Aruba is a destination that offers a wealth of activities and attractions to explore. But for those who follow a cruelty-free lifestyle, finding animal-friendly things to do while traveling can sometimes be challenging.
Fortunately, Aruba caters to vegan and animal-loving tourists by offering a range of cruelty-free, enjoyable, and eco-conscious activities. From visiting a butterfly farm to taking a scenic walk along the beach, Aruba has plenty of vegan-friendly activities for visitors who want to enjoy the island's natural beauty without harming any animals.
In this post, we'll explore some of these cruelty-free things to do in Aruba, ensuring that you can indulge in the island's stunning landscapes and cultural experiences while staying true to your ethical values.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Aruba, check out our list of the best vegan-friendly resorts in Aruba.
Visiting organic gardens and farms in Aruba is a great way to learn about local agriculture and see where some of your food and products come from. Here are some places you can visit:
This factory, located on the island's eastern coast, offers visitors a tour of their aloe fields, where you can learn about aloe vera's cultivation process, history, and benefits. You can also see how the aloe is processed and turned into various products, such as lotions, sunscreens, and soaps. The museum showcases the history of aloe vera on the island and its role in Aruba's economy and culture.
This local organic farm in Santa Cruz uses hydroponic technology to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits, including lettuce, basil, tomatoes, and strawberries. They offer guided tours of their greenhouse and explain their sustainable growing practices. You can also purchase fresh produce from their farm store.
This farm, situated in the northwestern part of the island, grows a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including cactus fruits, bananas, and pumpkins. They offer guided tours of their farm, where you can learn about their organic growing practices, sample fresh produce, and enjoy a farm-to-table lunch.
Visiting these organic gardens and farms in Aruba gives visitors a unique glimpse into the island's agricultural heritage while providing insights into sustainable farming practices and natural products. Before visiting, check with each location for tour schedules, fees, and availability.
Beach yoga in Aruba is a popular and enjoyable way to practice yoga while experiencing the island's natural beauty. Surrounded by white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and warm sunshine, beach yoga is ideal for relaxing and rejuvenating your mind, body, and spirit. Here are some things you should know about beach yoga in Aruba:
Several yoga studios and independent instructors on the island offer beach yoga classes. Some popular options include Island Yoga, Happy Buddha Aruba, and Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa. You can also find private instructors who conduct beach yoga sessions.
Beach yoga classes are often scheduled during the early morning or late afternoon hours to avoid the intense midday sun. Sunrise and sunset sessions are particularly popular, as they allow you to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and stunning sun views rising or setting over the ocean.
It's essential to bring a yoga mat or a large towel for your practice. Also, consider packing sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. You may also want to bring a swimsuit if you would like to take a refreshing dip in the ocean after your practice.
Beach yoga classes in Aruba cater to various skill levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Check with the studio or instructor for a class that suits your experience and comfort level.
Practicing yoga on the beach offers numerous benefits, including increased relaxation, improved balance and focus due to the uneven sand surface, and a deeper connection with nature. The sound of the waves and the ocean breeze can enhance your meditation and mindfulness during your practice.
Aruba is a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving due to its clear waters, vibrant marine life, and numerous shipwrecks. The island offers a variety of snorkeling and diving spots suitable for everyone, from beginners to experienced divers. Here are some critical points about snorkeling and diving in Aruba:
Aruba has a consistently warm and sunny climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling and diving anytime. However, the peak season for tourism is between December and April, so you might want to plan your trip during the off-peak months to avoid crowds.
Several excellent snorkeling spots around the island include Boca Catalina, Malmok Beach, Baby Beach, and De Palm Island. These locations offer shallow reefs with abundant marine life, such as colorful fish, sea turtles, and various coral formations.
Aruba is known for its shipwrecks, which make for fascinating dive sites. Some of the most famous wrecks include the Antilla, a German cargo ship sunk during World War II, and the SS Pedernales, an oil tanker torpedoed during the same war. Other popular dive sites include the Arashi Reef, Barcadera Reef, and the Jane Sea Wreck.
Numerous dive centers and operators on the island offer guided snorkeling and diving tours and PADI certification courses for those interested in diving. Some reputable dive centers include Red Sail Sports, JADS Dive Center, and Mermaid Dive Center.
