Aruba feels a much more developed island than its counterpart of Curacao. It's smaller and flatter than Curacao, which is probably why. Not only has it just approved civil unions, there is also a very healthy Gem and Precious Metals trade on the islands “” many great deals to be had so best to shop around. Best Jewels can be found down near the Port and old town. And a good first bite while you ponder if your unsure is Iguana Joe's, friendly open air service while you lookout over the bay.
As with the perfect winter sun destination of Curacao the best beaches are along the southwest and west coasts, and indeed many of the five star resorts are directly west facing; such as the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott resorts. Here the beaches are laid out with palm roofed umbrellas sometimes ten or more deep, and very active.
If the quieter beach scene is more your liking, Eagle Beach has far more open sand, with the same amazing water and sapphire sky. Go further up the coast to Arashi Beach though and you'll almost be on your own. The waves here can get larger in places “” perfect for a bit of body boarding! All these beaches are serviced by buses, and if you book in advance a taxi can drop you off and collect you at a certain time.
If you're thinking about a December getaway, the island will still love you. While the buses may have Christmas day off, many taxis will still operate “” just be prepared for a little surcharge for them sacrificing the special day. The weather in December in the whole Caribbean is fantastic. It might be winter, but you're still going to see temperatures in the thirties, be able to swim in warm waters and need plenty of sunscreen!