Aruba’s Noord district combines rich culture and history with natural elements, city center entertainment, and flavorful restaurants. From iconic beaches to historic chapels, these top travel destinations in Noord will help you experience its true heart of Aruba.
Experience Noord’s California Lighthouse from new perspectives during a sunset cruise with Octopus Aruba. Sail along the coast while sipping cocktails and listening to tropical music during this peaceful experience.
Palm Beach is the district’s tourism epicenter, featuring high-rise hotels, world-class restaurants and cafes, nightlife, casinos and shopping. Bubali Bird Sanctuary with its observation tower and herons is also located within this district, while Arashi and Boca Catalina beaches nearby offer amazing snorkeling spots and waves for waves riders to experience.
Though Palm Beach is a bustling tourist spot with lots of activity, there’s still time for restful relaxation. This area boasts many private villas, cottages and bungalows situated close to the beach where visitors can experience sunny Aruba from their very own holiday home – relax by the pool while the kids swim in the ocean, or go diving and snorkeling for some unforgettable aquatic adventures among vivid parrot fish!
Noord Aruba villas and vacation homes make it easy for guests to reach Palm Beach using public transit or taxi – both are easily available outside the Cruise Ship Terminal at an agreed-upon fare set by the Aruba Taxi Association.
Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital city, provides the perfect combination of beachside serenity and city center entertainment. Visitors who spend time here can explore Aruba’s rich cultural traditions at venues such as Fort Zoutman – home of Fort Zoutman Lighthouse from 18th century – Community Museum – former lighthouse) Archaeological Museum of Aruba as well as L.G. Smith Boulevard lined with shopping malls and boutiques while admiring views of Caribbean Sea from L.G. Smith Boulevard lined by shopping malls and boutiques that will allow them to fully experience Aruba!
Oranjestad can be easily navigated thanks to the free Arubus bus service and variety of taxis. Car rentals also allow for more independence while on the road.
Octopus Aruba offers one of the best activities to do in Oranjestad: an afternoon cruise. Travelers will board an inviting catamaran and sip happy hour cocktails while admiring breathtaking vistas – plus this tour provides an ideal opportunity to discover California Lighthouse from a unique vantage point!
People looking for more time on the water can book a guided snorkeling tour with an expert guide. This activity is great fun for all ages and offers guests the chance to see underwater species such as sharks, manta rays, and spotted eagle rays. Popular during September through November when winds have calmed and underwater visibility improves significantly, guests can also swim along Renaissance Island’s sugar white sands and turquoise waters.
Alto Vista Chapel
Alto Vista Chapel stands as a symbol of Aruba’s rich Catholic history and offers spiritual solace for visitors seeking refuge on its northern tip. Constructed by a Venezuelan missionary in 1750, Alto Vista Chapel stands as a beacon for pilgrims searching for spiritual solace.
Though the interior of the chapel may be modest, its picturesque setting draws most visitors. With stunning views of the surrounding landscape and sunrise photography opportunities galore, this spot has quickly become one of the top sunrise photo spots. Furthermore, this peaceful labyrinth provides the ideal spot for prayer and meditation.
To reach the Chapel, visitors must hike a steep path lined with white crosses. Most small-group tours include this sacred site in their itinerary; paying a visit is considered essential when exploring Noord Aruba.
People looking for an easier experience can book tours or excursions through their cruise line or travel agency, which typically include transportation and an expert guide who can provide additional details about the landmark. Alternatively, visitors can rent a car at either of the cruise ports in Oranjestad or one of several rental car agencies nearby and visit Chapel on their own; those taking this approach should bring along GPS or map to help navigate unfamiliar terrain as well as comfortable shoes and water for comfort during this journey.
Natural Bridge is a popular attraction on Aruba’s northern coast and provides breathtaking coastal views from its limestone formations. Though climbing is not recommended due to their fragility, visitors can witness nature at work as waves crash against its rocks – making this spot popular with both photographers and nature lovers. Visitors can reach it via taxi, rental car, ATV.
Though much of the Natural Bridge collapsed due to erosion, a smaller section known as Baby Bridge remains and can be visited free of charge for sightseeing. Attractively designed and filled with incredible natural features, Baby Bridge also serves as a fascinating educational site that displays fossilized big brain coral and fan coral fossils from Aruba’s formation period – providing insight into its rich history.
Noord Aruba offers numerous water sports for visitors who wish to experience its stunning waters, including snorkeling, windsurfing and kayaking at various locations around the island. Boating adventures such as the Octopus Aruba Happy Hour Sunset Cruise allow travelers to sip drinks while taking in stunning vistas from aboard a catamaran.
Casibari Rock Formation
Casibari Rock Formation offers visitors looking for an active vacation experience beyond sunbathing on sandy beaches or shopping duty-free, an intriguing natural marvel. Clusters of giant tonalite boulders gather near Hooiberg in North Aruba; there are walking trails and steps through these rocks allowing visitors to navigate them and take in stunning island views. Cacti and animals such as Shoco burrowing owls and Aruban whiptail lizards make this spot their home, too!
Casibari Rock Formation offers an enchanting display of colors and shapes in its stacked stones that evoke Aruba’s folklore creatures. Though their origin remains unclear, these boulders make an impressive sight – providing families an escape from resort life to experience nature first-hand.
Though most visitors to Aruba spend their time on beaches, there is plenty more to do on this island. One example is Eagle Beach in Aruba’s northwest. Recent guests say it is an idyllic paradise with white sands and clear water; however they warn about high winds which may create flying sand particles.
Other attractions worth seeing in Arikok National Park are Fontein Cave, Quadirikiri Cave and Huliba Cave – each offering unique rock formations and natural lighting effects. To best experience these caves it’s recommended that visitors arrive early morning, in order to beat both high temperatures and cruise ship crowds.
Be sure not to miss an opportunity to witness Aruba’s history and culture by visiting this historic fortress in Oranjestad, located at its core. With its architecture and museum collections highlighting Aruba’s colorful past, you will never want to miss seeing what this landmark offers!
Built as a military fort in 1798, this iconic structure’s rugged coral block walls stand out against Oranjestad’s vibrant streets and vibrant pink-and-yellow storefronts, providing visitors with an unforgettable view. Visitors can climb to the Willem III Tower (original entrance of Fort) for breathtaking panoramic views of Oranjestad as well as an insight into its culture and history.
Fort Zoutman serves not only as a historical landmark, but also as a cultural landmark and community hub for both locals and travelers alike. The fort’s courtyard often hosts cultural events, art exhibitions, and live performances that bring people together within its boundaries.
Aruba offers more than just beautiful white-sand beaches – it has miles of other adventures that are uniquely Aruba! Hike along Hooiberg or take an ATV tour through Aruba Natural Lagoons and Arikok National Park. Additionally, shopping, dining and sightseeing in Oranjestad provide plenty of excitement on their island getaway; making this seaside capital an excellent stopover for cruisers looking for an experience of Dutch culture in the Caribbean region.