Best excursions in Aruba

14 Best Excursions in Aruba (+ ATV & Snorkeling Tours)

The most detailed guide of the best excursions in Aruba! Including ATV and boat tours, shore excursions, horseback riding and more (+ my favourite & most popular experiences)

Aruba, often called the “One happy island“, is a sunny Caribbean paradise famous for its beautiful beaches and great weather. It’s a small island in the southern Caribbean Sea, near Venezuela. You’ll love Aruba for its clear blue waters and soft sandy beaches. You’ll also find friendly locals, exciting nightlife, and different landscapes, from deserts to lush areas, making it a fantastic place for all kinds of travelers.

Apart from its gorgeous beaches and lively nightlife, Aruba offers various adventures. These include thrilling ATV rides, peaceful horseback journeys, boat trips to hidden spots, and amazing snorkeling in clear waters.

Whether you enjoy the excitement of ATV rides or prefer relaxing horseback rides through scenic areas, Aruba has something for everyone. You can explore sunken shipwrecks while diving in the clear Caribbean waters. Or why not go on a boat trip to discover hidden natural wonders along the coast. No matter your preference for thrilling adventures or serene explorations. My guide on the best excursions in Aruba is designed to create lasting memories for every adventurer.

And if you haven’t booked your stay yet, make sure to check my post on the best best all inclusive resorts in Aruba. You’ll discover carefully selected resorts and hotels in Aruba for everyone. From luxury all inclusive resorts, or ones suitable for families & couples, to hotels on the beach.

My favourite excursion in Aruba

I’m an avid traveler who absolutely loves going on excursions whenever I’m on holiday. It’s a way to explore, to dive deep into the culture, and to create memories to remember.

The island has so much to offer and choosing among the best excursions in Aruba was not an easy task. From extreme ATV tours to boat trips and pub crawls – there’s something for everyone. But whatever you choose, make sure to book it at least a few days in advance. During the high season (between January and March) the best excursions in Aruba are booked well in advance and you may not be able to book the one you liked.

During my holiday in Aruba I went on several excursions, each offering its unique charm. However, one stood out as my absolute favorite, becoming a cherished memory that I hold dear. It’s so refreshing and calm to be at the open sea, to feel the breeze and enjoy the sun setting down between the clouds.

My favourite excursion in Aruba: Sunset Sailing Cruise by Catamaran with Snacks & Cocktails
Why: Boat tour in Aruba with a large, modern catamaran, free flow drinks and appetizers, romantic sunset views
What I liked: The incredible sunset views, the great staff and the awesome atmosphere on board

Sunset Boat tour Aruba
Sunset Sailing Cruise by Catamaran is my favourite excursion in Aruba

Most popular excursion in Aruba

The most popular excursion is undoubtedly one of the best excursions in Aruba as well. There’s a reason why it’s the most popular activity on the island. So if you are in a hurry and want to book something quickly – that’s the one!

ATV Tour Adventure

Explore the northern coast with a thrilling ATV tour of Aruba. For this half-day (4 hours) excursion in Aruba you can choose between a single or double ATV. So it’s a great option for families as well. You’ll explore rugged back roads, cross the desert, and cruise along seaside bluffs and beaches. As part of this excursion in Aruba you’ll visit some of the island’s most iconic landmarks. 

First stop is Alto Vista Chapel which is considered to be the birthplace of Aruba’s Catholic religion. Next is Baby Natural Bridge – a natural rock formation that looks like a bridge over the water. After that you’ll visit Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins – an old mill that processed gold in the 1400s. The ATV tour in Aruba concludes with a refreshing dip in the Cave Pool, making it a perfect day of exploration and fun.

This ATV tour in Aruba includes free pickup/drop-off from most hotels or cruise port. You’ll also receive a free water bottle and all the needed safety equipment. You’ll be instructed how to drive the ATV before starting the tour. Please note that you must have a valid driving license and be at least 18 years old to drive the ATV. Then the tour begins and it’ll be led by a local guide.


Best Excursions in Aruba

ATV tours of Aruba

Explore rugged beauty and thrilling terrain with an ATV tour of Aruba. Hop on an ATV or UTV, either solo or with a companion, and start an off-road journey through the island’s diverse landscapes.

An ATV tour of Aruba offers a unique and exciting way to discover the hidden gems of this “One happy island”. From historic sites like Alto Vista Chapel to breathtaking formations like Baby Natural Bridge and Cave Pool. Whether you’re an adventure lover or just want to see the island from a new angle, an ATV tour of Aruba is a must during your holiday.

Last, but not least – in order to drive an ATV or UTV, the local law mandates that you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driving license!

