Have you been dreaming about working on a tropical island like Aruba and are wondering what it’s like? Well have no fear, I’m here to provide you with some insider tips!
Aruba is also known as “one happy island” and is located in the Antilles. With its nice and pleasant climate, it’s a place that many people seeking sun spend their winter holidays. Recently I have been working on this beautiful island for 3 months and even though it’s a very small island, I was still able to find new places to discover.
I've been living in an apartment only 5 minutes away from the hospital I was working at and the beach as well as my company even provided me a car to get around. Sounds great, doesn't it?
Are you looking for great beaches? Places to hike? Good places to eat or go out for a drink? I will tell you where to go!
#1. You'll fall in love with Aruba's beaches.
Aruba has one of the best beaches in the world with Eagle Beach as the most famous one and also the number #3 best beach in the world! With its white sand, it’s a great place to relax or watch the sunset. I would recommend you to go to “Matthew’s Beachside Restaurant” for one of the best views at night or visit the famous “Divi” trees.
There's also a nice beach to see airplanes approaching and have some good drinks, which is called “Surfside Beach”. If you are looking for a more quiet beach, you could visit Mangel Halto, where you can go snorkeling. Boca Catalina and Tres Trapi are also great places for snorkeling, where you can see a lot of starfish. I love it! The best beaches to relax at are Baby Beach, Arashi Beach and Palm Beach.
While I was living in Aruba, I went to the beach everyday and it never got boring! I must admit that after spending 3 months on this beautiful island, it will be very hard to find yourself better beaches!
#2. Explore the island.
Although Aruba doesn’t have mountains or green scenery, there are some great places to go hiking.
167 meters long, this is the second highest point of the island, after the Jamanota, which is 189 meters long. The Hooiberg is located in the middle of the island so you can have a 360 degree view of Aruba. You can reach the top by climbing the 587 stairs, but make sure you go in the early morning (to see the sunrise!) or for sunset. As well, bring enough water because it can get pretty hot during the day.
You can hike to this beautiful bridge starting from the “Natural Bridge”. The hike takes about 45 minutes one way and you will pass Andicuri Beach on the way. To me, this was the most beautiful bridge of the island where you can take gorgeous pictures.
Arikok National Park:
This National Park covers almost 20% of the island and is located on the north side. With it’s very rough terrain it feels like you are walking in a desert, surrounded by hills, rock formations, bays and some caves.
You can enter the park by car (as there are limited roads where you are allowed to drive), or if you are really adventurous, you can go hiking. The park is open from 8am to 4pm and costs you 15 dollars per person.
Natural Pool is a small, natural pool surrounded by volcanic rocks, where you can take a swim and snorkel for a bit. But please take caution as the waters can be very rough.
If you want to hike to the Natural Pool you can start at “Daimari Beach” and the hike will take you about 3-4 hours return. On your way you will pass a variety of landscape like dunes, rough coastlines and some nices beaches (like “Boca Keto”).
New Natural Pool:
This is still a hidden place on the island that I went to after locals told me about it. It’s located not far from Bushiribana Ruines. In this pool, you can take a refreshing swim because compared to the natural pool, the water is calm and serene.
#3. Embrace Aruba's culture.
When you go to Aruba, you will experience the Caribbean way of life with a variety of different cultures coming together. On this island people are very friendly and “poco poco” is a way of life (which means, take it easy!) “San Nicolas” is the cultural capital of the island with its colourful street art that you won’t be able to stop taking pictures of.
#4. See its beautiful sunsets.
Not only does Aruba have beautiful beaches, you can also see amazing sunsets. One of my favorite places for viewing the sunset is called the sand dunes of California Lighthouse, where you can wander around the dunes as the sun is setting. And the best part of it? There's almost no other people around!
#5. Where should I live?
If you are looking for a place to live on this beautiful island, I would recommend you to look for a place in the area called "Noord." In this area there's a lot of tourism which makes it a lively area that’s near the best beaches, hotels and shops. There are many expats located in this area.
Do note that you do need a car on Aruba. Even though it's a small island, the roads are not well developed, especially not for pedestrians or bikes. You could either rent a car or buy a car. There are usually expats selling their cars before returning home.
Sint Maarten is another island you can consider when choosing your Caribbean paradise. Learn here how to land a job working on the island.
#6. Nights out in Aruba!
Of course, living somewhere also means exploring some of the nightlife, where I went to Bugaloe for some karaoke, Moomba's for live music at the beach and “Craft” for the best sangria of the island.
#7. Best places to eat.
My number 1 favorite restaurant in Aruba is “Nos Clubhuis”, especially on Sundays where you can eat the “Sunday bbq” for 15 dollars, along with a great sunset view.
“Zeerovers” is the most famous restaurant, located in “Savaneta”, which is popular with tourists, but also by locals. At Zeerovers, you can eat fresh fish and I would recommend you to go early because it can get very busy.
Localstore is also a good local restaurant (with local prices)!
Feeling enticed but a little nervous to make the big move? Find out now if moving abroad is right for you!
After living on this beautiful island it was pretty hard to go back to my normal life. I've made some beautiful friendships with girls that were also working abroad. Aruba has changed my way of thinking. At work it has made me less stressed, and on my days off, it has given me a lot to think about. As a result, I'm thinking about going back to Aruba next year!