Aruba Vs Cancun – What We’ve Learned from Visiting Both

Aruba Vs Cancun guide for travelers

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Aruba and Cancun are some of the best destinations for tourists in the Caribbean region.

They have been popular for many decades, offering many fun-filled things any tourist would love.

These include sandy beaches and picturesque landscapes. However, how do they compare?

Although Aruba and Cancun share many similarities, they also have many differences that could make a difference in your selection.

Therefore – Before booking your vacation, consider different aspects to determine whether Cancun or Aruba suits you best.

This post walks you through how these Caribbean destinations compare.

Aruba Vs Cancun: Which One Is Better?

Aruba or Cancun vacation destination comparison
Aruba Vs Cancun vacation destination

You will get different answers if you ask people to choose between Aruba and Cancun.

It is understandable to get confused since both destinations are pretty great.

However, the choice is ultimately yours, but below are aspects to consider.

1. Location

Aruba is the Dutch Caribbean’s tropical arid island, measuring 30 km (19 miles) long. It is located 24 km (15 miles) off Venezuela’s coast.

Aruba Vs Cancun maps
Aruba Vs Cancun maps

It is well-known for its:

  • all-year-round sunny weather
  • white picturesque sandy beaches
  • lavish resorts
  • splendid nightlife

On the other side, Cancun is found in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico’s Southeast area.

It is famous for its fabulous beaches, electrifying nightlife, and historical sites. 

Nonetheless, both places are in the Caribbean region

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2. Cost

Generally, it is cheaper to visit Cancun compared to Aruba.

To put into perspective, expenses for staying in Aruba can come to about $1800 for a week and around $600 in Cancun for the same duration.

Aruba Vs Cancun price
Aruba Vs Cancun cost

However, you can reduce the costs for both areas by visiting during the off-season and trying Airbnb if you are on a budget.

The low season in Cancun is the wet months, July to October.

Keep In Mind – The air tickets and accommodations are lower during these months because the Caribbean belt is susceptible to storms.

The peak season is winter (January to March) in Canada and the United States.

You will find many affordable accommodations in Aruba tailored to you based on your budget, duration, and the number of people.

Prestigious resorts cost about $300 to $500 a night, but you will pay considerably less for BnBs and hotels. 

3. Attractions

Since these destinations are both in the Caribbean, expect warm weather, clear blue water, and fantastic beaches.

So, you will not go wrong choosing Cancun or Aruba if all you need is to enjoy beautiful beaches and water.

Visiting The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba

However, some aspects differentiate these places.

For instance, Cancun has better nightlife than Aruba, and many people visit the ancient Maya Kingdom’s attractions, particularly Chichen Itza.

You can also swim underground in cenotes formed by limestone caves. 

In Addition – Go to Cancun’s underwater museum with more than 500 remarkable life-size sculptures. Also, swim with rays, sharks, and fish in the interactive aquarium.

Aruba also has plenty of attractions.

These include:

  • Natural caves like the Quadirikiri Cave
  • Arikok National Park
  • The Ostrich Farm
  • A Flamingo Beach
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Sea life
  • The Butterfly Farm
  • Conchi
  • Spanish Lagoon
  • Blackstone Beach
  • Bubali Bird Sanctuary

Furthermore, Aruba has a rich biodiversity and many water sports.

Therefore, you can participate in thrilling activities like parasailing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.  

4. Weather

Weather is undoubtedly a huge consideration when choosing a vacation destination.

You do not want to deal with annoying lousy weather while trying to have a good time.

Aruba Vs Cancun weather
Aruba Vs Cancun weather

Natural calamities like hurricanes and floods and also bad weather can be dangerous. 

Fortunately, you are unlikely to face these problems while visiting Cancun and Aruba since the places have tropical climates.

Aruba is known for being sunny throughout the year and free of hurricanes.

However, both areas are warm all year round, with early spring and winter the most pleasant times.

Heads Up! The rainy seasons can be risky in Cancun since the place regularly experiences significant storms, such as hurricanes, in these months.

Although Aruba is found outside the Caribbean’s hurricane belt hence does not face severe weather, so avoid the rainy season’s bad weather. 

5. Food and Drinks

Apart from sightseeing, trying the local cuisine is a favorite among tourists.

So what do Aruba and Cancun offer in terms of drinks and food, you ask?

If you want seafood and international cuisines in Aruba, visit the restaurants near the resorts.

Ceviche delicious
Ceviche

However, for authentic local cuisines like Keshi yena and the traditional Satee, you are better off eating at the eateries. 

The eateries offer delicious meals and are cheaper than the resorts. Besides local eateries, the island also has American eateries.

Do not leave Cancun without feasting on Mexican food like Ceviche. In addition, you can eat international cuisines and seafood.

