Beach section for the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba

Eagle Beach or Palm Beach Aruba: Top 7 Things to Consider

Last updated Apr 9, 2022 | Aruba

Who wouldn’t want to experience a place whose motto is “One Happy Island?” Aruba has a lot going for it. It has world-class beaches, friendly locals, a safe environment, plenty of family outdoor activities, and is hurricane-free. If you have never been and are planning a trip, you will eventually have to make a decision on where to stay. Most will narrow it down to Eagle Beach or Palm Beach Aruba. Which will be best for you? Let’s compare.

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Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: # 1 Beaches

Eagle Beach is wide and long and has beautiful white sand. It consistently rates as one of the top beaches according to TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. 

Trunk Bay Beach in St John USVI

Eagle Beach Aruba

It’s known for its cool fofoti trees, which are these twisted-looking trees that grow in the sand. There is ample parking and palapas for shade. The water can get a little “wavy” in comparison to Palm Beach. 

Rainbow Beach in St Croix

Courtesy of Shutterstock: Eagle Beach Fofoti Tree

Palm Beach is yet another gorgeous white sand beach. It is 2 miles long and is dotted with palm trees. I found out later the palm trees were imported when the high-rise hotels were built. 

Expect super calm turquoise waters. Perfect for swimming and bobbing in the ocean. Not a lot of waves. 

Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

Palm Beach Aruba

Winner: Tie

Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: #2 Restaurants 

Eagle Beach has several restaurants spread out. There’s not a huge selection, but there are several highly-rated restaurants people rave about including Passions on the Beach, Screaming Eagle, and The Kitchen Table. 

Palm Beach, in contrast, has every option under the sun at all price points including Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, BBQ, fresh seafood, and more. Even the pickiest of eaters should be able to find something. 

Acai bowl at Eduardo’s Beach Shack

Acai bowl at Eduardo’s Beach Shack

LEARN MORE: Find out our favorite 5 Palm Beach restaurants.

Winner: Palm Beach

Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: #3 Hotels

Eagle Beach is considered the “low rise” area and is composed mainly of boutique hotels and condos. Some favorites include Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, Oceania Residences, Azure Beach Residences, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort, and the adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, which is the #1 rated hotel in Aruba. 

If you stay in the northern end of Eagle Beach, there are no beachfront properties and you will have to walk across a road to get to the beach. 

Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

Hotels are separated from Eagle Beach by a road

Palm Beach is located in the “high rise” area. This is where you will find all the big-name chain hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, and Hilton. These hotels have a prime beachfront location. 

Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

Hotels are right on the beach in Palm Beach 

There is an exception to the Palm Beach chain hotels, and that’s the charming Boardwalk Boutique Hotel. It’s not right on the beach, but it is only a short walk to their dedicated section of beach next to the Ritz-Carlton. We stayed there, and it’s truly an oasis from the bigger crowds.

Winner: Tie

Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: #4 Ambiance 

There is a striking difference between the ambiance of Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. 

Because Eagle Beach is wide and there are no beachfront properties in the northern end, it immediately feels less crowded. Everyone is able to spread out and find their little section in paradise. It’s known for having a relaxed, quiet vibe. 

On the other hand, Palm Beach is extremely crowded. You have high-rise hotel after hotel along the prime beachfront, and they cram all the chairs and umbrellas close together to accommodate everyone. 

Palm Beach is also where all the action is in terms of water sports, shops, restaurants, and nightlife. It is hopping.

Lola Taqueria in Palm Beach Aruba

The main strip at Palm Beach

Watersports at Palm Beach

Watersports at Palm Beach

Winner: Eagle Beach 

Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: #5 Walkability

Eagle Beach does have several restaurants you can walk to. However, you will likely have to take a cab or drive to most restaurants, which are located either in Oranjestad or Palm Beach. 

In the Palm Beach area, you could walk to a new restaurant every night. There is a main strip that has restaurant after restaurant, offering a variety of cuisines. 

Winner: Palm Beach

Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: #6 Cost

Overall, I would say Eagle Beach is a little cheaper than Palm Beach. This is mainly because Eagle Beach offers good value condo-style properties, which can make it very affordable especially for families. 

WINNER: Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach vs. Palm Beach: #7 Snorkeling

Spoiler alert. There is no great snorkeling in either Eagle Beach or Palm Beach. BUT Aruba does have some great snorkeling sites if you know where to look. 

If you stay in Eagle Beach, you will be closer to an incredible snorkeling location called Mangel Halto. 

If you say in Palm Beach, you will be right down the road from great snorkeling at Catalina Cove. 

My husband and I are avid snorkelers. We sought out all the top sites in Aruba, which are listed in my article below. 

Chainlink moray eel at Mangel Halto in Aruba

Chainlink moray eel at Mangel Halto in Aruba

WINNER: Tie 

Infographic Comparing Eagle Beach and Palm Beach

When my husband and I were planning our trip, I kept going back forth and forth between Eagle Beach or Palm Beach Aruba. To compare the two, I made up a fun infographic summarizing the differences. 

Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

Eagle Beach or Palm Beach Aruba Infographic 

Final Thoughts

Tough choice, right? There are pros and cons when you are trying to make the choice between Eagle Beach or Palm Beach Aruba. 

If you are seeking a relaxed environment on a world-class beach and don’t mind driving or taking a taxi to dinner, then Eagle Beach is your place. 

If you want to stay at a gorgeous beach and be where all the action (and crowds) are, then stay at Palm Beach. 

Because we stayed at the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel, I felt we had the best of both worlds. We were slightly off the beaten path in the Palm Beach area but were within walking distance to all the great restaurants. 

Had we not stayed at the Boardwalk, our choice for Eagle Beach would have definitely been the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. 

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