Aruba is an island paradise in the Caribbean. With its white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue waters and spectacular natural beauty, it is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Aruba’s slogan is ‘One Happy Island’ and it is clear to see why.
The island is the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. With its beautiful climate, Aruba has a reputation for being one of the best places in the world to live.
It is also a popular holiday destination for people from all over the world. Aruba is known for its friendly and welcoming people and therefore the island is a very safe place to visit.
With a population of only 100,000 people, Aruba has plenty of space for everyone. Therefore you will have no problems finding somewhere quiet to relax or things to do with your family and friends.
But with so much to see and do, where should you spend your time? With such a short stay, it is hard to know where to start.
We have put together an example of a two-day itinerary to help you make the most of your visit!
The Aruba vacation itinerary highlights some of the best things to do if you have 48 hours in Aruba and how to plan your trip so that you do not miss anything!
This guide is perfect for those who only have 48 Hours in Aruba – A 2 Day Itinerary. We will show you what to do in Aruba, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether its a weekend in Aruba or just a quick trip.
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Where to stay for your 48 hours in Aruba itinerary
The first point of call for your trip is somewhere to stay. The best area to stay in Aruba is the northwest part of the island.
The capital city, Oranjestad is located here and it is the perfect place to start your two-day itinerary as it is centrally located on the island and has a wide range of accommodation and beach resort options. The Aruba town is full of friendly people and welcomes tourists.
A recommended beach resort is the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort. This high-end, palm-lined resort is located on a white sand beach.
The beach is more famously known as Flamingo beach as stunning pink flamingos roam free. In addition to a lively casino and 8 restaurants/bars, the resort has an outdoor pool which spills onto the beach! This makes it perfect for swimming in warm tropical waters.
Day 1 in Aruba
One of the best things about Aruba is the nature that it has to offer and this itinerary is great for those wanting to experience it!
You will have time to explore different beaches, hike through an arid desert landscape and even visit a local animal sanctuary! It is also great for those who want to see as much of Aruba as possible in two days!
Arikok National Park in Aruba
One of the first things to do in Aruba is to head over to Arikok National Park at 8 am, you should enter at the San Fuego Entrance.
Arikok National Park is the only national park in Aruba and is definitely worth the trip. The park has a variety of hiking trails and wildlife, flora, fauna and trees.
This makes for a fun day trip for those who love nature and getting out to do fun activities. Familiarise yourself with the area and take a hike.
The Aruba National Park was created in 2000. It covers 34 square kilometres (7907 acres), occupying the northeastern part of the island and is an example of most of Aruba’s flora and fauna against a backdrop of great geologic complexity.
Approximately 20% of the total land area of Aruba has been designated as a National Park, where protection and preservation efforts can be made for flora, fauna (including endangered species), geology and historical remains.
The Arikok National Park is open 364 days of the year (only closed on January 1st). There are two entrances, the San Fuego Entrance and the Vader Piet Entrance.
The San Fuego Entrance is open Monday–Sunday, 8 am until 4 pm (ticket sales at the Visitor Center close at 3:30 pm). Whereas, the Vader Piet Entrance (San Nicolas) is open 8:30 am to 3 pm.
There is a conservation fee of $11 per adult for non-residents which is payable with a valid ID.
Conchi Natural Pool
During your visit to the park, make sure you check out the natural pool. Truly one of the island’s most unique attractions, the natural pool is a tranquil pool located in volcanic rock formations.
The dramatic shows of water spraying over the rock occur on a regular basis as the tide rushes to shore.
The pool is also known as ‘Conchi’ (bowl) or ‘Cura di Tortuga’ (Turtles Cove) and is a unique natural phenomenon along this stretch of coast. Dedicate an hour of your time in Arikok National Park to explore this.
Natural Pool Horseback Riding Tour in Aruba
If you are feeling particularly adventurous you could add a horse riding tour to your Arikok National Park experience.
During this two-and-a-half-hour tour, get matched with a horse that suits your riding skills and experience. Then follow your guide through Arikok National Park to the Conchi Natural Pool where you get the opportunity to cool off.
The horseback riding tour can also include hotel pick up and drop off making it a great addition to your day trip.
Arikok National Park – Caves
The park is also home to many caves and caverns, some of which are still being explored today.
The best-known of these caves are the Quadirikiri Cave and Fontein Cave, both located within Arikok National Park. During your day at the national park, enter the caves and marvel at their beauty.
The Quadirikiri cave is carved from limestone, with petroglyphs and ceiling openings through which light can enter. Therefore the darkness becomes illuminated by the sunlight streaming through holes in the roof above.
The first chamber extends 100 feet into darkness and features hundreds of bats roosting on ledges. The Fontein Cave is the most popular of the island’s caves, as it contains Arawak Indian cave paintings on its ceiling, giving a real sense of history to this space.
The paintings are thought to date back at least 2000-3500 years and were created by the Arawak Indians who lived on Aruba before Spanish colonization.
Aruba Donkey Sanctuary
If you still have time after your fun day at the national park, head over to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary before it closes at 4 pm.
