What Should You Avoid In Aruba? (26 Things to Keep In Mind)

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What should you avoid in Aruba? Well, if you’re planning a visit to this tropical paradise, I’m here to enlighten you on the things that’ll make you want to rip out your hair strand by strand.

There are a few things you absolutely need to steer clear of, and I’ve got some straightforward tips that’ll make your experience even more top-notch.

From sunburns that’ll leave you looking like a freshly boiled lobster to tourist traps that’ll empty your wallet faster than a Formula One pit stop, buckle up and prepare for an expos√© on the perils of paradise.

Key Takeaway on What Should You Avoid In Aruba

When visiting Aruba, it is important to venture beyond the resort areas and explore the island’s attractions and natural beauty.

Don’t expect glamour everywhere, as Aruba has its own unique culture and vibe. Next, avoid assuming that Aruba is the same as the Netherlands, as it is a sovereign country with its own identity. Finally, Instead of relying on guided tours, embrace the freedom of renting a car and discovering hidden gems on your own.

Now, listen up, because I’m about to give you some sage advice.

You’d better pay close attention to every single point on my list if you want to get the full picture.

Don’t go skipping over anything, thinking you can cherry-pick your way through it…

Take it all in, absorb it like a sponge, and let every point from my list sink into your brain.

Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Let’s start!

1. Don’t limit yourself to resort areas

If you find yourself on the stunning island of Aruba, there’s one cardinal sin you must avoid like the plague.

Don’t confine yourself to those stuffy resort areas, for heaven’s sake!

Venture beyond those high-rise and low-rise hotel zones and unlock the true treasures of this paradise.

Aruba’s got attractions and natural beauty that’ll leave you gobsmacked, so don’t be a numpty and miss out on the real deal!

2. Don’t expect glamour everywhere

Now, don’t get me wrong, this place is paradise with its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.

But here’s the deal: don’t go expecting glamour at every corner.

It’s important to be ready for a reality check beyond the touristy hotspots.

Aruba has its fair share of hidden gems, sure, but there’s also a side that’s not all glitz and glamour.

So, pack your sense of adventure and curiosity, and be open to experiencing the authentic local vibe.

3. Don’t mistake Aruba for the Netherlands

It’s easy to assume that it’s just like the Netherlands since it’s part of the Kingdom.

But hold your horses, folks!

Aruba is actually a sovereign country with its own unique culture.

Sure, you might spot some Dutch influences here and there, but don’t mistake it for a mini-Netherlands.

Aruba has its own identity, its own traditions, and its own vibe that sets it apart. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant Aruban culture and discover the beauty of this independent gem in the Caribbean.

4. Don’t think you need to take a tour

When it comes to exploring this Caribbean gem, steer clear of the notion that guided tours are your only option.

Embrace the spirit of wanderlust and opt for the freedom of renting a car. Aruba’s petite size and well-maintained roads make it a breeze to navigate independently.

By charting your own course, you’ll uncover hidden beaches, stumble upon quaint local eateries, and stumble upon breathtaking vistas that are off the beaten path.

So skip the tour bus and embrace the thrill of discovery as you forge your own path through this tropical paradise.

5. Don’t assume marijuana is legal

When venturing to Aruba, it’s crucial not to assume that marijuana is legal, despite the occasional waft of its distinct aroma.

Let’s be clear: marijuana is not legal in Aruba. While the scent may tickle your senses, it’s essential to respect the local laws and regulations.

Engaging in any illegal activities can lead to unpleasant consequences and mar your travel experience.

Instead, focus on immersing yourself in Aruba’s stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and delightful cuisine.

Stay on the right side of the law, and you’ll ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey throughout this captivating island paradise.

6. Don’t Rush, Relax

When you set foot on the captivating island of Aruba, it’s time to embrace the concept of “island time.”

Things might not move at the same lightning-fast pace you’re accustomed to. So, take a deep breath, relax, and practice the art of patience.

Whether you’re seeking service at a restaurant or checking into your hotel, remember that Aruba operates on its own rhythm.

Embrace the opportunity to slow down, soak up the sun-kissed atmosphere, and savor each moment of your journey.

Trust me, a laid-back mindset will ensure you truly capture the essence of this Caribbean paradise. So, kick back, unwind, and let Aruba work its magic on you.

7. Not Learning the Difference between east and west coast beaches

On the west coast, you’ll discover serene havens perfect for leisurely swimming. These tranquil waters invite you to indulge in the soothing embrace of the Caribbean Sea.

However, when venturing to the east coast, prepare for a wilder affair. Here, the untamed waves crash upon the shore with untamed fervor.

It’s a paradise for thrill-seekers and surf enthusiasts yearning to conquer the ocean’s untamed power.

So, choose your beach wisely, whether you seek tranquility or crave an exhilarating dance with the waves.

8. Don’t worry about hurricanes

When it comes to hurricanes, Aruba stands as a resilient sanctuary.

Thanks to its desert climate, this tropical paradise boasts a minimal risk of encountering these tempestuous storms.

