Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Palm Beach Aruba Shore Excursion

Aruba photo
© Aruba Tourism Authority

A Palm Beach shore excursion for Aruba visitors is a chance to indulge in plenty of sunning, swimming, shopping and restaurants.

Palm Beach in Aruba is often ranked as one of the best Caribbean beaches—both for the beach itself and for the hotels, restaurants and entertainment that line it. We agree—it is a great beach, although it can get awfully crowded with tourists.

This resort area lies about 15 minutes northwest of Aruba’s capital city of Oranjestad and about 20 minutes by taxi from the Queen Beatrix airport.

The beach attracts visitors to the Palm Beach hotels and resorts, visitors to nearby hotels as well as cruise visitors who come to the Oranjestad port. Cruise visitors will take a taxi, rental car or public bus from the cruise port in Oranjestad to get there.

The public bus terminal is right across the road from the cruise terminal. A public bus is the cheapest way to go and costs $2.60 one way (prices subject to change). The route is a straight line along a single avenue.

Taxi rates are fixed according to destination and will cost about $11 one way for up to five people.

The closeness to the capital makes it easy for cruise and hotel visitors to spend the afternoon shopping, visiting entertainment spots or just touring the long strip that makes up the commercial part of Palm Beach.

Palm Beach Tips

LG Smith Boulevard
L.G. Smith Boulevard runs between Oranjestad and Palm Beach. © Scott S. Bateman

The beach is long, broad and covered with white powdery sand that defines the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Anyone who favors a little less sun also will find plenty of palm trees that whisper in the steady trade winds.

The ocean water is usually comfortable year-round and offers many opportunities for watersports including sailing, kayaking, fishing, jet skis, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Hotels lining the beach rent equipment and excursions for anyone interested in more than spending time on the sand.

Shopping and Dining

What also makes Palm Beach attractive is the strip of shops and especially the restaurants that line Irausquin Boulevard on the other side of the hotels.

Vacationers walk up and down the strip throughout the evening to eat dinner at the numerous outdoor patios, enjoy something to drink or spend time people watching. Cars slowly drive along the street and add to a casual and festive atmosphere.

People who stay at hotels or resorts outside of Palm Beach often walk or drive to it to take advantage of the amenities.

Palm Beach Plaza Attraction

One of the highlights of the strip is the Palm Beach Plaza, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex located at the northern end of the boulevard. It also is the largest shopping mall in Aruba.

The plaza has a movie theater and bowling alley. The biggest draw is the outdoor amphitheater that often offers live entertainment including dancers, singers, water displays and light shows.

Visitors come and go as they please and sit on concrete platforms to watch the entertainment. The shows are free, and tickets are not required.

For budget-minded visitors, the plaza has a small food court with inexpensive cafes and restaurants.

Aruba restaurants
Outdoor restaurants are common along the Palm Beach strip. © Aruba Tourism Authority

Palm Beach Restaurants

The strip is known for its restaurants, many of which have open-air seating. Most of them are on the main drag of Irausquin Boulevard. Quite a few more line the side streets away from the beach.

Cuisines cover most of the major choices including Italian, American, French, Asian, seafood and various forms of international. Menus and prices range from pizza parlors to high-end cuisine.

Seafood restaurants include Aqua Grill at J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 374 and Hadicurari Restaurant at Irausquin 230.

Brazilian steakhouses include Amazonia Churrascaria Restaurant at Irausquin Boulevard 374 and Texas de Brazil Churrascaria Restaurant at 382.

Palm Beach Weather

Aruba monthly rainfall
Aruba monthly rainfall. © Scott S. Bateman

Aruba lovers often say that no time is a bad time to visit Aruba because the island receives so little rainfall throughout the year.

That belief has an element of truth because Aruba is one of the most arid islands in the Caribbean. But it does have times that are better for visiting than others.

The island averages about one inch of rain per month or sometimes less from January through September.

The average climbs to about three inches from October through December, according to the Meteorological Department of Aruba.

For sun and beach lovers, the cloud cover is lowest of the year from January through March.

The average high temperature ranges from the mid 80s Fahrenheit to around 90 throughout the year. Summer heat can make the beach sand painful to bare feet.

Seawater is somewhat cool or even uncomfortable at times during the winter months as we found out during a February visit.

Palm Beach Hotels

Cruise visitors who want to come back to Aruba for a week or more will find plenty of hotels to consider. Aruba doesn’t have all-inclusive resorts like Jamaica or Dominican Republic that are essentially enclosed compounds that don’t give anyone a reason to leave.

Rather, Aruba has hotels that offer optional all-inclusive packages—usually unlimited food and drink for a large amount of money. It is less expensive to buy meals and drinks individually and not buy them as part of a package.

Anyone considering a vacation at Palm Beach should know it consists of a large block of hotels along Irausquin Boulevard until the boulevard ends at L.G. Smith Boulevard.

A smaller group of hotels lie just beyond the end of Irausquin. Anyone wanting a quieter location should consider the northern end of Palm Beach, while the center offers the most activity and people.

Major Palm Beach hotels include:

  • Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
  • Brickell Bay Beach Club and Spa
  • Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino
  • Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club
  • Playa Linda Beach Resort
  • Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino and Spa
  • Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive
  • The Westin Resort and Casino
  • Tierra del Sol Resort, Spa and Country Club
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
March 12, 2024

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