Last updated on March 14, 2023 by Wandering our World
When it comes to dream getaways, Aruba and Bermuda should be two destinations top of most people’s lists.
Yet while both of these friendly island paradises can offer amazing experiences, especially if you’re looking for sun, sea, and sand, they’re actually very different from each other…
For example, if you’re looking for spectacular beaches then Bermuda may be the better choice. Beaches are where Bermuda really shines, and with more coastline than Aruba, they’re not in short supply either.
However if you’re looking for a holiday which encompasses lazy days on the beach, but fun evenings trying out new bars or having a go on the slot machines, then Aruba offers just that. Not only this, the snorkeling opportunities on the island are considered by many to be better than Bermuda.
But that’s just the very beginning when it comes to how different Aruba and Bermuda are…
That’s where we can help! After visiting both, we compare them below, and show you what each has to offer.
We look at which has the better beaches, nightlife, what activities you can do in each, how the vibe compares, and more. All so you can make the right vacation decision!
- A Quick Overview & Comparison
- Which Has The Better Beaches & Landscape?
- Which Has The Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?
- Where To Stay According To Your Budget
- How Does The Cuisine Compare?
- Which Is The Better Choice?
A Quick Overview & Comparison
For tourists looking to sunbathe and swim, both Aruba and Bermuda are great options. Yet Bermuda, which is made up of 138 islands and cays, has 64 miles of coastline compared to smaller Aruba’s 43 miles.
Both have stunning beaches and great turquoise swimming waters, but Bermuda is probably the better choice if beaches are your main criteria.
Bermuda has some of the best in the region, and it’s a very easy island to get around with a decent and cheap bus service. In theory that means you can get from beach to beach, town to town, in Bermuda very easily.
That said, both Aruba and Bermuda do have those picture-perfect white sand beaches you see when admiring images of the tropics, it’s just that Bermuda has more – it even has stunning pink sand beaches as well.
Aruba, however, is one of the best spots in the Caribbean for snorkeling, and it probably beats Bermuda in that department.
Expect beach weather year-round in Aruba as well. In comparison, the temperatures in Bermuda from mid-December to March can be relatively cool. So that may be worth factoring in to any decision you make.
Aruba also sits outside of the hurricane belt, so you don’t need to be concerned about dangerous storms at any time of the year. In comparison, Bermuda’s hurricane season runs from June to November, and on average the island gets hit by a strong storm once every 7 years.
Bermuda is also a much more expensive destination than Aruba in terms of food, accommodation and activities.
Below we look in more detail at what both islands have to offer potential tourists, before showing how each is different culturally, and what to expect.
Which Has The Better Beaches & Landscape?
Aruba: Beaches & Scenery
For a fantastic swimming spot, and a long stretch of white sand, then head to Eagle Beach in the island’s north. It’s the picture perfect image of a Caribbean coastline.
Palm Beach is another very popular spot and fantastic beach with lots of water sport activities.
What makes Aruba really stand out in the Caribbean is the colorful sealife you can see when snorkeling and diving around the island, as well as the many shipwrecks you can explore!
In particular, head to the western side of the island for great snorkeling sites where you can watch numerous colorful reef fish and swim with sea turtles. A great underwater camera – such as this one – is a must.
Malmok Beach is another great beach and snorkeling spot. The water is exceptionally clear – almost glass-like.
In fact it’s possible to even see the 400-foot SS Antilla – now a haven for sealife – from the surface. And that’s despite the World War II shipwreck being on the seabed!
Another wonderful spot for wildlife is De Palm Island, a small private island off the coast of Aruba. It’s home to a friendly flock of flamingos!
Bermuda: Beaches & Scenery
This little British island territory has some stunning stretches of coastline, with white, golden, and even pink sand beaches.
Bermuda’s longest beach, Warwick Long Bay, is a great place to dip your toes for a romantic walk along the shore.
One of our favorite beaches is West Whale Bay, which has unbelievable turquoise-clear water. As the name suggests, you can also spot migrating humpback whales here during April.
For a more secluded and private beach, head to Clarence Cove, which also has safe calm swimming water.
However if you want a snorkeling spot, we would recommend Church Bay. The reef lies very close to the shoreline, so you can rent snorkeling equipment from the refreshment stands nearby and swim out to view the colorful sea-life.
For such a small nation, Bermuda packs a punch in terms of natural attractions too.
When you need a break from sunbathing and swimming, then make your way to Walsingham Nature Reserve. There you can explore the magnificent Crystal Caves that are 120 foot below the ground. They are one of dozens of caves on the island.
For a dip, you can go to the natural swimming lakes and holes situated throughout the mangroves in Blue Hole Park. There are several walking trails to enjoy that take you to and from these swimming spots.
All in all, if you’re looking for exceptional beaches alongside other natural landmarks – like caves, natural swimming holes, and a few hiking trails – then Bermuda will likely be the better choice for you over Aruba.
