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Insider's Guide to Aruba Nightlife

Nightlife & Entertainment

Whether you dance the night away a one of the flashy discos or immerse yourself in raucous and glitzy golden casinos, exult in the confetti and sequin sparkles of the cabaret and Vegas the style shows, the fantastic nightlife at Aruba offers you everything you could possibly desire.

As many visitors to this magical island have described it, it's really like taking a trip to the other side of the world, and being greeted by everybody there. The wondrous pizzazz of the Aruba night life will not be lost on the eager, excited and cheerful island vacationer like you, and it's hardly something that you have to look for. What a perfect way to wine and dine the beautiful romantic date you've always wanted to really impress! And for the singles crowd, there's nothing lost here. Coming to Aruba alone is a sure recipe for Cupid's success, not even to mention the sultry nightlife. Even family vacationers will not be bereft of enjoyable outings to take part in, although - truth be told - the best solution for the parental "fun craving" is to leave the kids back with the resort's babysitting service and dash off for a night of fun - just as if you were young again.

But it's not just the huge investment and large number of activities and clubs and things to do that makes the Aruba nightlife scene one of the very best in the Caribbean. Really, I think that the special appeal comes from the fantastic and intriguing blend of cultural influences that makes the Island of Aruba so unique. To begin with, for example, the island was once a colony of the Netherlands. Still a part of the commonwealth, it maintains Dutch as one of its spoken languages, and attracts a good deal of colonial Spanish feel in much of the architecture and atmosphere of the venues. And speaking of Latin influence, the South American and Caribbean native tourist count is, in a word, high. So go out dancing and prepare to be impressed - the floors will never be empty and although there is no sign reading specifically "wallflowers prohibited," you get the gist right away.

Suppose, now, let's assume that you're not exactly an old hat at the Aruba scene - as the chances are you won't be - and you aren't exactly sure where all the hot spots are. Well worry not, intrepid island vacationer; just read on - here is one of the most precise samplings of a few of the most happening activities and places to be in all of Aruba, as well as a virtual style guide for beginners.

First of all, don't go out to early. Although over half the tourists here are from North America, the Dutch, European and Latin American cultural influences persist here in making first roll call at the clubs start - at the earliest - at about a half hour past midnight. And concerning your personal schedule, this would be a good time to start, well, thinking about hitting up a club. The real prime time is about 2am, and just to play it cool, you don't want to show up more than an hour or so before then. The bars tend to wind down a little bit earlier, so if you work it right a good transition between bar and club would happen around a little before one o'clock in the morning. Past your bedtime? Get used to it.

So now you want to get out and enjoy the island party scene? First it will be important to determine how, exactly, would you like that party cooked? Indeed, some of the best bars you will end up running into are also some of the liveliest places in all of Aruba for hot dancing to live or recorded salsa and merengue beats that are so typical in the Caribbean and South America.

After happy hour and a few stiff cocktails with your sumptuous gourmet meal, you'll be ready for anything.

So what about some of the live shows and entertainment at the super atmospheric bars and clubs around the island? Start out with the best on the Aruba circuit: Iguana Joe's, Carlos 'n Charlie's, Mambo Jambo, Castaway's, Charlie's Bar on the Southeast Coast and the unforgettable Cuba's Cookin'.

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