Aruba: When to Visit
Best time for Good Weather: mid-February to May
Best time for Sightseeing: April – May
Best time for Honeymoon: April – August
Best time for Saving Money: September – October
Best time for Families: June – August
Best time for Partying: January – February
Best time for Snorkeling: mid April to August
Best time for Wind-Surfing: May – July
Best Time to Visit Aruba:
The best time to visit Aruba is from April to May, after the island’s peak tourist season has ended and before the hot summer temperatures set in. April and May get the least amount of rain and fall right before the beginning of the hurricane season – which rarely affect Aruba but do bring increased precipitation. Early fall is also a good time to visit to take advantage of the low season rates and fewer crowds but are the rainiest months of the year and have the highest chances of tropical storms.
Best Time for Families:
When planning around the kids’ school schedule, summer break is the best option for Aruba as it is still considered off-season. From June to August it is possible to find travel discounts and hotel rates are typically 20 to 50% cheaper than rates during the peak season. While the rest of the Caribbean islands experience hurricanes and tropical storms during these months, Aruba gets less than 470 mm of rain a year, and a steady breeze from the trade winds helps moderate the summer heat – ideal conditions for sightseeing and sunny beach days with the kids.
Best Time to Book Hotels in Aruba:
The top hotels and resorts, especially those along the beach or the rooms with optimal views of the beach, get booked far in advance during high season. For a vacation between December to March, search 6-12 months ahead to find better prices and selection for hotels along Palm Beach and Eagle Beach. From April to August due to the end of high season, and the advent of hurricane season, last minute hotel deals can be found within 3 months or less before your trip. If you’re planning to visit between September and November, make reservations three to six months in advance.
Best Time to Save Money:
Many travelers avoid Aruba from September to October due to the trade winds dying out and the average daily temperature soaring to 30°C. With no crowds and hotel deals, early fall is an ideal time to visit if high temperatures don’t bother you, just pack high SPF sunscreen, lightweight clothing, a light rain jacket and a waterproof bag for your valuables. Beaches are rarely crowded, activities aren’t fully booked, same day reservations are possible at restaurants, and popular hotels can be booked for 20- 50% less than during high season.
Best Time for Partying:
Aruba celebrates Carnival for 6 weeks from January to February with multiple events, parades, parties, contests, concerts and dancing taking place in multiple districts and cities. The biggest events like the Grand Parade and the Grand Children’s Parade all take place in Aruba’s capital of Oranjestad. Be prepared to pay peak prices for hotels during this time and book accommodation early.
Aruba Travel Seasons:
High Season (December to March):
Winter is the high season in Aruba, with January to February being especially busy due to Carnival. December to March is the most popular time of year to visit as holidays begin and the cold weather sets in up in the northern hemisphere. Although Aruba experiences consistently warm temperatures and a relative lack of tropical storms, the weather from November to March makes ideal conditions for travelers seeking warmth and sun while Aruba’s Carnival period means street parties and celebrations to take part in all over the island. With average daily temperatures of 27-28°C, less rain, cooler evenings, mild but warm and sunny weather, winter sees the biggest crowds and flocks of tourists arriving in Aruba. For sightseeing and visiting attractions like the Donkey Sanctuary, it is recommended to arrive early, close to opening hours to avoid the thickest of crowds.
Shoulder Season (early-April – August):
There is some debate as to whether there is a shoulder season in Aruba or if there is only a high season from December to mid-April and then a low season from early April to November. There is also a lack of consensus as to whether the high season begins in December or September. We have landed on the shoulder season running from April to August with winter holiday visitors leaving by the end of March but the island does not experience a large dip in visitors like in the fall. Temperatures tend to be higher from April to August but trade-winds moderate the heat, keeping the climate comfortable and enjoyable. There are still plenty of events to participate in during the summer season. The last week of April has King’s Day celebrations, the last week of May can bring some crowds with the five-day Soul Beach Music Festival, and the Aruba Hi-Winds Kitesurfing Competition takes place in late June-early July.
