15 Unique and Non-Touristy Things to Do in Aruba

Looking for a unique and authentic experience in Aruba? Tired of the usual touristy things? Embark on an adventure off the beaten path and uncover the hidden gems that this Caribbean paradise has to offer.

Are you ready to dive into the local culture and explore non-tourist activities? Buckle up as we take you on a journey beyond the typical attractions. From secluded beaches with crystal-clear waters to vibrant local markets bursting with flavors, there is something for everyone seeking an alternative way to enjoy their time in Aruba.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich heritage, indulge in mouthwatering cuisine, and engage with friendly locals who will make you feel right at home. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for thrilling outdoor adventures or a culture enthusiast eager to learn about Aruba’s history, this guide will unveil a side of Aruba that many visitors miss out on.


Explore Aruba’s Rich History

Archaeological Museum, Fort Zoutman, and Alto Vista Chapel

Aruba is not just about sun, sand, and beaches. The island also boasts a rich history that is waiting to be explored. If you’re looking for non-touristy activities in Aruba, immersing yourself in its fascinating history should be at the top of your list. Here are three historical landmarks that will take you on a journey through Aruba’s cultural heritage.

Immerse yourself in Aruba’s fascinating history at the Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum provides a glimpse into Aruba’s past through its extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits. From ancient pottery to intricate jewelry, you’ll discover the island’s indigenous Arawak culture and their way of life. Take your time to explore the museum’s displays and learn about the early settlements on the island. It’s an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Aruba beyond its tourist attractions.

Step back in time as you visit Fort Zoutman, one of the oldest buildings on the island

Fort Zoutman holds significant historical importance as it was constructed in 1798 to protect against pirates and foreign invasions. Today, it serves as a museum where visitors can delve into Aruba’s colonial era. Inside the fort, you’ll find exhibitions showcasing artifacts from different periods in Aruba’s history. Climb up to the top of the fort for panoramic views of Oranjestad and imagine what life was like during those turbulent times.

Visit Alto Vista Chapel, a serene spot with historical significance and breathtaking views

Alto Vista Chapel is perched atop a hill overlooking the northern coast of Aruba. This charming white chapel dates back to 1750 when it was built by Spanish missionaries. As you enter this peaceful sanctuary, take a moment to appreciate its simple beauty and tranquil atmosphere. The chapel has become a pilgrimage site for locals and visitors alike, offering a place of reflection and spirituality. From the chapel grounds, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the sparkling Caribbean Sea.

Uncover Aruba’s past through these historical landmarks that showcase its cultural heritage. Each one offers a unique perspective on the island’s history, allowing you to connect with Aruba on a deeper level. Whether you’re interested in archaeology, colonial architecture, or spiritual retreats, these non-touristy activities will provide an enriching experience during your time in Aruba.

So, if you’re looking for something different to do in Aruba beyond the typical tourist attractions, don’t miss out on exploring its rich history. The Archaeological Museum, Fort Zoutman, and Alto Vista Chapel offer fascinating insights into the island’s past while providing memorable experiences that go beyond sunbathing on the beach.

Discover Natural Wonders

Casibari Rock Formation, Ayo Rock Formation, and Crystal Clear Snorkeling Spots

Aruba is not just about beautiful beaches and bustling tourist attractions. If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience, there are plenty of natural wonders to explore on this stunning island. From impressive rock formations to breathtaking snorkeling spots, Aruba has something for everyone seeking an adventure in nature.

Marvel at the impressive rock formations of Casibari and Ayo

One of the best non-touristy things to do in Aruba is to visit the Casibari and Ayo rock formations. These geological wonders have been formed over thousands of years through volcanic activity and erosion. As you climb up these massive rocks, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Aruba’s landscape that will leave you awe-struck.

Explore secluded snorkeling spots for an unforgettable underwater adventure

Aruba is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life. While many tourists flock to popular snorkeling areas, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous travelers. Venture off the beaten path and find secluded snorkeling spots where you can dive into the clear waters and witness a kaleidoscope of colorful fish, coral reefs, and other fascinating marine creatures.

