Thinking of your next wellness destination to book for rest, relaxation and self-care? Put Aruba (known as One Happy Island) on your travel list. For such a tiny island, one may wonder just how much it can host for well-being. I can tell you from personal experience and traveling there — not once, but three times — that an Aruba vacation is a must-book. Now that I’ve got your passport on the edge of your First Class seat, here are eight reasons why Aruba is an all-around hot Caribbean wellness destination.
Plenty of Activities
Aruba is an island surrounded by gorgeous turquoise waters and you can partake in just about any watersport — paddleboard, windsurf, kiteboard, canoe, kayak, snorkel or just roll in the waves. Aruba has two main coasts: one that faces the east with choppier waters; the west one can still be windy at times but is generally a more tempered pool to play in. For an adventure, ride horseback along the west shores during a memorable sunrise or set. Instant Instagram!
Relatively Easy To Get To
Many Caribbean islands can take all day to travel to — and that’s even if you live in Miami. But since Aruba has more direct flights from the U.S. than most islands, you can catch a quick flight which makes an Aruba vacation easy for traveling. Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA), also known as Aruba Airport, is located right in the country’s capital of Oranjestad. While there aren’t any ride-share options in Aruba, you can easily catch a cab to your resort or hotel.
Safe, Clean and Tourist-Friendly
With low crime rates, Aruba is one of the safest islands for tourists to visit. While you do need a passport, you won’t need a visa. While at other tropical destinations it may be questionable if you can drink the local water, Aruba boasts some of the cleanest water in the world. As a responsible tourist, bring a reusable bottle and pass on any plastic.
When it comes to communication, just about everyone speaks English. If you want to learn a few phrases, the native language is Papiamento (a Creole language rooted in Dutch, English, Spanish, African, Portuguese, and French). Want one basic phrase to learn? “Bon Bini!” is Aruban for “Welcome!” and a phrase used often on the island.
Healing Powers of Movement and Nature
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of outdoor sports activities to enjoy Aruba’s tropical waters. If you’re reading this page, then you likely already know the healing benefits of yoga and meditation. In Aruba, there are a variety of studios and classes you can attend to deepen your personal practice. One of my favorite ways I expand yoga practice is by attending different classes when I travel — for each culture has a unique perspective.
For some yoga by the beach in an outdoor space, head over to Yoga & Pilates at Manchebo Beach Resort. Prefer yoga on the sea? Try some paddleboard yoga at Vela Sports, centrally located in the hotel zone. For a more traditional yoga studio indoors, head over to Happy Buddha Yoga Studio. Because of the current world affairs, Happy Buddha Yoga is streaming all of their classes, so you can get a sneak preview of their teaching style today from your own home before you visit.
Finally, head over to the Arikok National Park for a nature hike — a preserved area that covers 20% of the island. While there, explore caves, a freshwater spring, more beautiful beaches and the well-known Natural Pool (also known as “conchi” or “Cura di Tortuga”) formed by rock and volcanic stone circles.
Land of Aloe
Aruba may be an island in the Caribbean, but it’s also a desert nicknamed the “Island of Aloes.” Aloe vera grows wild on the island. Aloe is known to have many health benefits including healing burns, improving digestive health, clearing acne, relieving heartburn, and healing gums. Get a tour to learn more about aloe at the Aruba Aloe Factory and Museum to experience the full range of products they’ve created and learn firsthand benefits the native plant offers.
There is rarely a stormy day in Aruba, with only 17 inches of calculated rainfall per year. Many of the days pass by in the 80s with sunshine and the rare cloud. It’s also fairly safe to say that hurricanes don’t often hit Aruba due to its location tucked away on the West Coast side of the Caribbean string of islands. So booking an Aruba vacation is a safer bet compared to other central Caribbean spots. Since the sun is strong, lather up with some eco-friendly waterproof sunscreen each day.
Where else can you feed, photograph and splash in the same cove as these pink and feathery, mystical-like creators? Flamingo Beach is a private island belonging to the Renaissance Aruba Casino & Resort. As a guest of the resort, you receive free access; However, if you’re not staying at the resort, you can pay a per-person fee to visit on lower-than-normal occupancy days.
It Really is One Happy Island!
There’s no faking a true, warm, welcoming smile. And the authentic people of Aruba provide this feeling to visitors. When you think of wellness, a part of what leaves a traveler feeling good is the company and environment that surrounds them. Aruba is just that. Happiness is a feeling, and Aruba’s natural beauty, blissful weather and warm people make it a happy home away from home.
Right now, the Caribbean needs our help and support to thrive once again. Islands like Aruba depend on tourism to continue to be safe, thrive, and to continue to provide top-notch accommodations for our wellness travels. Have you been on an Aruba vacation? Or have you been thinking of going? Hopefully this article helps to spark some happy memories, or instill some inspiration for an upcoming visit.