Aruba tipped to be most desirable destination for families and couples

Charming culture, diverse natural wonders, and home to the best beach in the Caribbean: No wonder Aruba is tipped to be the next most desirable destination for families and couples alike

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Aruba’s beaches are quite literally some of the best in the world 

Tucked away in the south of the Caribbean Sea lies a beautiful little island that’s yet to be discovered by many Brits.

Aruba isn’t like it’s more famous neighbours – yes, it’s got the glorious sunshine, alabaster-white beaches and warm, inviting waters you’d expect but there’s so much more besides.

Because here, the drier climate has produced an incredible island full of stunning natural wonders including caves, pools and dunes where cacti grow wild and magnificent rock formations abound.

But it’s also home to stylish resorts, the finest dining, world-class shopping and a whole lot of history that will enchant and delight you in equal measure.

Oh, and it’s outside of the hurricane belt and always around 30C … no wonder the friendly locals call Aruba ‘one happy island’.

What’s more, it’s easier to get there than ever before now British Airways is flying direct two times a week all year round.


Make sure you’re there on a Tuesday for the Bon Bini (‘Welcome’ in Papiamento) Festival – a weekly celebration of live music and folklore


Aruba is a unique island because we have a unique history. Our traditions are a blend of many different cultures, we speak four languages, we work hard, but we also know when to slow down to enjoy life.

I love that the island has many different landscapes, from our world-famous beaches on the south side, to the cactus and boulder interiors in the centre, to the rugged volcanic shores on the north side.

Go beach-hopping – Baby Beach in the morning or Eagle Beach in the afternoon. Explore our colourful murals in San Nicolas or learn about our history through the monumental buildings in Oranjestad. Learn about our endemic species and prehistoric era in our national park.

For lunch, head to Zeerover’s for fried fish and pan bati (our local side dish) and a cold Balashi beer, or to O’Neil’s in San Nicolas for oxtail stew. For dinner, go to Taste My Aruba in Oranjestad. We have a lot of great food trucks too – try a late night ‘sopi oester’ (oyster soup) at Ruiz Take Away. Or pass by my sister’s bakery ‘Shaba Pastry’ for our mother’s famous traditional Aruban cookie or the soft-serve ice cream made out of the local ‘Mispel’ (Sapodilla) fruit.

And for the best photos, go to the top of the stairs at Rodger’s Beach, in between the cacti in the National Park, with the colourful murals in downtown San Nicolas, or the classic Fofoti tree at Eagle Beach, just to name a few.

Jacky Boekhouwer, owner and lead tour guide of Aruba Fantasy Tours. 

Aruba is alive with arts and culture – this sophisticated island very much marches to the beat of its own (steel) drum with dance and life celebrated in streets and homes throughout the year.

The party begins on January 1 with the welcoming in of the new year – fireworks explode all over the island while troupes of travelling musicians known as Dande bestow blessings on local communities.

Aruba’s Carnival, a month-long celebration of jump-ups (street parties), spectacular costumed parades and musical events, takes places around February but it changes so it’s always best to check before you book.

Then come calypso festivals, tumba contests (an Africa-influenced beat), races, sporting events, a regatta and even a vow renewal ceremony for couples in August.

Don’t miss the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival in May – which has featured Alicia Keys and John Legend in the past – or the Art Fair (usually September).

Finally at the end of December is the Dande festival with more than 50 incredible singers…

But if that isn’t enough, venture down to San Nicolas, a charming coastal town that’s the centre of the art scene and home to a host of galleries and street art.

A few miles away is culture of a different kind in the capital Oranjestad. This is a gloriously pretty little city, full of colourful buildings that will take your breath away and a rich history like no other.

For centuries, the island has swapped between the Dutch and the Spanish (it was even British during the Napoleonic Wars) and consequently locals speak many languages including their own – Papiamento.

You can discover their past at the city’s National Archaeological Museum and the Museo Historico Aruba inside Fort Zoutman – the oldest building on the island, dating from 1798.

And make sure you’re there on a Tuesday for the Bon Bini (‘Welcome’ in Papiamento) Festival – a weekly celebration of live music and folklore.


It is not hard to see why Eagle Beach has been voted second best in the entire world by TripAdvisor this year

Of course, the most important part of any sunshine holiday is where you’ll be staying.

Aruba boasts 40 of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean – including Eagle Beach, voted second best in the entire world by TripAdvisor this year.

It’s more than a kilometre of pure perfection – white sands lapped by blue seas fringed with the iconic wind-bent divi divi (or fofoti) trees.

But you can get away from the crowds at isolated Baby Beach, watch the kite surfers at Boca Grandi or take the family to the shallow waters of Mangel Halto for some snorkelling.

Baby Beach offers shallow, warm and tranquil waters, perfect for little ones or just to lie back in

Water sports are available in many locations but if you fancy scuba diving, deep-sea fishing or sailing, head to Arashi Beach for some action.

Where you lay your head (and towel) is also important so why not stay at one of British Airways Holidays carefully selected hotels. If you want to stay on Eagle Beach, head to the smart Embassy Suites which has two pools plus restaurants, bars and a café to choose from.

If you fancy some all-inclusive luxury, head to Divi Aruba with its ten restaurants and grills, four fresh-water pools, beach volleyball, yoga, Zumba and rock-climbing activities.


No trip is complete without a visit to the stunning Conchi Natural Pool, a giant tidepool protected from the ocean by a barrier of rocks

The natural beauty of Aruba is awe-inspiring and unlike anywhere else. To really experience its wonder, start at the Arikok National Park in the centre (it’s a massive 20 per cent of the entire island!) which is home to spectacular caves, ancient Indian rock drawings and miles and miles of walking and biking trails. No trip is complete without a visit to the stunning Conchi Natural Pool, a giant tidepool protected from the ocean by a barrier of rocks.

Then there are the natural bridges which have been carved into the limestone cliffs on the north coast of the island over thousands of years by crashing waves and strong winds, while nature itself has deposited enormous rock formations you can clamber and climb over in Ayo and Casibari.

Finally, in the heart of Aruba is Hooiberg, a conical volcanic hill that is well worth climbing for it’s fantastic views from the top.

*For more information and to book your Aruba holiday visit 


British Airways flies to 14 different Caribbean islands – more than any other UK airline.

Their in-house tour operator, British Airways Holidays offers the full package from flights and hotels to car hire and airport transfers.

All British Airways Holidays are ATOL protected, include 23kg checked baggage allowance per person as standard and offer a 24-hour holiday helpline to ensure peace of mind throughout your holiday.

And it’s so easy to book an amazing trip with British Airways Holidays as you can secure your holiday with a low deposit from just £75pp, with flexible payment options before you fly*.

*T&Cs apply. Deposit balance due 7 weeks in advance for long haul. See for more information.

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