Connect with nature at unique geological formations

By exploring Casibari and Ayo rock formations, you not only get a chance to marvel at their beauty but also connect with nature on a deeper level. These sites offer a sense of tranquility away from the crowds, allowing you to immerse yourself in the raw power and history of these ancient rocks. Feel the energy as you touch the volcanic rock surfaces or wander through hidden caves within these formations.

Immerse yourself in Aruba’s underwater paradise

Snorkeling in Aruba is like entering another world beneath the waves. The clear water provides excellent visibility, allowing you to witness the vibrant coral reefs and a wide variety of marine life. Swim alongside tropical fish, spot graceful sea turtles, or even encounter majestic manta rays gliding through the water. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or a beginner, Aruba’s snorkeling spots offer an unforgettable experience for all.

Discover hidden treasures beyond the beaches

While Aruba is famous for its white sand beaches and turquoise waters, there is so much more to explore beyond the coastline. From natural bridges and sand dunes to secluded caves and the California Lighthouse, there are countless hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Step off the tourist trail and venture into these lesser-known spots for an authentic Aruban adventure.

Aruba’s natural wonders provide a unique opportunity to connect with nature in a way that goes beyond typical tourist activities. So grab your snorkel gear, put on your hiking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Aruba’s breathtaking landscapes.

Uncover Hidden Gems in Oranjestad

Dutch and Aruban Architecture, Renaissance Mall & Marketplace, and Street Art Murals

Oranjestad, the capital city of Aruba, has so much more to offer than just its popular tourist attractions. If you’re looking for non-touristy things to do in Aruba, then you’re in luck!

Admire the Blend of Dutch Colonial and Traditional Aruban Architecture Throughout Oranjestad

As you wander through the streets of Oranjestad, take a moment to appreciate the charming blend of Dutch colonial and traditional Aruban architecture. The colorful buildings with their characteristic gables reflect the island’s rich history and cultural heritage. From the iconic Willem III Tower to Fort Zoutman, these architectural wonders provide a glimpse into Aruba’s past.

Indulge in a Shopping Spree at Renaissance Mall & Marketplace

If shopping is your thing, then head over to Renaissance Mall & Marketplace for an upscale retail experience. This vibrant shopping complex offers a wide range of high-end stores where you can find everything from designer clothing to luxury accessories. Take your time exploring the various boutiques and treat yourself to some indulgent retail therapy.

Stroll Through Colorful Streets Adorned with Captivating Street Art Murals

For art enthusiasts or those seeking Instagram-worthy spots, don’t miss out on the captivating street art murals scattered throughout Oranjestad. These vibrant artworks not only add a splash of color to the city but also reflect local culture and traditions. Take a leisurely stroll through downtown areas like Caya Betico Croes or Caya G.F. Betico Croes and let these stunning murals transport you into an artistic wonderland.

Explore Lesser-Known Corners of Oranjestad to Discover Hidden Gems Beyond Popular Tourist Areas

To truly uncover the hidden gems of Oranjestad, venture beyond the popular tourist areas and explore the lesser-known corners of the city. Wander off the beaten path and you might stumble upon hidden houses, ruins, or even a secret garden tucked away from the crowds. These hidden gems offer a glimpse into the authentic side of Aruba and provide an opportunity for unique discoveries.

Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a shopaholic, or an art lover, Oranjestad has something special in store for everyone. So go ahead and explore these non-touristy activities to make your visit to Aruba truly unforgettable.

Unique Experiences

Pirate Ship Sail, Underwater Scooter Tour, and Jeep Adventure in Arikok National Park

If you’re looking for non-touristy things to do in Aruba, then get ready for some unique experiences that will take your vacation to a whole new level. Forget about the usual tourist traps and embark on thrilling adventures that will make your friends back home green with envy.