Low Season (September – November):
The fall marks the tail end of the hurricane season, which is also the low season in Aruba. The fall generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors from September until the end of November. October and November are some of the wettest months of the year but typical rain showers only last a few minutes before moving on so activities and beaches can still be enjoyed with fewer crowds. Hotels often offer significant discounts, with discounts ranging from 20-50% lower than the high season however hotels sometimes use the low season for new construction or renovation so make sure to call and ask before booking your room. Some activities and attractions scale back a bit during the low season so a tour operator may offer only three excursions per day instead of 6 and restaurants might close an hour earlier. Make sure to plan ahead and confirm activities and reservations with these potential alterations in mind.
Weather of Aruba:
Out of around 700 islands in the Caribbean, Aruba consistently has the least amount of rainfall while enjoying a tropical climate all year round with average daytime temperatures of 29°C. The trade winds temper the heat and blow nearly all year long, providing relief from the muggy humidity. The east coast of Aruba is affected by strong sea currents while the western and southern coasts are more sheltered, however as a flat island the weather does not vary from coast to coast.
Aruba Weather in January:
January is the coldest month of the year in Aruba but with an average daily high of 27°C and a mild low of 24°C it remains quite comfortable. Unlike islands in the northern Caribbean which can become quite cool in the winter months, especially in the evenings, Aruba stays relatively hot all year round. Precipitation is mild in January as the rainy season begins to taper off. An average of 40mm of rain can be expected over an average of 8 days. Sunshine is plentiful with 8 hours of daily sunshine, leaving plenty of time to enjoy beach days and ideal swimming conditions with the sea measuring 26°C in January. Bring tropics-friendly, light clothes made of cotton or linen, and possibly a light raincoat for thunderstorms. As the coldest month of the year, a light sweater and long pants for the evening are also recommended if you are sensitive to cooler temperatures (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm).
Aruba Weather in February:
The weather in February remains quite similar to January with a small increase in the average daily high and a marked decrease in precipitation. The average daily high temperature in February is 28°C with an average low of 24°C. Mid – February marks the beginning of the least rainy period of the year with only an average 5 rainy days expected all month. The sunshine remains at an average of 8 hours per day and the sea temperature remains a comfortable 26°C – ideal conditions for spending time at the beach and swimming in the sea. Pack as you would for January, remembering those light layers for the cool evenings and sunscreen for strong UV rays during the day. The sunshine in Aruba is very strong and the constant breeze from the trade winds is deceiving. Sunscreen is imperative for everyone. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm).
Aruba Weather in March:
March is one of the driest months of the year with only 2 days of rain and the beginning of warmer temperatures. The average daily high remains at 28°C but the mercury often rises to 30°C, while the average low increases by a degree in March to 25°C. The sunshine remains at an average of 8 hours per day and the sea temperature remains 26°C, offering a chance to cool off. Pack light tropics-friendly clothing, swimsuits and sun protection, including sunscreen with SPF of 35 or higher as UV rays are very strong in Aruba (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm).
Aruba Weather in April:
The other driest month of the year, April’s weather is the same as March except the maximum high can rise by 2°C – ushering in the beginning of summer and the end of spring with the promise of hotter temperatures and higher humidity. The average daily high remains at 28°C for with a low of 25°C and only 2 days with precipitation are expected all month. April brings ideal conditions to enjoy sunny beach days with 8 hours of daily sunshine and the sea offers a chance to cool down at 26°C. Pack as you would for March, light summer clothing, plenty of swimsuits and various forms of sun protection including high SPF sunscreen (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm).
