SD › Aruba When to Go
Updated: July 14, 2020
When is the Best Time to Visit Aruba?
The best time to visit Aruba is April to August. This period avoids the peak tourist season, so crowds are less and discounts are high for hotels and airfare. Even though it is summer, the trade winds and short bursts of rain keep the island pleasant.
- 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 affects 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 these 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 20-50% cheaper than those during peak season. While the rest of the Caribbean islands experience hurricanes and tropical storms during these months, Aruba gets less than 470mm of rain a year, and a steady breeze from the trade winds helps moderate the summer heat, thus making these 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 the 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 3-6 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 plenty of 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 as compared to the high season.
- Best Time for Partying: Aruba celebrates its annual Carnival for 6 weeks from January to February with a lot of 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 accommodations 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 the 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. Aruba’s annual 6-week Carnival features street parties and celebrations that visitors can take part in all over the island. With average daily temperatures of 27-28°C, less rain, cooler evenings, and 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 peak crowds.
- Shoulder Season (early-April to 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 early 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 considered the shoulder season as running from April to August with winter holiday visitors leaving by March-end, though 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. The last week of April has King’s Day celebrations, the last week of May can bring some crowds with the 5-day Soul Beach Music Festival, and the Aruba Hi-Winds Kitesurfing Competition takes place in late June-early July.
- Low Season (September to November): Fall marks the tail end of the hurricane season, which is also the low season in Aruba. September to November-end generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors. October and November are some of the wettest months of the year but usually, 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 ranging from 20-50% as compared to 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 3 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.
Aruba Weather by Month
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 eastern coast of Aruba is affected by strong sea currents while the western and southern coasts are more sheltered. However, as it is 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. Around 40mm of rain can be expected over an average of 8 days. Sunshine is plentiful with 8 hours daily, giving plenty of time to enjoy the beach, and swimming conditions are ideal as well, with the water at about 26°C. 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. (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 temperature and a marked decrease in precipitation. The average daily high temperature in February is 28°C with a low of 24°C. Mid-February marks the beginning of the least rainy period of the year, with only about 5 rainy days expected all month. The sun shines for 8 hours a 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 onset 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 to 25°C. The sunshine remains at around 8 hours per day and the sea temperature remains at 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: April is the other driest month of the year and its weather is the same as in 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 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 as the crowds are much smaller and hot summer weather is just around the corner. The average daily high remains at 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 night. Precipitation barely increases in May, with only 2 days of rain expected but 5mm more 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. (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, by providing a strong breeze throughout the month. The average low remains at 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, which runs till November and is at its peak 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 hurricanes to have hit Aruba were 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 the 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 to protect against sunburn. July also brings a slight increase in rainfall, with an average of 5 days with rain. However, showers tend to be very short, providing a reprieve from the heat and leaving plenty of sunshine to enjoy. The average daily high remains at 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. (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 highs reaching 34°C. The average night-time 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. Packing rain gear and a waterproof bag for valuables is also highly recommended as August has some of the highest chances of tropical storms. 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 temperature increases to a warm and balmy 28°C, so swimming at the cooler hotel pool might provide better relief from the heat. Packing good sun protection and carrying a water bottle during the day to stay hydrated and protected from sun damage is important as UV levels are high. 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, though 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 clothes, sandals, and sun protection. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 45mm.)
- Aruba Weather in October: October is the other month when the chances for tropical storms and hurricanes are the highest in Aruba. Although Aruba is less at risk from 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 making sun protection 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 the shoulder season as more travelers begin to flock to the island country to escape colder temperatures up north. The average daily high temperature drops to 28°C while the night-time low remains at 26°C. November is the wettest month of the year with an average of 11 days of rain, so plan to visit indoor attractions and activities, though 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, making swimming comfortable and warm, so make sure to bring your bathing suit, sandals for the beach, sun protection as UV rays are high, and a light rain jacket, rainproof shoes, and a waterproof bag to protect valuables in case you get caught in the rain. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 95mm.)
- Aruba Weather in December: December is the second rainiest month of the year with 11 days of precipitation and also the first month of winter, which is reflected in the slightly lower temperatures. The average daily high hovers around 27°C, dipping down to a 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, rainproof 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. Bring summer clothing, shorts, t-shirts, and dresses along with a few light layers for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 80mm.)
