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Things to Do in Aruba - Aruba's Fabulous Beaches

Aruba's beaches are the pride of the island. All are beautiful with wide open white sandy spaces and clear aqua water and all are public. You will not be disappointed in Aruba's beaches.

Two mile long Palm Beach is home to most of the island's high rise and chain hotels, barefoot restaurants and overwater bars, dive shops, sailing charters and water-sports operations where you can rent just about anything for fun in the water.

Eagle Beach with it's powdery white sand, home to the more laid back low rise hotels, is never crowded. Even though the beaches are public, sun shelters (chickees or palapas) and beach chairs are the property of the hotels for guest use only.

If you are heading out to one of the island's more remote beaches by taxi be sure to arrange with the driver to return to pick you up to return to your hotel. Dry off before heading back since Aruban taxis will not transport wet passengers.

Remember there are no lifeguards and no costs to use the beaches. Bring a towel, plenty of drinking water and sunscreen.

Described below are some of the more popular beaches on the island.

Arashi Beach
Arashi Beach is a somewhat secluded spot popular with serious divers and sunbathers alike. Arashi is also ideal for those looking to swim and snorkel due to its soft sandy bottom and generally calm surf. Arashi Beach is known as the final resting spot of the WWII German freighter, Antilla. The ship has settled close to shore and is even visible above the surface at times. Another treasure found underwater here is elkhorn coral, which makes up a significant part of the reef and is a favorite of snorkelers.

Baby Beach
Baby Beach is a shallow, sheltered man-made lagoon located in Seroe Colorado, on the southeast end of the island of Aruba, and is frequented by locals and tourists alike. It is named Baby Beach as the water is so calm it is safe for very small children. The snorkeling at this location is great for children or travelers new to snorkeling. WARNING: Be very cautious if venturing outside the lagoon, very dangerous currents often exist there.

The beach is popular mostly due to the lack of waves and the shallow water. The Valero oil refinery is within sight of Baby Beach. However, because of the direction of local currents, Baby Beach still has very clean, clear water.

The water level is generally waist high on the inside, but towards the inlet, it deepens significantly. Marine life in the lagoon include barracuda, squid, parrot fish, blowfish, angelfish, eels, and many other small fish. The range of most of these animals is limited to the inlet.

At the beach there is a small snack stand with chairs and umbrellas for rent.

Palm Beach
The 2 mile long Palm Beach is best known as the home of Aruba's high-rise hotels. A bustling and ever expanding tourist attraction, the beach is covered with sunbathing vacationers, food and drink stands and booths of water sport operators. There are also two piers lined with restaurants and shops, which offer entertainment as well as some much needed shade. This stretch of beach, northwest of the capital city of Oranjestad, is the hub for day and nighttime activities. The trendiest place in Aruba, Palm Beach is where you go for great snorkeling as well as good people-watching.

Boca Catalina
This tiny cove with tranquil shallow waters is ideal for snorkeling. Bring your gear to this easy to reach beach and go wide eyed with wonder at the abundance of brightly colored fish and coral. A few palapas provide some welcome shade but there are no other facilities.

Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach is the local's beach of choice for partying and picknicking on weekends. It's seemingly endless white powder sand, gentle surf and crystal clear water make it ideal for liesurely walks or invigorating jogs and it's one of the best places to catch a spectacular Aruba sunset.

Surfside Beach
This seashell shaped beach is lovely and within walking distance of downtown Oranjestad. The waters are shallow and calm. Planes approaching the Queen Beatrix Airport seem to come right at you but instead touchdown on the runway only a few hundred yards away. Many of the small colorful local fishing boats are headquartered here.

Mangel Halto Beach
Mangel Halto Beach is especially popular with locals. This secluded spot offers shallow water, good snorkeling and the chance to sit beneath and between the mangroves. Great for first time divers who might catch a glimpse of fascinating underwater creatures taking cover amid the tangled roots and rocks.

Rodgers Beach
The calm protected waters off Rodgers Beach make for great swimming. Rugged and beautiful scenery provides the backdrop. There are some palapas for shade but no other services.

Boca Grandi
Not recommended for swimming, Boca Grandi epitomizes the unspoiled windy beauty of the north coast. It's also the place where the local windsurfers and kitesurfers practice their sport.There is little shade and few facilities so bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen. You can often find yourself alone with the elements here, making it a perfect place for an afternoon stroll away from it all.

Boca Andicuri
Andicuri, a secluded beach along the north coast with wild high waves and a rocky backdrop. The wave will likely toss you every which way so it's best not to venture into the water and instead enjoy this stretch of sand for it's stunning scenery. No facilities.