For winter escapes, it's hard to beat the consistently warm island of Aruba. Situated in the south Caribbean, it showcases everything you'd expect from a picture of paradise –immaculate white-sand beaches, diving excursions to shipwrecks and swaying palm trees. Every day, cruise ships ferry over tourists from neighbouring islands to the Aruba’s capital of Oranjestad, keen to experience its energetic nightlife or shop for keepsakes at one of the famous jewellery stores. The town is also a great base for watersports. Diving schools cater for all abilities and offer views of everything from coral reefs to sunken World War II boats. The island's constant, cool breeze also makes it a hotspot for windsurfing and parasailing. Aruba is a beach mecca, offering everything from quiet retreats to bustling sunbathing sites. Situated in Oranjestad, Eagle Beach is generally thought of as one of the best beaches in the world. Throw your towel down on the soft, white sand and keep an eye out for newly hatched turtles making their first expedition into the turquoise ocean. Away from the pristine shores, Aruba has a striking desert terrain along its north coast. Jeep safaris and tours are available and make for an easy way to take in the jagged rock formations and colourful Cunucu houses. You can further immerse yourself in nature by visiting a bird sanctuary, butterfly farm or horseback riding through the countryside. Aruba features a wealth of first-class hotels and beach resorts, particularly along the northwestern coast of the island. If you prefer a more personal stay, a number of private homes or exclusive villas are available to rent out all year round.