LGBT Getaways Aruba

Beautiful Aruba, located 18 miles (29 kilometers) off the Venezuelan coast, has long been a favorite holiday destination for vacationers yearning for the blazing tropical sun, endless stretches of white beach sand and gentle surf.

The island is officially one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This means that its laws, including those relating to LGBT issues, revert to the Dutch courts. Through that legal standpoint, Aruba has become the most welcoming of all the Caribbean territories when it comes to gay inclusiveness.

However, gay marriages conducted in Aruba are not currently officially recognized by the Aruban courts; gay couples have to be married in another Dutch territory for it to be accepted as an official union on the island. However, gay couples do enjoy the same privileges of registered partnerships as heterosexual couples. Away from the legal arguments, Aruba has long been a society that accepts people of all sexual inclinations. In fact, even before the legal status of gay marriage had become an issue, drag shows were popular entertainment across demographics and sexual preferences.

With a population of just over 100,000 people, Aruba does not really have an established gay scene. While local gay residents are increasingly open about their inclinations, there is currently only one gay bar on Aruba – @7 Club, formerly known as Jimmy’s Place. However, both hotels and eating establishments, as well as virtually all businesses that are part of the hospitality industry are extremely gay-friendly.

Aruba is perfectly positioned to both enjoy the Caribbean sun but still escape the ravages of Hurricane Alley. This wonderful conjunction draws over 1.7 million visitors to the island every year. There is no doubt that the beaches are a major draw – spectacular sights of ocean and sky meeting as one in the day time give way to pink and orange sunsets that are the perfect backdrop to a walk on the sand.

Sea sports are another perennial draw and you will find no shortage of surfing, jet-skiing, scuba diving and snorkeling options to get your adrenaline rush. If you prefer your adrenaline shaken but not stirred, the Hyatt Regency and Stellaris casinos might be the way to go.

Aruba has a number of endemic species, including owls, parakeets, whiptail lizards and rattlesnakes. Several animal farms, like the Aruba Ostrich Farm and the Donkey Sanctuary, and National Parks like Arikok give you the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature and its wildlife.