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With white, sugar-sand beaches, turquoise waters and Divi-Divi trees on its western and southern coasts, Aruba is a beachgoer’s paradise. Or, there’s the wild side: the island is home to a cactus- and boulder-strewn desert, rugged volcanic cliffs lining the east coast and 617-foot Mount Jamanota, which is inhabited by wild parakeets, goats and rattlesnakes.
Just 18 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba has its unique culture and diversity — its human inhabitants come from more than 90 nationalities — that make it worth more than a week on the beach. The local language, Papiamento, is largely based on Spanish and Portuguese with a heavy Dutch influence.
Whatever takes you there, these are some of the best times to visit Aruba.
When to Find the Best Weather in Aruba
Weather in Aruba is fairly consistent throughout the year, with highs often in the mid-80s. It is slightly warmer between May and October, when the highs hover in the low 90s.
Most rainfall occurs between September and January, but even during the rainier months, precipitation often doesn’t last long and there is still plenty of sunshine. Also, Aruba lies outside of the hurricane belt, so tropical storms and hurricanes rarely make landfall there.
The months from February through August receive the least rainfall, rarely exceeding an inch for the month. To avoid the hottest time of year, visit between February and April.
When to Travel to Aruba to Avoid the Crowds
Aruba tends to be busiest between mid-September and mid-April, but if you visit then, all hope is not lost. Most people visit Aruba to enjoy the protected beaches on the western and southern coasts. Venture toward the rugged eastern and northern coasts or inland, and the crowds will be left behind. For a traditional sand beach, Eagle Beach, which is tucked into the busier northwestern coast, is quieter than its neighboring beaches. Manchebo Beach, just south of Eagle, is also a good option for avoiding the crowds.
When to Visit Aruba in Search of Outdoor Adventure
Many visitors to Aruba want to do nothing more than lounge with their toes in sand near their hotel, but the island is home to world-class windsurfing and kitesurfing, snorkeling and water sports of all kinds. Active adventurers also explore the rugged and varied landscape of Arikok National Park on the island’s east coast.
The best time to visit Aruba for windsurfing and kitesurfing is from May through July, when wind speeds average 20-25 knots. The Hi-Winds World Challenge, which takes place in July, is the only Professional Windsurfing Association Grand Prix event in the Caribbean and draws competitors from around the world.
For other water sports, such as snorkeling, where calmer winds and calmer water are preferable, September through November is the best bet. At this time, winds are usually between 10-20 knots.
Arikok National Park can be visited year-round, but is slightly more crowded between January and March. If you are looking to visit Natural Pool — one of the park’s main attractions — avoid visiting during the windiest months of May, June and July.
Best Time to Visit Aruba For Events and Festivals
Aruba is home to plenty of events, holidays and festivals throughout the year.
The Aruba Carnival, marking its 66th year in 2020, is one of the island’s biggest events. The carnival officially starts in November, but most of the events take place in January and February. The festivities include music, costumes, and parades. When the carnival concludes at the Burning of King Momo on Carnival Monday, the entire island shuts down for a day of recovery.
For five days surrounding Memorial Day Weekend, the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival welcomes many big-name DJ’s, musicians and comedians. During the festival, which takes place in the island’s capital, Oranjestad, evenings are filled with comedy, music and after-parties. The days are filled with parties on the beach.
Each July for more than 30 years, Aruba has hosted the annual Aruba Hi-Winds kitesurfing and windsurfing tournament. Thanks to the trade winds, fairly consistent weather and calm seas, the island draws amateur and professional kitesurfers and windsurfers from around the world. During the competition, the beaches are enveloped in excitement and energy. Those who don’t want to compete can watch the events from the shore amid beach parties and live music.
The annual Aruba International Film Festival aims to educate the public on Aruban culture while connecting the local community with the international film community. The festival, which takes place in Palm Beach in October, draws producers and filmmakers from around the globe to celebrate and screen independent and critically acclaimed films and documentaries in an exotic Caribbean atmosphere.
Cheapest Time to Visit Aruba
Since 2017, Aruba has seen a steep increase in the price of accommodations throughout the year. According to data collected by Priceline.com for daily rates for hotels 2.5 stars and above, May tends to be the cheapest month, with average prices in 2019 dipping below $279. Prices in February, which average around $382, are the highest.
Travel metasearch site Kayak.com found that prices in October also tend to be fairly low, often around $306 per night. To get the cheapest rates, it is best to book lodging six months in advance.
At their cheapest, flights to Aruba from the US can vary from approximately $300 to $500, depending on your departure location. According to Skyscanner.com, which looked at airfare data from New York, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles, September tends to be the cheapest time to book flights to Aruba. San Francisco is the one exception, with the lowest rates often found in August.
Know before you go.
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