Which Has The Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?
Along with the natural scenery on offer, both Aruba and Bermuda have a wealth of attractions and cultural experiences worth checking out.
Both have a good nightlife scene, although Bermuda has no casinos as gambling is illegal. So if you want to try your hand at blackjack, Aruba is the place to be.
Aruba: The Culture
Although officially part of the Netherlands, Aruba has been under Spanish and British control in recent centuries, and all of that has left a mark on the island. Despite that, there’s a notable ‘Americanized’ feel on the island.
There was a small gold boom in the 19th century, and the ruins from that can be toured.
The old gold smelters, Bushiribana and Balashi, are outside of Aruba’s capital Oranjestad and give an interesting insight into the dash for Aruban gold.
Staying near the capital, the Butterfly Farm is well worth visiting. This is an opportunity to step into a lush forested area and enjoy the colors of thousands of exotic butterflies above your head.
Apart from the beaches, what Aruba is really known for is its nightlife! All major hotel resorts have casinos that are popular when the sun goes down, and Oranjestad has a fun nightlife and shopping scene.
Bermuda: The Culture
As an overseas territory of the UK, expect British influences. However American culture, as well as African influences have all left their mark on this fascinating little island.
The capital of Bermuda – Hamilton – with its multi-colored houses is a great place to learn more about this mash up between British colonial history and African heritage.
Bermuda National Gallery and the The Museum of the Bermuda Historical Society are both worth visiting if the island’s history and culture is of interest.
If you’re on vacation in Bermuda for a week or more, and are exploring the island’s towns as well as beaches, then expect to come across Gombay!
These colorful Bermudan dance troupes perform on the streets and at festivals throughout the year to rhythmic drumming in a tradition that dates back to the 1800s.
Where To Stay According To Your Budget
Budget: If you are looking to travel on a budget, there are also some low-end backpacker options in Aruba. These options are located in and around Oranjestad and the best is probably Aruba Harmony Apartments (see photos and rates!).
Luxury: With its on-site casino, water activities, spa and outdoor pools, the five-star beachfront Ritz-Carlton, Aruba is always going to be a fantastic stay.
Even more so due to its location right on Palm-Eagle Beach, so every day can be a beach day when staying here. See photos and rates!
Budget: Bermuda Connections is a set of fantastically priced vacation apartments with sea views located in Pompano Beach. They’re well worth considering if heading to Bermuda on a budget, although the apartments tend to get booked up months in advance. See photos and rates!
Luxury: With four private beaches and surrounded by turquoise waters on two sides, it’s hard to beat he five-star Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa when it comes to luxury.
With a tennis court, putting great, two pools, a watersports center and more, it’s hard to get bored when staying here too. See photos and rates!
A Taste Of Island Life: How Does The Cuisine Compare?
Both Aruba and Bermuda will provide a treat for your taste buds, with cuisine focused around seafood.
Aruba: The Food
Aruban cuisine is a mix of Caribbean, Dutch, and Latin American influences. Which makes it a pretty good place to visit as a foodie!
Keshi Yena is regarded as the national dish of Aruba. This large ball of cheese is stuffed with chicken (but sometimes other types of meat too), and is a real comfort food.
Trying out the seafood is, of course, an absolute must. Common freshly caught fish here includes mahi-mahi, grouper and lionfish.
Our recommendation is to try out the prawn starters that appear on menus up and down the island. Freshly caught and often cooked with coconut water, they’re a real treat for the taste buds.
For dessert, you must try Pan Bollo. This traditional Aruban delicacy is bread pudding often served with rum (what else!) and ice cream. It’s delicious. Or you can skip dessert and choose a refreshing coconut direct from the straw!
Bermuda: The Food
Bermudan cuisine is a real mash of English and Caribbean influences, and subsequently popular dishes include salted codfish and potatoes (a common breakfast), fish chowder, and fish and chips!
Seafood is therefore a big deal in Bermuda, and locally caught rockfish and wahoo are almost always on the menu around the island.
For desert, bananas are king. Banana crumble and Bermuda Banana cakes are well worth trying.
To wash it all down, rum – like most tropical islands – is the drink of choice! Try the Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail, a blend of rum with ginger beer.
Aruba vs Bermuda: Which Is The Better Choice?
Both islands are worth visiting if you have the time and money.
However if you’re looking for spectacular beaches then Bermuda may be the better choice. Beaches are where Bermuda really shines, and with more coastline than Aruba, they’re not in short supply either.
But if you’re looking for a holiday which encompasses lazy days on the beach, but fun evenings trying out new bars or having a go on the slot machines, then Aruba offers both.
Not only this, the snorkeling opportunities on the island are considered by many to be better than Bermuda. In general Aruba is a cheaper island to holiday on too.