Aruba Weather in May:
May is a great month to visit Aruba with much fewer crowds and hot summer weather just around the corner. The average daily high remains 28°C but can rise up to 32°C throughout the month. The average low increases to 26°C so booking a hotel with AC is recommended to remain comfortable at nighttime. Precipitation barely increases in May with only 2 days of rain expected but 5 more mm than in April. Bring loose, lightweight clothing, as well as sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to enjoy the 8 hours of daily sunshine. With sea temperatures at 27°C, pack a few bathing suits to swim in the sea as well as at the hotel which might offer a better opportunity to cool down than the warm sea (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 15mm)
Aruba Weather in June:
June is the beginning of the hot summer weather in Aruba, with a maximum temperature of 33°C and a daily average of 29°C. The trade-winds keep the climate comfortable though providing a strong breeze throughout the month. The average low remains 26°C and the number of daily sunshine hours increases to 9, providing more time to enjoy swimming in the sea, which remains a balmy 27°C. June is also the beginning of the hurricane season. Hurricane season runs from June to November, the height running from August to October. Although there is a real danger from tropical storms and hurricanes, they rarely hit Aruba as the island is located on the southern edge of the hurricane belt and hurricanes tend to remain to the north. The most recent hurricane to have hit Aruba was Omar in October of 2008 and Felix in 2007 however if planning a trip during the hurricane season, checking the weather forecast and purchasing trip insurance is recommended. Despite being the beginning of hurricane season, precipitation remains quite low in June with only an average of 3 days with rain throughout the month. Pack as you would for May, light summer clothing, open-toed shoes and sandals for the beach, plenty of swimsuits and various forms of sun protection including high SPF sunscreen (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm).
Aruba Weather in July:
July is one of warmest months of the year in Aruba, but the trade-winds continue to provide a cooling breeze which can be deceiving when it comes to UV rays. With 10 hours of daily sunshine, regularly applying sunscreen, especially after swimming is important for everyone, regardless of how well they tan, to protect against sunburn. July also brings a slight increase in rainfall, with an average of 5 days with rain. However even when it rains showers tend to be very short, providing a reprieve from the heat and leaving plenty of sunshine to enjoy. The average daily high remains 29°C and the daily night time low averages 26°C. Bring loose, lightweight clothing, sun protection, open-toed shoes and sandals. With sea temperatures at 27°C, pack a few bathing suits to swim in the sea as well as at the hotel which might offer a better opportunity to cool down than the warm sea (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm).
Aruba Weather in August:
August is one of the hottest months of the year with an average daily temperature of 30°C with daily maximums reaching as high as 34°C. The average nighttime low increases to 27°C so it’s important to book an air-conditioned room in a hotel with a temperature controlled pool if you want to keep comfortable during those warm nights and scorching days. August also has some of the highest chances of tropical storms so packing rain gear and a waterproof bag for valuables is highly recommended. Despite the chances of tropical storms being higher, precipitation is lower in August than in July with an average of 4 rainy days. The number of average sunshine hours decreases to 9, still leaving plenty of time for outings, excursions and sunny beach days. The sea increases in temperature to a warm and balmy 28°C so swimming at the hotel pool might provide more relief from the heat than the sea. UV levels are high so packing good sun protection and carrying a water bottle during the day to stay hydrated and protected from sun damage is important. Pack tropics-friendly clothing, sandals, and bathing suits (Average Max Temperature: 34°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm).
Aruba Weather in September:
September marks the beginning of the rainy season in Aruba which is also the low season for tourists. The average daily temperature is 30°C and with a drop in the trade-winds, there is less of a breeze to temper the heat. The average daily low remains the same as August at 27°C so booking a hotel with air-conditioned rooms is important for comfortable sleeping conditions. The amount of precipitation increases in September, however the rain falls in short bursts over 4 days, leaving the rest of the month dry and sunny with 9 daily sunshine hours to enjoy swimming in the sea, which remains balmy and warm at 28°C. Pack as you would for August – light tropics-friendly clothing, as well as some moisture wicking clothing, sandals and sun protection (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 45mm).