Following safety guidelines and practicing responsible snorkeling and diving is essential to protect yourself and the marine environment. Never touch or step on coral, stay safe from marine life, and avoid feeding animals. Always dive with a buddy, follow your guide's instructions, and adhere to your training and experience level.
With its diverse marine life, clear visibility, and fascinating shipwrecks, Aruba is an excellent destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Research the various sites, operators, and safety guidelines before embarking on your underwater adventure.
Arikok National Park is located on the eastern side of the island of Aruba and covers roughly 18% of the island's land area. The park has diverse landscapes, including rugged hills, desert-like terrain, unique rock formations, and pristine beaches. Hiking in Arikok National Park is an excellent way to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of Aruba. Here are some key points about hiking in the park:
Arikok National Park offers a variety of well-marked trails suitable for different skill levels, ranging from leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes. Some popular trails include the Cunucu Arikok trail, which takes you through Aruba's countryside; the Miralamar trail leading to the highest point in the park; and the Jamanota Hill trail, which offers stunning panoramic views of the island.
While hiking in the park, you'll encounter various natural attractions, such as Dos Playa Beach, Boca Prins Beach, and the Natural Pool (Conchi). You'll also encounter unique geological features like the Ayo and Casibari rock formations and the Quadirikiri and Fontein caves, which boast ancient Arawak Indian drawings.
The park is home to many plant and animal species, including Aruba's native divi-divi trees, cacti, and the rare and endemic Aruban whiptail lizard. You might also spot the Aruban burrowing owl and the island's iconic fofoti trees.
Before starting your hike, you should stop by the park's visitor center to get information about the trails, guided tours, and park regulations. The visitor center also has a small museum and a gift shop.
If you prefer a guided experience, the park offers ranger-guided tours that can provide insights into the park's history, geology, and ecology.
There is an entrance fee to access Arikok National Park, which helps fund the park's maintenance and conservation efforts. The park is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Be prepared with comfortable hiking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as the Aruban sun can be intense. Don't forget your camera to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife you may encounter.
Animal sanctuaries in Aruba allow visitors to learn about and interact with different animal species while supporting their conservation efforts. Here are some places you can visit:
This nonprofit organization in Santa Cruz provides a home for more than 130 donkeys who were once abandoned or mistreated. Visitors can interact with these friendly animals, feed them, or adopt a donkey. The sanctuary also offers educational programs about donkey care and welfare.
Located near the Aruba Aloe Factory, the Butterfly Farm is a unique attraction that lets visitors experience hundreds of butterflies' beautiful colors and patterns. You can observe the butterflies in their natural habitat, learn about their life cycle, and witness the release of newly emerged butterflies. The farm also features a gift shop with butterfly-themed souvenirs.
This animal sanctuary in Noord is home to more than 50 different animal species, including lions, tigers, monkeys, and reptiles. Visitors can take guided tours of the sanctuary, where they learn about the animals' care, behavior, and conservation status. The garden also offers interactive experiences like feeding the animals and holding a baby alligator.
This family-owned farm in Paradera offers guided tours of their ostrich herd, which includes imported South African ostriches. Visitors can learn about these fascinating birds, watch them hatch from eggs, and even ride on their backs. The farm also has a petting zoo with other animals like llamas, donkeys, and rabbits.
Visiting animal sanctuaries in Aruba allows you to appreciate the island's natural wonders while supporting local conservation efforts. They offer educational and fun experiences for all ages, making them an excellent addition to any itinerary. Remember to check with each location for entrance fees, tour schedules, and age restrictions.
The Natural Pool, or "Conchi," is a popular attraction in Arikok National Park in Aruba, and it is a natural pool formed by volcanic rock in a secluded park area. Here are some key points about visiting the Natural Pool:
Access to the Natural Pool is limited, and visitors can reach it only by foot, horseback, or ATV. The hike to the pool is about a 30-minute trek from the parking area, and the terrain can be rocky and steep, so it's essential to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.
The Natural Pool is a beautiful spot to swim and cool off on hot island days. The water is clear, blue, and ideal for swimming, but visitors should exercise caution when entering and exiting the pool due to the rocky terrain.
Visitors must be careful when visiting the Natural Pool, as some areas have strong currents. It's helpful to swim near the pool's edges, where the water is calmer. Supervision by an experienced guide is also recommended.
