Looking for non touristy activities to do in Aruba? If so, this article’s for you!

I have visited Aruba, and have discovered many hidden gems along the way. From trying Dutch pancakes to birdwatching, there’s something on this list for everyone. 

Here are the 25 best non touristy things to do in Aruba. 

Top 25 Non Touristy Things To Do In Aruba

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1. Hike Arikok National Park

Hike around Arikok National Park to see some of Aruba’s most beautiful natural attractions. The park makes up nearly 20% of Aruba, and has natural pools, caves, desert hills, and many excellent hiking trails.

At the top of Arikok mountain, you’ll get spectacular views of the island. Also in Arikok National Park are the fascinating Quadiriki and Fontein Caves.

You’ll get to see bats in the Quadiriki caves, and native Arawak Indian cave drawings in the Fontein Caves.

If you don’t enjoy hiking, you can explore the park on an ATV tour.  

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

2. Try keshi yena at the Old Cunucu House Restaurant

If you’re looking for authentic Aruban cuisine, the Old Cunucu House is the place to go. From iguana soup to keshi yena, they serve some of Aruba’s best local delicacies.

Keshi yena is Aruba’s national dish, and it consists of stuffed Gouda cheese filled with spiced meat. 

3. Explore the Bushiribana Gold Ruins

Head to the Bushiribana Gold Ruins or Balashi ruins to explore the remnants of abandoned gold mills from the 18th century.

You’ll get breathtaking views of the beach, and the ruins are free to visit. The Bushiribana Gold Ruins are right by the Ostrich Farm, and the Balashi Ruins are right by the Donkey Sanctuary on the west side. 

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

4. Admire Street Art In San Nicolas

Stroll down San Nicolas to admire Aruba’s street art. The main street of San Nicolas is surrounded by colorful murals, including hyperrealistic paintings of turtles, butterflies, and more impressive artwork.

San Nicolas is Aruba’s second largest city, and it’s a 30 minute drive away from Oranjestad. 

Mural in San Nicolas
Mural in San Nicolas
(Photo by: Pascal Muller)

5. Visit Aruba’s Butterfly Farm

Head to Aruba’s Butterfly Farm to see hundreds of colorful butterflies in a large enclosure. If you’re traveling with kids, this is a great place to visit.

The farm has a relaxing atmosphere, and there are guided 20 minute tours available throughout the day. The farm is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily. 

Butterfly Farm, Aruba
Butterfly Farm, Aruba
(Photo by: Gregory Wangsadikrama)

6. Have a picnic at Mangel Halto Beach

Stop by Mangel Halto Beach for a peaceful picnic. Mangel Halto is one of Aruba’s most serene white sand beaches, and it is a lot less windy than Palm Beach or Eagle Beach.

It has calm, shallow waters so it’s an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling as well. If you’re up for an adventure, you can kayak through the mangrove forests surrounding Mangel Halto on a glass bottom kayak

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

7. Visit the Alto Vista Chapel

The Alto Vista Chapel is a beautiful small Catholic chapel sitting on top of the hills that’s right by the sea.

The chapel has a calm, tranquil environment and you can hike the surrounding areas for scenic views of the ocean. It’s free to visit and open daily from 7 AM to 6 PM. 

Alto Vista Chapel
Alto Vista Chapel (Photo by: Benjamin R)

8. Savor Apple & Bacon Pancakes from Linda’s Dutch Pancakes

Head to Linda’s Dutch Pancakes on Palm Beach to try out Dutch pancakes. This pancake shop is a favorite by locals, and they offer tons of unique flavors.

From apple and bacon, to pistachio ice cream pancakes, you won’t want to miss visiting this place for breakfast. 

9. Visit Aruba’s Natural Bridges

Head to the Baby Natural Bridge in Arikok National Park to see one of Aruba’s most spectacular natural attractions.

Aruba’s original natural bridge collapsed in 2005, but there is a small Baby bridge that remains. This stunning bridge is excellent for photos, and has a gift shop that sells souvenirs, snacks and drinks. 

Another beautiful hidden natural bridge worth visiting in Aruba is the Seroe Colorado Arch in San Nicolas.

Rocky bay
Seroe Colorado Arch, San Nicolas
(Photo by: David Troeger)

10. Swim in the Conchi Natural Pool

Head to the Conchi Natural Pool to swim in a protected natural pool surrounded by boulders. The natural pool has crystal clear waters, colorful fish, and offers breathtaking views of the ocean.

You’ll need to rent a jeep, or take a guided tour to get to the pool but it’s well worth it. 

Conchi Natural Pool
Conchi Natural Pool
(Photo by: Alin Meceanu)

11. Climb the California Lighthouse

Visit the California Lighthouse and climb to the top for striking views of the island. The climb to the top is over 100 steps but the views make it well worth it.

It’s minutes away from Arashi beach, so it’s the perfect place to stop to watch the sunset. 

California Lighthouse
California Lighthouse, Aruba
(Photo by: Raoul Croes)

12. Climb Mt. Hooiberg

Visit Mt. Hooiberg or “Haystack mountain” to climb a steep mountain for unbeatable views of the island.

It’s a 0.5 mile hike up a long concrete staircase to reach the top of the mountain, and there’s a gazebo halfway where you can stop to rest.

