When it comes to dream getaways, Aruba and Bermuda should be two destinations top of most people’s lists. Both of these friendly island paradises can offer amazing experiences, especially if you’re looking for sun, sea, and sand.
Choosing whether to visit Aruba or Bermuda for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation or honeymoon destination can therefore be difficult. Having visited both, we compare them below, and show you what each has to offer.
Aruba vs Bermuda: Stunning natural scenery
For tourists looking to sunbathe and swim, both Aruba and Bermuda are great options. Bermuda, 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. However, Bermuda is a much more expensive island than Aruba in terms of food, accommodation and the like.
Aruba and Bermuda both have those picture-perfect white sand beaches you see when admiring images of the tropics, however Bermuda does have more. Aruba, however, is one of the best spots in the world for snorkeling, and it beats Bermuda hands down in that respect.
Expect beach weather year-round in Aruba. However the temperatures in Bermuda from mid-December to March can be relatively cool.
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.
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.
What makes Aruba really stand out in the Caribbean is the colorful sealife you can see when snorkeling and diving here. Head to Baby Beach in the very south of the island, and expect to be mesmerized. This is probably one of the best snorkeling spots in the world 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, despite the 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!
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 the colorful sea-life.
For such a small nation, Bermuda packs a punch in terms of natural attractions. When you need a break from sunbathing and swimming, then make your way to Walsingham Nature Reserve. Here you can explore the magnificent Crystal Caves that are 120 foot below the ground – one of dozens of caves on the island.
For a dip, you can go to the natural swimming lakes situated throughout the mangroves in Blue Hole Park – there are several walking trails to enjoy that take you to and from these swimming spots.
Aruba vs Bermuda: Explore the sights and experience the tropics
Along with the natural scenery on offer, both Aruba and Bermuda have a wealth of attractions and cultural experiences worth checking out.
Bermuda has no casinos though, as gambling is illegal. So if you want to try your hand at blackjack, Aruba is the place to be.
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.
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 however 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.
As an overseas territory of the UK, expect British influences. However American culture, as well as Native American and 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.
Aruba vs Bermuda: A taste of the island life
Both Aruba and Bermuda will provide a treat for your taste-buds, with cuisine focused around seafood.
Aruban cuisine is a mix of Caribbean, Dutch, and Latin American influences, which as you can probably guess 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 desert, you must try Pan Bollo. This traditional Aruban delicacy is bread pudding often served with rum (what else!) and ice cream. It’s delicious.
Bermudan cuisine is a real mash of English and Caribbean influences, and subsequently favorite dishes here 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 should you choose?
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.
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 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.
Recommended for your trip to Aruba or Bermuda
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