Aruba Weather in October:
October is the other month when chances for tropical storms and hurricanes are highest in Aruba. Although Aruba is less at risk for hurricanes and storms than other Caribbean islands, monitoring weather reports and purchasing trip insurance is highly recommended. This increased chance of storms also brings double the precipitation than September with an average of 7 days of rain so pack a light rain jacket, rainproof shoes and a waterproof bag to protect valuables in case you get caught in the rain. October is however considered the best month for swimming in the sea with the water temperatures being the highest of the year at 29°C. The average daily high in October drops one degree to 29°C, as does the average daily low to 26°C. However with a drop in the trade-winds, the heat is not tempered so booking a hotel with an air-conditioned room is recommended to remain comfortable at night. The number of daily sunshine hours decreases to 8 but UV rays remain high so packing sun protection is imperative. Also bring tropics-friendly, lightweight clothing and bathing suits along with rain gear and sun protection (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 80mm).
Aruba Weather in November:
November marks the end of the hurricane season in Aruba and the beginning of shoulder season as more travelers begin to flock to the island country to escape colder temperatures up north. The average daily high drops to 28°C and the average night time low remains at 26°C. November is the wettest month of the year with an average of 11 days with rain so plan to visit indoor attractions and activities but there is still a good chance of not seeing any rain as the precipitation is quite moderate in comparison to other Caribbean islands. The average sea temperature in November is 28°C so swimming will be comfortable and warm so make sure to bring your bathing suit, sandals for the beach, sun protection as UV rays are high, as well as a light rain jacket, rain proof shoes and a waterproof bag to protect valuables in case you get caught in the rain (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 95 mm).
Aruba Weather in December:
December is the second rainiest month of the year with 11 days of precipitation and the first month of winter which is reflected in the slightly lower temperatures. The average daily high hovers around 27°C, dipping down to low of 25°C. Despite the high precipitation, the sun shines for an average of 7 hours a day, leaving plenty of time for the beach and excursions. Similar to October and November, make sure to pack a light rain jacket, rain proof shoes and a waterproof bag to protect valuables in case you get caught in the rain as showers tend to be on the heavy side in December. The sea remains warm and comfortable at 27°C so pack a few swimsuits as well as sunscreen as UV rays are strong in Aruba even in December with the clouds and the rain. Bring summer clothing, shorts, tshirts, and dresses along with a few light layers for cooler evenings (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 80mm).
Aruba Events and Festivals:
Aruba in January:
New Year’s Day (Jan 1) – New Year’s Day is an official holiday in Aruba with most businesses, banks and schools being closed. One way to commemorate the new year is to take the “New Year’s Plunge” or “Unox Nieuwjaarsduik” at Moomba Beach in Noord. At 12 o’clock hundreds of swimmers run into the sea together to mark the new year.
Torch Parade (January 2) – The Torch Parade is part of the annual Aruba Carnival Schedule, taking place in Oranjestad on the first Saturday of January. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, in 2020 the Torch Parade took place on January 4th from 8:00pm to 2:00am.
Prince & Pancho Elections (January 10) – Aside from parades, the Aruban Carnival hosts a range of exciting elections & contests. The Prince and Pancho Elections is an event that is part of the annual Aruba Carnival Schedule, taking place in the Carnival Village in San Nicolas in early January. The Prince and Pancho are two figures in Aruba’s carnival tradition. The duo is chosen for their comedy, personality, educational content and audience popularity. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, the Prince and Pancho election took place on January 10th in 2020 from 7:00pm to 2:00am. For more information on the other contests and elections held during Carnival, an official events schedule can be found here.
Parada di Blaas (January 19) – A balloon parade in San Nicolas. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Parada di Blaas took place on January 19th from 1:00pm to 6:00pm.
