Downtown Oranjestad

Best Things to do During Your Cruise Port Stop in Aruba

If you’ve booked yourself a cruise to the Caribbean and have Aruba as one of your destinations, check out our guide to make the most out of your time on the island. Everything listed below is within walking distance of the cruise port terminal or only a short taxi ride away.

First things first… food of course! View our recommendations below.

The following restaurants are open for lunch and dinner:

Photo by Driftwood Restaurant

The Renaissance Marketplace

An endless selection of restaurants, shops, and nightly live entertainment options, all offered in a festive and friendly atmosphere that we call ambient here in Aruba. The Marketplace is also home to the Wind Creek Seaport Casino, Arcade Aruba and 5 o’Clock Par & Chill, offering plenty of fun and games for both adults and kids!

Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant

Great grub, famous cocktails, good music, and an authentic, fun dining experience alongside the Renaissance Marina – you can’t go wrong with Lucy’s. PS – don’t miss out on their famous Taco Tuesday!

5 o’Clock Somewhere

It’s always 5 o’Clock here (surprise). This rustic outdoor bar located at the center of the Renaissance Marketplace offers beats, bar bites, drinks, and live entertainment.

El Gaucho

El Gaucho is one of the oldest and most famed restaurants on the island. Known for their juicy Argentine cut steaks charcoal-grilled to perfection, such as their famous Gaucho steak (an 18 oz sirloin), if you are a meat lover… you’ll think you’re in heaven! In addition to their impressive meat selection, you’ll find an extensive wine list and their delicious homemade sangria, cheers!

Ricardo’s Smokehouse

Whether you’re craving delights from the sea or land, smoked or charcoal grilled, Ricardo’s, now located at the Renaissance Marketplace has it all!

Driftwood (dinner only, except for special holidays they are also open for lunch)

Located in the heart of downtown Oranjestad, Driftwood is one of the oldest standing restaurants in Aruba, and for good reason! They serve great seafood and traditional Aruban delicacies in a rustic ambiance of their natural driftwood dining room, making for a true local dining experience.

Water’s Edge Restaurant & Bar

Also just a short taxi ride away, and located beachfront on the dreamy and famous Eagle Beach, Water’s Edge offers a romantic, yet casual toes-in-the-sand dining and ambiance. Their menu is quite extensive, also making it a great choice for families and groups. Psst – they have three daily happy hours!

Surfside Beach Bar 

The West Deck

De Suikertuin Bistro

Dushi Delicious Cafe

If you’re not leaving until later in the evening or staying the night in Aruba, in addition to the above, consider these restaurants for dinner only:

LG Smith’s Steak & Chop House 

With your choice of top-grade meat carved to your liking tableside, it’s no wonder L.G. Smith’s Steak & Chop House is one of the top-ranked steak houses time and time again. In addition to juicy cuts of meat, they offer fresh seafood and international dishes. Want a nice wine to pair with that dish? They serve over 120 different wines by the glass to complement any one of their menu items. They also have a unique cocktail cart experience, where a mixologist will create your cocktail right at your table! 

Yemanja Woodfired Grill

Lima Bistro

Olivia Mediterranean Restaurant

Wilhelmina Restaurant

Flor de Oriente

Nusa Aruba

Que Pasa Restaurant & Winebar

Koal Aruba

Taste My Aruba

Browse more restaurant options in Aruba.

Eagle Beach

Druif Beach (by Divi)

Eagle Beach

Surfside Beach

Renaissance Private Island (Flamingo Beach)

While the island is private and reserved for Renaissance Resort guests, non-resort guests can inquire to purchase a day pass to spend the day enjoying the beaches and restaurant & bar on the island as well. Please note day pass availability is limited, often it is based on the current resort occupancy rate. Contact Renaissance Aruba directly for availability.

Beach bars
Photo by Beach Bar Aruba

Beach Bar Aruba

Location: On Druif Beach, directly across from Divi Golf & Beach Resort

Surfside Beach Bar

Location: On Surfside Beach (across from Talk of the Town Hotel), near the airport landing strip and next to Barefoot Restaurant

Want to find a nearby watering hole but it doesn’t necessarily need to be located on the beach? Check out the following:

Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant

5 o’Clock Somewhere

Hoya Lush Cafe

Paddock Eet Cafe

There are plenty more places on the island to grab a drink however the above mentioned bars are within nearby proximity to the cruise port terminal/downtown area.

Photo by Renaissance Mall

Renaissance Mall

The Renaissance Mall is an iconic shopping mall in Aruba, where you can find all your favorite fashion brands and designers, as well as discover exciting new ones.

The Renaissance Marketplace

Situated along the cozy marina harbor and the elegant Wilhelmina Park, the Renaissance Marketplace offers culinary experiences and a wide variety of international cuisines, local stores with the most memorable souvenirs, and boutiques with the latest fashion trends. 

The Local Market (across from the cruise port terminal)

Local Shopping Stands (located just in front of the cruise port terminal as well as alongside the Renaissance Marina)

Main Street

Royal Plaza Mall

Tours, attractions and museums
Photo by Aruba Walking Tours

Catch a ride on the free trolley, find hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafes, and learn about Aruban culture and history by visiting some museums. Museums to see include: Aruba’s Historical Museum (Fort Zoutman) and the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba.

Want to have a guide show you around the downtown area? Check out Aruba Walking Tours.

For those wanting to venture away from the downtown area browse Island Tours and Activities. Many operators offer cruise ship terminal pick-up and drop-off. Inquire with the company directly to ensure they have a tour time that works within your timeframe.

Casino lovers will be happy to know there are two casinos downtown, Wind Creek Crystal & Seaport Casinos.

Additional helpful information

You’ll find ATM’s spread throughout the area, some particular locations include:

Royal Plaza Mall (ATM is on the ground level)

Main Street (ATM’S are located at Aruba Bank and CMB)

There are pharmacies (boticas) located downtown:

Caya G.F. Betico Croes 103 – Located at the end of Mainstreet

Havenstraat 30 – Located behind Royal Plaza

Public restrooms:

Inside Renaissance Mall (ground level)

At The Renaissance Marketplace (on the Renaissance Ocean Suites side near the Police station)

View more things to do and see in Aruba.