ATV tour Aruba
ATV tour of Aruba

ATV Off Road Tour and Cave Pool Swimming

Embark on a captivating 4-hour ATV tour of Aruba’s northern coast. You’ll be riding a Polaris 570CC ATV, available for solo or double riders. The ride will take you through rugged back roads, the desert, along the coast, and to natural cave pools where you can swim and snorkel (snorkeling equipment is not provided).

This ATV tour of Aruba begins with convenient pickup and finishes with a return to your local Aruba hotel. As part of the tour you’ll see some of the most popular destinations of northern Aruba. First is Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins (15 minutes). Your guide will tell you a bit about the history of these ruins, and you can take pictures if you like.

Then you’d see Natural Bridge (15 minutes). You’ll learn about the Natural Bridge’s history from your guide and have time for some photos. Last stop is Andicuri Beach. Enjoy leisure time at Andicuri Beach, where you can take a refreshing swim or bask in the sun for a relaxing beach experience. Helmets and safety equipment as well as a bottle of water are provided.


UTV/ATV to Aruba’s Secret Beach and Cave Pool

Explore the “Volcanic” side of the northern coast on this thrilling UTV tour of Aruba. You can choose between several Honda ATV/UTVs ranging from single to 5-seater ones. You’ll see seven attractions, with two fly-by stops and a cliff jumping at the Cave Pool. Plus, there’s a special visit to a hidden “Secret” Beach not found on regular tours.

In this excursion in Aruba you’ll see 7 sights. First one is Blackstone Beach (10 minutes). Unlike Aruba’s usual white sandy beaches, Blackstone Beach has black sand and unique rounded blackstones. Then you’ll pass by Andicuri Beach, known for its white sands and big waves. 

After that you’ll visit the Baby Natural Bridge and the Three Bridges – interconnected arch-formed bridges. The 4th stop is Cave Pool (20min). It’s a new natural pool with clear water, a sandy bottom, and a spot for cliff jumping that was discovered recently. You’ll be able to swim and cliff jump there for 20min. before heading to the nearby Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins.

Then the 6th stop is the 100 year old California Lighthouse and Sasariwichi Dunes. From this spot you can see some of the best views of the island. You can also clearly see the north and south parts of Aruba and how different they are. The ATV tour of Aruba ends at Arashi Beach. It’s a beautiful spot with clear water and white sandy shores on the southwest side of the island. It’s perfect for a relaxing finish to your adventure. 

I really love this ATV tour in Aruba and how you visit so many sights as part of it. My personal opinion is that this is one of the best excursions in Aruba and is a must on your holiday in the island.


Boat tours in Aruba

Explore the stunning coast of the island with some of the boat tours in Aruba. Undoubtedly these are some of the best excursions in Aruba, regardless if you’re sailing on a catamaran, taking a snorkeling cruise, or a romantic sunset voyage. 

There’s also this sense of freedom that I love when I’m in the open sea. Boat tours in Aruba offer a unique perspective of the island’s beauty. My opinion is that they are a must-do for visitors seeking both relaxation and exploration on this “One happy island”.

Sunset Cruise by Catamaran with Snacks & Cocktails

If you are looking for luxurious boat tours in Aruba, look no further. Relax and end your day with a soothing 2-hour sunset cruise in a custom-built catamaran. It’s equipped with comfortable seats and sunbathing nets at the open deck.

For an even better mood, the crew will keep you entertained with local music. Meanwhile you can savor unlimited appetizers and cocktails while watching the sunset’s beautiful red, gold, and rose hues. Whether you’re on a family outing or a romantic escape, this boat tour in Aruba offers an unforgettable experience.


Pirate Morning Sail and Snorkel Cruise

Book this exciting 85-foot teak Schooner boat tour in Aruba! Enjoy the open sea on this pirate-style ship. While on board, you can enjoy some shade and seating under a large canopy or relax on the teak decks for some sun. All of that accompanied by a delicious BBQ lunch and unlimited drinks from the open bar – all included in the price.

During this boat tour in Aruba you’ll visit three fantastic sites. The first two are Malmok Reefs and Boca Catalina. They offer opportunities for swimming and snorkeling with a variety of colorful fish species. While the third stop takes you to the famous WWII shipwreck – Antilla. Antilla was launched in 1939 as a trade ship between Germany and the Caribbean. When Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the crew decided to sink the ship. Now it rests on its side at 60 feet (18m) depth.

I really like this boat tour in Aruba as the ship makes you feel as if you’re back to the middle ages. With the included lunch, open bar and great sights makes it one of the best excursions in Aruba.


Snorkeling tours in Aruba

Discover the underwater wonders through snorkeling tours in Aruba. You can explore hidden coves, colorful coral reefs, and sea creatures while enjoying the Caribbean sun. Aruba offers snorkeling spots for all skill levels, so whether you’re new to snorkeling or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone. These snorkeling tours in Aruba allow you to experience the island’s natural beauty and explore the underwater world like never before.

