Maui vs. Aruba: Which Vacation Is Better?


Choosing between two superb vacation destinations can be challenging. Maui is famed for its beautiful scenery while Aruba ranks highly for its picture-perfect sandy beaches. Before booking your vacation, you’ll want to make certain crucial considerations.

Maui is the better vacation spot if you want to experience its famed lush tropical climate, serene beaches, and is perfect for tons of outdoor activities. Aruba is an epic tropical paradise with perfect weather and charming white sandy beaches; it’s a water sporting haven. Both places are great, but it depends on what you’re looking for.

CategoryArubaMaui
Cost of Stay: Weekly (USD)$ 1,821 per person$ 1,880 per person
TransportationTaxis, Arubus bus system, mini buses, car rentals, free trolleys, motorcycle and scooter rentals, a tramway line, ferries and planes Taxis & shuttles, bus system, car rentals, ferries, helicopters, and planes 
Notable AttractionsArikok National Park, Boca Prins, California Lighthouse & California Dunes, Aruba’s Dive Sites, The Natural Pool, De Palm Island, Aruba Ostrich Farm, Flamingo Beach, Butterfly Farm, Donkey Sanctuary, Waihee Ridge Trail, Haleakala National Park, Beaches, Iao State Monument, The road to Hana, Olivine Pools, Maui Ocean Centre, Waianapanapa State Park, Luau Festivals
WeatherTropical warm weather all-year-round. Average temp.  82℉ (28℃).Semi-tropical weather,Rainy season; Nov-MarAverage temp 75°F (24°C) 
Food and DrinkSeafood, local and international cuisine. Numerous restaurants, open cafes, and barsHawaiian cuisine, seafood, international cuisine, Numerous restaurants, lounges, and bars. 
Activities for KidsDe Palm Island, Atlantis submarine, Baby Beach, Palm Island, Flamingo Beach, Philip’s Animal Garden, Ostrich Farm, Paseo Herencia Mall, Aruba WaterparkMaui Ocean Centre, Luau Festivals, Molokini Snorkeling Tour, Hawaii Mermaid Adventures, Atlantis submarine, Old Lahaina Luau, Surfing lessons, Hiking, Tropical Express tour
Nature AttractionsArikok National Park, Nature Bridge, Ostrich farm, Flamingo Beach, 
Haleakala National Park, Iao Valley, Sandy beaches, Olivine Pools, Waianapanapa State Park

Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaii Islands famed for its lush foliage and abundant marine life. Outdoor activities are endless. Aruba is a 19-mile (30 km) long arid island off the coast of Venezuela. It has picture-perfect white sandy beaches, clear seas, lavish resorts, and a steady tropical breeze. 

This article will further explore the two destinations to enable you to decide which will be a better getaway.

Cost of Stay

Maui’s low season is from September to November when you can get discounted rates for accommodation and airfare. The peak season coincides with the North American winter season from mid-December to mid-April.

It’s cost-effective to book your trip in late August-October. Rent a condo with a kitchen through Airbnb to cut costs on food. Get even better rates by directly contacting property owners. Hotel costs range from $200 to $950 per night.

Aruba offers multiple accommodation packages that you can choose from to suit your family size, the period of stay, and your budget. Accommodation in Aruba’s prestigious resorts can cost between $300-500 per night, but hotels and BnBs are cheaper than the high-district Palm Beach area. 

Check out Aruba hotel reviews in advance to view hotels, resorts, timeshare and apartments, all-inclusive resorts, and adult-only getaways. 

Best Affordable Hotels

There are several affordable hotels in Maui on Airbnb. We recommend Polynesian Shores Condominium Resort in Lahaina for a budget family vacation. It has oceanfront condos and is close to restaurants and nightlife.

If you’re into a luxury resort, then Montage Kapalua Bay will do. It’s a fine beachfront resort with ocean views and day spas. Note that gambling is illegal in Hawaii, so your resort won’t have a casino.

There are luxurious seafront resorts in Aruba, family-friendly apartments, fascinating B&Bs, exclusive resorts for couples, and modern hotels with casinos since gambling is legal. Most hotels are on the northeastern side of the island. Popular, high-end resorts are concentrated on Palm Beach. 

Less expensive accommodation can be found on Eagle Beach. 

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Sunset Beach Studios will suit you. It’s affordable ($100-150 per night) and is near the beach. 

If you’re looking for premium accommodation, we recommend The Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino on Palm Beach. It has iconic beach views, multiple modern amenities, a world-class spa and casino, and private balconies. It can be costly, but the experience is unforgettable.

Main Attractions

Maui is famous for its dramatic scenery, and its attractions are activity-driven, whereas Aruba’s tourism package is more beach and sea-oriented. Let’s examine them further before you book that ticket.

