There are going to be some hot spots when it comes to vacationing in the Caribbean. Names like Aruba and the Bahamas top the list. The weather will be similar, but the islands are unique and come with a bunch of surprises.
Aruba is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and this Dutch Caribbean island is best known for its clean white powdery beaches. The Bahamas is an island chain, sixteen to be exact, and not just a single island.
The Bahama island chain was part of the British Empire until, in 1973, the commonwealth became an independent nation.
What are the Differences?
As briefly touched on in the section above, the main difference will be that Aruba is a single Island, while the Bahamas are a group of sixteen islands. Another difference will be the area in the Caribbean in which they are located.
Aruba is in the southern Gulf region just north of Venezuela, and the Bahamas are north of Puerto Rico and East of the Florida Coast.
There will also be the Sovereignty portion of the comparison. For instance, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas will be an independently run government while Aruba is a part of the governance of the King of the Netherlands.
Pros and Cons of Aruba vs. Bahamas
The pro about Aruba is the lack of Hurricane and Tropical Storms that make landfall there, which is a big reason for the beaches being the clean powdery white they are famous for.
But, unfortunately, the con will be difficult to find space on this nineteen-mile-long stretch of land, which leads us to the pro of the Bahamas, which is the privacy that comes with having sixteen islands.
The con of the Bahamas is the danger of Hurricane weather during the warmer weather months. Every year comes with the risk of a major weather event running your stay.
Which One has more Kids’ Entertainment?
When answering this question, it will depend on the activities in which your family participates. For example, the outdoorsy family will want to visit Aruba’s Butterfly Farm, play at the Animal Garden, and the Arikok National Park.
However, the Bahamas will have more entertainment gear for children than Aruba, starting with the kid-friendly rides at Aquaventure on Paradise Island, which has tons of waterpark fun.
To capture the kid’s imagination about the Pirates that roamed these waters, take them to the Pirates of Nassau Museum.
There will be more to explore on the island chain, like the Lucayan National Park and Fort Montagu.
Which One has More things to do for Adults?
The contrast in the environments of these two islands comes in the form of entertainment. Aruba boasts a more laid-back romantic experience centered around relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
However, that does not mean there is no presence of nightlife on the Dutch Caribbean island. A quick visit to the Palm Beach area should satisfy.
The Bahamas has what is called ‘Adult-only All-inclusive’ resorts that will spice the night up and allow couples to reconnect and have fun together but give singles a chance to mingle.
What is the Best Time for a Family vacation in Aruba and the Bahamas?
The Bahamas, as mentioned earlier in the article, will be one of those gambling vacations during the hurricane season between the months of June and November, which might make it a destination in the winter to spring seasons.
Fortunately, Aruba does not have the same risks as the Bahamas regarding the severe weather category. Recent hurricane activity that passed by would be Ivan, in 2004, which came within eighty miles.
Instead, you will have the freedom to visit all year, but consider visiting in April for the King’s Day Celebration, which might afford you a chance to see the King himself, Willem-Alexander.
Final Thoughts on Aruba vs. Bahamas for Family Vacation
What are the important aspects of your vacation? Are you traveling with family or with a loved one, or are you single and just trying to find a bit of fun in the Caribbean? Both of these destinations will have just what a vacationer is looking for, with a few slight differences.
Aruba is a more laid-back location geared for those trying to relax and enjoy the beach. On the other hand, the Bahamas is more of an adrenaline-packed entertainment destination where people of all ages will have something fun to do.
One unique aspect of the history of this area will be captured in the old forts and pirate museums that depict the tales of swashbuckling and ship battles.