Snorkeling Adventure with Lunch & Open Bar

Set sail on a half-day sailing adventure aboard the Palm Pleasure catamaran on one of the best snorkeling tours in Aruba. One of the things that sets this excursion in Aruba from the others is the included hotel pickup and drop off. Throughout the trip you can savor unlimited tropical drinks from the open bar. And for lunch you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by top local chefs.

This excursion in Aruba includes visits to three exciting snorkeling locations – the WWII-era Antilla shipwreck, Catalina Bay, and Arashi Reef. Your journey begins at Catalina Bay, known for its crystal-clear waters and excellent snorkeling conditions. Next is Arashi Reef, where you can admire beautiful coral formations, star corals, and colorful angelfish. Lastly, dive into the depths to discover the massive Antilla shipwreck.


Snorkeling Cruise with Open Bar & Light Lunch

Get onboard the Dolphin catamaran for one of the most popular snorkeling tours in Aruba. This 3-hour excursion features 2 breathtaking snorkeling spots and an open bar with cocktails, juices, and soft drinks. On board you can also enjoy Caribbean music and light lunch (all included in the price).

The first stop of this snorkeling tour in Aruba is the famous WW2 German freighter “Antilla”, one of the Caribbean’s largest shipwrecks. You’ll have around 45 minutes to snorkel there and see the underwater world. Then, you’ll head to Boca Catalina, a shallow reef with colorful fish. You’ll stay for about 40 minutes of snorkeling, or use the rope swing & the water slide.


Aruba Catamaran Sail with Snorkeling

Are you looking for one of the best snorkeling tours in Aruba with smaller groups? If that is the case, then this catamaran snorkeling cruise is for you. You’ll explore several snorkeling locations on the 65-foot catamaran Arusun. The excursion is 2.5 hours long and filled with good music and great atmosphere.

During the tour you’ll visit several locations, one of which is the remains of “Antilla” – a German freighter from WW2. You’ll also enjoy unlimited drinks at the open bar and light snacks. Snorkeling equipment is also provided. One of the best things in my opinion is the smaller groups of this excursion. The number of tourists on board is usually 2 or 3 times less compared to some of the other boat tours in Aruba.


Shore excursions in Aruba

Discover the wonders of the island through a variety of enticing shore excursions in Aruba, perfect for cruise ship visitors. Whether you have a few hours or a full day to explore, Aruba offers many captivating experiences.

For a taste of Aruba’s culture, guided tours of historical sites like the Alto Vista Chapel and Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins are available. If you’re an adventure seeker, consider thrilling ATV rides through the island’s rugged terrain. Shore excursions in Aruba offer something for everyone, ensuring you have a memorable experience during your cruise ship visit.

Aruba Full-Island Tour

Explore Aruba on this full-day shore excursion in Aruba that covers many exciting places. You’ll be picked up and transported in an air-conditioned vehicle and bottled water is provided. You’ll start at the Aruba Aloe Factory and Museum to learn about aloe production and history. Then, see the California Lighthouse and Sasariwichi Dunes for fantastic views.

Next is Alto Vista Chapel – a small Catholic chapel with beautiful surroundings. You can also grab coconut water from a local vendor. At the Ayo Rock Formations, you’ll find a great view and a serene garden.

This shore excursion in Aruba continues to the Natural Bridge, a small natural wonder. After that are the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins which offer historical charm. Lastly, visit Baby Beach for swimming and snorkeling, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (lunch cost not included). If you want to see all the island has to offer, I think that this is one of the best shore excursions in Aruba that you must book now!


4 Seater UTV Rental

Start an exciting adventure on the beautiful island of Aruba by renting a Honda Pioneer 700 (4-passenger) UTV. It allows you to explore the island at your own leisure, giving you the freedom to discover its hidden gems. This tour offers free delivery and drop-off to the cruise ship terminal and all hotels. This means you can start your adventure as soon as you step off the ship.

To rent, drivers must be at least 25 years old with a valid driver’s license and will receive a tutorial on operating the UTV. Cruise ship passengers should provide ship details for scheduling (e.g. ship name, docking and re-boarding time etc.).

While the rental price covers the vehicle, it’s important to note that gas is not included. So, get ready for an unforgettable experience as you chart your own shore excursion in Aruba.


Aruba Half Day Island Tour

Explore the island’s top attractions in just half a day with this shore excursion in Aruba. It includes a guide, comfortable transportation, and pick-up and drop-off at the port (or your hotel). Keep in mind that food and drinks are not provided, so consider bringing some for the journey. 

The shore excursion begins at the Aruba Aloe Factory, where you’ll learn about aloe vera production on the island. Then, visit the California Lighthouse for some fantastic views. You can explore the area for free, but there’s an extra fee to climb the lighthouse. It costs around 10$ and I really loved the views from the top, so I definitely recommend it.