Tumberito Festival (January 24) – A children’s Tumba music festival that takes place in the Carnival Village in San Nicolas. It is a diminutive of the Aruba Grand Tumba Festival. Tumberito Festival offers an opportunity for children and young participants to display their Tumba music talents. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Tumberito Festival took place on January 24th from 7:00pm to 12:00am
Betico Croes Day (January 25) – Aruba commemorates the birthday of the late Aruban political leader, Gilberto Francois (Betico) Croes. This official holiday features several cultural, sports and musical events throughout the island and there is a national celebration at Plaza Betico in Oranjestad. As an official Aruban holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Caiso & Soca Monarch (January 28, 29, 31) – The Caiso & Soca Monarch consists of three days of Calypso & Roadmarch music (internationally known as Soca music instead of Roadmarch) contests with two days of pre finals, finished by a spectacular grand finale on the last day. The contests take place at the Carnival Village in San Nicolas. Contestants compete against each other for the ultimate title of King or Queen of Caiso & Soca music. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 Caiso and Soca Monarch contests took place on January 28 & 29 from 8:00pm to 1:00am and the finale took place on the 31st from 8:00pm to 3:00am.
Aruba in February:
Super Saturday Soca Finals (February 1) – Held at the Carnival Village in San Nicolas, it is the final night of the Soca category of the Aruba Caiso & Soca Monarch competition. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Super Saturday Soca Finals took place on February 1st from 8:00pm to 3:00am
Grand Tumba Contest (February 7) – Held at the Carnival Village in San Nicolas, this contest features contestants performing Tumba music. Tumba is considered to be a music genre founded on the ABC-islands and is a true part of Aruba’s culture. Although tumba isn’t part of the carnival itself, the rules for the Tumba contest dictate that the lyrics used in the song have to do with carnival. It’s just a way to honor the celebration of carnival. The winner of the Tumba contest is crowned to Tumba King or Queen. Tumba artists sing in Papiamento only. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Grand Tumba Contest took place on February 7th from 8:00pm to 2:00am.
Children’s Parade Noord (February 8) – The district of Noord hosts its own children’s parade during Carnival. Children representing elementary schools and social clubs, as well as babies, participate in the parade and wear different themed costumes with colourful balloons, adornments and headpieces. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Children’s Parade Noord took place on February 8th from 1:00pm to 5:00pm from Bubali Commercial Center to Centro Di Bario Noord.
Transfer of Command (February 9) – Held at Bestuurskantoor – the government house in Oranjestad, it is a ceremony where the Prime Minister of Aruba passes over the command or administration of the island to the Prins & Pancho of Aruba’s Carnival along with a symbolic “key to the islands”. From this point forward, their “court” rule for the duration of Carnival until it’s end at midnight on Ash Wednesday. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Transfer of Command took place on February 9th from 10:00am to 11:00am.
Jouvert Morning (Feb 15) – Popularly known as the “pajama party” thousands of people gather in San Nicolas to follow the various live music caravans that parade down San Nicolas city streets playing soca and calypso music from 4:00am to 10:00am. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Jouvert Morning event took place on February 15.
Lighting Parade (February 15) – An evening carnival parade with thousands of tiny lights incorporated into costumes, road pieces, and floats. Live bands accompany the various participating carnival groups providing live music for the dancers and participants. Held in downtown Oranjestad, the parade begins at 8:00 p.m and ends at 2:00 am. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Lighting Parade took place on February 15.
Grand Children’s Parade (February 16) – The biggest children’s parade of Aruba Carnival taking place in downtown Oranjestad. Beginning at the Avenida Milo Croes and ending at Wilhelminastraat, the Grand Children’s Parade takes place from 2:00pm – 6:00pm. Hundreds of children from all of the children’s Carnival groups participate in colourful costumes and dance in the parade. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Grand Children’s Parade took place on February 16.
Kiwanis Masquerade Ball (February 21) – A masquerade ball hosted by the Palm Beach Aruba Kiwanis Club at the Renaissance Convention Center to raise money for the less fortunate. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Kiwanis Masquerade Ball took place on February 21 from 9:30pm to 2:30am.
San Nicolas Grand Parade (February 22) – A prelude to the Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad. Extravagantly decorated themed floats are accompanied by dancers. The parade runs through the streets of San Nicolas from 12:00pm to 5:00pm.
Aruba’s Grand Parade (February 23) – The largest carnival parade is the Grand Parade through Oranjestad, held on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. This parade includes music, floats and costumes in various designs. The event starts at 12:00pm and continues until 6:00pm. This is the largest and longest of all the Aruba Carnival parades with the most spectators and participants. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 the Grand Parade was held on February 23.
