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Beating the Winter Blues in Aruba
As snow falls across the United States, the Caribbean island of Aruba is enjoying an endless summer. With an average annual temperature of 82°F (28°C), visitors are assured of a mild climate whatever the season. In fact, no month has an average high temperature below 85°F (29°C) or above 89°F (32°C). Low temperatures generally range from 76°F (24°C) to 80°F (27°C), allowing visitors to enjoy nightlife year-round. Yet, since so many of us suffer from the winter blues back home, the travel season from December to April is the best time to take advantage of Aruba’s exceptional weather. Although Aruba is near the equator, a constant easterly trade wind cools the island and keeps storms from hovering over the island. As a result, Aruba receives an average of only 18 inches of precipitation per year, with most rain falling between October and January. This trade wind also creates pristine conditions on the east coast for sports like windsurfing. On the other hand, the calm waters of the west coast are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. The sun rises and sets at nearly the same time each day, allowing visitors to enjoy a majestic Caribbean site any time of the year. Even better, the island is never threatened by tropical storms.
One of the biggest perks of visiting Aruba in January and February is the ongoing carnival celebration. Beginning with the New Year, Carnival is a non-stop festival highlighted by parades, live music and unique cultural performances. The Carnival celebration culminates with the Grand Parade – now in its 53rd year – on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. If you’re wondering how important Carnival is to Aruba, the island has declared the following Monday a national day of rest!
These winter months are also the perfect time to explore Aruba’s Arikok National Park, a one-of-a-kind nature reserve covering almost 20% of the island. With miles of hiking trails and plenty of exotic species you won’t see anywhere else, Arikok National Park is a must-stop on your Aruba vacation, no matter when you visit.
While it may seem odd to be lying on the beach in mid-February, that’s exactly what makes Aruba so appealing. Aruba’s beaches consistently rank among the cleanest, widest, and most beautiful in the Caribbean. On the southwest coast of the island, travelers will find one beach after another, each with its own unique atmosphere and various activities. Almost all of the beaches are public, and many offer water sports, swimming, and snorkeling facilities.
In addition to outstanding shopping opportunities, Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad, offers a number of unique museums and historical sites. Oranjestad is, in fact, a bustling colonial capital during high season, with plenty of tours and activities available. Outside the capital, you’ll find a wealth of historic architecture and remnants of Aruba’s colonial past.
As Aruba’s peak season is the US winter months, activities can be harder to find in the summer. Still, off-season tourism – from April until the start of the winter holiday season – can be a great time for families and budget-conscious travelers to visit Aruba, as many discounts are available. However, keep in mind that some tour operators may have limited or no service during parts of the low season, while shops and restaurants usually close earlier. Aruba’s summer months are also enjoyed by more European and South American visitors, although Americans are still the most represented tourist group.
A winter getaway to Aruba can be a dream come true for Americans trapped in the snow. Every season in Aruba will offer great weather and lots of fun.
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