Deciding between Aruba or Anguilla for vacation? You’ve come to the right place, as I’ve visited each island.

Aruba and Anguilla have picturesque beaches, beautiful landscapes, and excellent seafood. But there are key differences that set them apart. But, which is better for a vacation? 

In a nutshell, Aruba is the best destination for adventure seekers that enjoy hiking and exploring natural attractions. Anguilla is the best destination for beach lovers that want to stay in an upscale resort and lounge on the beach.

But, that’s just scratching the surface.

I’ve put together this guide on the key differences in tourist activities, beaches, cost, and much more, to help you choose where to plan your next trip!

Read on to learn how Aruba compares to Anguilla. 

Aruba vs Anguilla
Aruba vs Anguilla
(Photo by: Cory Bjork | Kiril Georgiev)
Aruba vs Anguilla

Aruba At A Glance

Known for its pristine white sand beaches and rocky landscape, Aruba is a popular vacation destination, and for good reason.

Whether you’re looking to go on an ATV tour through the mountains or snorkel on the beach, Aruba has something for everyone. 

palm beach
Palm Beach, Aruba
(Photo by: Lex Melony)

Similar to Anguilla, Aruba has numerous pristine white sand beaches that are perfect for swimming.

The most popular beaches in Aruba are Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, which are surrounded by seafood restaurants, watersports concessions, and beach bars. 

Aruba also has excellent opportunities for snorkeling, with Arashi Beach and Baby Beach being a few of the many popular snorkeling spots. 

Unlike Anguilla, Aruba has a rugged desert landscape with mountains covered with cacti. Additionally, Aruba is generally windier and more humid than Anguilla.

From underground caves to natural pools, Aruba has plenty to discover beyond the beaches.

Hilltop in Aruba
Hilltop in Aruba
(Photo by: Raoul Croes)

The Arikok National Park is Aruba’s most popular tourist attraction, which covers roughly 20% of the island!

You can explore Arikok National Park to see caves, natural pools, and fascinating wildlife. If you don’t enjoy hiking, ATV and UTV tours are prominent in Aruba. 

aruba mountain
Arikok National Park
(Photo by: Michael Matloka)

Like Anguilla, Aruba has many incredible seafood restaurants. However, Aruba has more budget-friendly options, with small shacks and food vendors along the beach. 

Compared to Anguilla, Aruba has more kid-friendly tourist activities, including a lighthouse, butterfly farm, and animal sanctuaries.  

To get around Aruba, car rentals, taxis, and public transportation are all reliable options. Aruba has a bus (Arubus), and free trolley for public transportation, with taxis being widely available.

Where To Visit in Aruba

Whether it’s hiking through Arikok national park or going on long beach walks, Aruba has something fun for everyone. 

Aruba has long stretches of white sand beaches surrounded by restaurants and resorts, with Palm Beach and Eagle Beach being the most popular beaches. 

Palm Beach has a pier, watersports concessions, cafes, shops, and the popular Moomba Beach Bar. Eagle Beach has beach huts, chair rentals, showers, and the famous Coco Loco Beach Bar. 

Mangel Halto Beach
Mangel Halto Beach
(Photo by: Raoul Croes)

If you’re looking to avoid crowds, head to Mangel Halto Beach or Baby Beach for a more serene environment. These beaches are secluded and perfect for relaxing. 

For those looking to snorkel, Aruba has many excellent spots. Baby Beach, Arashi Beach, and Boca Catalina are just a few of the many amazing beaches Aruba has for snorkelling. 

Boca Catalina Beach
Boca Catalina Beach
(Photo by: Creativity Media Vershka)

A must visit attraction for anyone visiting Aruba is exploring Arikok National Park. Arikok National Park is a rugged desert national park with caves, natural pools, bridges, and more.

Within Arikok National Park, you can visit the Quadriki Caves, Conchi natural pool, and the Baby Natural Bridge.  

Conchi Natural Pool
Conchi Natural Pool in Arikok National Park
(Photo by: Alin Meceanu)

Other fascinating sites worth visiting in Aruba are the Bushiribana ruins, California Lighthouse, and the Alto Vista Chapel.

The Bushiribana ruins are remnants of a 19th century gold mill, and the California Lighthouse and Alto Vista Chapel are two beautiful buildings with scenic ocean views. 