Aruba Holidays, Events, and Festivals
The Aruba Carnival runs for 6 weeks across January, February, and/or March each year, and has a jam-packed schedule of spectacular parades, musical shows, elections, contests, and street parties featuring colorful floats and costumes, traditional and international music by DJs and bands, and lots of local food and drinks. The schedule is published on November 11 each year.
Aruba in January
- New Year’s Day (Jan 1) – New Year’s Day is an official holiday in Aruba and most businesses, banks, and schools are 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 midnight, hundreds of swimmers run into the sea together to mark the new year.
- Torch Parade – The Torch Parade is the first parade of the annual Aruba Carnival and takes place in Oranjestad on the first Saturday of January.
- Prince & Pancho Election – Aside from parades, the Aruba Carnival hosts a range of exciting elections and contests. The Prince and Pancho Election is an event that is part of the annual Aruba Carnival, taking place in the Carnival Village in San Nicolas in early January. The Prince and Pancho are 2 figures in Aruba’s carnival tradition chosen for their comedy, personality, educational content, and audience popularity.
- Parada di Blaas – A balloon parade in San Nicolas.
- Tumberito Festival – 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.
- 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, gas stations, and supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
- Caiso & Soca Monarch (January-end/early Feb) – The Caiso & Soca Monarch consists of 3 days of Calypso & Roadmarch music (internationally known as Soca music instead of Roadmarch) contests with 2 days of pre-finals and a spectacular grand finale on the last day. The contest takes 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.
Aruba in February
- Super Saturday Soca Finals – Held at the Carnival Village in San Nicolas, it is the final night of the Soca category of the Aruba Caiso & Soca Monarch competition.
- Grand Tumba Contest – 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 the carnival in order to honor the celebrations. The winner of the contest is crowned Tumba King or Queen. Tumba artists sing in Papiamento only.
- Children’s Parade Noord – The district of Noord hosts its own children’s parade during the Carnival. Children representing elementary schools and social clubs, as well as babies, participate in the parade and wear different themed costumes with colorful balloons, adornments, and headpieces. The Children’s Parade Noord takes place between 1-5 pm from Bubali Commercial Center to Centro Di Bario Noord.
- Transfer of Command – Usually 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 Prince & Pancho of Aruba’s Carnival along with a symbolic “key to the islands”. From this point forward, their “court” rules for the duration of the Carnival until its end at midnight on Ash Wednesday.
- Jouvert Morning – Popularly known as the “pajama party”, thousands of people gather in San Nicolas to follow the various live music caravans that parade down the city streets playing soca and calypso music from 4-10 am.
- Lighting Parade – An evening carnival parade with thousands of tiny lights incorporated into costumes, road pieces, and floats. Live bands accompany the various participating carnival groups playing live music for the dancers and participants. Held in downtown Oranjestad, the parade begins at 8 pm and ends at 2 am.
- Grand Children’s Carnival Parade (mid-February) – The biggest children’s parade of the Carnival takes place in downtown Oranjestad. Beginning at the Avenida Milo Croes and ending at Wilhelminastraat, the Grand Children’s Parade takes place from 2-6 pm. Hundreds of children from all the Carnival groups participate in colorful costumes and dance in the parade.
- Kiwanis Masquerade Ball – A masquerade ball hosted by the Palm Beach Aruba Kiwanis Club at the Renaissance Convention Center to raise money for the less fortunate. The ball takes place at night, usually from 9:30 pm to 2:30 am.
- San Nicolas Grand Parade – 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 12-5 pm.
- Aruba’s Grand Parade – The largest carnival parade is the Grand Parade through Oranjestad, held on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. This parade includes music as well as floats and costumes in various designs. The event starts at 12 pm and continues until 6 pm. This is the largest and longest of all the Aruba Carnival parades, with the most spectators and participants.
- Burn Out Monday/Carnival Monday – 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. Most facilities in Aruba will 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. It starts with a parade at around 7 pm and ends at midnight with the symbolic burning of King Momito (little Momo), the spirit of Aruba’s carnival.
Aruba in March
- National Anthem & Flag Day (March 18) – Aruba’s National Day is also an official holiday. Arubans celebrate the Status Aparte, 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. You can expect shops, gas stations, banks, and supermarkets to close early or stay closed the entire day.
Aruba in April
- Good Friday (variable dates) – 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.
