Aruba vs. Anguilla

Aruba vs. Anguilla

Aruba and Anguilla, two breathtaking Caribbean destinations, offer distinct experiences for every type of traveler. 

The main difference between Aruba and Anguilla: Aruba is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, situated around 29 kilometers north of the coast of Venezuela. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, enjoying a significant level of autonomy in its internal affairs. Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory located in the eastern Caribbean. It is under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, with the UK responsible for its defense and foreign affairs.

The distinction lies in their respective political affiliations and geographical positions within the Caribbean region. 

Cost Range for 1 Week$2,274 – $4,782 (source)$1,075 – $5,298 (source)
LocationCaribbean, off the coast of VenezuelaCaribbean, east of Puerto Rico
GeographyFlat, desert-like landscapeLow-lying coral and limestone island
LanguageOfficial languages: Dutch, PapiamentoOfficial language: English
GovernmentParliamentary democracyBritish Overseas Territory, parliamentary democracy
CurrencyAruban florin (AWG)Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD)
TourismMajor tourist destinationExclusive luxury tourism destination

Whether you’re in search of water adventures, delectable cuisine, cultural immersion, or off-the-beaten-path attractions, both Aruba and Anguilla promise to fulfill your travel dreams. Join us as we embark on an unforgettable journey exploring these Caribbean gems and discovering the unique charms that make each destination truly special.

Geographic Features and Location

Geographic Features and Location

Aruba, part of the “ABC Islands”Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao — rests off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean Sea. Its flat landscape is sprinkled with divi-divi trees, cacti, and aloe, a nod to its semi-arid climate. The island boasts some of the most stunning turquoise waters and white-sand beaches in the world.

On the other hand, Anguilla lies to the east in the northern Caribbean Sea, part of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. It presents a contrasting tropical wet climate that blesses the island with lush greenery and a variety of indigenous and migratory birds. Anguilla’s geography is mainly low-lying coral and limestone terrain surrounded by spectacular reefs and tiny cays.

In Aruba, you’re never too far from a beach or a breathtaking sunset, thanks to its small size of just about 180 square kilometers. The constant trade winds provide a refreshing balance to the year-round high temperatures, making it an ever-attractive destination for sun-seekers.

Anguilla, though smaller in size at about 90 square kilometers, is incredibly rich in natural beauty. Its quiet, serene landscapes offer tranquility often sought by those needing an escape from bustling city life. Despite its small size, the island packs a punch with 33 stunning beaches and a plethora of natural attractions.

Cultural Immersion

Cultural Immersion

Aruba’s culture is a vibrant blend of influences, including indigenous, Spanish, and Dutch, due to its colonial past. You’ll notice this in their official languages—Dutch and Papiamento, a unique Creole language. Traditional festivals like Carnival, Dera Gai (St. John’s Day), and the King’s Day Celebration display the Arubans’ zest for life and their rich cultural tapestry.

Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory, showcases a beautiful mélange of African, English, and indigenous influences. English is the official language, but you’ll also hear local dialects that narrate the island’s unique heritage. Cultural experiences abound in events like the Summer Festival, which features boat racing—a favorite Anguillan pastime.

Aruban art forms like music, dance, and crafts are an integral part of their societal fabric. Traditional dances like the Aruba Waltz, Danza, and Tumba enliven their festivities, and local artisans craft beautiful works from ceramics and driftwood.

Anguilla’s cultural immersion is equally intriguing. Traditional art and crafts are deeply rooted in the local community. They are known for their boatbuilding skills, and local artists often depict this, along with Anguillan life and landscapes, in their works.

Beaches and Water Activities

Beaches and Water Activities

Aruba’s coastlines, like Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, are renowned for their calm, clear waters and pristine sands. Popular water activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, and even submarine tours—offering you endless ways to explore the vibrant marine life.

Anguilla’s beaches, such as Shoal Bay and Rendezvous Bay, are less crowded and offer an intimate connection with nature. Activities range from snorkeling and diving among the coral reefs to kayaking in the calm, azure waters. A sail to the offshore cays will transport you to a secluded paradise.

Aruba’s underwaters hold the allure of numerous shipwrecks and a host of colorful sea creatures. The Antilla wreck is a prime spot for diving enthusiasts. Above the water, windsurfing and kitesurfing take full advantage of the island’s strong winds.

In contrast, Anguilla’s beach life is more about serenity and quiet exploration. Sandy Island and Little Bay offer some of the best snorkeling experiences. Anguilla also tempts visitors with opportunities for deep-sea fishing and sailing, often leading to remote, unspoiled beaches.

