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See allThe 10 Best Budget Islands in the Caribbean

by , SmarterTravel Staff - February 27, 2010
Aruba Beach

Aruba

Just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela, the island of Aruba sees sunshine nearly every day. When the sun sets and it's time to get off the beach, nightlife is waiting with plenty of casinos. The island is also home to more low-key activities. You can stroll through art galleries, museums (Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory or Museum of Antiquities, for example), and flea markets, which offer bargains in a local atmosphere. If you're looking to get in touch with nature, Arikok National Park, Bubali Bird Sanctuary, caves, and a butterfly farm will help you do just that.

Why It's a Good Value

Flights to Aruba have become competitive among low-cost carriers, with JetBlue, AirTran, and Spirit all vying for your travel dollars. Other airlines offering service to the island include Air Canada, American Airlines, Continental, United, and US Airways.

Aruba is another island offering a wide variety of accommodations choices, including all-inclusives, guest houses, villas, and brand-name hotels such as Marriott and Hyatt. Getting around the island is easy thanks to reliable, affordable bus lines serving popular tourist areas.

Look to Aruba's official tourism website for hotel deals, as well as activity and restaurant offers.

Best Beaches

Ranked number six on Our Readers' 15 Favorite Beaches, Baby Beach is a well-loved favorite. KenK says it's "perfect to lie on the beach, snorkel, and see numerous types of fish ... and shallow enough for the entire family."

Reader dr reagan prefers Eagle Beach because of its "fine white sand, perfect temperature, constant cooling breeze, crystal clear turquoise water, no bugs, no garbage, great beach bars ... and amazingly friendly locals!"

To escape the crowds, Suz2Suz goes to Manchebo Beach because it's "very wide and quiet as opposed to the high-rise area where the big hotels are."

(Photo: iStockphoto/Robert Linton)

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