Bushiribana Ruins
Bushiribana Gold Ruins
(Photo by: Walter Dziemianczyk)

If you’re traveling with kids, you can visit De Palm Island or one of the many animal sanctuaries in Aruba.

De Palm Island is a small island with a kid’s water park that’s just a 5 minute ferry from the coast. Or, you can stop by the Butterfly Farm, Philip’s Animal Garden, or Donkey Sanctuary!

Here is a list of the top tourist attractions in Aruba. 

  • Arikok National Park
  • California Lighthouse
  • Philips Animal Garden
  • Bushirinaba Ruins
  • De Palm Island
  • Donkey Sanctuary
  • Butterfly Farm
  • Baby Natural Bridge
Aruba vs Anguilla

Anguilla At A Glance

Known for its upscale resorts and stunning beaches, Anguilla is a small island in the northeast Caribbean.

Anguilla has a relatively flat landscape compared to Aruba, and is surrounded by luxurious resorts and golf courses.  

If you’re looking to spend the majority of time lounging on the beach and trying delicious restaurants, Anguilla’s the place for you. 

Four Seasons in Barnes Bay, Anguilla
Meads Bay, Anguilla (Photo by: Cory Bjork)

Similar to Aruba, Anguilla has several incredible beaches for swimming. Shoal Bay East, Mead’s Bay, Rendezvous Bay, and Sandy Ground Beach are the most beautiful beaches in Anguilla.

The beaches are surrounded by luxurious resorts, restaurants, and beach bars. Regardless of which beach you stay at in Anguilla, there’s at least one incredible restaurant and bar within walking distance. 

Compared to Aruba, Anguilla doesn’t have as many prominent snorkeling spots and natural attractions. However, Anguilla has golf courses, yoga studios, art galleries, and spas throughout the island. 

In addition, Anguilla has long stretches of beaches with soft white sand that are perfect for walking around. 

One of the major differences between Aruba and Anguilla is the types of accommodations. Anguilla has many upscale resorts with infinity pools, golf courses, spas, and unbeatable ocean views.

Meads Bay, Anguilla (Photo by: Steve Adams)

If you’re looking for a romantic place to stay for a honeymoon, Anguilla is the clear winner over Aruba. 

Where To Visit In Anguilla

Whether you’re looking to explore nearby islands on a boat charter or relax on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Anguilla has something for you. 

Nearly all of Anguilla’s beaches have lounge chair rentals, water sports concessions, restaurants, and bars. 

Shoal Bay, Anguilla (Photo by: Steve Adams)

Head to Shoal Bay East to relax on one of Anguilla’s most notable beaches. Shoal Bay East is a 2 mile beach with powdery white sand and bright turquoise waters.

In Shoal Bay East, make sure to drop by Gwen’s Reggae Bar & Grill to try rum punch and great seafood. 

Shoal Bay, Anguilla (Photo by: by Robert L from Pixabay)

An activity you won’t want to miss doing in Anguilla is visiting the nearby small islands on a boat charter. Anguilla has 3 prominent off island cays, including Prickly Pear Cays, Scilly Cays, and Sandy Island.

These islands have serene beaches and each has a seafood restaurant. Additionally, Prickly Pear Cays is one of the best spots for snorkeling in Anguilla. 

For long walks on the beach, stroll along Rendezvous Bay Beach or Meads Bay Beach. Rendezvous Bay Beach is a 2 mile beach with soft powdery white sand, and the famous Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve Bar.

Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla
Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla (Photo by: Jaege Ranna)

You can enjoy live reggae music at Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. 

Similarly, Meads Bay Beach has numerous upscale resorts, excellent restaurants, including the popular Blanchards Beach Shack.

The Blanchards Beach Shack is a family-friendly beach shack that serves delicious food and offers chair rentals. From mahi mahi burgers to jerk chicken, you won’t want to miss visiting this place. 

If you want to shop on vacation, there’s plenty of boutiques, gift shops, and art galleries scattered throughout the island. 

For nightlife, head to Sandy Ground Beach to enjoy live music at Elvis’s Beach Bar or Johnno’s. 

Here are some of the best places to visit in Anguilla. 

  • Shoal Bay East
  • Mead’s Bay
  • Rendezvous Bay
  • Scilly Cays, Prickly Pear Cays, and Sandy Island 
  • Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve
  • Blanchards Beach Shack
  • Gwen’s Reggae Music & Bar
  • Elvis Beach Bar
  • Johhno’s
Aruba vs Anguilla

Which island is better for a vacation?