Burn Out Monday / Carnival Monday (February 24) – Carnival Monday is an official holiday that takes place after the weekend of the grand Carnival parades and the Monday before Ash Wednesday. On this official day of rest everyone can recoup and recover from all the parades and festivities that took place in the past 2 months. In 2021, Burn Out Monday / Carnival Monday will fall on February 22. As an official Aruban holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, banks, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Old Mask Parade & Burning of King Momito (February 25) – This event marks the end of the carnival season in the district of San Nicolas and the beginning of Lent. Starting with a parade and ending with the symbolic burning of King Momito (little Momo), the spirit of Aruba’s carnival. The 2021 Carnival Schedule will be published on November 11th, however in 2020 this event was held on February 25 from 7:00pm to 12:00am.
Aruba in March:
National Anthem & Flag Day (March 18) – An official holiday and considered Aruba’s National Day. Arubans celebrate the Status Aparte, the national anthem and flag. Festivities include several cultural, sports and musical events throughout the island and there is a national celebration in the evening at Plaza Betico in Oranjestad. As an official Aruban holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, banks, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Aruba in April:
Good Friday (April 2) – An official holiday in Aruba, Good Friday forms the beginning of the Easter long weekend and the start of the Holy Week. A special event is held each year at the church in Dakota, starting at 10 am. In 2021, Good Friday will take place on April 2. As an official Aruban holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, banks, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Easter Monday (April 5) – An official holiday in Aruba and part of the Easter holiday weekend. Expect the beaches of Eagle Beach, Hadicurari Beach and Baby Beach to be packed with tents and improvised kitchens as Beach Camping is an Aruban Easter tradition. In 2021, Easter Monday will take place on April 5. As an official holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, banks, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
King’s Day (April 27) – An official Aruban holiday, Aruba celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on April 27th. An official government ceremony is held in honor of HM King Willem-Alexander at Wilhelmina Park in downtown Oranjestad followed by various activities such as flea markets, kite contests, sporting events and other activities at different community centers. As King’s day is an official Aruban holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, banks, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Island Fest (last week, monthly) – Island Festival takes place during the last week of each month from 7-10 pm in San Nicolas City. Festivities include art, music and dance shows highlighting the history of San Nicolas, local foods, and popular musicians and performers. The festival date for 2020 has not yet been confirmed.
Aruba in May:
Labour Day (May 1) – Labour day is an official holiday in Aruba and commemorates the achievements of the labour movement. As an official holiday, you can expect shops, gasoline stations, banks, supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Ascension Daya (May 21st) – A Christian holiday that commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven. Ascension Day is observed primarily in Catholic and Anglican churches around the island. Ascension Day is an official Aruban holiday, so expect shops, gas stations, banks, and supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival (May 25 – 31) – A large music festival with beach parties, comedy shows, pool parties, block parties and music concerts featuring world famous artists like Mariah Carey and The Roots in 2020. Due to COVID 19 the 2020 Festival has been cancelled and will take place from May 25-31 in 2021.
Aruba in June:
Aruba Summer Music Festival (June) – A three day music festival featuring award winning musicians, local DJ’s and bands. The festival takes place at Aruba’s Harbor Square Arena and draws thousands of locals and tourists. Dates for 2020 have not been confirmed due to the evolving situation with COVID 19.
COOLinary Food Festival (June 1) – Hosted at the Renaissance Marketplace in Oranjestad, a variety of dishes from different participating restaurants are offered at a “cool” price along with musical entertainment. Information for the 2020 edition of the festival is to be released.
Dera Gai (June 24) – This cultural celebration is observed on the Feast of St. John the Baptist and the purpose was to thank the Gods for the good harvest year and to request them to bless the harvests for the following year. This celebration dates back to 1862. Festival activities include a special festive song, bright yellow and red costumes and traditional dances which are held at various community centers and fires are burnt island-wide on St. John’s Day as homage to the bonfires built many years ago to communicate the arrival of the holiday.