Food in Cancun is more affordable than in Aruba.

In Terms of Drinks – Cancun and Aruba offer plenty of refreshing tropical drinks, including cocktails you will not find in your home’s local pub. 

6. Transportation

You must figure out how to get around in your travel destination.

For example, Arubus is a government-owned transportation you can use to move around Aruba.

Since Aruba island is 33 km long, you can travel the entire island in 25 minutes to 30 minutes.

Cancun transportation tips
Cancun transportation

Cancun and Aruba also offer rental motorbikes, cars, and scooters.

You can also use uber and taxis to get from one place to the other, such as from the airport to your accommodation. Cancun also has affordable bus services. 

In addition, both places have ferries and planes, and you can also use free trolleys in Aruba.

7. Hotel Accommodation

Cancun offers affordable hotels that provide more amenities.

You can choose hotels that charge over $500, like Moon Palace the Grand or the Royalton CHIC Cancun.

Alternatively, other options include Krystal Cancun, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Occidental Costa Cancun if you are on a much tighter budget.

Cancun hotels area
Cancun hotels

Some hotels are adult-only, while others are designed for family accommodations, so check before booking.

Top resorts in Cancun have amenities like in-house eateries, swimming pools, stunning city views, beach access, and even massage spas. 

Most hotels in Aruba are situated on the island’s Northeastern side, with high-end, famous hotels in Palm Beach.

The island also offers family-friendly apartments you can rent and modern hotels that have casinos (gambling is legal in Aruba). 

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In addition, there are resorts exclusively for couples, seafront resorts, and B&Bs.

Look for more affordable accommodation at Eagle Beach, between Oranjestad and Palm Beach.

8. Culture

The beautiful beaches, pleasant weather, and numerous attractions are why people go to the Caribbean.

However, you can visit the region for its culture as well.

Cancun vs Aruba culture difference
Mexican culture in Cancun

Nonetheless, keep in mind that some areas are better than others when it comes to culture casing point being Cancun. 

A visit to Cancun will have you feeling immersed in the Mexican culture.

On the Other Hand – Aruba is not the best place to visit and experience culture since the island is highly conventional, commercialized, and Americanized. 

9. Hospitality

Both places offer good hospitality.

However, due to Cancun’s high risk of getting scammed, Aruba wins in this category.

Aruba realizes that its economy relies on tourism, thus ensuring the people that visit get the best service. 

10. Kids’ Activities

You can bring your kids on your trip to Cancun or Aruba, and they will have the time of their lives.

This is because both places have plenty of activities suited for kids.

Kids love Baby beach in Aruba
Baby beach Aruba

Below are the best places to take your kids in Aruba:

  • Ostrich Farm– your kids can watch and interact with these massive birds (ostriches), among others like peacocks and emus.
  • Flamingo Beach- visit here to see pink flamingos
  • De Palm Beach– it is the perfect place to enjoy family-friendly activities.
  • De Palm Island-suitable for snorkel tours, having fun at kids’ waterparks, boat rides, and drop slides.
  • Baby Beach- ideal for snorkeling, watching the sunset, building sandcastles, petting donkeys, and swimming.
  • Paseo Herencia Mall– is excellent for shopping, cinema, and dining, and it has train rides for kids and a fun-lighted carousel.
  • Atlantis Submarine
  • Aruba Waterpark
Isla Mujeres view
Isla Mujeres Cancun

Activities for children in Cancun are:

  • Ventura Park– the amusement park boasts water activities, funfair rides, go-karting, swimming, and zip-lining.
  • Isla Mujeres- Playa lancheros, Garrafon and Punta Sur Natural Park, turtle sanctuary/ Tortugranja, Playa Norte, Playa El Centro, El Malecon, and Kin Ha
  • Xcaret-learn Maya and Mexican culture, see and interact with animals like macaws and sea turtles, and do water activities like swimming 
  • Parque Las Palapas- ideal for child-focused and family-friendly activities
  • Croco Cun Zoo- guided tours for children (big and small)
  • Interactive Aquarium- has fish tanks, an interactive zone, an auditorium, interaction tanks, and an aquarium trek.
  • Jolly Roger Pirate Show
  • All Ritmo Water Park
  • Dolphin Discover

11. Security

Your safety is of utmost importance. Fortunately, Cancun and Aruba are safe but be careful when moving around, especially at night. 

Our Final Thoughts About an Aruba Vs Cancun Vacation

Cancun and Aruba are remarkable tourist destinations; you will not run out of things to do.

However, for unforgettable nightlife, visit Cancun and do not forget to check out the historical destinations.

Interact with nature at Aruba and bask in the fantastic weather. 

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