Bahamas vs Aruba: Which Vacation is Better?

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Itching to escape to a tropical paradise? Well, the Bahamas and Aruba are two top-rated vacation destinations that can promise just that.

But the real question is, which destination is the better pick for your dream getaway?

Are you craving the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas or the desert-like landscape of Aruba?

Both locations have their unique appeal, but it’s time to settle this debate once and for all.

Get your passport ready, folks – it’s time to dive into the ultimate showdown: Bahamas vs Aruba.

Is the Bahamas or Aruba Better?

What is the Bahamas Known For?

Ah, the Bahamas…If you’re a lover of sun, sand, and the sea, you’re in for a treat.

With a multitude of islands, cays, and beaches, you’ll never run out of places to explore.

The snorkeling and scuba diving sites are some of the finest in the world, and the natural parks offer equally alluring hikes.

Even if you’re a city slicker at heart, you won’t be able to resist the call of the great outdoors in the Bahamas.

And the culture? Don’t even get us started. This place is oozing with laidback Caribbean vibes and is perfect for families and honeymooners alike.

Aruba Pink Flamingo
Aruba Pink Flamingo

What is Aruba Known For?

Aruba is a tiny island nation known for its luxurious accommodations, vibrant nightlife, and stunning natural beauty.

Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach, snorkel in pristine waters, or explore rugged landscapes, Aruba has something for everyone.

And with plenty of beachside resorts offering the perfect space to unwind, it’s no wonder that Aruba is a top pick for honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic escape.


Beaches in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is the land of 700 islands and endless sunshine. And of course, those sun-kissed islands come with their fair share of beaches!

In fact, you could hit up multiple beaches per day for an entire year and still have some left to explore.

One must-visit spot is the aptly named Pig Beach, which features pigs that swim in the water. Yes, you heard that right.

And for those who prefer a more relaxed beach day, shell-combing at Great Guana Cay is the perfect activity.

Let’s not forget about Pink Sands Beach, which is exactly what it sounds like.

With so many unique and picturesque beaches, the Bahamas is the ultimate destination for beach bums and Instagram addicts alike.

Beautiful Beach in Aruba
Beautiful Beach in Aruba

Beaches in Aruba

Aruba’s beaches may be small in size but they are mighty in beauty. The fact that they are easy to get to is like finding a treasure map with all the Xs marked.

Families looking for a safe haven will love the palapas and gentle waters of Baby Beach and Arashi Beach, while thrill-seekers can hit up Palm Beach for a plethora of water sports.

And let’s not forget the award-winning Eagle Beach, crowned the third-best in the world by Trip Advisor.

Whether you’re looking for a secluded getaway or an exciting day out in the sun, Aruba’s beaches will satisfy your craving for paradise.

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Things to Do

Things to Do in the Bahamas

With over 700 coral islands, it’s no wonder there are endless hiding spots for the likes of Calico Jack and Blackbeard. But let’s leave the treasure hunting to the pirates, shall we?

Instead, let’s soak up the postcard-perfect scenes – with 3,542 miles of coastline, you won’t be short on stunning views.

If you’re looking for an adventure that will make all your friends green with envy, taking the plunge into the Andros Barrier Reef and the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park should be at the top of your list.

These two spots offer some of the most breathtaking diving experiences you could ever imagine.

Swim with kaleidoscopic schools of fish, explore hidden grottos, and marvel at coral formations that will take your breath away.

For something a little out of the ordinary, feed stingrays on tiny Gun Cay or go for a swim with some friendly pigs at Big Major.

And if you’re craving some lush greenery, national parks, botanical gardens, and mangrove forests await you further inland.

The Bahamas truly has it all, including those famous pink beaches.

Exuma The Bahamas
swimming pig, The Bahamas

Things to Do in Aruba

Who says bigger is always better? Aruba is the itty-bitty island that packs a big punch when it comes to adventure.

With a coastline that boasts more beaches than you can count, it’s no surprise that water sports reign supreme.