The Natural Pool is home to wildlife, including lizards, birds, and crabs. Visitors are encouraged to respect their natural habitat and not disturb the wildlife.
An entrance fee to access Arikok National Park includes admission to the Natural Pool area, and the fee helps support the park's maintenance and conservation efforts. The fee ranges from $15 - $50.
Enjoy paddleboarding in the calm waters of Mangel Halto or Palm Beach. This is a great way to engage in physical activity while admiring Aruba's coastline's beauty.
Here are some companies in Aruba that offer paddleboarding equipment rentals:
Aruba Active Vacations: This company offers paddleboard rentals and guided tours of Aruba's coastline from its location in Palm Beach.
Red Sail Sports Aruba: This watersports company has locations in various resorts around the island and offers paddleboard rentals and guided tours in both Mangel Halto and Palm Beach.
Vela Aruba: Located on the south end of Aruba, this company offers paddleboard rentals and lessons in the calm waters of Mangel Halto.
SUP Aruba: This paddleboarding rental company offers board rentals, lessons, and guided tours in Mangel Halto, Palm Beach, and other locations around the island.
Sailaway Tour: This sustainable eco-tourism company offers SUP board rentals and ocean-based tours of the beautiful waters of Palm Beach.
These companies offer a range of paddleboarding equipment rentals, including paddleboards, paddles, life jackets, and more. You can choose the best one based on location, skill level, and budget.
Bird watching is an excellent way to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of Aruba's wildlife. One of the best spots for bird watching on the island is the Bubali Bird Sanctuary in Noord. Here are some key points to keep in mind when visiting the sanctuary:
The Bubali Bird Sanctuary is conveniently located near the high-rise hotel area on the island's west coast. It covers an area of approximately 80 acres and is home to various bird species, including Pink Flamingos, Great Egrets, and American Oystercatchers.
The best time for bird watching at the sanctuary is early morning or just before sunset when the birds are most active.
All you need for bird watching is a good pair of binoculars, which can be rented from various rental shops around the island.
While exploring the sanctuary, be mindful of the fragile ecosystem and the birds' natural habitat. Stay on marked trails and adhere to the guidelines posted in the area.
For a more in-depth bird-watching experience, consider booking a guided tour with a local expert who can help you identify the different species and provide insights into their behavior and migration patterns.
Visiting the Bubali Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful way to indulge in the natural beauty of Aruba while showing appreciation for its diverse wildlife. Remember to respect the birds and their habitat while exploring the sanctuary and enjoy the peacefulness and serenity of bird watching.
Biking is a fantastic way to explore the island of Aruba and enjoy the beautiful scenery at your own pace. Here are some things to keep in mind when renting a bike in Aruba:
Several bike rental companies in Aruba offer a range of bikes, including mountain bikes, hybrids, and cruisers. Some companies offer delivery and pick-up services, making it easy to rent a bike from the comfort of your hotel.
Aruba has several scenic routes to bike through, including the Malmok Beach Route, the Spanish Lagoon Route, and the Arikok National Park Route. Each route offers its own unique experience, from stunning coastal views to rugged desert terrain.
Always wear a helmet when biking in Aruba, and follow all traffic laws. Be mindful of the hot weather and, wear sunscreen, bring lots of water and snacks during your ride.
If you're a first-timer to Aruba, consider hiring a guided bike tour from a local company. You can get insights into Aruba's culture, history, and natural scenery that you wouldn't experience alone.
Aruba also hosts biking events throughout the year, including races and leisure rides. You can check for the schedules of these events to plan your biking trip.
Biking in Aruba is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the island's lush scenery and appreciate the unique culture that differentiates it from other Caribbean islands. Be sure to bring comfortable clothes, wear a helmet, and hydrate.
Volunteering is an excellent option if you're looking for ways to make a positive impact during your stay in Aruba. One organization you may consider is Turtugaruba, a non-profit dedicated to protecting sea turtles and other marine wildlife on the island.
Turtugaruba offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, including helping with beach cleanups, assisting with turtle patrols, and aiding with environmental education programs.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and be able to commit to at least five hours per week during the nesting season, which runs from March to August.
Turtugaruba provides training for all its volunteers, including an orientation, beach cleanup training, and turtle monitoring training.
