With deserted beaches and rocky coves, dusty plains dotted with cacti, and ancient limestone caves, Arikok National Park feels worlds away from the luxurious resorts of Aruba’s north coast. Covering almost 20 percent of the island, the park, one of the best reasons to venture south, offers a spectacular backdrop for outdoor adventures.
The most popular way to explore Arikok National Park is on an ATV or UTV excursion. A half-day tour is enough to take in the highlights, including the Aruba Natural Pool, and active types can choose from a variety of different hiking trails, swim or snorkel along the coast, or tour the bushlands on horseback. Alternatively, visit Arikok as part of an Aruba sightseeing tour and zip around the island in an open-air jeep, stopping at sights like Arashi Beach, Baby Beach, Alto Vista Chapel, and California Lighthouse.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Arikok’s entrance fee goes toward conservation efforts.
- There are several parking areas, but access to most of the trails is by 4WD only and there’s a speed limit of 12 mph (20 kph) throughout.
- Bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water, especially if you plan on hiking.
How to Get There
Arikok National Park is located along the southeast coast of Aruba and is only accessible by 4WD. Most visitors visit with a guided tour or hire their own transport.
When to Get There
You can visit Arikok National Park year round, but popular attractions can get crowded during peak season (January to March). The park’s typical opening hours are 8am to 4pm, and it’s best to get an early start to avoid both the crowds and the midday heat.
Things to do in Arikok National Park
In addition to the Aruba Natural Pool, the park’s top attraction, other highlights include Arikok and Jamanota hilltop, which offer incredible views of the island and Caribbean Sea; the sandy beaches of Dos Playa and Boca Prins, which are famous for the sea turtles that nest onshore; and Quadirikiri and Fontein caves, which are known for their Arawak tribe rock art.