Get to Know the Caribbean Island of Aruba
Aruba is a 70 square mile island located in the Caribbean Sea 15 miles north of Venezuela. It lies just beneath the hurricane belt and has perfectly warm weather year-round with hardly any rain. Aruba is home to some of the best beaches in the world and is a favorite resort vacation destination. Aruba also has many fascinated natural constructions and wildlife to explore and meet.
1. Arikok National Park
7,907 acres or 20 percent of Aruba’s land mass is designated as a protected wildlife preserve. Entering the park costs $10. Once inside, you can hike and spot some of the endemic wildlife of Aruba. The park also contains interesting natural phenomena including lava, quartz, and limestone formations.
2. Casibari and Ayo Rock Formations
On the eastern side of Aruba, you can hike up to this cluster of boulders and cacti and climb to the top for a great view of the island. The rock formations are a great place to break up your beach time and provide a fun, quick excursion.
3. California Lighthouse
On the northernmost tip of the island stands this lighthouse built in 1910 and named after a ship that wrecked in 1861. It’s one of the most popular attractions on the island, and at night, it offers a great view of the lit up beaches. You can visit the California Sand Dunes nearby. It’s also nice to go for an Italian dinner.
4. Pedernales Shipwreck
The SS Pedernales was a World War II cargo ship that was sunk. You can scuba dive the 25 feet below sea level to see the remains of the ship.
5. Bushiribana Ruins
Aruba was the site of a gold rush in the 19th century, and Bushiribana is the site of the ruins of one of the gold mines built on the island during the period. The ruins are on the way to the Natural Bridge.
6. Natural Bridge
There are many natural bridges on Aruba as the crashing waves have worn away at the limestone cliffs creating a spectacular work of nature. The most famous was at Boca Andicuri. It collapsed in 2005, but the remains are still a popular tourist attraction.
7. Alto Vista Chapel
The church was originally built in 1750 and is one of the majestic spots on the island as its northern location sets it perfect for viewing the sunrise.
8. Ostrich Farm
You can take off to the tour of the farm to learn about ostrich behavior and survival instincts. You will have a chance to interact with and feed the birds as well.
9. Donkey Sanctuary
Donkeys were once the main method of transportation on the island. Now, cars have put them out of use and caused a danger to those in the wild. This preserve was built to keep the island’s donkeys safe and educate people about caring for the animals. You can pet the donkeys or pay a small fee to feed them.
10. Bubali Bird Sanctuary
Over 80 species of migratory birds can be found at these man-made bird ponds. The best way to spot the wildlife is from the observation tower. Another attraction by the sanctuary is the Old Dutch Windmill.
11. Palm Beach
Of course, the main reason people come to Aruba is for the beaches, and no trip is complete without a few days of lounging. There are 15 beaches on the island. Here are three of the most popular. The clear blue, tranquil waters are great for swimming. Aruba’s nightlife scene and casinos can be found nearby.
12. Eagle Beach
The widest beach on the island is also considered to be one of the best beaches in the world. The beach is open 24/7, has a variety of watersports, restaurants and picnic areas, cabanas for lounging, soft white sand, fofoti trees, and is where many sea turtles come to nest.
13. Hadicurari Beach
The home of the High Winds Pro AM windsurfing world championships is known as “Fisherman’s Huts” for the many beach shacks that line its coast. It is a great place for surfing, snorkeling, and other water sports.