The hike is moderately challenging, but the views from the top are priceless. 

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

13. Snorkel around the Antilla Shipwreck

Snorkel around the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean at the Antilla shipwreck! This shipwreck is surrounded by vibrant corals, tropical fish, and tons of marine life.

The only way to get to the shipwreck is to take a boat tour.

The best and highest rated tour is the Arusun Catamaran Sail. This catamaran cruise provides drinks, snacks, and all equipment you’ll need to snorkel around Antilla and Catalina Bay. 

14. Try a patacon or arepa from Tia Rosa Snack food truck

Stop by the Tia Rosa food truck near Mangel Halto beach to try a patacon. 

The patacon is a sandwich made with fried plantains serving as the bread, and it’s one of the most delicious local foods to try in Aruba. The food truck also sells arepas, pastechis, empanadas, and more. 

Arepa from food truck in Aruba
Arepa from food truck in Aruba
(Photo by: Colynary Media)

15. Snorkel at Arashi and Boca Catalina Beach

If you’re looking to snorkel, head to Boca Catalina or Arashi beach. Boca Catalina beach is a secluded bay with crystal clear waters and tons of tropical fish.

Arashi beach is another popular spot for snorkeling with gentle waters and shallow corals. These beaches don’t have equipment rentals, but you can rent snorkeling equipment from Aruba Watersports on Palm Beach for the day. 

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

16. Feed Donkeys carrots at Philip’s Animal Garden

Visit Philip’s Animal Garden to see over 50 species of exotic animals. For $10, you’ll be given a bag of carrots to feed various animals throughout the park.

This animal sanctuary has shetland ponies, potbelly pigs, capuchin monkeys, and other fascinating wildlife.

If you’re traveling with kids, you definitely won’t want to miss visiting this place. They’re open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. 

Philip's Animal Garden
Photo by: Walter Dziemianczyk

17. Visit Black Stone Beach

Head to Black Stone Beach to visit the only black sand beach in Aruba. The beach has turquoise waters and shores lined with small black stones, making it a great spot to take pictures.

The beach is within walking distance to the Tripod bridge, another place worth stopping by for pictures. 

18. Get groceries at the Superfood Plaza

Stop by Superfood Plaza in Oranjestad to shop at Aruba’s largest grocery store. This large supermarket has a cafe, bakery, and a variety of foods at reasonable prices.

You can pick Dutch coffee, Dutch chocolate, and other specialty items to bring home from vacation. 

19. Hike the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations

Hike around the Ayo or Casibari Rock Formations to see interesting rock formations, caves, tunnels, and fascinating native paintings.

The Casibari Rock formations are a slightly easier hike than the Ayo Rock formations, and they have a gift and snack shop on site. However, both sites offer spectacular 360 views of the island from the top. 

20. Try Aruban style cornbread from Zeerovers

If you’re looking for a restaurant with a non-touristy feel, Zeerovers in Savaneta is the place to go! Zeerovers is one of Aruba’s most popular local restaurants, that serves Aruban style cornbread and fresh seafood. 

21. Birdwatch at Bubali Bird Sanctuary

Head to Bubali Bird Sanctuary to watch over 80 species of migratory birds including pelicans, wood storks, egrets, and more.

This peaceful sanctuary is free to visit, and minutes away from the Butterfly Farm. For the best views, climb up the watchtower on the North side of the sanctuary, and don’t forget your binoculars!

22. Ride the Oranjestad Trolley

Hop aboard the trolley in Oranjestad to explore the main street downtown area for free. You’ll get to past by the House of Parliament, Fort Zoutman, the Protestant Church, and more!

The streetcar travels from the cruise ship terminal to downtown Oranjestad every 25 minutes, from 10 AM to 5 PM. 

Trolley in Oranjestad Aruba
Trolley in Oranjestad Aruba
(Photo by: Katalin Hoczane Melich)

23. Feed an ostrich at the Ostrich Farm

Visit the Ostrich Farm to see emus, ostriches, and various farm animals.

You can take a guided tour to feed the ostriches, or stop by the farm’s restaurant to try ostrich eggs! Tours are available daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. 

Ostrich in Aruba
Photo by: Walter Dziemianczyk

24. Shop at the Local Market

Head to the Local Market Flea Market in Oranjestad to shop souvenirs, jewelry, hats, and more at reasonable prices. The flea market has a smoothie shop, food trucks, and is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. 

25. Visit the Historical Museum of Aruba

Head to the Historical Museum of Aruba to see Aruba’s oldest building, Fort Zoutman. This military fort was built all the way in 1796, and you can tour the inside to learn about Aruba’s history, culture, and more.

The museum is open daily except Sunday, at the following hours.


  • Monday through Friday: 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM to 2 PM


From trying local delicacies to admiring local street art, there’s plenty of non touristy activities to enjoy in Aruba! Plus, most of these tourist activities are free since Aruba’s filled with natural beauty. 

If you plan on visiting Aruba, make sure to pack sunscreen, bug spray, good hiking shoes, and snorkel sets to avoid paying for rentals.

And if you’re wondering how long to stay, 4 to 7 days is a good amount of time to fully explore the island. 

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