Embark on a thrilling pirate ship sail, complete with swashbuckling entertainment and breathtaking views

Ahoy matey! Step aboard a real-life pirate ship and set sail on the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. This is not your average boat tour – it’s a full-blown pirate adventure! As you cruise along the coastline, you’ll be entertained by lively pirates who will regale you with tales of buried treasure and engage you in exciting activities. Soak up the sun on deck, enjoy delicious food and drinks, and marvel at the stunning views of Aruba’s coastline. It’s an experience like no other!

Dive into the depths of the Caribbean Sea on an underwater scooter tour for an unforgettable adventure

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring underwater worlds like Jacques Cousteau, then this is your chance. Strap on your diving gear and hop onto an underwater scooter for an exhilarating ride beneath the waves. These nifty scooters allow you to explore marine life up close without needing any scuba diving experience. Glide through vibrant coral reefs, swim alongside tropical fish, and discover hidden shipwrecks teeming with marine life. It’s a truly immersive experience that will leave you breathless (pun intended).

Go off-road on a jeep adventure through Arikok National Park to discover Aruba’s rugged beauty

Aruba isn’t just about pristine beaches; it also boasts breathtaking landscapes waiting to be explored. Hop into a rugged jeep and venture into Arikok National Park, a natural wonderland that covers almost 20% of the island. As you navigate through rugged terrain and winding trails, you’ll encounter dramatic rock formations, hidden caves, and stunning vistas. Keep an eye out for native wildlife like wild donkeys and iguanas along the way. This off-road adventure will give you a taste of Aruba’s wild side and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Engage in these unique experiences that offer excitement and allow you to see Aruba from a different perspective. Whether it’s sailing on a pirate ship, exploring underwater on a scooter tour, or going off-road in Arikok National Park, these activities will make your trip to Aruba truly memorable.

So why stick to the beaten path when there are so many exciting things waiting for you? Step outside your comfort zone and try something new during your visit to this beautiful Caribbean island. You won’t regret it!

Relaxation and Leisure

Bugaloe Beach Bar, Baby Beach, and Sunset Cruise

Looking to unwind and enjoy some leisurely activities in Aruba? The island offers a plethora of options for relaxation, from beachside bars to tranquil sunset cruises. Let’s explore three non-touristy gems that will help you find your happy place.

Bugaloe Beach Bar: Where Paradise Meets Entertainment

If you’re in the mood for a laid-back atmosphere with refreshing drinks and live music right by the ocean, Bugaloe Beach Bar is the place to be. This hidden gem offers a unique blend of Caribbean vibes and good times. Kick back on their spacious deck, sip on a tropical cocktail, and let the sound of waves serenade your soul. Whether you’re looking for a casual hangout spot or an evening filled with dancing under the stars, Bugaloe has got you covered.

  • Enjoy live entertainment while sipping on your favorite drink.

  • Indulge in delicious food options that cater to all taste buds.

  • Take advantage of their beachfront location for swimming or lounging on the sand.

Baby Beach: A Slice of Paradise

Escape the crowds and discover the beauty of Baby Beach. Known for its calm waters and pristine white sand, this secluded oasis is perfect for those seeking tranquility. Take a dip in crystal-clear turquoise waters or simply bask in the sun as you soak up the peaceful ambiance surrounding you. With its shallow depths, Baby Beach is also ideal for families with young children who want to splash around safely.

  • Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty as you relax on this private beach.

  • Snorkel along colorful coral reefs teeming with marine life.

  • Capture picture-perfect moments against the backdrop of stunning blue waters.

Sunset Cruise: A Magical Experience

Witnessing an Aruban sunset is truly magical, and what better way to do it than on a relaxing sunset cruise? Set sail and let the gentle sea breeze caress your face as you embark on an unforgettable journey. As day turns into night, be captivated by the breathtaking colors of the sky. This serene experience offers a unique perspective of Aruba’s coastline and allows you to unwind while enjoying the company of loved ones or new friends.

