of the famous London Landmarks.

How to get from Aruba to Caracas Venezuela by Boat

Pullmantur Cruise Ship

Pullmantur Cruise Ship

From Aruba the next stop was Caracas, Venezuela.  To be exact, the cruise ship would dock at La Guaira which is the cruise ship port serving Caracas.  It’s quite a drive from Caracas and Caracas is quite dangerous, so organizing a tour with the cruise ship company is recommended.

Aruba is an island which belongs to the Netherlands, it’s not included in the list of 195-197 countries.  However it is included in the list of 60 dependent states.  Does a visit to Aruba count as another country visited to cross off the list?

Caracas to Curaçao

2019-01-18T14:29:52+00:00December 3rd, 2016|Aruba, Caribbean|11 Comments


  1. Alexandra February 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I’m surprised the phone box was so inexpensive! Seems like it would be a tourist trap for sure!
    In my ignorance, I didn’t know that Aruba belonged to the Netherlands. Do they have any more islands in the Caribbean? All in all it looks like a fun place to visit! What was the food like?

  2. Terrance February 21, 2017 at 9:14 am - Reply

    I would love to got o Aruba…Interesting to know whether it is a country or now. Regardless, the beach looks lovely. Good lock for your trip to Caracas…I havent heard great things about safety there! Keep us posted…bon voyage!

  3. Jim February 21, 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

    The Caribbean Islands have the best beaches! Aruba looks charming with the red phone booth and influences from the Netherlands. Such a tiny island, but gorgeous beach.

  4. Paul February 21, 2017 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Pick any Caribbean island and you’ll probably be set! Aruba looks like a great destination, it’s so interesting that it’s so close to South America! Shame that you couldn’t see Venezuela. I’m a sucker for long views like that! Especially of other countries like that. Awesome!

  5. Soumya Nambiar February 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know that Aruba was part of the Netherlands. Venezuela must be really close if you can see it from Aruba. I would never want to leave those gorgeous beaches anywhere in the Caribbean.

  6. Michaela Terese Harrison February 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I have heard Aruba but knew very little so thank you for sharing. Sounds like an interesting place. The beach looks beautiful.

  7. Jean February 22, 2017 at 2:25 am - Reply

    The photo of you standing in front of the telephone box is wonderful. I’d love to read more about what you did here and the history of Aruba. How many of those places listed at the top of your article did you get to?

  8. Derek February 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    That would be a really fun cruise to take. I’ve never been to Aruba, but my family takes a trip to the Caribbean every Christmas, so maybe this year we’ll look into Aruba. I love that you found a red phone box like in Britain too. That’s always fun. 🙂

  9. Natalie February 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Love the red phone box and so would the kids. We always travel with them and enjoy seeing things through their eyes. We have not been to Curacus but it was on the list!!

  10. Agnes June 2, 2017 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    The pictures are stunning, James! Aruba seems breathtaking and picturesque!

  11. Natasha July 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    I reallllly have a thing for the Caribbean. Maybe it is because I have never been. But Aruba has always been high on my list of places I want to see. I would definitely go to the old volcanic rocks!

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