Belize and Aruba are extremely different Caribbean islands and as a result is suitable to varied types of travelers.
In this article, we complete a comprehensive deep dive into these two countries to help you determine which one is the better choice for your Caribbean vacation.
As a general rule, Belize is an excellent destination for visitors interested in world class snorkeling and diving experiences as well as exploring ancient Mayan ruins. Alternatively, Aruba is suitable for solo female travelers seeking a destination to relax and bask on white sand beaches.
Read on for greater insight into how these beautiful Caribbean countries compare. This article was written by a Caribbean national.
Belize Vs Aruba- Which Destination Is Bigger
Belize has a massive landmass of 8,867 square miles when compared to Aruba which is only 69.5 square miles. Additionally, the state of Belize comprises of approximately 450 cays.
At the time of publication, according to worldometer the population of Belize was 411,938 while Aruba was 107,667.
Belize Vs Aruba- Does The Landscape Differ?
The landscape of Belize and Aruba is polar opposites. Aruba is flat, desert-like and arid in terms of appearance.
Approximately 20% of Aruba is designated as national park which features its rocky and desert-like terrain.
The highest point of elevation in Aruba is Mount Jamanota which stands at 620 feet.
Contrastingly, Belize is lush, green and mountainous in appearance when compared to Aruba. Doyle’s Delight is the highest point of elevation which stands at 3,670 feet.
Belize Vs Aruba- Comparison of The Tourism Arrival Numbers
According to the data seen on the website Tourism Analytics, Aruba welcomed more visitors for the year 2019 than Belize.
The total visitors to Aruba was 1,949,664 of which 1,117,663 was stop over visitors and 832,001 being cruise ship passengers respectively.
On the other hand, Belize received a total of 1,674,265 visitors with 503,167 being stop over visitors and 1,171,098 being cruise passengers in 2019.
With the smaller landmass, attractions and other tourists sites may be more crowded in Aruba during the peak tourist season.
Belize Vs Aruba- What Are The Official Currencies
The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban Florin.
It was introduced on the island in 1986, replacing the Netherlands Antillean Guilder.
It is pegged to the United States (US) dollar at a rate of USD$1 to AFL$1.79.
On the other hand, the official currency used in Belize is the Belizean dollar.
Bank notes are available in $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Alternatively, coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and $1.
From 1978, the Belizean dollar has been pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of BZ$2 to $1 USD.
Nonetheless, the US dollar is accepted widely in both countries for transactions. Change is usually awarded in local currency.
Belize Vs Aruba- Which Destination Has Better Beaches
If basking on glorious white sand beaches is your main vacation goal, then Aruba is the better of the two destinations.
Eagle Beach which is situated in the capital city is one of the most popular and widest beaches on the island. It is one of the must visit stops on your vacation.
However, kindly note that if you are visiting this beach during Easter, that locals are usually camping so it is best to avoid the beach during this time.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a once in a lifetime snorkeling and diving experience, then Belize is the ideal destination.
The Turneffe Atoll is one of the best sites on the island for diving and snorkeling. Located approximately 20 miles from Belize City, this site gives divers the opportunity to see beautiful reefs and amazing wildlife.
Additionally, there are areas with shallow and pristine waters perfect for a snorkeling adventure. Turneffe Atoll is the largest coral atoll in Belize.
Belize Vs Aruba- Which Has The Greater Threat of Natural Disasters
Belize is located in the hurricane belt and hence travelers are at greater risk of experiencing a hurricane during a vacation during the peak periods.
The most recent hurricane to affect Belize was Hurricane Nana in 2020. Damage sustained was largely flooding and landslides.
Contrastingly, Aruba is located outside the hurricane belt and therefore the risk of a hurricane making landfall in Aruba is extremely low.
Furthermore, the island does not receive a significant amount of rainfall. Thus, there is a greater level of assurance that your days in Aruba will be filled with sunshine.
Nevertheless, if you are visiting the Caribbean during the hurricane season, it is extremely wise to consider travel insurance in the event of natural disasters which could cause travel disruptions.
Belize Vs Aruba- Does The Language Differ?
The official language of both islands varies. The language spoken in Belize is English while Aruba is Dutch.
Nonetheless, English is widely spoken in Aruba. Also, there are Spanish speakers due to the multi-cultural nature of the island.
Belize Vs Aruba- Which Destination Is Safer
Aruba is an extremely safe island and is a perfect destination for solo female travelers.
Contrastingly, crime rate is much higher in Belize. According to the website, Belize.com most of the crime is concentrated in certain areas of Belize City.
Nonetheless, as with travel to every country due care and attention must be exercised to maintain safety.
Visitors should avoid leaving valuables unattended as well as walk secluded areas at nights.
Belize Vs Aruba- Which Destination Has Better Nightlife
If you are seeking entertainment on your Caribbean vacation, Aruba is the better of the two destinations.
There are a number of options that visitors can enjoy in Aruba. Party lovers will enjoy the bars and clubs located along South Beach Aruba.
There are casinos, bowling alleys, cinemas and golf courses so visitors can enjoy a range of entertainment.
Belize has a quieter nightlife atmosphere with most of the activities concentrated in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
Feliz Bar & Grill as well as Roadkill bar are two places that you can check out for nightlife in San Pedro.
Belize Vs Aruba- Activities To Do In Both Destinations
Altun Ha & The Olde Belize River, Belize– this tour is often combined these two places as the Olde Belize River provides a scenic route to the Altun Ha Maya ruins.
On the Olde Belize River you may experience and see a variety of Belizean wildlife. The ruins represent so much history of the Mayans in the country. The buildings are in pristine shape.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes and walk with sunscreen and insect repellent.
Aloe Factory & Museum, Aruba– located in Hato, tours are conducted every 15 minutes where you can learn about the benefits of aloe.
Guides are available in English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento. This activity is excellent for both adults and children.
On a whole, Belize is perfect for visitors interested in exceptional snorkeling and diving tours as well as history enthusiasts who want to explore ancient Mayan ruins. On the other hand, Aruba is ideal for persons who want to relax and sun bathe on pristine white sand beaches with clear waters.
Need More Information?
We truly hope that the above information was useful as you plan your Caribbean adventure.
If you require additional information about Belize, Aruba or other Caribbean islands, there are numerous resources that you can find using the search bar located above this page.
Check out these other articles linked below to see how several destinations compare with Belize.
Belize Vs Grand Cayman (Which Vacation Is Better)
Belize Vs St Lucia (Which Vacation Is Better)
Belize Vs Turks & Caicos (Which Vacation Is Better)
Belize Vs Jamaica (Which Vacation Is Better)