Cuisine and Culinary Delights

Cuisine and Culinary Delights

Aruba’s culinary scene is as diverse as its culture. Fresh seafood, Dutch cheeses, and Venezuelan arepas are just a few examples of what you’ll find here. You can indulge in fine dining at waterfront restaurants or enjoy a casual meal at a local food truck, all accompanied by a refreshing Aruban cocktail.

Anguilla, on the other hand, is a haven for foodies, offering a range of gourmet restaurants and local beach shacks. Fresh seafood is the star—think Caribbean lobster, crayfish, and snapper. Local dishes like pigeon peas and rice, and goat curry, are also a must-try. Be sure to wash it all down with locally-made Pyrat rum.

Dining in Aruba also means experiencing its innovative fusion cuisine, blending Caribbean, South American, and European flavors. Don’t miss out on local dishes like Keshi Yena (stuffed cheese) and Pastechi (fried pastry filled with cheese or meat).

In Anguilla, dining is an alfresco affair. Experience toes-in-the-sand dining at beach barbecues, where you can savor Johnny cakes and ribs. Or, dine under the stars at a fancy restaurant serving Anguillan-Caribbean fusion cuisine—there’s a flavor for every palate.

Travel Experiences and Accommodations

Travel Experiences and Accommodations

Aruba’s accommodations range from high-end resorts along the bustling Palm Beach area to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many resorts offer all-inclusive packages, making it a popular choice for travelers seeking a worry-free vacation. Tourist spots like the California Lighthouse, Arikok National Park, and Oranjestad’s colorful architecture provide a multitude of experiences.

Anguilla, known for its luxury villas and boutique resorts, provides a more secluded and tranquil travel experience. High-end resorts often overlook serene beaches, offering stunning sunrise and sunset views. The Heritage Collection Museum, Wallblake House, and art galleries provide cultural immersion.

While exploring Aruba, you might find yourself interacting with friendly locals at a bustling marketplace, discovering hidden coves, or even learning a few words in Papiamento. With a great nightlife scene, casinos, and numerous annual events, there’s always something happening on this lively island.

In Anguilla, exploration often leads to uncrowded beaches, art studios, and historical sites. The island’s laid-back atmosphere invites you to relax, though adventure seekers can find thrills in water sports or boat racing events. This balance makes Anguilla a cherished destination for both rest and play.

Attractions and Activities

Attractions and Activities

Aruba brims with attractions for every type of traveler. History enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Fort Zoutman and the Aruba Aloe Factory, while nature lovers can explore Arikok National Park, home to diverse wildlife and natural pools. More adventure awaits at the island’s caves—Fontein, Quadirikiri, and Huliba.

Anguilla, albeit quieter, offers its unique set of attractions. The Heritage Collection Museum reveals the island’s past, while art aficionados can tour local art galleries and studios, such as the Savannah Gallery. Nature lovers will find solace at the East End Pond Conservation Area, a haven for bird watchers.

In Aruba, activities span from land to sea. ATV tours provide a thrilling way to discover the island’s rugged landscapes. The Butterfly Farm offers a delightful visit for families, and don’t miss the chance to witness the natural phenomenon of Baby Bridge.

In Anguilla, visitors can immerse themselves in tranquility or venture out for adventure. Horseback riding on the beach, trekking through the Katouche Rainforest, or taking a scenic bike ride around the island offers a great way to enjoy Anguilla’s natural beauty.

Aruba’s attractions also extend underwater, with many shipwrecks serving as popular diving spots. On land, the local Ostrich Farm and Donkey Sanctuary offer unique experiences, while a tram tour around Oranjestad gives insights into the island’s colorful history and architecture.

Anguilla’s charm lies in its quiet, off-the-beaten-path attractions. Unwind at the Fountain National Park with its mysterious caves, or explore the Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse. Boat tours to the island’s offshore cays promise a day of adventure and exploration, revealing the raw beauty of Anguilla.

Aruba vs. Anguilla FAQ


Which country is Anguilla in?

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory located in the northern Caribbean Sea. It is part of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. As a territory of the United Kingdom, Anguilla enjoys a close association with Britain while maintaining its own local government and distinct cultural identity.

Which country is Aruba?

Aruba is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is located in the southern Caribbean Sea and forms part of the “ABC Islands” together with Bonaire and Curacao. While Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it has its own government and is self-governing in most internal affairs.

Is Anguilla bigger than Aruba?

No, Anguilla is not bigger than Aruba. Aruba covers an area of approximately 180 square kilometers, making it larger than Anguilla, which has an area of about 90 square kilometers. Despite its smaller size, Anguilla boasts a wealth of natural beauty, including stunning beaches and diverse ecosystems.

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