You likely know Aruba for its white-sand beaches and all-inclusive resorts, its piña coladas and its luxury spas — but beyond the postcards and the ‘grams lies a world of desert landscapes, rugged national parks, and WWII shipwrecks just as easily explored. Welcome to “One Happy Island.”
Land in Oranjestad, and figure out when you’re going north and south. North is undeveloped, raw, desert-like, and wild — it’s mostly Arikok National Park — while south is where you’ll find streets buzzing in Spanish, English, and Dutch, food stalls and restaurants whipping up all sorts of cuisines (look out for Indonesian), and festivals adding spirit to the air. Of course, if you want to get away from it all, you could also go underwater — this is the Wreck Capital of the Caribbean, after all.