This little island is a photographer’s dream with so many cool and unique spots to get great shots. It’s also ideal for Instagram and social selfies, too. Let us show you where to take them…
Iconic scenes & souvenir snapshots
Beyond the many “I Love Aruba” signs scattered about the island, there are many backdrops that show you couldn’t be anywhere else in the world other than Aruba. Like the iconic Fofoti tree on Eagle Beach. But downtown Oranjestad also has other uniquely Aruban landmarks worth discovering like the pretty pink colonial structure of Royal Plaza Mall and the lovely pistachio green and white frosted City Hall (Stadhuis). Also taking a shot alongside one of the many cool blue ceramic horse sculptures dotted around downtown says “only in Aruba”, as does taking a pic aboard the old-fashioned eco-trolley that rolls through town. The archeological museum is also a unique structure, it’s a restored historic family mansion with a unique story of its own.
Amazing animal snaps
Beyond the cool iguanas and meandering goats, there are many amazing creatures and critters to focus your lens on. You’ll find many of them at Philip’s Animal Garden. Who knew you could get photos with a camel, an ocelot, a crocodile, and even a kangaroo on Aruba? You can there. And the four-legged friends at The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba love to ham it up and smile for the camera, especially when you bring them treats like apples and carrots! Another surprise is the Ostrich Farm. Though these gangly birds are very far from their African home, they are very happy with Aruba’s similar arid climate. Learn all about them from egg to adult via guided tours on-site and get some comic shots while feeding them. The colorful winged wonders of the Butterfly Farm are also naturally photogenic. Set your camera to zoom when they land right on you! There is a butterfly wing mural for cool selfies there, too, and their big wooden sign also makes a colorful unique backdrop. And don’t forget your underwater camera or waterproof case for snaps and videos of Aruba’s abundance of colorful tropical fish. Maybe you’ll get lucky and run into a sea turtle if you snorkel at the Antilla shipwreck! It’s one of the few shipwrecks in the world that is easily viewed without diving.
Seeking to get pics from above? Head for the California Lighthouse and climb the spiraling 123 stairs to the top for a stunning panoramic view. If that’s not enough climbing for you, trek up the 587 steps (the counts vary) leading up to the top of Mt. Hooiberg (locals call it “The Haystack”) for another stunning aerial view. On a clear day, you might even see Venezuela! The Chapel of Alto Vista is also certainly worth a trip up. The peace circle mediation trail there behind it is also very photogenic. And for a bird’s-eye perspective, the sheltered wooden outlook tower at Bubali Bird Sanctuary also provides a perfect perch. Or maybe take a trip with SkyDive Aruba for the ultimate aerial shot!
Pristine and surreal and peppered with twisted divi-divi trees and studded with multiarmed cacti, the island’s protected preserve of Arikok Park holds a stark beauty of its own. And within the park is the secret treasure called the natural pool, or as locals call it, “conchi.” It’s virtually impossible to take a bad picture of this natural wonder; black volcanic rock walls surround a grotto where the waves come crashing over to constantly refill it with seawater. It’s incredible. And the cool Quadirikiri Caves in the park have natural skylights that also make for awesome pictures if you bask beneath them. But you’ll need to head to the Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins to find ready-made rock frames to pose in from the spaces where the windows once were. And they look out onto the sea for postcard-perfect contrast scenes. And the quirky boulders that appear out of the blue at Casibari and Ayo also make for unique spots to take “only in Aruba” photos. You can climb the Casibari rocks via the manmade stairs there, and they also lead down inside them, too.
Man-made treasures & colorful culture
Another uniquely Aruban landmark is the massive red anchor standing in the middle of nowhere in Seroe Colorado just outside of San Nicolas. It’s a stunning spot to take a shot. It was placed there in memory of all the sailors who have lost their life at sea over the years. But it’s right in the town of San Nicolas that you’ll discover the most amazing photographer’s playground. The entire downtown grid of the historic little refinery city has been transformed with incredible outdoor art and murals. Take a tour with Aruba Mural Tours to learn the story behind each masterpiece. They are all results of the annual Aruba Art Fair that invites artists from all over the world to come and leave their work behind to revitalize the town. You can spend hours there getting great shots, and there are plenty of ideal places for selfies- angel wings, and things like 3-D optical illusion spots that appear differently on film.
Happy snapping around Aruba! This island is always ready for its close-up… and for yours, too!
By Susan Campbell