  • Marvel at the stunning hues of orange, pink, and purple painting the sky.

  • Sip on a refreshing cocktail as you toast to another beautiful day in paradise.

  • Capture Instagram-worthy photos against the backdrop of a picturesque sunset.

Off the Beaten Path Dining

Nontouristy Eateries, Barefoot Restaurant, and Craft and Moomba Beach Bar

Looking for some non-touristy things to do in Aruba? Well, let’s talk about off the beaten path dining options that will give you a taste of the local culture and flavors. Forget about the crowded tourist spots and explore hidden culinary gems favored by locals.

Discover hidden culinary gems at nontouristy eateries favored by locals for authentic flavors

There’s no better way than through its food. Aruba is home to several nontouristy eateries where you can indulge in authentic flavors and discover hidden culinary gems. These local favorites offer a unique dining experience away from the typical tourist hotspots.

  • Pros: Authentic flavors, support local businesses

  • Cons: May require transportation outside popular areas

Dine barefoot on the beach at Barefoot Restaurant while savoring delicious seafood dishes with your toes in the sand

If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience, head over to Barefoot Restaurant. Located on a secluded beach along Aruba’s southern coast, this restaurant offers an unforgettable setting where you can dine barefoot with your toes in the sand. Indulge in their mouthwatering seafood dishes while enjoying stunning views of the coastline.

  • Pros: Romantic atmosphere, picturesque views

  • Cons: Limited seating capacity, may require reservations

Experience vibrant nightlife combined with great food at Craft & Moomba Beach Bar

Craft & Moomba Beach Bar is not just your average bar; it’s an experience! This lively spot combines vibrant nightlife with great food options. Enjoy live music as you sip on refreshing cocktails and feast on delicious bites. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring or simply enjoy a fun night out with friends.

  • Pros: Vibrant atmosphere, live music

  • Cons: Can get crowded during peak hours

Explore alternative dining options that offer unique atmospheres away from typical tourist hotspots

If you’re looking to escape the tourist crowds and try something different, Aruba has plenty of alternative dining options. From hidden beachside kitchens serving up fresh seafood to cozy dinner spots nestled among the dunes, there’s something for everyone. These unique atmospheres provide a refreshing change of pace and give you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.

  • Pros: Authentic experiences, off-the-beaten-path

  • Cons: May require transportation outside popular areas

So, if you’re tired of the usual touristy restaurants and want to explore the non-tourist side of Aruba, venture out to these nontouristy eateries, dine barefoot on the beach at Barefoot Restaurant, or experience vibrant nightlife combined with great food at Craft & Moomba Beach Bar. These off the beaten path dining options will not only satisfy your taste buds but also give you a glimpse into the local way of life.

Experience the Authentic Side of Aruba

Now that you’ve discovered all the non-touristy things to do in Aruba, it’s time to experience the authentic side of this beautiful island. Immerse yourself in its rich history by exploring the Archaeological Museum, Fort Zoutman, and Alto Vista Chapel. These sites will transport you back in time and give you a glimpse into Aruba’s fascinating past.

But don’t stop there! Venture out to discover the natural wonders that await you. From the majestic Casibari Rock Formation and Ayo Rock Formation to crystal clear snorkeling spots, Aruba is a paradise for nature lovers. Feel the thrill of exploring hidden gems in Oranjestad, with its Dutch and Aruban architecture, Renaissance Mall & Marketplace, and vibrant street art murals.

Ready for some unique experiences? Set sail on a pirate ship, dive into an underwater scooter tour, or embark on a thrilling jeep adventure in Arikok National Park. And when it’s time to unwind, head to Bugaloe Beach Bar for some relaxation by the sea or bask in tranquility at Baby Beach. End your day with a breathtaking sunset cruise and let the beauty of Aruba take your breath away.

Aruba has so much more to offer beyond its tourist attractions. Step off the beaten path and explore these hidden gems for an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, embrace the local culture, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!


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