As a future student at a top Caribbean medical school, it can feel daunting to move to an entirely new country. With Aruba’s record number of days with sunshine – and gorgeous weather – there’s so much to see, do, and experience before classes begin.
Discover some of the best things to do in Aruba, so you can start your school year off the right way!
1. Watch a Sunset from Arashi Beach
Located on the northwestern edge of the island, Arashi Beach’s white sand and clear blue water means that it’s a popular place for snorkeling and swimming. Since it’s a bit off the beaten track (with few boats and even fewer tourists), it makes for a more secluded, romantic spot to watch sunsets.
2. Snorkel at Mangel Halto
Probably the best snorkeling spot on the entire island, Mangel Halto has crystal clear visibility and a stunning (and healthy!) coral reef. Located on the southwestern coast, Mangel Halto doesn’t have a signpost, making this off-the-beaten-track lagoon popular with adventure seekers. Be warned: Due to underwater currents, it’s recommended for more advanced snorkelers.
3. Get Your Aruba Scuba Diving Certification
If you’re going to be living on a tropical island for a few years, why not work towards getting your certification? For absolute beginners, a Resort Certification Scuba Diving Course will help you understand the basic principles and equipment. Throughout your medical school training in Aruba, you can eventually build your expertise and advance to open water dives!
4. Cool off at Baby Beach
This man-made lagoon is located at the southeast end of Aruba, and is fun for tourists and locals alike. Its extremely calm waters mean that novice snorkelers can get their bearings, spotting animals like angelfish, squid, and even barracudas!
5. Spot the San Nicolas Murals
On the same side of the island, you’ll be able to spot gorgeous San Nicolas murals done by international street artists like Chemis, Dopie, and Bond Truluv. Every year, the not-for-profit agency Aruba Art Fair brings in artists from all over the world, meaning that the urban landscape is always in a state of colorful flux!
6. Get To Know the Island’s History
Located in a historic complex of Dutch colonial architecture, the National Archeological Museum of Aruba provides excellent insight into the island’s history. What’s more, a rich program of exhibitions, lectures, and workshops will continue to provide enriching opportunities during your years of study.
7. Deep Sea Fishing
Whether you’re after game fish like tuna or marlin, Aruba has seriously thrilling fishing opportunities. For experienced and novice fishermen alike, charter boats can take you to some of the most bountiful waters anywhere. Great crews will teach you a variety of techniques to target specific species.
8. Ride Through Arikok National Park on Horseback
What’s not to love about Aruban sightseeing on horseback? From galloping along sand dunes and stunning shoreline to cooling off in a natural pool, this is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. If learning to ride is on your bucket list, it’s possible to train when you’re not busy with your medical school studies.
9. Discover How Aloe Vera Is Made
Did you know that aloe vera is one of the most versatile (and oldest) medicinal plants in the world, and that Aruba grows some of the best varieties? The Aruba Aloe Vera Museum is a surprisingly interesting place to tour. Best of all, their ecologically-friendly mineral sunscreens will help protect your skin from harmful UV rays on weekend holidays.
10. Swim with the Dolphins in the Wild
There aren’t dolphinariums in Aruba – there are so many in the wild! Venture out to Boca Catalina (on the northwest side of the island) and catch a snorkel boat out to dolphin-rich waters – it’s the experience of a lifetime!
11. Explore a Secret Beach and Cave Pool
The northern coast of Aruba was formed from volcanic activity, meaning that the terrain is harsh and rugged. Rent an ATV to explore the area, making sure to stop at a secret beach along the way. Cliff jump into a natural Aruban cave pool to cool off! Is there a better way to spend a hot afternoon?
12. Parasail over Eagle Beach
If you’re the adventurous type, consider parasailing along Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Your bird’s eye view of gorgeous white sand and cerulean water is sure to impress!
13. Snorkel Around the Antilla Shipwreck
If the idea of snorkelling next to a sunken ship sounds like fun, you’ll definitely love the Antilla Shipwreck. Swimming alongside garden eels and sea turtles, this is a surreal adventure that will make your Instagram followers jealous!
14. Lively Pub Crawl
Get to know the hottest nightlife spots either with your fellow students – or before the other students arrive – with the infamous Kukoo Kunuku pub crawl! With complimentary drinks and a lively party busy transporting you everywhere you need to go, this Aruba island tour is one for the ages!
15. Explore Oranjestad with a Walking Tour
In Aruba’s beautiful capital, Oranjestad, a professional walking tour will provide you with greater insight about the city’s history, sites, and even local dining (which is always a major crowd pleaser). Why not tour the city in the morning, then head down to Surfside Beach for sun and fun!
Start Your Semester off the Right Way
While your medical school in Aruba will definitely require a great deal of studying and training, being on such a small tropical island means that you’ll be able to pack in tons of adventures. While living here, you’ll discover incredible details about Aruba and will feel more like a citizen of the world – welcome!