But forget about beach volleyball, here it’s all about the extreme. Think windsurfing, parasailing, and kitesurfing – just don’t forget to hold on tight!

If you’re more of a landlubber, don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do. Take to the skies (without getting wet) with a kite flying lesson or cruise the coastline on a yacht.

If you’re ready to explore the depths, Aruba has plenty of dives to sunken wrecks – it’s like a scavenger hunt with a scuba tank.

Start off the next day by visiting Renaissance Island and De Palm Island, where you’ll find the ultimate Insta-worthy backdrop of pink flamingos.

But don’t stop there! The true gems of Aruba can be found along the north shore, where towering bocas and breathtaking natural wonders await.

For a change of scenery, head to the marshy bogs of Bubali Bird Sanctuary.

Small in size but big on adventure, Aruba is a destination not to be missed.


Nightlife in the Bahamas

When it comes to nightlife in the Bahamas, don’t expect the wild and crazy party scene you see in movies.

Sure, there are clubs with thumping beats and dress codes that make you feel like you’re walking the red carpet, but the overall vibe is much more relaxed.

You’re more likely to sway to the rhythm of a campfire jam session on the beach than bump and grind on a crowded dance floor.

And speaking of the beach, that’s where the real action is. Beach clubs with happy hour prices and resort bars with handcrafted cocktails are the place to be as the sun sets over the glistening water.

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Nightlife in Aruba

If you thought Aruba was just a beach town, you are sorely mistaken.

This island paradise packs a punch when it comes to nightlife; when the sun sets, the real fun begins.

Whether you’re in the mood to sip a glass of wine at a fancy bar or throw back shots with a rowdy crowd, you’ll find it here.

And let’s not forget the casinos – you never know, luck may be on your side!

With musical festivals happening all year long and party buses cruising the streets, the energy in Aruba is infectious.

It’s no surprise they call it the “Las Vegas of the Caribbean.”

Dining & Restaurants

Dining in the Bahamas

Hungry for a taste of culture? The Bahamas has got you covered! This island nation loves to serve up authentic local cuisine that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

And seafood lovers, listen up! You won’t find fresher fish dishes anywhere else.

Get ready to indulge in mouthwatering rock lobster, juicy baked crabs, and homemade coleslaw.

But don’t worry, even if you’re not a seafood fanatic, there are still plenty of delicious options to choose from.

For those looking for comfort food from home, the bigger hotel chains offer international options.

And what’s a Bahamian meal without their signature drink, coconut rum?

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Dining in Aruba

While fast food chains and all-inclusive hotel dining can be tempting, don’t let them overshadow the dishes unique to this island.

You’ll find a blend of Caribbean, Dutch, and Latin American flavors found in the local cuisine.

Start with the national dish, keshi yena, a cheesy and savory delight. Prawn-based dishes are also a must-try, showcasing the fresh seafood available.

And as for those deep-fried pastries stuffed with meats – well, you just can’t go wrong!

Top it all off with a sip of Aruba Ariba, the perfect way to cheers to your culinary adventures.

Where to Stay in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is the land of clear blue waters, crisp white sands, and tropical sunshine – a perfect destination for those seeking some time for true relaxation.

But where do you stay once you get there? Well, if you’re looking for some character in your accommodation, Nassau is the place to be!

It’s not just any ordinary place – it’s the hub of Bahamian culture.

Plus, Nassau boasts an impressive collection of all-inclusive resorts that are more than ready to cater to your every need – think elegant decor, plush bedding, and delish cocktails.

But no matter where you choose to stay, The Bahamas will steal your heart and leave you wanting more.

Our top hotel picks for the Bahamas:
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Sandals Royal Bahamian
Breezes Resort & Spa Bahamas

Where to Stay in Aruba

Aruba is where the sun shines bright and the ocean breeze is always refreshing. But with so many areas to choose from, where should you stay? Let us help you out!

