Top Things to Do in Aruba

Top 5 Things to do in Aruba, from paddle boarding to horseback riding

From paddle boarding to horseback riding, Aruba is an adventurer's paradise. The year-round sunshine and an isle of freely roaming flamingos are added bonuses. Discover the top things to do in Aruba with this easy guide. Bon bini!

What to Do in Aruba
What to Do in ArubaShutterstock

1. Go on a horseback tour in Arikok National Park.

Saddle up at Rancho Daimari for a guided horseback tour over the sand dunes of Arikok National Park to the Natural Pool, known to locals as Conchi, where volcanic rock forms a secluded oasis. Thrill seekers dive from the cliffs above, while snorkelers spot coral and colorful fish below the surface. Set out at dawn to welcome the sunrise over this rugged east side of the island — it's worth the wake-up call.

2. Relax at the Ritz.

Make The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba home during your stay. With a 15,000-square-foot luxury spa, the largest on the island, you'll find a treatment to maximize your relaxation. Can't de- cide between lounge time in a hammock or a massage? You don't need to. Book the signature Zoya Hamaca Experencia and let the therapist come to you. Later, head to the bar and enjoy the equally relaxing Cadushi, a white-rum cocktail with fresh-squeezed cactus puree.

3. Shop the local art.

Head to the streets of Oranjestad, the island's capital, where one Friday evening a month, local artists sell their colorful wood crafts, jewelry, photography and island-inspired fare in a pop-up style art fest called "Korteweg."

4. Indulge in the gouda stuff.

Cheese lovers, rejoice! Thanks to the island's strong Dutch influence, Gouda is featured in many of the local dishes. A favorite is the keshi yena, a mixture of shredded chicken, prunes and spices wrapped up and baked in a Gouda shell. Order it at The West Deck, where it's served atop a tomato, garlic and basil sauce.

5. Explore by paddle board.

Most of Aruba's beaches are on the west side, where calm waters play host to an array of activities from windsurfing to kayaking. A great way to see the coast is by stand-up paddle board. You'll be so busy enjoying the turquoise water you won't even notice the workout — after all, those trade winds only help you in one direction! First time on a SUP? Aruba Surf and Paddle School will help you master your form.