Santa Cruz

Travel Guide
Conchi Natural Pool featuring general coastal views as well as a small group of people

Find a slice of authentic Aruba away from the crowds at this centrally located town on the edge of Arikok National Park.

Devoid of the resorts, restaurants and offerings of Aruba’s popular western coastline, the town of Santa Cruz has a much more low-key and local vibe. Wander around town to see where locals live, chat with shop owners and get a feel for real Aruban life in this small, laid-back town.

Although Santa Cruz is not crowded with tourists, it does make an excellent base from which to see some of the island’s best natural attractions. Drive just 5 minutes or so from town to reach Mount Hooiberg, a 541-foot (165-meter) tall peak. Trek up more than 550 steps to the summit, which affords superb views over Aruba’s colorful capital, Oranjestad, and the harbor. On clear days, the vistas may even extend as far as neighboring Venezuela.

Drive 10 minutes southeast of town to Arikok National Wildlife Park, a vast swath of protected arid parkland. The park contrasts sharply with the more developed west coast. Hike along the park’s path to see unusual plants, including around 70 cacti varieties, as well as bright blue Aruban whiptail lizards and free-roaming donkeys. Venture as far as the east coast to discover wild and secluded white-sand beaches such as Dos Playa and Boca Prins. Take a tour around the park’s caves in which darkened chambers contain strange formations, bats and drawing by Arawak Indians.

The park isn’t the only place where you can see donkeys near Santa Cruz. Not far from town is the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba, which serves as a shelter. Arrive early to help feed and care for the donkeys, and ask volunteers about the work they do there.

Eating out can be great value in Santa Cruz. Many restaurants here cater to locals rather than tourists and their prices reflect this. Dine on barbecue in an open-air setting or pick up a few bitterballen, a Dutch snack of deep-fried, breadcrumb-covered balls with a meaty roux interior.

Find Santa Cruz in central Aruba, east of Oranjestad. Drive from Queen Beatriz International Airport to the town of Santa Cruz is around 15 minutes.

Where to stay in Santa Cruz

Mammaloes
Mammaloes
2.5 out of 5
Balashi 24B, Santa Cruz
The price is £78 per night from 25 May to 26 May
Stay at this B&B in Santa Cruz. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Popular attractions Aruba Town Hall and Renaissance Mall Aruba are located nearby. ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (11 reviews)
"Loved that it gave me a taste of true Aruban countryside. Swimming between cactus was the highlight. Did not like the many large gecko's roaming around at night."

Reviewed on 14 May 2022

Mammaloes
Fuego Mio Bed & Breakfast
Fuego Mio Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
San Fuego 48a, Santa Cruz
The price is £127 per night from 30 May to 31 May
Stay at this 3-star B&B in Santa Cruz. Enjoy free WiFi, babysitting services and a terrace. Popular attractions Aruba Town Hall and Renaissance Mall Aruba are ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (9 reviews)
Beautiful bed and breakfast with the best host!!
"My husband and I had the absolute BEST stay with Ingrid at this lovely, enchanting bed and breakfast. She was the consummate hostess, lovely, helpful with questions about the island and nearby nature preserve, and an incredible cook. Our first morning she made us scrambled eggs on toast with fresh ..."

Reviewed on 9 Jan 2022

Fuego Mio Bed & Breakfast
Blue Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Blue Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Santa Cruz
Stay at this holiday home in Santa Cruz. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool and on-site parking. Popular attractions Aruba Town Hall and Renaissance Mall Aruba ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Perfect getaway!
"My wife and I loved our stay at the Blue Casita. Greg and Audrey were great hosts. The casita is situated in a quiet, but easily accesible neighborhood. The placewas stocked with wonderful welcome gifts and our hosts anticipated our every need. The casita had a tasteful decor and the kitchen was ..."

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2022

Blue Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Blue Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Blue Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Santa Cruz
Stay at this holiday home in Santa Cruz. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool and on-site parking. Popular attractions Aruba Town Hall and Renaissance Mall Aruba ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Perfect getaway!
"My wife and I loved our stay at the Blue Casita. Greg and Audrey were great hosts. The casita is situated in a quiet, but easily accesible neighborhood. The placewas stocked with wonderful welcome gifts and our hosts anticipated our every need. The casita had a tasteful decor and the kitchen was ..."

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2022

Blue Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Dushi Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Dushi Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Santa Cruz
Stay at this holiday home in Santa Cruz. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool and on-site parking. Popular attractions Aruba Town Hall and Renaissance Mall Aruba ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (2 reviews)
Beauty and Bounty
"We can not thank our hosts, Rick and Audrey (and their son Mac who answered all our questions before our arrival) for such generous hospitality. We were greeted at the airport, driven to pick up the rental car that was included in our price, then led to the red casita (one of four on the property) ..."

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2022

Dushi Casita with Rental Car Included! (Pool+WiFi)
Private villa 5 km from natural pool
Private villa 5 km from natural pool
Santa Cruz
Stay at this holiday home in Santa Cruz. Enjoy WiFi, on-site parking and barbecues. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the property condition in their reviews. ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (8 reviews)
A home in the country
"A beautiful home in a quite neighborhood. Have to have a car rental. Driving is easy but will take 20 to 40 minutes to get where you may want to visit. Beaches and restaurants and wonderful. Roosters and dogs are part of the local charm. Neighbors are friendly and can be helpful if needed. I can ..."

Reviewed on 6 Jan 2022

Private villa 5 km from natural pool
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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