With white, sugar-sand beaches, turquoise waters and divi-divi trees on its western and southern coasts, Aruba is a beachgoer’s paradise.
There’s also 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 to Aruba, these are some of the best times to go.
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.
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 avoid the crowds in Aruba
Aruba tends to be busiest between January 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 to leave behind the crowds.
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For a traditional sand beach, Eagle Beach, which is tucked into the busier northwestern coast, is quieter than neighboring beaches like Palm Beach. Manchebo Beach, just south of Eagle, is also a good option for avoiding crowds.
If you are staying at one of Aruba’s all-inclusive resorts, you may have access to a private beach area without the crowds.
Best times to go snorkeling in Aruba
The conditions for snorkeling are best in Aruba when the winds and water are most calm, typically from September through November. The good news is that no matter what time of year you visit Aruba to snorkel, the air and water temperatures are warm and comfortable.
For the clearest, calmest waters, plan to snorkel early in the morning at about 9 a.m. After noon, water clarity tends to be lower as sand is stirred up by the wind, waves and other beachgoers.
A natural pool in Arikok National park on the North coast of Aruba. MARC GUITARD/GETTY IMAGES
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 is one of the island’s biggest annual 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 DJs, musicians and comedians. The festival takes place in the island’s capital, Oranjestad. The days are filled with parties on the beach. Evenings are filled with comedy, music and after-parties.
In May, Aruba hosts 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 kite surfers 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.
Cheapest time to visit Aruba
Best time to book a hotel in Aruba
You’ll find the best hotel prices between mid-April and mid-December, which is considered Aruba’s “low season.” Though Aruba’s weather is beautiful year-round, many travelers visit in the winter to escape the cooler temperatures back home.
If you do visit during the busier months between December and April, book your hotel six to 12 months in advance for the best prices.
Cheapest time to fly to Aruba
Like much of the Caribbean, you can typically find the lowest airfare prices for flights in the summer months. It’s the start of the “rainy season” — if you can call it that — and you’ll avoid the higher prices airlines charge during the peak winter travel season.
For example, a nonstop flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) costs $402 round trip via Delta Airlines in early September of this year versus $504 round trip in January 2024.
Aruba is a great year-round destination with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. Regardless of when you decide to visit, there are sure to be plenty of opportunities for relaxation and adventure.