- Easter Monday (variable dates) – Part of the Easter holiday weekend and an official holiday in Aruba, when shops and banks might remain closed. Expect Eagle Beach, Hadicurari Beach, and Baby Beach to be packed with tents and improvised kitchens as Beach Camping is an Aruban Easter tradition.
- King’s Day (April 27) – An official Aruban holiday, Aruba celebrates the birthday of the King 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 flea markets, kite contests, sporting events, and other activities at different community centers. You can expect several facilities 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.
Aruba in May
- Labour Day (May 1) – Labour day is an official holiday in Aruba and commemorates the achievements of the labor movement.
- Ascension Day (variable) – 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 also an official Aruban holiday.
- 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.
Aruba in June
- Aruba Summer Music Festival (variable dates) – A 3-day music festival featuring award-winning musicians and local DJs and bands. The festival takes place at Aruba’s Harbor Square Arena and draws thousands of locals and tourists.
- 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.
- Dera Gai (June 24) – This cultural celebration is observed on the Feast of St. John the Baptist to thank the gods for the good harvest year and to request blessings for the following year’s harvest. This celebration dates back to 1862. Festival activities include a special festive song, bright yellow and red costumes, traditional dances at various community centers, and fires burnt island-wide on St. John’s Day as an homage to the bonfires built many years ago to communicate the arrival of the holiday.
- Aruba International Triathlon (June-end) – International competitors participate in a triathlon comprised of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike race, and 10km run. Beginners can test their endurance in the smaller triathlon that includes a 750m swim, 20km bike race, and 5km run. Beginning at Eagle Beach, more than 100 athletes participate in this event hosted by the Aruba Triathlon Association.
Aruba in July
- Aruba Hi-Winds Kitesurfing Windsurfing Tournament (early July) – Said to be the largest water sports event of its kind in the Caribbean, this 4-day 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 distance races.
- Aruba Symphony Festival (July/August) – 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.
Aruba in August
- Aruba I Do Vow Renewal Ceremony – Held on the beautiful Eagle Beach, couples from across the world come with their families and friends to renew their vows amidst a romantic atmosphere and stunning sunset with free champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and music.
- Annual International Regatta (August-end) – Held at the Surfside Beach, this annual 3-day sailing competition features international yachts, catamarans, sunfish, kitesurfers, and windsurfers during the day, with music and beach parties in the evening.
Aruba in September
- Turibana to Santa Cruz 10K Race: An open road race that starts at 5:30 am at Panaderia del Campo in Noord and finishes at the Betico Croes Sports Complex in Santa Cruz.
- Aruba Art Fair (variable dates) – An annual, 3-day art fair in San Nicolas where international and local artists create 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 (variable dates) – 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.
Aruba in October
- Shoco Artfest Aruba (variable dates) – Launched in 2019 and hosted at MotorWorld Aruba, this festival highlights the creative community in Aruba by 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.
- Bartender’s Brawl (October-end) – 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.
Aruba in November
- Carnival (November 11) – Carnival season officially starts each year at 11:11 am on 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. All the contests, parties, and parades start after the New Year’s celebration, with the first parade – Torch Parade – on the first Saturday in January. The last parade always takes place on the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
- Sinterklaas (mid-November) – Sinterklaas is a Dutch holiday figure representing Saint Nicholas, a 3rd-century bishop who became the patron saint of children and 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 harbor arrival and parade are the main public Sinterklaas events.
- Aruba Open Beach Tennis Championships – An international 8-day event drawing participants from all over the world to compete in singles, mix doubles, national and team cups, youth, master, and doubles beach tennis tournaments.
- Carnival Costume Show (November-end) – The first event of the carnival, a show featuring costumes from the previous year’s carnival takes place at AMICE in Oranjestad from 6-9 pm.
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 1-23 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.
- Christmas Day (December 25) – Most locals repair and paint their homes before decorating 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 beautifully transformed homes, offices, and traffic circles. Gaita bands bring the traditional sounds of Christmas during parties and festivities. From November till Christmas, you will 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. All offices and stores will be closed but 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 traveling 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 early. A common Aruban tradition on the day leading up to New Year’s Eve is setting off a pagara, a long string of firecrackers. Pagaras will be set off all around the island and mark the end of the year for local businesses. According to tradition, the firecrackers will also keep away any evil spirits.
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