There’s something about the beaches of Aruba that entices us to return again and again.
I’m not sure what it is.
The feel of the white sand underneath my feet…
The perfect cooling temperature of the ocean…
The way the sun casts that certain glow…
The cactus and divi-divi trees…
We’ve been visiting Aruba for over 10 years now…
Years ago we stayed for a week in one of the many all-inclusive resorts that line the seven-mile strip of beach along the west coast of the island. But lately, we’ve only been able to visit Oranjestad, Aruba by cruise ship. It’s quite the tease really to have a gorgeous island right in front of you, and you only have 6 hours to enjoy it! But we manage. The key is to make the most of the time that you have.
We’ve visited the public beaches in Aruba so many times that we don’t even need to think about what we need to do or where we’re going – we’re on a mission.
In Aruba Malmok Beach is MY Beach Spot
We get off the cruise ship as fast as we can, and we walk directly across from the Aruba cruise ship terminal to the main bus depot and board bus line 10 ($2.50 US each way). The sign will say “Hotel Area”.
(The Aruba bus depot is just west of the Royal Plaza – the pink buildings with the gold dome in the photo)
Can you walk to seven-mile beach from the Aruba cruise port? Technically you can, but it’s not an easy walk especially in the hot sun while carrying all your beach things plus, you are on a time limit. I suggest you take the bus or a taxi.
It’s quick and easy to get to ANY of Aruba’s public beaches by bus PLUS you also get a mini-tour of all the luxurious beach resorts as they are all along this very same bus route that travels along the main road. Taxies are also readily available.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: A word about the Aruba Bus System, don’t be surprised when you see that the buses are minivans. They’ll have a bus route number on them, and you’ll need to pay with exact change. If you are on the street and you see a bus approaching, and you wish to get on – flag them down, open the door, and climb right in.
All of Aruba beaches are open to the public along the famous Seven Mile Beach. Just look for the walkways between the resorts that say “Public Access”. If you decide to use the beach near the resorts, you may have to pay for the use of their facilities as well as umbrellas and chairs, but for the price, you will be well looked after.
Malmok Beach, Aruba
In Aruba, there are lots of fabulous beaches close to the Oranjestad cruise port, but we prefer Malmok Beach. It’s near the end of the line, and a bit remote (in a good way) and there are no facilities – but we don’t care.
There’s shade from the palm trees, but I usually bring my sunshade so that I can pick a spot away from the other people. (They call me the Calculated Traveller after all). With our cooler packed with drinks/snacks and our mp3 player and speaker we hunker down for the long haul with our friends the pelicans and the odd iguana on the rocks.
The water at Malmok is shallow, clear and calm. Perfect for snorkelling or just to stand in the water to cool off.
Speaking of snorkeling spots – don’t be surprised if you see people from the cruise ship on their expensive shore excursions and tours being dropped off to this very location to do a bit of swimming. There is a large reef system and sunken wrecks nearby if you want to venture away from the shore.
If we are travelling with others, and we often do, our beach of choice is Eagle Beach. It’s more populated, closer to the cruise port, and there are shaded picnic areas as well as some rental water sports available.
How to get to Eagle Beach from the cruise port? Take the same bus route and just ask the driver to let you off at Eagle Beach.
When we’ve had our fill of the sun, we simply walk to the bus stop on the main road and wave at one of the passing buses for the quick ride back downtown to shop for handicrafts, jewellery, perfume, electronics and souvenirs before returning to the Aruba cruise terminal.
We have plans to return again – I already have a date set with a certain Pelican I met….
Have you been to Aruba? I’d love to hear what you loved about the island.
Never been to Aruba? Well, what are you waiting for?
Other beaches to explore in the Caribbean:
– One Day in Philipsburg St Maarten – Sun, Surf, Shopping and Star Wars
– A Day at the Beach in Nassau Bahamas
– Curacao Beaches – Sun, Surf and Sand
– The Best Things To Do in Anguilla, British Caribbean
Prefer an excursion? Check out these adventures