Are you planning on visiting the Dutch Caribbean but having difficulty choosing between Aruba and Curacao? If so, you’ve come to the right place, as this post will help you decide which one is more suitable to visit based on your preference.
Aruba and Curacao are both fantastic cities with their unique features. They’re both situated close to each other and are part of the ABC Island (Aruba Bonaire Curacao) in the Dutch Caribbean.
It’s even possible to visit both locations in a single visit, but since most people may not have time, and enough money, a decision on which is better would help them plan their trip better.
Aruba and Curacao have similar climates and beautiful white sand beaches, but that’s the only similarity between them, as they differ in many other aspects.
Aruba vs. Curacao: Which Caribbean Island is Best for Your Vacation
Deciding which Caribbean island is best depends on your preference, as both islands have a unique charm. Visitors looking for an exciting getaway would prefer Aruba because of its long stretches of beaches, bustling nightlife, and shimmering waters.
Conversely, Curacao is better for travelers who need a calm and less touristy place to experience the Caribbean.
Aruba and Curacao are touristy locations with white sand beaches and calm waters, but that’s the only similarity, as their beaches differ in many aspects.
Beaches in Aruba are long and wide, and Aruba also has more popular beaches than the other two ABC islands.
On the other hand, beaches in Curacao are usually small and secluded. Curacao stands out for its numerous bay, and most beaches on the island lie in coves and bays.
Almost all Aruba beaches are public and free to visit. Famous beaches on the island include Baby Beach, Palm Beach, and Eagle Beach.
Visiting public beaches is lovely because you don’t have to pay for access, but you must also remember that you’ll have to bring your food, snacks, and drinks.
The majority of the beaches in Curacao are private, which implies that you’ll have to pay an entry fee to gain access. The advantage of these fees is that they come with additional perks like access to bars and restaurants, snorkel shops, and beach chairs. Deciding on which island has the best beach is wholly based on preference.
Aruba and Curacao are located off the hurricane belt and experience similar weather conditions.
Both islands are lovely regardless of the time you decide to visit. Temperatures are usually high during summer, but that’s not an issue, as the ocean waters are there to keep you cool.
These islands experience rainfall from September to December, but that’s not an issue as both islands experience less than 3 inches of rain on average! An amount unheard of for many Caribbean islands.
When navigating through both islands, Aruba seems to have a slight advantage since it’s smaller. In addition, Aruba is a little more developed than Curacao, but you’ll still need a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to navigate most parts of the island.
Curacao, on the other hand, is more extensive and may be a bit confusing to navigate for first-time visitors. Also, Aruba and Curacao don’t have Ubeds; only taxis work here.
For nightlife lovers, you’ll want to know which island is better. For nightlife rating, Aruba seems to be a better choice than Curacao.
Although smaller than Curacao, Aruba has more tourists who love to party. You can check out Palm and Eagle Beach in Aruba for recommendations on places to visit in the dark.
Though much more extensive, Curacao is a bit reserved and not a party island. The crowd here is small, but some places in Curacao still have a vibrant nightlife.
Regarding food, there isn’t much distinction between the islands. Since Aruba and Curacao come from a Dutch Caribbean island heritage, their food is very similar.
Curacao and Aruba are both famous for Keshi yena- a mix of chicken meat, pickled onions, olives, and plums baked in a cheese rind. You can also finish off your day with coconut candy or Dutch chocolate.
In Curacao, you can also try other tasty dishes like stroopwafels and their signature karni soba- a traditional Caribbean dish of garlic and tomatoes, Onions, soy sauce, nutmeg, and marinated chunks of beef. Aruba, on the other hand, is famous for its beachfront dining style.
Snorkeling and Diving
Aruba and Curacao have top-notch snorkeling adventures but snorkeling in Curacao is slightly more preferred in Curacao than in Aruba.
You’ll find many snorkeling options at Curacao, from shipwrecks to sheer numbers, coral reefs, and much more.
Aruba also has unique snorkeling locations, but you may need to take a snorkel tour to arrive at these locations. Aruba is more populated than Curacao, and this also affects the experience.
Affordability is one of the significant factors to consider when planning a travel adventure. When talking about affordability, Curacao is a bit less expensive than Aruba.
Aruba is the most expensive island among the ABC islands. Therefore, when planning a trip to Aruba, you’ll need to come prepared, as a vacation here tends to cost more than other islands.
The prices for taxis, dining, groceries, and accommodation is very high in Aruba compared to Curacao.
Curacao usually has a reputation as a less touristy destination; thus, you don’t need to have a fortune to live here. Living in Curacao is affordable, with lots of options for all budgets.
Curacao has something for everyone, from beachside bungalows to luxurious resorts. Curacao is the ideal spot for you if you plan for a calm budget. On the other hand, if you need something extravagant, Aruba has got you covered.
High-valued hotels and exotic resorts are the trends in Aruba, while low-rise and boutique hotels are famous in Curacao.
Which Island is Better Between Aruba and Curacao
The answer to the better between Aruba and Curacao would depend on a person’s preference. While Aruba is more commercialized and has more touristic attributes, Curacao is secluded and reserved.
So the answer would depend on your kind of person and the things you prefer. For example, you may pick Aruba if you need a vibrant city with bustling nightlife and fun activities. But if you love calm and secluded places, you’ll love Curacao.
Which ABC Island is the Best?
All three ABC islands are excellent tourist locations, each with unique features and fun life. However, if you need help deciding which of the three islands best suits your taste, here’s something to bear in mind:
Aruba is a beautiful island with beaches, fun activities, and nightlife. It’s also believed to be the safest among all three islands.
Bonaire, on the other hand, is ideal for travelers who need a place to relax. Bonaire Islands stand out for its soft Sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
Curacao is ideal for those who need a calm and secluded area to relax. Also, it’s best for beautiful beaches and challenging adventures as it has rockier terrain.
Is Flying to Curacao Cheaper than Aruba
The distance and amount would depend solely on your flying location. For example, if you’re flying from the U.S. airport, you’ll find going to Aruba cheaper than Curacao.
There is a more direct flight to Aruba in the U.S. airport than in Curacao, which has fewer flights.
Can You Make a Day Trip From Aruba to Curaçao?
A day trip from Aruba to Curacao is possible as you’ll find different airlines operating between Aruba and Curacao daily. Flight time from Aruba to Curacao is about 30 minutes.
Both Aruba and Curacao are fantastic locations to visit. The choice of which is better depends on your preference and taste. While it is touristy and experiences a more significant influx of tourists, Curacao, on the other hand, is calm and secluded.