Volunteering with Turtugaruba can be a rewarding and meaningful way to learn more about Aruba's environment and marine wildlife, participate in conservation efforts, and positively impact the local community.
Other organizations and initiatives in Aruba offer volunteer opportunities, such as beach cleanups, charity fundraisers, and educational programs. Researching local organizations and getting involved may lead to fulfilling volunteer opportunities during your stay.
Volunteering with Turtugaruba or other organizations in Aruba is a great way to contribute to the island's conservation efforts and make a positive impact during your stay.
Exploring caves is a unique way to discover Aruba's cultural and historic attractions while also enjoying nature. Guadirikiri Caves and Fontein Cave in Arikok National Park are two of the most popular caves to visit on the island.
Guadirikiri Caves and Fontein Cave are located in Arikok National Park, on the island's eastern side. It's important to note that Arikok National Park is a protected area, so visitors must follow all rules and regulations when visiting.
Guadirikiri Caves and Fontein Cave both have historic drawings and paintings on the walls created by the Arawak Indians who used to inhabit the island. These drawings are estimated to be around 1,000 years old and offer a unique glimpse into Aruba's history and culture.
Both caves offer guided tours for visitors. Taking a guided tour is recommended to learn more about the caves' history, cultural significance, and geology.
Visiting the caves requires some degree of physical activity. Dress in comfortable clothing and footwear, and bring a flashlight, as the caves can be dark. Visitors are also advised to bring water, snacks, and insect repellent.
In addition to the cave drawings, Guadirikiri Caves and Fontein Cave are also home to impressive formations, including stalactites and stalagmites. These formations contribute to the cave's beauty and geologic significance.
Exploring caves like Guadirikiri Caves and Fontein Cave in Arikok National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the island's history and culture while enjoying Aruba's natural wonders.
Art Galleries: Visit local art galleries and artisan workshops that support local artists. This is an opportunity to appreciate the culture and creativity of Aruba.
The California Lighthouse is a must-visit historical site when in Aruba.
The California Lighthouse is located on the island's northwest tip, near several popular beach resorts.
The lighthouse was built in 1914 and was named after the S.S. California, a ship that sank off the coast of Aruba in 1891.
Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a stunning panoramic view of the island's northern part. From the top, you can see the California Sand Dunes, the rugged coastline, and even Venezuela on a clear day.
The California Lighthouse is open every day from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
The nearby California Sand Dunes offer a unique opportunity to explore one of Aruba's natural wonders. Visitors can hike or ATV through the dunes and admire the picturesque landscape.
Visiting the California Lighthouse is a great way to take in breathtaking views of the island's northern coast while learning about Aruba's rich history. Be sure to wear comfortable footwear as the climb up to the top can be a bit strenuous. The nearby California Sand Dunes are another worthwhile attraction to explore on your Aruba adventure.
A visit to the Aruba Ostrich Farm is a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
The Aruba Ostrich Farm is located in Paradera, which is in the center of the island. It's easily accessible by car or taxi, and parking is available on-site.
The farm offers a guided tour that takes visitors through the ostrich enclosures, where they can learn about ostrich behavior, biology, and life cycle. The tour also allows visitors to interact with the birds and feed and touch them.
The Aruba Ostrich Farm is committed to conservation efforts and educating visitors on ostrich habitat, diet, and behavior. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the challenges facing these birds in the wild and how they can help protect them.
The tour is suitable for visitors of all ages and is a great educational experience for families with kids. The farm also offers outdoor picnic areas for visitors who want to bring their own snacks.
Eco-friendly Accommodation: Stay at an eco-friendly resort or hotel that aligns with your values. Many of these places use sustainable practices and support the local community.
Kite surfing in Aruba is a thrilling and adventurous way to experience the island's beautiful waters and scenery. It's important to take lessons from a qualified instructor, wear appropriate safety gear, and pay attention to local safety regulations. There are several schools that offer lessons for beginners.
Armando's Kite Shack: Located in Boca Grandi, Armando's Kite Shack is a popular destination for kite surfing lessons and equipment rental. The company offers lessons for beginners and advanced riders, as well as equipment rental for those with experience.
Kitesurfing Aruba: This company offers kite surfing lessons and equipment rental in the Malmok Beach area. Lessons are available for all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced riders.
