Aruba’s Easter Camping Tradition
Many of our visitors during the Easter and Passover holidays are quite surprised when they stroll our beaches and discover villages of tents springing up along the shore. The tradition follows the period of Lent (known as Cuaresma to our predominantly Catholic island), specifically during the week before and after Semana Santa (Easter).
Much like “spring break” vacation in the United States, Semana Santa is a time for families to enjoy a reprieve from work and school, and as with most occasions on the island, Arubans are extremely family-oriented, choosing to spend their free time together. The community, in general, is close-knit and Semana Santa is no exception, with large groups of extended family and friends coordinating their camping sites together. Many of these families have been frequenting the same camping area for decades. In fact, the tradition began before even the first hotels sprung up, with locals observing this Holy time in the peaceful setting of nature.
Today, the tradition carries on, organized and monitored by the government, with families obtaining permits in officially designated areas. During camping season, activities like volleyball, beach tennis, soccer, and even live bands are enjoyed.