If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, Palm Beach is the place for you. With plenty of restaurants, bars, and casinos, you’ll never run out of things to do.

For a more laid-back vibe, head to Eagle Beach. The soft white sand and crystal-clear water make it the perfect spot for relaxation.

Or, if you’re seeking adventure, stay in Oranjestad. This bustling capital city is home to colorful architecture, museums, and shopping.

Our top hotel picks for Aruba:
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Hyatt Regency Aruba
Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort

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Cost & Budget

Average Budget for 1 Week in the Bahamas

Wondering how much a trip to the Bahamas will cost you? All in all, the average one-week Bahamas trip budget for two is approximately $4300.

But don’t worry, with a little budgeting and planning, you can have an amazing time without breaking the bank.

Here’s a breakdown to give you a general idea:

Flights – The most direct and cost-effective options are from the East Coast, with roundtrip fares clocking in at around $500.

But hey, who needs a savings account when you’ve got crystal-clear waters and palm trees?

Accommodation – A good rule of thumb is to check out smaller hotels and Airbnb stays which can be easier on the pockets, ringing in at just around $50 a night.

However, if you’re looking for more luxurious amenities, the starting price per night for a standard room is $171 and can average around $312. All-inclusive packages costs even more.

On average, you might want to consider setting aside around $2450 a week just for accommodation alone.

Food – Let’s talk about the one expenditure we can’t avoid, food. When it comes to meals, breakfast is your best friend if you want to dine out.

Not only is it the most important meal of the day, it’s also the cheapest! Score one for the early birds.

But don’t get too excited, lunch and dinner will set you back about $17 per meal.

Keep in mind that sit-down restaurants typically charge more for their impeccable service, so if you’re on a tight budget, stick to the beachside food shacks that serve up authentic Bahamian cuisine without breaking the bank.

And let’s be real, you’re not gonna say no to a fruity cocktail at sunset. Be sure to allocate $13 per person daily to keep your spirits high.

Activities – There are tons of free outdoor activities to enjoy, from sunbathing on the beach to hiking to waterfalls.

Just be prepared to shell out around $26 per person for rental equipment if you want to go snorkeling or try your hand at kayaking.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, ATV tours and other exclusive activities can run upwards of $200.

All in all, expect to spend at least $400 for a week of fun in the sun for two.

Embrace the great outdoors and splurge selectively on the activities that really excite you.

Transportation – Costing an average of $26 per person per day, taxi rides may seem like the most convenient way to get around, but those costs can quickly snowball.

Instead, consider hotel-organized tours to keep those daily transportation expenses to a minimum.

champagne and fruits in Aruba
champagne and fruits in Aruba

Average Budget for 1 Week in Aruba

You’re itching to explore Aruba, but your bank account is giving you a stern look. Fear not, beach bum!

With a little budgeting and some smart planning, you’ll be sipping on a refreshing cocktail before you know it.

With an average budget of $4500 for a week-long trip for two, you can have the time of your life without breaking the bank.

Here’s the breakdown:

Flights – The flight costs may vary depending on your departure location and the time of the year, but a round-trip economy ticket would typically cost around $450 per person.

If you’re coming in from the west coast of North America, though, brace yourself because ticket prices may double, costing up to $950.

Accommodation – Find a place to stay doesn’t have to be steep, with hostels starting at $30 per night.

If you’re seeking a bit more luxury, a double room at a beachside hotel can be snagged for $335. Just don’t forget that luxurious hotels can make your wallet feel five-star sadness.

Food – Dining out will range from $8 to $25 per meal, with bottled water costing you $3 each. Need a stiff drink after all that math? Well, be warned that alcohol averages at a pricey $22.

Activities – If you’re looking to fill your itinerary, full-island tours and champagne cruises start at $80, while equipment-based activities will cost you $100 or more.

Transportation – Don’t forget about renting a car, which costs approximately $50 per day or $350 for the week. Alternatively, you can hop on a bus or a taxi, which costs around $26 per day.