I was recently planning our family’s annual Thanksgiving beach trip and was thrilled to see that Hilton has opened a resort in Oranjestad, Aruba. Aruba has long been my family’s go-to beach spot, so this time we will be getting a fresh perspective on the island through our upcoming stay at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. I am so excited to review the property, and it has me dreaming of crystal blue water and soft coral sand. In anticipation of our trip, here are my family’s favorite Aruba Beaches.
Several of the major high rise hotels, like Hilton Aruba, are located on Palm Beach. Some visitors never venture elsewhere and are perfectly happy with their beach vacation. Although I encourage you to try out some of Aruba’s other beaches to get the full island experience, Palm Beach is a beautiful place to start.
Palm Beach is more like a pool than the ocean, with only a gentle lap of waves. The water is the clear turquoise blue that you would imagine for Aruba. It really is a great place to hang out if you have a baby or toddler, and we have spent many beach days there when my children were tiny.
While on Palm Beach, be sure to try lunch or happy hour from the MooMba Beach Bar. The menu is varied, and they have a good mix of family friendly music and live bands in the evening.
Voted on Tripadvisor as one of the world’s top 10 beaches, a trip to Eagle Beach is paradise. This beach has easy rolling swells and powdery white sand. There are a number of stands that rent umbrellas and chairs, as well as beach areas set up only for resort guests. If you are into adventure, banana boat rides and jet skis are also available to rent.
Grab a fresh coconut water from one of the beach side vendors (served in a coconut), take a walk along the shore, and keep an eye out for the island’s famous Divi Divi trees. The trees are also called Aruba’s natural compass, because they always point in a southwesterly direction due to the island’s prevailing tradewinds that blow across the island from the northeast.
We usually visit Eagle Beach several times throughout our stay, but one family tradition that my kids always look forward to is something we call “Cheeseburgers in Paradise Night.” It’s very simple: we pick up some takeout cheeseburgers about an hour before sunset, head to the beach, have dinner on our beach towels, hop in for a quick swim and watch the sunset.
You will either love it or hate it, but I have to mention this secluded beach lagoon near San Nicolas. The reason that we like to head to Baby Beach for a day is that you get to take a driving tour through a part of Aruba that many tourists never see. It gives you a true experience of Aruba, not just the high rise hotel, luxury casino Aruba. With the island being just 19 miles long, I wouldn’t call it a long drive to the other side of the island, but it does seem relatively long because everything else is so close on the island.
On the drive to Baby Beach, you can see the rough, windy sea and rocky embankments that make it seem impossible that you could even be on the same island as the turquoise waters of Eagle and Palm Beaches. Baby Beach is a man made lagoon and was given the name because it was an area so calm and clear that you could let your baby swim there safely.
Over time, however, some of the rock pile-ons that form the lagoon walls of Baby Beach have toppled over, and now strong currents flow through the lagoon in certain areas. The water can be very shallow and then deep, but it keeps it interesting. You can see a variety of fish and small octopus while you venture through the lagoon, and although it may not be the best snorkeling in Aruba, it’s an easy place for kids to learn and get the hang of it.
One aspect that may be a negative to potential visitors is that the facilities are utilitarian. Baby Beach offers only one bathroom and one restaurant that has limited hours. We came prepared with our own snacks and drinks and staked out an area under some trees for much-needed shade.
Another item to mention is that there is an oil refinery close by. It really isn’t a big deal to me, no smell or sound that interferes with your beach day, but some people get upset that it’s hard to get pictures of the area without seeing it in the background. In my opinion, Baby Beach is worth the trip if you’re on the island for more than a few days and if you have a car.
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.