So, cast away any worries that may be swirling in your mind. Instead, focus on basking in the sun-drenched beauty of Aruba’s palm-fringed beaches, embarking on thrilling adventures, and immersing yourself in the island’s vibrant culture.

Mother Nature smiles favorably upon Aruba, offering you a safe haven from the tumultuous winds that occasionally sweep across other Caribbean destinations.

9. Don’t be bothered by aggressive touts

Unlike some bustling tourist hotspots, these beach vendors embody a laid-back approach and won’t hassle or pressure you into making a purchase.

Instead, they exude a warm and friendly spirit, offering their wares and services with a genuine smile.

So, feel free to stroll along the pristine shores, engage in friendly conversations, and peruse their offerings at your own leisure.

10. Don’t forget sunblock and stay hydrated

In this land of eternal sunshine, two things should never escape your mind: sunblock and hydration.

The intensity of Aruba’s sun demands your utmost protection, so lather on that sunblock generously, shielding your skin from its potent rays.

Embrace wide-brimmed hats, stylish sunglasses, and lightweight, breathable clothing as your trusted companions.

Moreover, remember to keep your water bottles filled to the brim, for hydration is key in this radiant paradise.

Drink plentifully, replenishing your body as you bask in the beauty of Aruba. By prioritizing sun protection and hydration, you’ll ensure a blissful, sun-kissed experience while safeguarding your well-being.

11. Avoid Littering and Mind the Trash

As you venture through this captivating paradise, I urge you to avoid littering at all costs and remain mindful of any trash you may encounter on the ground.

Aruba’s pristine beauty deserves our utmost respect and care. Carry a reusable water bottle and dispose of any waste in designated bins.

By doing so, you contribute to the preservation of this island’s natural splendor, ensuring future generations can revel in its magnificence.

Let us be conscientious stewards of the environment, leaving behind nothing but footprints and carrying a deep appreciation for the ecological treasures that grace Aruba.

12. Don’t assume you can take a Palapa

Beachgoers, take heed: Do not assume ownership of a Palapa.

To secure the coveted shade of a beach umbrella, known as a Palapa, ensure you reserve one or inquire about its availability.

These sought-after spots are in high demand, and claiming one without proper authorization may lead to a disheartening encounter.

So, be courteous and approach the beach staff, who will guide you to an available Palapa or help you secure a reservation.

By respecting the system in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the cool shade and relish in the tranquility of Aruba’s picturesque beaches.

13. No Need for Dollar Exchange

The need for currency exchange is not a concern in Aruba.

Embrace the convenience of your US dollars, as they are widely accepted throughout the island.

Whether you’re indulging in local cuisine, shopping for souvenirs, or exploring vibrant attractions, you can rely on your trusty greenbacks to facilitate transactions seamlessly.

Bid farewell to the hassle of exchanging currencies and embrace the simplicity of using US dollars during your Aruban adventure.

So, tuck those dollars safely in your pocket and embark on a worry-free journey, knowing that your currency is as welcome as the warm island breeze.

14. Don’t Think Restaurant Prices Are Cheap

Brace yourselves for the reality of dining in Aruba.

While the culinary delights of this island paradise are undeniably enticing, it’s essential to be prepared for restaurant prices that may raise an eyebrow or two.

The popularity and tourist demand in Aruba contribute to a higher cost of dining out. But fear not, fellow epicureans, for the exceptional quality and flavorsome experiences that await are well worth the investment.

Embrace the opportunity to indulge in delectable seafood, international cuisine, and local specialties, knowing that the price reflects the island’s culinary excellence.

Loosen your purse strings, savor each bite, and embark on a gastronomic journey that will leave a lasting impression on your palate.

15. Don’t assume you can eat anytime

Don’t assume that you can indulge in delectable dishes at any hour of the day.

Some restaurants on the island may close their doors in the afternoon, only to reopen for dinner.

To savor the gastronomic delights that Aruba has to offer, it’s wise to plan your meals accordingly.

Research operating hours, make reservations, and ensure you won’t be caught with a rumbling stomach during a midday siesta.

By aligning your culinary adventures with the restaurant schedules, you’ll relish each mealtime without disappointment.

16. Don’t miss the sunset

Don’t let the sun slip away without witnessing the breathtaking spectacle of an Aruban sunset.

This island is renowned for its awe-inspiring displays of colors that paint the sky, casting a golden glow over the horizon.

Whether you find yourself on a serene beach, atop a picturesque viewpoint, or sipping a refreshing cocktail at a beachfront bar, seize the opportunity to bask in the mesmerizing beauty of Aruba’s sunsets.

Let the vibrant hues ignite your senses and create lasting memories against the backdrop of paradise.

Don’t miss the chance to witness this celestial masterpiece. Embrace the magic of an Aruban sunset and let your soul be captivated by nature’s extraordinary artistry.

17. Avoid assuming Dutch is the main language

When venturing to Aruba, resist the assumption that Dutch reigns as the dominant language.

