I have visited Aruba every year for the past thirty years and like many Americans, I love this popular tourist destination just north of the Venezuelan coast.
While many visitors enjoy the friendly locals and delicious food, my favorite activity on this idyllic isle is watching the sun set over the Caribbean Sea.
Due to its location near the equator and its photogenic beaches, sunsets in Aruba are legendary, and I have spent a significant amount of time trying to identify the perfect place to spend the 6:00pm hour.
Here are my three favorite beaches to watch the day transition into night on this beautiful Caribbean island gem.
As I wrote about last year, Malmok has been transformed with the addition of a hike-and-bike trail that opened up in February 2021.
This trail is called the Malmok Boardwalk, and I highly recommend using it for a sunset walk or jog along the beach. There were so many Arubans using the boardwalk for exercise that the scene reminded me of The Trail on Lady Bird Lake in my hometown of Austin, Texas, where throngs of healthy Austinites found solace through fresh air, outdoor exercise and camaraderie during lockdown.
Many of the sunset catamaran cruises sail from Palm Beach to Malmok and watching the boats pass in front of the setting sun is always one of the highlights of my trip.
Sundays are the best day for watching the sunset on the Malmok Boardwalk, as many locals end their week with picnics and parties on the beach.
One of my favorite pastimes is to walk along the Divi beach at sunset and watch the catamarans sail in front of the setting sun as the waves lap on the beach, which is both narrow and broad at different parts. There is a paved trail along the beach, where many of the Divi all-inclusive hotels are located.
Hotel guests at the Divi have access to beach chairs and palapas as part of their stay; however, if you are not staying at one of their beautiful all-inclusive resorts, you can still sit and swim at this beach if you bring your own gear. Pelicans are constantly diving for their supper and sometimes the hotels have live music around sunset, which provides a perfect backdrop as another Aruban day turns into night.
Alternatively, you can sit at the Ocean View Bar, which seems to sport a predominantly Dutch crowd, to grab a cocktail or bite. From your beachfront table, you can watch the sun fall towards the horizon, sip on a Balashi (the local beer) and witness the evolving palette of pinks, reds and yellows as the sun blazes its way below the clouds and ocean, emitting oohs and aahs from the assembled crowd.
Palm Beach is home to all of the high rise hotels, including the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, RIU and more. As a result, the two-mile long stretch of beach feels more like Florida in the sense that it is a main strip with hundreds of chairs stretching in front of every hotel.
One of my favorite exercises is to take a walk along Palm Beach, and my favorite spot to watch the sunset is from the elevated lobby of the Moroccan-themed RIU Palace hotel.
As you gaze over the RIU's pool area - replete with exquisitely manicured gardens and palm trees - toward the beach and its thatched palapas, you can watch the colors of the horizon change from yellow to orange to pink and purple.
If you want to read more about the stunning beaches of Aruba, check out my ultimate Aruba beach guide here.
I love Aruban sunsets so much that I wrote an original song called "Aruban Sunsets," which I filmed on Malmok Beach, see below:
Stay tuned for a brand new original fiction short story dropping in December that I just finished here on the island of Aruba.