Aruba International Triathlon (June 28) – International competitors participate in a triathlon comprised of a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike race, and 10 km run. Beginners can test their endurance in the smaller scale triathlon that includes a 750 m swim, 20 km bike race, and 5 km run. Beginning at Eagle Beach more than 100 athletes participate in this event hosted by the Aruba Triathlon Association. In 2020 the Triathlon is scheduled to take place on June 28th starting at 6:30am however this date may change due to COVID 19.
Aruba in July:
Aruba Hi-Winds Kitesurfing Windsurfing Tournament (July 2-6) – Said to be the largest water sports event of its kind in the Caribbean, this tournament takes place on Palm Beach annually. International and local windsurfers and kitesurfers come to participate in a variety of races including semi-long distance for Kite Juniors, kite freestyle, windsurfing slalom races, windsurfing freestyle competition, kite boarding and windsurfing long distances races. The tournament was scheduled to take place from July 2-6 in 2020 but due to the COVID-19 crisis the Aruba Hi-Winds committee has canceled the 2020 edition.
Aruba Symphony Festival (July 24-August 1) – An international event where every year, first-class musicians from more than 15 countries perform in Aruba over 9 days. Events include full-house concerts, workshops, conferences and classes led by celebrated international artists. Currently the festival is scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 1 in Oranjestad.
Aruba in August:
Aruba I Do Vow Renewal Ceremony (August 19) – Held on Eagle Beach, 2020 is scheduled to hold the fourth edition of the Aruba I Do Vow Renewal Ceremony. Originally scheduled to take place on August 19 2020, the ceremony is currently postponed due to COVID 19.
Annual International Regatta (August 21-23) – Held at the Surfside Beach, this annual sailing competition features international yachts, catamarans, sunfish, kitesurfers, windsurfers during the day, with music and beach parties in the evening. In 2020, the Annual International Regatta is scheduled to be held from August 21-23.
Aruba in September:
Turibana to Santa Cruz 10K Race: An open road race that starts at 5:30 a.m. at Panaderia del Campo in Noord and finishes at the Betico Croes Sports Complex in Santa Cruz. Dates for 2020 have not yet been announced.
Aruba Art Fair (September 25-27) – An annual, 3 day art fair in San Nicolas where international and local artists perform live art like street art and graffiti. The fair also features music, dance, poetry, art expositions, local food and beverages, and a variety of live entertainment.
Aruba Reef Care Project (September 29) – An annual beach and reef clean up event that brings together more than 800 local and global participants. This event is the island’s largest volunteer initiative and serves as a great eco-tourism opportunity. The 25th Reef Care Event was held on September 29 2019, dates for the 26th edition in 2020 have not yet been released.
Aruba in October:
Shoco Artfest Aruba (mid-October) – Launched in 2019, this festival hosted at MotorWorld Aruba, highlights the creative community in Aruba featuring wood and rock sculptures, airbrush and paintbrush art, art on wheels, bicycles and trucks, music entertainment, tattoo demos, and a silent auction with proceeds going to the Casa Cuna Foundation. Due to COVID 19, dates have not yet been released for 2020, in 2019 the festival took place on October 19-20 at Motorworld Camacuri from 5pm – 9pm.
Bartender’s Brawl (October 25) – An annual contest in Oranjestad showcases Aruba’s top bartenders creating original craft-cocktails for attendees who vote for the People’s Choice winner. A panel of judges also choose a Judges’ Choice Winner. The event ticket includes 8 locally inspired cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. A date for 2020 has yet to be announced, in 2019 the event was held on October 25.