Vela Aruba: Vela Aruba is a water sports company that offers kite surfing lessons and equipment rental in the Boca Grandi and Mangel Halto areas. The company offers lessons for all levels, including private lessons and group lessons.
One Happy Kite: One Happy Kite is a kite surfing school in Palm Beach. The company offers lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders and equipment rental for those with experience.
If you want to explore Aruba's spiritual side, visiting the Alto Vista Chapel can be a peaceful and contemplative experience.
The Alto Vista Chapel is located on a hilltop overlooking the island's northern coast, just a short drive from the popular Palm Beach area.
The chapel was built in 1750, making it the oldest Catholic church in Aruba. Spanish missionaries originally constructed it and used the location as a place of worship and a base for further missions in Venezuela and Colombia.
The chapel is a simple, white building with a red roof, surrounded by cactus and other desert vegetation. Visitors can enter the chapel and admire the austere interior, which features a small altar and several religious artifacts.
The serene atmosphere of the Alto Vista Chapel makes it a perfect place for meditation, personal reflection, and contemplation. While there, you can take a moment to appreciate the beautiful surroundings, reflect on your thoughts, and find inner peace.
The Alto Vista Chapel is still an important place of worship for the local Catholic community. Regular religious events and celebrations are held there, including masses on Sundays and other important days on the Catholic calendar.
If you're looking for a spiritual and reflective experience, visiting the Alto Vista Chapel is a great way to immerse yourself in Aruba's cultural and religious heritage. While there, remember to be respectful of the church's rich history and peaceful surroundings.
Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island is one of Aruba's most iconic and unique attractions.
Flamingo Beach is located on Renaissance Island, which is a private island reserved for guests of the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. However, day passes may be available for visitors who would like to spend the day on Flamingo Beach.
The beach is home to a large population of flamingos known for their distinct pink feathers and unique behavior. Visitors can observe the flamingos from a distance, but it's important not to feed them or disrupt their natural habitat.
Flamingo Beach offers a range of facilities for visitors, including umbrellas, lounge chairs, and beachside bars. The beach also has crystal-clear water and some of the softest sand on the island.
In addition to lounging on the beach and observing the flamingos, visitors can also enjoy a range of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Equipment rental is available on the island.
As Flamingo Beach is on a private island, it's important for visitors to respect the environment and maintain the island's ecosystem. This includes not littering, staying on designated paths, and avoiding interacting with wildlife.
A visit to Flamingo Beach is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows visitors to observe and appreciate the unique beauty of the region's flora and fauna. Remember to respect the beach and island by following the guidelines and leaving no trace.
The Archeological Museum of Aruba is a fascinating destination for those interested in the history and culture of the island.
The Archeological Museum of Aruba is located in the capital city of Oranjestad, in the historic district of Fort Zoutman.
The museum houses a range of artifacts from Aruba's indigenous people, including ceramics, stone tools, and precious metals. The museum's exhibits are designed to showcase the rich cultural history of the island and its people.
The museum offers a range of educational programs, including guided tours for groups and individuals. Visitors can learn about the island's history and culture and the methods used by archeologists to uncover and analyze artifacts.
The museum has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and replica artifacts to take home as mementos of their visit.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. Visitors should check for holiday schedules or any reduced hours in advance.
A visit to the Archeological Museum of Aruba is an excellent way to learn more about the island's rich history and cultural heritage. With its range of exhibits and educational programs, the museum allows visitors to explore the traditions and lifestyles of Aruba's indigenous peoples.
Aruba's consistent trade winds make it an ideal location for windsurfing. There are several rental shops and instructors available to help you get started.
Aruba Active Vacations: Located in Palm Beach, Aruba Active Vacations provides both equipment rental and lessons for windsurfers of all levels. They offer instruction on land and in the water to ensure customers have a great experience.
Vela Aruba: With several locations throughout the island, Vela Aruba offers a range of windsurfing and other water sports equipment rentals and lessons.
Hadicurari: Hadicurari is located on the northeast coast of Aruba, at a beach known for its calm waters, making it an excellent place to learn windsurfing. They offer lessons and equipment rentals for beginners and advanced riders alike.
JADS Aruba: Providing personalized instruction and high-quality rental equipment, JADS Aruba is a great choice for windsurfers of all levels. They are located near the famous Fisherman's Huts, which is a prime windsurfing spot on the island.