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Hiking down Aruba’s dirt trails, hidden paths and prickly-pear littered plains might get hot. It definitely demands a bit of endurance.
But if you pack plenty of water and SPF, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the island’s natural wonders, blissful solitude and a dash of adventurous adrenaline.
Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or simply seeking a bit of exercise, Aruba has plenty of hiking trails to discover. When planning a holiday to the Caribbean, hiking may not be the first activity you think of (usually that’s sun bathing on the beach, a very valid thought as well). Yet, the Caribbean islands are equipped with lush palm trees and cacti-filled plains, challenging rock formations and refreshing waterfalls. This makes hiking one of the better ways to explore the islands, Aruba included. Those seeking a challenge, some guidance, new friends or all of the above, will appreciate one of the many guided hiking tours offered on the island. Yet, with a selection of trails ranging from easy to advanced, hikers are encouraged to uncover the island by themselves. Aruba has hiking trails galore, so let’s uncover the favourites.
Aptly titled, the Hooiberg hike takes you up Aruba’s iconic Hooiberg – a bushy peak that looms tall over Oranjestad and Santa Cruz. One of Aruba’s famed hiking trails (not to mention, one of the most popular hiking activities in Aruba), you can reach the summit of Hooiberg via a set of colourfully painted stairs. The climb will take you about half an hour and on clear days, you might even spot Venezuela. Yet, more daredevil paths are available to those who believe the stairs to be a piece of cake. Red dots and arrows indicate a small yet rocky hiking trail that allows you to part-walk-part-climb your way to the top. No Venezuela? No problem! You’ll surely spot beautiful wildflowers and sensational cacti on your way. Perhaps, you’ll even see a mountain goat.
Once you’ve climbed the Hooiberg, you might be looking for your next Aruban hiking tour, trail or adventure. Thankfully, the island is full of them. Those with restless feet can move them towards the Conchi Natural Pool, a glistening calm body of water surrounded by rocks and the Caribean sea. There are a few hikes to this natural pool of Aruba, one starting at Artikok National Park and leading alongside the island's cliffs, lush palm trees and saguaros (those cacti you see in westerns). A shorter hike leads you alongside white sandy beaches and lush wildflowers towards the Conchi Natural Pool in a bit over an hour. For the history buffs, there’s a solitary dirt trail that leads towards a decommissioned gold mill in Bushiribana, reminiscent of Aruba’s gold rush. Yet, hikers can likely keep themselves entertained for days amongst the natural wonders of Artikok National Park, or alongside the cliffs and beaches that circumvent the island. Choose your own adventure and don’t forget to pack your blister plasters!
If you’re an avid hiker (or the adventurous type of traveller) and you’re keen to holiday on one or more of the Caribbean islands, you’ll likely wonder which is the best Caribbean island for hiking. To be fair, they’re all great choices. But whereas the Twin Peaks of St. Lucia and the summits of the Dominican Republic make these destinations ideal for weathered mountain climbers, the welcoming trails of Aruba offer a more laid-back or family-friendly experience.
Although we’ve hopefully established hiking as an unmissable Caribbean experience, hikers might also find themselves attracted to more aquatic endeavours. Aruba isn’t just a great destination for hiking, but one of the best Caribbean islands for snorkelling and enjoying white sandy beaches. You might even enjoy exploring the island via bike tour. In other words: if you holiday to Aruba, you’ll never run out of things to do.
We’re just getting started with the amazing effects Aruba has to offer. Dig into your trip details below to unlock a Caribbean experience that will leave you sunnier, happier, and (of course) a little more tanned.