Aruba in November:
Carnival (November 11) – Carnival season officially starts each year at 11:11 AM on the 11th of the 11th of November. The Carnival Schedule, including all contests, parties and parades, for the upcoming season is officially announced during a ceremony. From November 11th till December 31st, participants have time to prepare for the Carnival parades and contests. All the contests, parties and parades start after the New Year’s celebration, with the first parade, the Torch Parade, on the first Saturday in January. The last parade always takes place on the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
Sinterklass (November 17) – Sinterklass is a Dutch holiday figure representing Saint Nicholas, a 3rd-century bishop who became the patron saint of children who also gave out gifts. Saint Nicolas arrives in mid-November with his “Zwarte Pieten” (helpers) via boat at the Aruba Ports Authority in Oranjestad, followed by a parade with activities and music for children. During the parade, Sint and his helpers greet the children and reward them with gifts and candy for their good behavior. On the days leading up to his birthday on December 6th, Sinterklaas and his helpers make appearances at events sponsored by schools and businesses all across the Island. Other celebrations take place on December 5th – the night before his birthday but the harbour arrival and parade are the main public Sinterklass events. Dates for Siinterklass’s 2020 arrival are to be released however in 2019, Sinterklass arrived at harbour in Aruba on November 17.
Aruba Open Beach Tennis Championships (November 15-22) – An international event drawing participants from all over the world to compete in singles tournament, mix doubles, nation and team cups, youth tournament, master tournament and doubles tournament. In 2020, the Open is scheduled to take place November 15 to 22.
Carnival Costume Show (November 29) – The first event of the carnival schedule, a costume show featuring costumes from the previous year’s carnival festival takes place at AMICE in Oranjestad from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. In 2019 the Costume Show took place on November 29, dates for the 2020 Costume Show have not yet been released.
Aruba in December:
Winter Wonderland Christmas Market (December 1-23) – The biggest Christmas Market in Aruba is held at the Renaissance Marketplace in Oranjestad. The space is decorated with Christmas lights, a Christmas tree and wooden Christmas cottages with booths for local vendors to sell a variety of unique products. Activities include meet and greet with Santa and his elves, an arts and crafts corner for kids, an ice skating rink, musical entertainment and a shoppable Christmas Village. The Market runs from December 1st to December 23rd from 6-10pm.
Cadushi Festival (late December) – A market festival to encourage supporting local businesses and practice mindfulness. The festival includes wellness activities, live music and food stalls. The dates for 2020 have not yet been released, in 2019 the festival took place on December 20th.
Christmas Day (December 25) – Most locals repair and paint their homes before decorating it with Christmas trees, lights and decorations. A new tradition that was born a few years ago is the decoration of traffic circles around the island. Each circle is decorated by a local company or organization and is being opened with a small ceremony as soon as the decorations are completed. It’s worth driving around the island to admire all the beautiful transformed homes, offices and traffic circles. Gaita bands are bringing the traditional sound of Christmas during parties and festivities. From November till Christmas you may find Gaita bands in shopping malls, restaurants, stores and private residences.
Boxing Day (December 26) – An official holiday in Aruba, originating from colonial days as a Dutch tradition. As a holiday all offices and stores will be closed however hotels, their facilities, and most restaurants and bars will be open as normal.
Dande Festival (December 27) – Aruba’s biggest traditional music event brings together more than 50 singers, accompanied by musical groups, to present original compositions and traditional Dande songs. The Dande groups are travelling musicians who bless local families during the New Year – a tradition that started around 1880 when house slaves in Aruba were liberated. The festival celebrates a local tradition that is unique to Aruba.
New Years Eve (December 31) – New Years Eve is celebrated with a number of traditions as well as with endless firework shows everywhere. Almost every hotel and resort hosts a special New Year’s Eve dinner or a party. Check with your hotel to see what offers and celebrations they have. Most events and restaurants are booked pretty fast for this day so book any event or dinner ahead of time. A common Aruban tradition on the day leading up to New Year’s Eve is setting off a pagara, a long string of firecrackers. The pagara will be set off all around the island and mark the end of year for local businesses. According to tradition, the firecrackers will also keep away any evil spirits. Another known tradition with New Year is Dande, where a group of musicians stroll from house to house (most of the times of family and friends) to spread best wishes for the New Year.