Updated January 2015
Popular Aruba Beaches
The two most popular Aruba beaches, by far, are Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Both beaches are located in the developed hotel areas on western part of the island. These are the most visited beaches by locals, hotel guests and cruise ship visitors.
In this article you I will lay out the differences and similarities between the two beaches and back them up with data, which I collected personally with public information provided by Aruba statistical office.
Outline at Eagle Beach and Palm Beach
What kind of resorts are there in Aruba?
On the Palm Beach strip there are the high-rise resorts, big hotel chains and taller buildings. Across the street from the hotels there is shopping, restaurant, clubs and some art. Meanwhile on the Eagle Beach strip there are low-rise resorts (maximum 5 floors), time share resorts and condominiums and just a handful of restaurants.
Which resorts exactly are there at Palm Beach?
High rise at Palm Beach (from north to south):
- The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba (New, opened in November 2013)
- Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
- Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club
- Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club
- Holiday Inn Resort Aruba
- Playa Linda Beach Resort
- Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino
- Occidental Grand Aruba Resort
- Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa
- Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
- Hotel Riu Palace Antillas (Reopened after renovations October 2014; acquired from The Westin Aruba, Resort and Casino)
- Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort
Low rise at Eagle Beach:
- Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba
- La Cabana Beach and Racquet Club Aruba
- Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino
- Paradise Beach Villas
- MVC Eagle Beach Aruba
- Oceania Residences (Condominium/Residences)
- Costa Linda Beach Resort
Unlike Palm Beach, there are no resorts build right on the white sand of Eagle Beach, except for Costa Linda Beach Resort.
Aruba has additional resorts but won’t be mentioned in this piece, as those properties are not located at neither Eagle Beach or Palm Beach.
What type of beaches are Palm Beach and Eagle Beach?
Both Palm Beach and Eagle Beach have clean, smooth, white and cool sand. However, at the northern end of Palm Beach near Marriott/Ritz-Carlton there are some areas that are not very smooth and pleasant to swim. The southern tip of Palm Beach, near Riu Palace properties are the best parts of Palm Beach. Eagle Beach is perfect for swimming.
If you are not staying at a Palm Beach area resort and have your own car, you will find e relatively difficult to find a proper parking spot. If you are staying the in the general area of Palm Beach, at a guest house perhaps, you will be better off walking.
Eagle Beach on the other hand is very easy to reach and there is ample parking space right in front of the beach. Park and walk to the beach and on into the sea.
What’s the sea condition?
Palm Beach tends to have calmer waters and less wavy, plus the wind is less of a problem. There have been reports of a rocky sea floor by the Marriott/Ritz-Carlton as opposed to a pretty smooth sea floor from there on southward.
Eagle Beach has more waves, is windier with a substantial more water scooter activities. This happen outside clearly marked safe-swim areas.
Some Resort Numbers
How busy can it get at Palm Beach and Eagle Beach?
Amount of rooms at Palm Beach (from north to south):
- The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba #320
- Marriott (all three buildings) #1168
- Holiday Inn Sun Spree #600
- Playa Linda #198
- Hyatt #357
- Occidental #380
- Radisson #353
- Riu Palace Aruba #450
- Riu Palace Antillas #481
- Divi Phoenix #241
Total amount of rooms at Palm Beach: #4548
Low rise at Eagle Beach:
- Amsterdam Manor #72
- La Cabana #362
- Tropicana #364
- Paradise Beach Villas #80
- MVC Eagle Beach #19
- Oceanea Residences #127 (Residences)
- Costa Linda #155
Total amount of rooms at Eagle Beach: #1179
Source: data provided by hotels.
- Palm Beach: 1,089,179 sq. ft.
- Eagle Beach: 1,162,308 sq. ft.
Source: own measurements.
Open beach/occupied by hotel facilities
- Palm Beach: 35% open/65% occupied
- Eagle Beach: 75% open/25% occupied
According to Aruba statistics office on any given day Aruba has an average of almost 14,000 hotel guests. This amount of visitors divided by the total rooms on Aruba (around 7000) gives an average of roughly two persons per room. The yearly occupancy rate for the rooms on Aruba is 79% in 2012 according to Aruba statistics office.
Calculations and Conclusion
After given you all this valuable information, I won’t draw a conclusion as to how much people are using the beaches at any given time. This data has too many variables such as pool visits.
While others prefer to go on an excursion while some opt to go out shopping.
Then there are those who just stay all day in their room watching TV, believe it or not. Being lazy or sunburn? Weather can also be a factor. Too hot or windy?
However I can draw some numbers and have a conclusion.
If Palm Beach has about 7,722 hotel guests on any given day, that can use only 35% of 1,089,179 sq. ft. of beach available and Eagle Beach has 1,590 visitors on any given day, that can use 80% of 1,162,308 sq. ft. of beach available, which beach do you think is going to be generally crowded?
Former Aruba tour guide, trying to provide value to Aruba travelers.