Aruba is surrounded by idyllic Caribbean waters, lies outside the hurricane belt and enjoys average temperatures of 85 degrees all year round, making it the perfect destination for sun-worshipers. It isn't all ivory beaches and lapping waves, however - the watersports on offer, including wreck diving, snorkelling and more, ensure there's something for even the most energetic visitors. In addition, the island currently has a ban on new hotels being built to ensure it doesn't get Americanised to the point of no return like some other Caribbean destinations.
Splash out at the Renaissance, which has two locations - one for adults only and one family-friendly resort - on the beachfront; they even have their own exclusive island, with a boat going from both hotels every half an hour. If you're on a budget, the Talk of the Town resort offers a more intimate stay. The rooms - complete with small kitchen - all face out onto the pool and are a short walk or taxi from the beach.
The Waterfront restaurant in the centre of 'Downtown' sits on the corner of a square, which has live music every night of the week. Saturday night is lobster night - an island speciality!
Go wreck-diving with Red Sail Sports who'll help you navigated a submerged WW2, 400ft German freighter - one of the Caribbeans largest wrecks - just off the coast. Sitting just under the surface, it's a good spot for both snorkellers and divers to enjoy the marine life the ship attracts. An afternoon snorkelling costs $44 per adult and includes instruction, two snorkel spots, food and drinks. A jeep safari, meanwhile, is a great way to see the whole of the island: log onto www.depalm.com for more info. However, if you are holidaying in Aruba over July, swap wheels for wetsuits and join the annual reef care project. Volunteers receive a free day's diving and can go home safe in the knowledge they've done their little bit to keep Aruba as authentically beautiful as they found it. Discover more at www.aruba.com.
HOW TO GET THERE
First Choice holidays (www.firstchoice.co.uk/aruba) offers package deals from £499 for two weeks in one of the island's main hotel resorts. Alternatively, American Airlines (www.americanairlines.co.uk) flies direct to the island if you want to arrange your own hotel options.
By Lauren Veevers - Tuesday 26 February 2008