The year kicks off for Aruba with the biggest event of the year and everyone's favourite, Aruba's spectacular annual Carnival. Following the opening Torch Parade and Carnival Queen elections, there is a Children's Grand Carnival Parade in capital Oranjestad on January 31, when hundreds of youngsters come together to show off their dancing skills and colourful costumes.

The island's second city of San Nicolas witnesses a Lighting Parade on February 4, also featuring dance, music and carnival spirit. Two days later, the city hosts its Grand Carnival Parade,  prelude to the Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad on February 7 This is the largest of Carnival events combining unforgettable music, spectacular floats and original costumes decorated with eye-catching stones, sequins ad feathers, creating a unique display. The fun begins at 10am and continues into the early evening.

For sport enthusiasts, the 31st Aruba International Half Marathon is on March 20, and the 10k 56th International Boulevard Race, which attracts hundreds of runners from all over the world, is scheduled for April 27.

The first of Aruba's major music extravaganzas is on the calendar for May 25-30. The Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is a star-studded two-night concert series, featuring top names from the world of entertainment.

Yachtsmen descend on the island on August 12-14 for the 2016 Aruba International Regatta while those who care for the marina environment can help during the annual Aruba Reef Care Project on September 25. More than 800 volunteers traditionally help with a clean-up of the island's most popular beaches and dive and snorkel sites.

Music fans enjoy a treat again over the September 23 and 24 weekend when the 10th Annual Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival is hosted on the island, again bringing together stars for an impressive entertainment line-up, adding to an unforgettable atmosphere with food stands, bars and parties.

Foodies have their time from October 3 to 16 with Restaurant Week when more than 60 restaurants offer everyone the chance to experience Aruba's extraordinary culinary diversity.

New on the diary this year is Challenge Aruba 2016, where athletes can challenge themselves to a 1.9km swim, followed by a 90 km cycle and a 21 km run.

Aruba's International Beach Tennis Tournament, November 13-20 is the premier tournament in the Caribbean, attracting pros and amateurs from around the globe.

For the latest on all these and other events, please go to