Finding a Caribbean island that appeals to all the travelers in your family can be difficult, especially if you have young children. Often family-centric resorts on more popular islands have plenty for the kiddos but lack amenities for parents. Likewise, if you head somewhere a little more appealing for adults, kids can feel left out. Aruba provides a good balance of both worlds with an abundance of family-friendly activities that appeal to all travel types—whether your family leans toward luxury, adventure or something in between.
ATV Excursions in Aruba
ATV excursions are a great way to see the entire island (versus just the strip of hotel-laden beaches on the southern side) and the tours are very flexible. If you’re an outdoorsy family, you can stay out all day, jumping the dunes in your own all-terrain vehicle. Or, if you just want a brief experience with the added security of a guide, choose a group tour that lasts just a few hours.
Tour specialist Pelican Adventures coordinates a wide range of excursions to fit every preference—from a Wet ’N Wild Jeep Adventure to all-day safaris. Justin’s Car and ATV Rental is the place to go if you’d rather explore the island on your own. Just pick up your ATV and go!
Arikok National Park
If hiking is more your speed, Aruba has breathtaking sites on the northeast side of the island. Arikok National Park offers beautiful views, interesting wildlife like wild goats and donkeys, and significant cultural and historical sites like caves with native Arawak drawings. There’s even a natural pool for when you want to cool off. Several trails are available, so you can choose the activity level that’s right for your family.
Aruba’s Responsible Wildlife Activities
Kids love wildlife, but choosing a responsible and sustainable wildlife activity is important to many parents. Aruba has several to choose from, so your animal-loving zoologists in the making can get their fill of the local fauna and you can rest easy knowing the animals receive humane treatment.
One of the most popular wildlife activities in Aruba is a trip to Renaissance Island, home to flocks of gorgeous, vibrant pink flamingos. This 40-acre private island is owned by Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino and if you’re staying there, access is included in your stay. If not, day passes are available for purchase.
Remember those wild donkeys at Arikok National Park? Visit their relatives at the nearby Aruba Donkey Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to donkeys who may be sick, injured or awaiting their return to the wild for another reason. Bring along some veggies to feed the friendly beasts. This activity is free, but donations are accepted.
Museums and Historical Sites in Aruba
When you’ve had enough of the Aruban heat, a trip to an interesting museum or historical site makes the perfect indoor escape. These options are relatively quick and perfect for families with small kids who still want to get in a bit of culture on vacation.
The Aruba Aloe Factory and Museum celebrates the island’s long history with the plant. Introduced in 1840, Aruba soon became the largest exporter of aloe in the world. Now, you can learn aloe’s place in Aruba’s history, as well as how aloe products are made.
If your family is into history, the Aruba Archaeological Museum displays the island’s earliest civilizations. Did you know Aruba hosted human visitors as much as 4,500 years ago? Exhibits display ceramic artifacts, shell and stone tools and other remains.
Shopping in Aruba
Downtown Aruba has premier shopping, from tourist-driven souvenir shops and local markets to luxury brands and international names. The Renaissance Mall boasts the most high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci while nearby Royal Plaza Mall has more localized shops hidden within the eye-catching architecture.
Family-Friendly Beach Hotels in Aruba
If you’ve yet to book your beach hotel in Aruba, there are a few that you’ll want to check out. Located on one of Aruba’s most pristine beaches, Eagle Beach, both the Marriott Aruba Surf Club and Playa Linda Beach Resort are great options with lots of kid-friendly activities and adult amenities. If you love all-inclusive, further south, Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive provides accommodations and perks perfectly suited for the globe-trotting family, all for an affordable price.