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Besides its wonderful climate, Aruba has something else that makes it very unique: Carnival! Known as the heartbeat of the island, the Aruba Carnival is filled with bright colors and joy as it beats to the rhythm of calypso and soca. The best news is: Carnival is back after being suspended for two years due to COVID-19! This celebration has always been a big part of the culture of Aruba. Now, let’s have a look at how this festivity is lived all year round in Aruba, and how you can make the most of it responsibly and safely.


The Aruba Carnival began in 1954 as a series of small street festivals. Tivoli Club was the first private social club to hold a pre-Lenten celebration in Oranjestad in February 1944 and celebrated the victory of the Allied forces in World War II. A great parade took place in San Nicolas that year, largely made up of Caribbean-English immigrants. Since then, several musical bands have performed on these specific dates. And, the first Aruba Carnival with an official carnival queen was organized in 1955 by various clubs and districts.

Carnival preparations begin in November of each year, and small parades start on the first few days of January. The great celebration then takes place at the end of February and on the first days of March. This exciting event represents the Aruban and Caribbean culture and identity. Spectacular parades, lively musical events, and street parties occur in San Nicolas, Noord, and Oranjestad, right where Harbour House Aruba is located!

What makes Aruba Carnival one of the best carnival celebrations in the Caribbean? First of all, the Aruba Carnival lasts for almost five months, making it one of the longest celebrations in the world! Also, tourists and locals alike are completely captivated by the fun parades and colorful costumes made from bright sequins and gorgeous feathers. Carnival is truly a great celebration for the whole family to enjoy, so if you’re wondering what to do in Aruba, make sure you experience the Carnival!

It was announced recently that Aruba Carnival 2022 will be reactivated, which makes us very happy. So, you can responsibly enjoy the Carnival on the island full of fun things to do, exciting activities, lively music, and of course, lots of joy! Although crowds of people must be avoided due to Covid-19, you will be able to visit the beaches, bars, restaurants, and tourist sites without any major restrictions. Aside from the mandatory use of a mask at the airport and a few establishments, all mandatory safety measures have been lifted as of February 17, 2022, with no changes to the entry requirements! (PCR or antigen tested negative for Covid-19, ED Card, and full Covid-19 Vaccination.)


All Aruba’s Carnival parades and street parties are incredible, but here we have listed the top ones that you won’t want to miss now that our big festival finally comes back. Remember that these celebrations are for the whole family to enjoy, although some of these events are exclusively for children. This ensures that everyone will have a happy and unforgettable vacation here in Aruba!


During these parades, there are thousands of flashes of light that are incorporated into costumes and floats filling the streets! The parades take place in San Nicolas and Oranjestad, and the date of each parade depends on the organizing committee. The Oranjestad Grand Lighting parade can be enjoyed right from your personal balcony if you stay at one of Harbour House Aruba complexes or if you invest in one of the available properties located in Aruba. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?


This is the biggest “jump-up” (street party) in Aruba that attracts all of those who love Carnival throughout the island. It takes place in San Nicolas and is full of caravans with live music that go up and down many of the city streets. This event normally starts at 4 AM and continues until dawn!


This is the largest children’s show of Carnival, where hundreds of children show off their dancing skills and have tons of fun! This parade takes place in both the Noord and Oranjestad streets.


The Aruba Carnival is represented by important characters: the Queen, the Prince, and Pancho. First, there is the Carnival Queen Election and Coronation, in which attendees choose the year’s Carnival Queen. The Queen is the central figure in the Carnival and must lead all of the street parades and promote the tradition. Youth Carnival Queens are also chosen every year! The Prince’s main role is to accompany the Queen wherever she appears. Pancho is the Prince’s assistant and is essentially the jester of the show that tells jokes. The elections are an entertaining sight to behold!


King Momo is a giant puppet and represents the spirit of carnival, which symbolizes fun, freedom, and satire!. After the Grand Parade has ended, this giant puppet is thrown into a bonfire and burned at midnight. This is the event that officially marks the end of the Aruba Carnival for that year.


Here are some of the most memorable Aruba Carnival celebrations we’ve experienced over the years. Take a look!


There is no doubt that we have fun all year round in Aruba, and not just during Carnival!
In addition to Carnival, you can do all of these fun things in Aruba:
  • Enjoy amazing flavors in the best international and local food restaurants.
  • Visit the best beaches: Eagle Beach, Baby Beach, Arashi Beach, and Palm Beach.
  • Snorkel in the crystal clear beaches of the island!
  • Work from Aruba. Did you know that we have the best internet connection in the entire Caribbean?
  • Invest in your future. Get ready for the next Carnival by investing in a property in an excellent location with incredible views. Learn about the units we have available at Harbour House Aruba and start investing today!