There’s more than one reason to choose Noord as your homebase for your vacation to Aruba. Situated on the northernmost stretches of the island, it’s Aruba’s top tourist destination and constitutes most populated region on the country. In addition, some of the Aruba’s best swimming and snorkeling locations are located there.
Fittingly, Noord means “north” in Dutch, one of Aruba’s 2 official languages. The other official language is Papiamento.
Once you’ve booked your flight to Aruba and chosen where you’ll stay in Noord, it’s time to plan your itinerary. Here are some of our favorite things to do and see in this wonderful city:
The California Lighthouse
This emblematic and recently restored lighthouse towers over Noord, like a stately watchman guarding Aruba’s northern coast. It’s a great place for a photo-op or two. As one of Aruba’s most famous and recognized landmarks, it’s a must-see. Don’t leave it off of your checklist of things to do in Noord, Aruba!
Since it’s situated atop a small hill, you’ll need to embark on a short climb to reach it, but trust us–it’s worth it! Once you’ve braved the trails, your eyes will be treated to a spectacular view of both sides of the island.
This beach is as gorgeous as it gets. A seven-mile stretch of white sand make it seem endless– and that’s exactly what you’ll wish your vacation in Aruba could be. The water is perfectly calm, with no undertow to pull you too far out, making it great for kids and families.
Like most beaches in Aruba, this one is sparkling clean and well-maintained. It is easy to access and normally not crowded. Visit for yourself to find out why Druif Beach is one of the best beaches to visit in Noord!
Boca Catalina is reportedly one of Aruba’s top snorkeling spots. The crystal-clear water allows you to view fish and coral with ease. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of an octopus plodding along the sandy bottom, or some starfish floating with the waves.
This is a great place for beginner snorkelers, or those who aren’t strong swimmers. It’s known to be a bit rocky, so it’s best to wear some water shoes.
Alto Vista Chapel
This historic, picturesque chapel sits on a hilltop overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It was built by Spanish missionaries in 1750 and still holds mass each week. It is said to be one of the earliest established congregations in the Caribbean, if not the first.
The chapel has been neatly restored and is well maintained. It is a little out of the way, but the drive to it is quite scenic, and you can count the 14 crosses that line the path on the way there. If you arrive at sunset, the view will be even more beautiful to behold.
Philip’s Animal Garden
This non-profit refuge for rescued animals is located near the Alto Vista Chapel in Noord, Aruba. Escorted tours will take about 1-2 hours, and you’ll receive carrots and food pellets to feed the animals. Or, you can simply explore on your own and view a wide range of animals that were once abandoned or injured.
Now, Philip’s Animal Garden is home to hundreds of different species, including monkeys, camels, boa constrictors, and birds. Kids will love feeding and petting these exotic creatures.
They are continually updating their facilities each year. They do not rely on government subsidies, but rather visitor’s donations in order to operate and provide the animals with the care they need. It’s the only organization that rescues and rehabilitates animals in Aruba.
Natural Pool on Noord’s Windward Coast
This natural pool located in Noord’s rugged Windward coast is a great snorkeling location. Located in Akirok National Park, it’s a bit difficult to reach (you’ll need to get there by jeep, UTV, or ATV). However, the sights and snorkeling opportunities are completely worth it. Nearby, you can also found a natural bridge.
The pool itself is accessible by treading over rocks, which can be quite slippery, so bring your water shoes. The water is generally calm, but waves from the ocean do crash over the side, making this a semi-adventurous location to swim (not for young children or the elderly).
These rolling, sandy dunes are perfect for exploration aboard an ATV. You can climb up the dunes for a picture or two, stroll among them, or drive through them with a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Keep in mind that this site can get very windy at times.The sea near the dunes can get quite rough and isn’t adequate for swimming. However, it’s just the right place to bring your UTV or ATV and explore Aruba’s amazing north coast.
To the east of this beautiful beach is one that is just as stunning and perhaps a bit more famous: Palm Beach, which is worth spending a few hours at as well.
Ready to book your accommodations in Noord, Aruba? Let Key Caribe unlock Aruba’s secrets for you, and give you the Caribbean vacation you’ve been dreaming of.