The animal shelter is a non-profit sanctuary that cares for abandoned donkeys and provides them with food and water. The sanctuary also works to educate the public about the importance of donkeys on the island and how humans should treat them.
The sanctuary is a safe haven for injured or abused wild donkeys, and the owners welcome guests who want to explore the grounds. They offer information about their mission and provide guided tours of their facilities.
There is also a fantastic visitor centre where refreshments are available, along with a donkey-themed gift shop where you can purchase fun souvenirs.
The sanctuary is located in the west of the island and is a must for any animal lover, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about donkeys.
The sanctuary cares for over 100 donkeys at any given time, so you are sure to see many during your visit.
Aruba in the evening
There are many things to do in Aruba in the evening time too. The island is home to some fantastic restaurants and bars.
You can enjoy a drink on the beach or head into town for dinner at one of the many establishments. Many locals come out in the evening, so you are sure to meet some friendly people during your trip.
A highly recommended experience for your first night is to take an Aruba Sunset Sail. Here you will get to experience the magic of the Caribbean sunset whilst out on the water. Soar above the sparkling waters of Aruba on this sunset cruise.
As you sip tropical cocktails, watch as the sun sinks below the horizon and a blanket of stars appears over your head. Enjoy the stunning views of Aruba’s coastline while cruising up to Palm Beach.
Enjoy appetizers and complimentary drinks as you get entertained with storytelling, local music and even dancing! The tour starts at 5:30 pm and lasts for approx 2 hours, dropping you back on the island in time for dinner.
Day 2 in Aruba
After your first day of exploring and being close to nature, Day 2 is all about experiencing the beaches and relaxation that Aruba has to offer.
Spend your day relaxing on the beautiful white sand beaches of Aruba, browsing boutique shops and soaking in the sun.
The island also offers a variety of activities for everyone, from snorkelling and scuba diving to parasailing and jet skiing.
For your second day in Aruba, after a delicious breakfast from your Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, head down to the private beach. Renaissance Beach or also known as Flamingo Beach hosts dozens of pink birds.
Spend the morning in the turquoise sea with the magical creatures. The beach is clean, with white sand and the water is clear with a few small fish swimming around.
It’s a great place for kids as well since it has shallow waters and plenty of shade under palm trees.
After you have spent a relaxed few hours at Renaissance Beach soaking up the morning sun, head up to Palm Beach.
This district of the island is filled with a variety of activities for all ages. There are several shops, restaurants and bars as well as a shopping centre with plenty of souvenir shops and fashion stores.
Take a stroll around the area, browse some shops and enjoy a quick bite to eat at one of the restaurants before heading over to the beach.
The beach here is utterly breathtaking, there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy themselves and the water is crystal clear.
Spend the afternoon on Palm Beach either relaxing on the white sand or you can hire jet skis and partake in other water-based activities such as snorkelling if you are feeling more adventurous.
If you are wondering what is the best beach in Aruba, then Palm Beach may be your answer.
After a relaxing beach and fun watersports day, the first part of your evening is to enjoy panoramic views of the island from the California Lighthouse, where you can climb to the top.
The historic lighthouse stands as a silent sentry at the northern tip of the island, where visitors can enjoy its spectacular views. The lighthouse, which was completed in 1910 offers 360-degree views of Aruba’s coastline and is one of the island’s most iconic structures.
The lighthouse is open to the public every day, from 9:00 am-7:00 pm. Admission is $5 per person. You can visit the lighthouse at any time of day, but sunset is hands down the best time to be there for a 360-degree sunset view.
Therefore, it is advised to go between 6 pm -7 pm to enjoy the sun setting below the blue ocean. The perfect way to start your evening.
Make sure you end your 48 hours in Aruba with a bang by discovering the nightlife that the island has to offer once the sun goes down.
From casinos and nightclubs to lounges and beach bars, there is something for everyone on Aruba’s nightlife scene.
You can book guided nightlife barhopping tours where you will experience the hottest pubs and clubs in the Palm Beach and Eagle Beach areas. Board a party bus with a live DJ and host. Drink Aruba Ariba cocktails (the island’s most popular drink) while cruising around town.
It is the best option for first-time visitors, who get hotel pickup and drop-off included in their tour price.
We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Aruba. The island has something for everyone and is a wonderful place to spend 48 hours! The above itinerary is for those who have only a short amount of time on the island but still want to experience everything Aruba has to offer.
You will have an amazing time and enjoy many memorable experiences. If you are planning a trip to Aruba, make sure you include the highlights mentioned and experience the best of what the island has to offer.
Recommended tours in Aruba
- Aruba UTV Tours – New Natural Cave Pool with Cliff Jumping
- The Arusun – Aruba Catamaran Sail with Snorkeling
- Nightlife Barhopping Tour with DJ and Dancing on Party Bus in Aruba
- Natural Pool Horseback Riding Tour in Aruba
- Private Airport Shuttle Services
- UTV & ATV Aruba’s Secret Beach & Cave Pool Adventure