Collectively, Aruba's beaches are consistently ranked among the cleanest, widest and most beautiful of the Caribbean and the world.
On the island's southwestern coast, tourists will find one beach after another, each with its own distinct atmosphere and diverse possibilities. As nearly all of the beaches are public, access is a breeze. Furthermore, several Caribbean beaches have change and shower facilities, shade huts and water sport equipment provided by Aruba resorts and hotels.
For travelers in search of more privacy, a number of public beaches offer dazzling blue water and immaculate sand without the crowds.
While most of Aruba's best beaches are concentrated on the southwestern coast, a number of less frequented beaches on the eastern shores offer unique opportunities for families, surfers and sightseers.
Arashi, Boca Catalina and Malmok Beaches near the California Lighthouse at the northwestern tip of the island, are all part of the Arashi Underwater Park. Calm water, gentle currents, shallow reefs, and outstanding visibility make them popular swimming and snorkeling sites. Snorkelers and swimmers can glimpse large elk horn coral, sea sponges and schools of colorful fish just six feet below the water's surface.
Hadikurari Beach, directly south of Malmok Beach, is well known for its fantastic windsurfing. The Hi-Winds Pro-Am Windsurfing Competition is held here each June, but the vibrant sails and accomplished surfers entertain spectators year-round. Also known as fishermen's huts, numerous shade huts and picnic tables are available for public use at Hadikurari.
Perhaps Aruba's most famous and frequented beach, Palm Beach features miles of powdery, freshly raked sand, excellent swimming conditions, pristine water and numerous watersport activities. Palm Beach is also one of the best-equipped and serviced beaches on the island; public changing areas and refreshment stands are readily available. What's more, many of the island's finest resorts and hotels overlook the popular beach, granting a short walk to paradise for many travelers. Additionally, many resorts offer watersports equipment, shade huts and lounge chairs for their guests.
Directly south of Palm Beach behind a rocky outcropping lies Eagle Beach. With even more clean sand and luminous water than Palm Beach and fewer high-rise resorts, Eagle Beach is Palm's less-crowded cousin. Though watersports and beach activities are still abundant here, Eagle Beach remains a local favorite and an ideal picnic spot.
Continuing south from Eagle Beach, the island's widest stretch of unspoiled sand rests at Manchebo Beach. As the land juts out further into the Caribbean Sea at Punto Brabo, the surf here is much ber than at Eagle Beach. Motorized watersports are not permitted at Manchebo, allowing this beach to retain a sense of tropical seclusion. As the coastline again turns inward south of Manchebo, the typically overlooked Druif and Surfside Beaches offer excellent swimming conditions.
Sonesta Island, a 40-acre private tropical retreat with spectacular white sand beaches, secluded coves and protected swimming areas, has long been a tourist favorite. Here, travelers can rest in hammocks under shady palm trees or engage in snorkeling, scuba diving or kayaking.
As the name might imply, Baby Beach is known as Aruba's premier family beach, highlighted by its placid turquoise waters and endless sand. Located at the southeastern end of the island in the area known as Seroe Colorado, the calm lagoon surrounding the beach is also ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Like so many other beaches in Aruba, Rodgers Beach features plush sand and excellent swimming in reef-protected waters. Though the surf at Rodgers is slightly more robust than at Baby Beach, recreation is still possible for the whole family. Lastly, as one of the few accessible beaches on Aruba's windward side, Dos Playa is a smaller white sand beach surrounded by an imposing, rocky coastline. For those in search of waves for a challenging surfing experience, Dos Playa is certainly the beach of choice.
About the Author
This article was written by Justin Burch. Justin writes select pieces about travel in Aruba and other Caribbean resort areas for Marriott Resorts.