Aruba and Anguilla both have beautiful landscapes and picturesque beaches. 

Aruba is the best destination for adventure seekers that want to snorkel, hike, and explore natural attractions. 

Anguilla is the ideal destination for those looking to stay in an upscale resort, relax on the beach, and dine out at fancy restaurants. 

Generally speaking Aruba has more snorkeling and hiking opportunities, whereas Anguilla has more notable resorts and restaurants. 

Ultimately, the best destination will depend on where you stay and the activities you choose to do. 


Aruba and Anguilla both have pristine white sand beaches that are ideal for swimming and watersports. 

The most popular beaches in Aruba are Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, whereas the most popular beaches in Anguilla are Shoal Bay East and Rendezvous Bay Beach.

All of these beaches have watersports, restaurants, and bars. 

Aruba has better snorkeling opportunities, with Baby Beach, Arashi Beach, and Boca Catalina all being great spots. Anguilla has a few good beaches for snorkeling, but they’re not as accessible as Aruba.

The best spots for snorkeling in Anguilla are Prickly Pear Cays, and Little Bay Beach, which are only accessible by boat. 


Aruba’s cuisine is unique and inspired by Caribbean, Dutch, and South American food.

Some unique dishes you won’t want to miss trying while in Aruba are keshi yena (stuffed cheese), patacon (fried plantain sandwiches) and Dutch pancakes. 

The food in Anguilla is a blend of Caribbean, Spanish, French, African, and Spanish cuisine. Some dishes worth trying in Anguilla are jerk chicken, pigeon peas and rice, and johnnycakes. 


Aruba and Anguilla both have incredible Caribbean and seafood restaurants. In general, Aruba has a greater variety of budget friendly options, with plenty of small restaurants and food trucks. 

Anguilla’s restaurants are on the more expensive side, and there’s fewer options overall. 

If you’re looking for cheap food in Anguilla, Ken’s Roadside BBQ is the best option. It’s a barbecue stand open from Thursday to Saturday that serves delicious chicken and ribs. 


Aruba and Anguilla have warm weather year-round, with dry climates.

Aruba’s average temperature ranges from 76 F to 91 F whereas Anguilla’s climate ranges from 76 F to 87 F throughout the year. 

Cost to Travel

Anguilla is generally more expensive to travel to than Antigua since it has more upscale resorts and expensive restaurants.

The average price for a hotel in Aruba is $344, whereas the average price for a hotel in Anguilla is $823


Aruba and Anguilla have plenty of bars to enjoy a night out, but Aruba has a more lively nightlife overall.

Aruba has jazz cafes, lively nightclubs, party bars, and casinos, whereas Anguilla has laid-back beach bars and lounges primarily.  


Aruba and Anguilla are some of the safest Caribbean islands to visit. Like any other destination, always be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and read about the areas before visiting. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Aruba is from January through May, whereas Anguilla is from December to April, during their dry seasons. 

If you’re looking to save money, the cheapest time to visit Aruba is from April to December while the cheapest time to visit Anguilla is from September to October. 

FAQ: Aruba vs Anguilla for Vacation

Is Aruba or Anguilla better for a honeymoon?

Aruba and Anguilla are excellent honeymoon destinations, but Anguilla has more notable all-inclusive resorts and beaches.

Many of Anguilla’s resorts have infinity pools, spas, spectacular oceanfront views, and offer amenities for couples.

Additionally, Anguilla has serene beaches that are perfect for long walks on the beach.  That being said, Aruba is ideal for couples that prefer adventurous activities like hiking, snorkeling, and driving ATVs.

For a full list of romantic activities Aruba has to offer, read our article on the 20 best things to do in Aruba for couples.

Is Aruba or Anguilla better for a family vacation?

Aruba and Anguilla can both be great for a family vacation, but Aruba has more kid-friendly tourist activities.

Aruba has a butterfly farm, waterpark, and multiple animal sanctuaries.

Anguilla doesn’t have as many kid-friendly attractions, but many of the resorts have kid-friendly amenities and water sports. 

How far is Aruba from Anguilla?

Aruba is 973 km or 605 miles from Anguilla. 

How do you get to Anguilla from Aruba?

The only way to get to Anguilla from Aruba is to take a connecting flight, which will include a layover.

Some airlines that offer flights from Aruba to Anguilla are Delta, JetBlue, Avianca, COPA, American, and United Airlines. 

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