Here is the Aruba that you see in the tourist brochures. Beginning just north of Oranjestad, the western coastline is a 10km chain of wide, wonderful, fine-sand beaches, fronted by gorgeous turquoise waters. The vast majority of island accommodations are located along this coast – mostly clustered in two areas known as the low-rise resort area and the high-rise resort area – which gives you a good idea about the backdrop.
The resorts provide the lush landscaping, which fools many a tourist into forgetting that this is a desert, along with the lounge chairs, the towel service, the beach bars and the water aerobics. And if there's anything the resorts don't provide, many tour operators do: from snorkel tours to sunset cruises, there is no shortage of ways to experience the Caribbean blue.