Aruba’s always-sunny disposition is perfectly captured in its motto, “One Happy Island.” Blessed with a perfect climate, the temperate rarely rises or drops beneath the balmy 28°C, thanks to the refreshing breeze of the trade winds. The long stretches of blonde beaches and gentle surf have also made Aruba one of the most visited islands in the Caribbean. But this happy island is so much more than a pretty postcard. The two official languages, Dutch and the local Papiamento, reflect the little island’s unique history between the European colonialists and the native Arawak tribes. Celebrations like St. John’s Day and its annual carnival festival are dizzying displays of colourful costumes and traditional music that sweep you up during a lively street parade. While you are relishing the island’s pristine beaches and mild weather, be sure to save some time for exploring Aruba’s historical and culture past with a visit to the Aruba Archaeological Museum.

Part of Aruba’s charm is that it’s one of the few Caribbean Islands that makes no pretence. Yes, it has some of the most breath-taking beaches on the planet, but island’s atmosphere does not inspire exclusivity, instead visitors who holiday on a budget will feel right at home. There are low-key motels and mom and pop diners for every ritzy resort and five-star restaurant. Everyone is welcome and well looked after in Aruba.

With its bright pastel storefronts and cheerful atmosphere, the capital of Oranjestad is similar to other Caribbean cities. Oranjestad is known for its numerous fine jewellery stores and fun, tropical-themed restaurants. The city is also a great place to book all of your tours and activities, like snorkelling over the Antilla Shipwreck. Visitors can also enjoy water sports such as; parasailing, fishing and boat tours.

The best way to see the island and visit the distant beaches it by hiring an ATV for a day and follow one of the coast hugging trails. Aruba’s small stature makes it easy to explore the island from one end to the other in a day or two. While you wind your way across the desert-like landscape, be sure to park and explore the scenic beaches and interesting landmarks including: Baby Beach at the southern tip of the island; the Natural Bridge and the Natural Pool along the eastern coast, and the California Lighthouse on the northern end. The north side is also where you will find most of the resorts and the longest continuous, pearl-white sandy beach.  Arashi, Boca Catalina and Palm Beach are three of the most popular beaches in that area. Visitors can swim and snorkel in the calm, clear waters and sunbathe on the silky sand. Aruba’s most famous beach is without a doubt, the prestigious Eagle Beach. Eagle Beach regularly makes appearances on lists of the best beach in the world. Right outside of Oranjestad and adjacent to many low-rise hotels, Eagle Beach is in the centre of all the seaside action. Rent a lounger and order a frozen tropical concoction, you’ve just entered paradise.

Touchdown at Queen Beatrix International Airport and it won’t be long until you are smiling from ear to ear on this happy island. When you pre-book your Aruba airport transfers with hoppa, you know you are getting the best price for reliable and quality service. Now that’s something to smile about.