Instead, open your ears to the melodic tones of Spanish, which frequently takes the spotlight on this vibrant island.

While Dutch holds official status, Spanish is commonly spoken and understood by the locals.

Embrace the opportunity to practice your Spanish skills and engage in friendly conversations with the island’s welcoming inhabitants.

By embracing the linguistic diversity of Aruba, you’ll forge deeper connections and gain a richer cultural experience.

So, bid adieu to assumptions and embrace the captivating blend of languages that grace this tropical haven.

18. Don’t expect a mountainous or lush green environment

Brace yourselves for the distinctive landscape of Aruba.

If you’re envisioning towering mountains or verdant greenery, prepare for a delightful surprise.

Aruba showcases a different kind of beauty, characterized by a flat, arid, and desert-like terrain. Embrace the rugged charm of cacti-studded landscapes, windswept dunes, and pristine white-sand beaches.

Marvel at the unique flora and fauna that have adapted to this arid climate.

While mountains may not be in the cards, Aruba’s enchantment lies in its otherworldly landscapes and the sense of tranquility they evoke.

So, release any preconceived notions and embrace the distinct allure of this desert gem.

Let the beauty of Aruba’s contrasting landscape captivate your senses and ignite your spirit of exploration.

More things to consider if you’re Staying at an all-inclusive resort in Aruba

As a travel enthusiast, I want to ensure that your stay at an all-inclusive resort in Aruba is as enjoyable as possible.

While these resorts offer a wide range of amenities and convenience, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your experience.

19. Don’t Assume Everything is Included

While all-inclusive resorts strive to provide a comprehensive package, it’s important not to assume that everything is included.

Some amenities, such as access to certain restaurants or water slides, may require additional payment.

To avoid any surprises, I recommend checking with the resort beforehand or consulting their website to get a clear understanding of what’s included and what may come at an extra cost.

20. Don’t Expect Authentic Local Food and Culture

All-inclusive resorts often cater to a diverse range of international visitors, which means their focus is primarily on providing a variety of international cuisines.

While the food is generally delicious, it’s important to keep in mind that the offerings may not fully represent the authentic local food and culture.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local culinary scene, I suggest venturing outside the resort and exploring local restaurants and food markets.

21. Don’t Rely Solely on the Resort for Information

While resort staff are there to assist you, it’s always a good idea to take the initiative and gather information on your own.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the resort and its facilities to ensure you make the most of your stay.

Whether it’s the schedule for activities, details about spa services, or any special events, being proactive in seeking information will help you plan your days effectively and make the most of the amenities available.

22. Don’t Neglect Making Dinner Reservations

Some all-inclusive resort restaurants require reservations, especially for popular dining options.

It’s always a good idea to make dinner reservations in advance to secure your preferred dining time and ensure you don’t miss out on any culinary delights.

Additionally, be aware that certain restaurants may have dress codes, so pack suitable attire such as collared shirts, slacks, or dresses to comply with the requirements.

23. Don’t Forget Appropriate Attire

Speaking of dress codes, it’s essential to pack appropriate attire for the resort’s restaurants and any other formal events that may take place during your stay.

While the dress code can vary from resort to resort, it’s always better to be prepared.

Pack a few outfits that meet the dress code requirements, ensuring you feel comfortable and stylish during your dining experiences.

24. Don’t Assume Friends Can Visit for Free

If you’re thinking of inviting friends to join you at the resort, it’s important to be aware that there may be additional charges involved.

Some resorts require day passes for visitors, which can come at an extra cost.

To avoid any misunderstandings or unexpected expenses, I recommend checking the resort’s policy regarding guests and fees beforehand.

This way, you can plan accordingly and ensure a smooth visit for your friends.

25. Don’t Neglect Tipping

While the all-inclusive package covers many expenses, tipping is often not included.

It’s customary to show appreciation for excellent service by tipping the staff who have gone above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable.

Remember to have some cash on hand to tip the service staff, including bartenders, waiters, and housekeeping.

Your generosity will be greatly appreciated, and it helps create a positive rapport with the hardworking resort staff.

26. Learn Basic Spanish

Finally, learning a few basic words and phrases in the local language can greatly enhance your interactions with the resort staff and show cultural respect.

While many resort employees speak English, making an effort to communicate in Spanish can make a positive impression and create a more immersive experience.

Simple greetings, polite phrases, and expressions of gratitude can go a long way in building connections and fostering a friendly atmosphere.

Final words

What should you avoid in Aruba? Well, when you find yourself gallivanting around the breathtaking island of Aruba, there are a few blunders you’d better steer clear of if you want to have an absolute blast.

To ensure your trip is nothing short of sensational, avoid these treacherous traps and pitfalls that I have mentioned in the article above.

Hello, I’m Emma! I’ve been exploring the world since 2015. People always ask me lots of questions when I travel and come back. So, I started a blog to answer them all and share with the world. If you are curious about something, use the search bar on my site or send me an email emma@timetositback.com