After that is Alto Vista Chapel, offering beautiful sea views. Followed by the Ayo Rock Formations, reachable by man-made stairs for panoramic views. You’ll also pass by the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins. Last in the itinerary is the Natural Bridge, a stone structure that resembles a bridge over the ocean.


Pub crawl excursions in Aruba

Explore the “One happy island” nightlife with a pub crawl in Aruba. Whether you’re a party enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable night out, Aruba’s pub crawls are designed to cater to all. You’ll visit different pubs, enjoy nice music, and meet new people.

Nightlife Barhopping Tour on Party Bus

Explore Aruba’s nightlife on a unique Nightlife Barhopping Tour aboard a party bus. This rolling nightclub features a live DJ, an entertaining host, and a bartender to keep the drinks flowing. Enjoy unlimited Aruba Riba Cocktails throughout the night. Meanwhile you can dance on the spacious floor with dance poles. The pub crawl will take you to Aruba’s hottest nightlife spots, including local bars and clubs.

The pub crawl excursion includes hotel pickup and drop-off for your convenience. You’ll start the party with the famous “Aruba-Ariba” cocktail as you cruise through Palm and Eagle Beach, Aruba and Modanza. Depending on the night and weekday, you’ll visit different local bars and clubs and some hidden spots. Each venue is offering tasty food, great music, and free welcome shots to get the party started.

I think that if you are looking for the best excursions in Aruba to get to know the island’s nightlife, this is the one to book! I really liked the whole experience and the atmosphere on the bus. It’s a great way to get to know new people, while having fun and exploring the local nightlife.


Happy Hour Tour

Experience the joy of Aruba’s happiest hours from 5:00 – 8:00 pm on the Aruba Happy Hour Tour. During this pub crawl tour, you’ll not only make new friends but also learn local dances. The open-air party buses will take you to three local bars. Each one welcomes you with a complimentary shot. All other drinks are available at local prices.

This lively adventure begins with a colorful Kukoo bus picking you up at your hotel for an evening of fun. You also get a free Kukoo shot glass and a shot at each stop. Drinks are at happy hour prices and you can try local snacks.


Horseback riding

Tours of horseback riding in Aruba offer a unique and serene way to explore the island’s natural beauty. You can ride along sandy shores, through countryside, and even venture into rugged terrain.

As you leisurely trot along with your trusty steed, you’ll have the chance to soak in Aruba’s picturesque landscapes. It’s a peaceful way to create lasting memories of your island holiday with horseback riding in Aruba.

Natural Pool Horseback Riding Tour

Explore the natural beauty of the island on a 2.5-hour long horseback riding in Aruba through Arikok Park. This park is a special place with diverse plants and animals, and it’s off-limits to motor vehicles. So this is the only way to visit this national park. The tour includes bottled water, national park fees, a professional guide, helmet, and hotel/port pickup and drop-off.

Ride along Nacho Trail to Moro Beach and The Natural Pool. You’ll see rugged landscapes with cacti, colorful rocks, and maybe even wild goats. At the Natural Pool, a unique formation of volcanic rocks resembling mini mountains, you’ll have 25min break. There you can swim in the calm waters or just admire nature. This is the best excursion in Aruba of its kind, so if you enjoy horseback riding, I recommend booking this tour.


Horseback Riding Tour to Urirama Cove

Take this 1.5-hour horseback riding in Aruba journey through the serene countryside, away from the bustle of the city. The guide will lead you through the landscape where you can spot local wildlife like donkeys and iguanas.

This horseback riding in Aruba tour includes a visit to the secluded Urirama Beach on the island’s northeast coast. It’s suitable for all riders, including beginners and children, so it’s perfect for the whole family. This horseback riding adventure includes a local guide, helmet and convenient hotel or port pickup and drop-off.


FAQs about best excursions in Aruba

Do I need to book an excursion in Aruba?

It’s not always necessary, but it can enhance your experience and provide convenience. It’s hard & time consuming to organize some activities by yourself. So booking well in advance can guarantee that you’ll get the best excursion in Aruba that suits your needs.

Do you need a shore excursion in Aruba?

You don’t necessarily need a shore excursion in Aruba. But if you want to get the most out of your time on the island, my advice is to book a shore excursion. It will save you time and provide a better overall experience.

Are there family-friendly excursions in Aruba?

Yes, quite a lot actually. Most of the excursions that I have curated in my post are family friendly. These include snorkeling and boat tours in Aruba, UTV excursions (e.g. with 4-seater UTV for the whole family) and half or full day island tours.

Is it best to pre book excursions?

Yes – I always pre book tickets and excursions whenever possible. There are many benefits to this – you can select the best experience that suits your needs, your spot is guaranteed as the best excursions in Aruba are often sold out. Moreover, you know exactly how much you’d spend and you can also properly plan the rest of your day as you know all the details in advance.

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