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We know you’re serious about traveling when the Caribbean is on your bucket list. However, the magnificent landscapes, breathtaking locales, alluring sun, and sandy beaches in most Caribbean islands make it a challenge when choosing the perfect vacation spot. Both Aruba and Curacao have a lot in common, but each has its own unique personality.
Aruba is the perfect destination if you’re looking for dazzling white beaches, stunning landscapes, friendly locals, and colorful architecture. On the other hand, Curacao is filled with beautiful bays and secluded beaches, wonderful cliffs, rocking nightlife, layered history, and excellent culture.
|Cost of Stay: Weekly (USD)||$1,822 per person||$1,863 per person|
|Transportation||Taxis, Public buses, Car rentals, Private chartered boats.||Taxis, Public buses, Car rentals.|
|Notable Attractions||Beaches, Oranjestad, Wilhelmina Park, Aruba Historical Museum, Arikok National Park, Boca Prins, Aruba’s Dive Sites, California Lighthouse, and California Dunes.||Blue Room, Christoffel national Park, Museum Kura Hulanda, Grote Knip, Klein curacao, Queen Emma Bridge, Shete Boka National Park, Playa Kalki, and Cas Abao.|
|Weather||Warm all year round with a little stint of rainfall.||More sunlight days than any other Caribbean nation. Semi-arid climate.|
|Food and Drink||Keshi yena, Stoba, Cala, Pastechi, and Ayacas.||Stroopwafels, Funchi, Tutu, Stoba, poffertjes, Bitterballen, and Oliebollen.|
|Activities for kids||Archeology Museum Aruba, Eagle Bowling Palace, Aruba surf and Paddle School, Donkey sanctuary Aruba, Philip’s Animal Garden, and Bubali Bird Sanctuary.||Kura Hulanda Museum, Curacao Sea aquarium Museum, Curacao Dolphin Academy, and Curacao Ostrich Farm.|
|Nature Attractions||Conchi aka the Natural Pool, Bubali bird sanctuary, Blackstone Beach, Guadirikiri Cave, and Arikok National Park.||Ostrich farm, Flamingo Sanctuary, Sint Willibrordus, Curacao sea Aquarium, Hato Caves, and Den Paradera.|
Both Aruba and Curacao are worth visiting, but your decision will depend on what you’re looking for. In the rest of this article, we’ll explore both destinations’ main features, including their main attractions, transportation methods, weather, cost of a stay, and food and drinks.
Cost of Stay
Aruba is relatively cheap to stay for tourists; however, if you are on a budget, time your visit to around September when the flight charge is low.
In Curacao, you can very well spend more than the estimated weekly cost of stay if you prefer a luxurious stay. If you’re on a budget or are willing to experience its niceties while keeping it simple, you might be able to spend less than the average weekly cost of the stay.
Best Affordable Hotels
Aruba may have some of the most luxe resorts and hotels, but you can also find cheap and affordable hotels. The Aruba Bed & Beach in Pos Chikito should be on your list if you’re on a budget. For an affordable bed and breakfast facility, we recommend Club Arias Bed & Breakfast in Savaneta. Aruba Bed & Beach also offers breakfast.
In Curacao, the Scuba Lodge is one of the best options for anyone on a budget. Other options include the Ritz Village Hotel, Curacao Airport Hotel, and Curacao Suites Hotel.
Aruba, starting from its capital, Oranjestad, offers tourists ship cruises from its port. It also has several family-friendly activities like a visit to one or more of the butterfly beaches. Aruba has the most beautiful and inviting beaches. If you’re one for the outdoors, the Arikok National Park should be on your list of places to visit.
You will find the Ayo Boulder, designed with Indian paintings, a sight to behold. The dunes, a landscape covered with cacti, are all part of its appeal.
One of the amazing trips you can make in Curacao is to the hidden cave, the Blue Room cave, accessible by the ocean, the Blue Room. Many plantations, different white sand beaches, one of them the Grote Knip, and the Queen Emma Bridge are a few of the attractions you will find in Curacao.
Activities for Kids
Kids love beaches, but they can also get bored easily. Both Aruba and Curacao will provide your kids with more to do than stroll, run, or play on the white sands of their beaches.
In Aruba, they can get familiar with animals like donkeys in the Donkey sanctuary or ride horses at the Gold Mine Ranch Horseback Riding Tours.
They can also visit the Ostrich Farm to see how the orange-necked birds live. The Butterfly Farm is another excellent place to visit for kids.
The Aruba Surf and Paddle School are suitable for kids willing to try paddling for the first time.
Curacao has the Curacao Sea Aquarium, a great place for kids to learn more about sea life. The Hato Caves are a perfect place to spawn tales about dragons and other mystery creatures for kids’ entertainment.
The Curacao Ostrich Farm is also a sight to behold for them. They will get to see about 200 ostriches, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, and emus with a tour guide. They also have a dolphin academy; your kids will enjoy swimming with dolphins.
From the airport in Aruba, taxis are available to get you to your destination. The taxis are not metered, so every standard location has a fixed price. Rental cars are also available for tourists, and they are quite affordable for the distance they travel.
On the waterways, there are private boat charters – no public water transportation – to other islands. The cheapest transportation option is the Aruba bus. They serve every district on a schedule every day of the week.
Curacao has all options of transportation as Aruba. However, public transport is not as reliable as Aruba’s. The taxis in Curacao are easily recognized because they are marked. You should note that they are unmetered, and even though the fares are fixed, it can change when the number of passengers exceeds four.
Food and Drink
In Aruba, the Keshi yena is one to try as it promises a spicy mixture of baked chicken and beef. Their bean fritters, Cala, is another one to try. When it comes to drinks, as it is with most Caribbean communities, a little dose of rum accompanies it.
Curacao is especially known for its orange-flavored rum. Foods you should try include the Bitterballen, a flavored meatball whose filling is usually veal, and sometimes vegetables. The Keshi yena is another cuisine to try, as is Fuchi or Tutu.
Like other Caribbean nations, Aruba and Curacao have very good weather, but to their advantage, they have good, sunny weather almost all year round. Rainfall is a seldom occurrence. The trade wind brings coolness during the day and warmth at night.
Aruba is one of the safest destinations for tourists in the Caribbean. It has a low petty and violent crime rate. However, it is prudent that you guard your valuables.
In Curacao, you need to be a little more watchful. We suggest staying off the back streets at night; they can be a bit sketchy after dark. Focus on where you’re headed and avoid using your map on the streets of Punda; it could send an obvious message to unfriendly locals.
Even after weighing up both destinations, it can still be hard to choose between them. Your decision will depend on what’s important to you and what you find more interesting. For the beaches, landscapes, friendly vibes, and architecture, Aruba is the better option. However, Curacao offers more in terms of culture, beautiful buildings, food, and night vibes.
Regardless of the island you choose, we’re sure you’ll have a great vacation.