Maui’s island is associated with various activities like hiking, biking, horseback riding, zip-lining, stargazing, and water sports.

There are plenty of astonishing waterfalls, vast lush foliage, and enjoyable hiking trails that punctuate the road to Hannah, the Haleakala National Park, and the awe-inspiring Iao Valley. A helicopter tour over Molokini will reveal tones of waterfalls cascading down hillsides, breathtaking views of valleys and peaks.

Maui vs. Aruba: Which Vacation Is Better?

The Maui Ocean Centre aquarium exhibits a variety of marine life. The beaches are known for whale and turtle watching and snorkeling and water surfing activities. To see lots of whales visit from mid-February to March.

Aruba has warm weather all-year-round, and it’s vast stretches of sparkling white sandy beaches endear it to water activities. It’s reliable winds make it an enviable watersports haven for kitesurfing, jet skiing, and parasailing. 

Aruba’s natural biodiversity at the Arikok National Park, and natural caves, and other flora and fauna on the island are incomparable to the epic sites on the mountainous Maui island. Other attractions include a flamingo beach, a butterfly farm, and a donkey sanctuary.

Activities for Kids

Though both islands have intriguing outdoor activities for kids, Maui leads. Maui has countless activities for kids, such as swimming, zip-lining, and treasure hunt.  D.T Fleming Beach Park is a fantastic spot for kids to learn surfing. The Maui Ocean Centre is a state of the art aquarium that displays the unique Hawaiian marine life. 

The Tropical Express tour showcases Maui’s fruits, produce, and tropical flowers on the farms. Kids will relish the Molokini snorkeling tour by ferry, the Atlantis submarine adventure, multiple hiking routes through lush tropical foliage, and the lively Luau festivals. 

Aruba’s Baby Beach has shallow waters ideal for kids to swim in. Hiking adventures at the Arikok National park and a visit to the ostrich farm, donkey sanctuary, and flamingo beach can be exhilarating for kids.

De Palm Island is a sort of all-inclusive kids-fun-activity resort with spectacular water slide jumps, banana boats, zip line, and a plethora of amusements for kids. The kids will enjoy a ride on the Atlantis submarine. 

Food and Drink

Hawaiian traditional delicacies can be best sampled over the Luau festivals in Maui. There are a wide variety of gourmet eateries serving indigenous Hawaiian cuisine. Try out the traditional grilled pork, poi, and lomi salmon. Your trip will be incomplete without a visit to Mama’s Fish House.

Other popular cuisines that you may want to savor are Polynesian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. 

You’ll find restaurants cheaper in Aruba than Maui. 

Restaurants in Aruba’s resort area mostly offer seafood and international cuisine and tend to be pricey compared with those outside the tourist areas. You’ll sample tasty traditional Aruba delicacies outside of the tourist areas such as Keshi yena, satee, and arroz con pollo. 

We’ll recommend the mouth-watering Keshi yena. It’s a traditional Aruba food of Dutch-origin heavily centered on cheese, wherein cheese balls are crammed with marinated meat and coated in Edam cheese. Pure bliss.   

Aruba’s restaurant scene is highly Americanized with a chain of American-owned high-end and mid-level food joints sprawled throughout the main tourist district. 

Weather

Hawaii can be rainy, so it’s recommended you book your hotel on the southwest’s leeward side. 

Maui experiences tropical weather that is fairly mild. It’s mountainous terrain accounts for its varying weather conditions in different locations on the island. 

Aruba has predictable weather that’s slightly warmer than Maui. It’s windy all-year-round. 

Aruba lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt, but Maui can be prone to hurricanes between June and November. 

Safety

Although both islands are considered safe for tourists, Aruba is safer with lower crime rates. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable that you stay alert and avoid isolated locations, especially at night. Do not leave valuables in your car unattended lest you become a victim of petty theft.

Transportation

In Maui, you’ll need a rental car for convenience. The bus transport system may not get you to all detours. We advise that you take a bus, uber or taxi when you arrive at Kahului Airport and rent a car from the town where it’s cheaper. 

In Aruba, public transport via the government bus system, Arubus, is reliable and covers all the major interesting places. Therefore, you do not have to rent a car. Taxis and Uber are available from the airport. 

Conclusion

Maui and Aruba are not easy to compare. Maui is a lush tropical paradise with breathtaking scenery. On the other hand, Aruba is an arid island with magnificent beaches and perfect, predictable weather. The beaches in Aruba are bigger and better with a matching water sporting portfolio.  

Maui has no casinos as gambling is illegal, while nightlife in Aruba is almost non-existent. These two island destinations are uniquely different and great in their respect.

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