Capital City: Oranjestad
Aruba is a Caribbean island 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. The island is an autonomous dependency of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is 19.6 miles (30 kilometers) long and 6 miles (9 kilometers) across, at its widest point, with an area of approximately 70 square miles (184 square kilometers). This flat, riverless island is renowned for its white sand beaches. Its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature is almost constant at about 27°C (81°F). The yearly rainfall usually does not exceed 20 inches. Aruba layes outside the Caribean hurricane belt.
The climate is tropical marine, with little seasonal temperature variation. Because of its location south in the Caribbean there is very strong sun, but a constant light breeze keeps the temperature pleasant. (These persistent winds out of the east shape the island's distinctive, lop-sided divi-divi trees.)The divi-divi trees have become a signature tree to Aruba's landscape. The weather is almost always dry, with most rain showers coming at night and lasting only a little while.Temperatures in Aruba do not change dramatically. Between the months of January and March the temperatures stay around 76-85 degrees; this being their high season. However starting in April and through December this is considered off season and temperatures do not change much beyond 79 and 88 degrees.It lies outside the zone usually affected by hurricanes.
The island is flat with a few hills, arid with mostly desert vegetation and negligible natural resources other than white sandy beaches. Highest point: Mount Jamanota (188 meters).
RegionsAruba is divided into the northeast and southwest coasts. The southwest has the white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and warm waters. The northeast coast, exposed to the Atlantic, has a few white sand beaches, cacti, rough seas with treacherous currents, and a rocky coastline. The time in Aruba is Atlantic standard time, it is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time all year round.
Cities ▪ Oranjestad - Capital
▪ Saint Nicolaas
See ▪ Natural Pool (Conchi) - On the northern side of the island and only accessible via ATV or Trail Rated 4x4. This is a small pool of water hidden in natural rock formation that jut into the ocean, just off the shore of Aruba. This location makes for a great day trip - make sure your vehicle has a spare tire.
▪ California Lighthouse - On the northernmost tip of the island. Many scenic views and is also the location where you can access the dirt trails to travel down the northern shores of Aruba.
▪ Our Lady of Alto Visto Chapel - On the northern side of the island. The chapel is very picturesque and historic.
▪ Aruba Aloe Factory – You can take a short tour and learn some interesting facts about aloe farming, production and uses.
▪ Casibari Rock & Ayo Rock Formations – You can climb and explore these formations, the tops of which provide a great view of the countryside.
▪ Natural Bridge @ Boca Andicuri – There are 7 "Natural Bridges" in Aruba. The original (biggest and most famous bridge that people are referring to when they say Natural Bridge) collapsed in 2005 leaving a pile of rubble in the bay.There is a smaller bridge right next to the fallen bridge that still stands.
▪ Bushiribban Gold Mill / Smelting Station – The ruins of the smelting station are the way to the Natural Bridge. Climbing the ruins you can get great photos of the coastline.
▪ Aruba Ostrich Farm – The tour walks you around the ostrich pens and incubator. The Aruba farm is more for educating people, while the meat that is used for food in Aruba actually comes from the sister island of Curacao. (Ostrich is a red meat, which is high in protein and low in fat.)
▪ Boca Catalina and the Antilla Shipwreck – These are 2 of the many sites snorkel tours will take you. The Antillla Shipwreck is the remains of a scuttled 400-foot German cargo ship that was anchored off of Aruba during WW2. It was thought that this ship was supplying German U-Boats in the Caribbean and after Holland was invaded in 1940, the captain was given notice to surrender the ship. Instead of surrendering the ship to the Dutch Marines the captain sunk the ship by blowing up the boilers. (The crew swam to shore, and were taken POW and shipped to Bonaire.) The joke you will hear is "They did not want to surrender the cargo and they also wanted to provide future tourists with a site to see." The remains are off of Malmok beach. After the war, the captain and his crew purchased their former POW camp and converted it into a hotel. Today the site is the Divi Flamingo resort.
▪ Arikok National Park - The park consists of lava formations, a quartz diorite formation and a limestone formation extending inward from the coastline. These formations have played a pivotal role in the history of Aruba.
▪ Guadirkiri Caves
▪ The Palm Island
▪ Hooiberg (Haystack Mountain) a.k.a simply "the Haystack" – Standing over 500 feet, the haystack is in the center of the country and provides a breathtaking view of Aruba. People suggest going on a cool & clear day because it will be easier to climb the 561 steps required to reach the top and you can see the coast of Venezuela to the south!
▪ Butterfly Farm- set in a tropical atmosphere, tour guides at the Butterfly Farm will elucidate butterfly habits and metamorphosis.
▪ Bubali Bird Sanctuary - over 80 species of migratory birds reside in the sanctuary. Get the best view of the birds, by using the observation tower.
▪ De Oude Molen/ Windmill First built in 1804 in Holland then shipped to Aruba in 1906.
▪ Donkey Sanctuary. 9 am-12pm. A home for many rescued donkeys, who roam wild on Aruba and are often killed by cars or dogs. Staffed by volunteers who offer information about the donkeys and the sanctuary program. For a small fee, you can feed the donkeys pellets or apples--petting them is free! All proceeds from the feeding program and the small but well-stocked gift shop are used to care for and rescue the donkeys.
ActivitiesOn and Off the Resorts:
▪ Horseback Riding
▪ Jeep Safari
▪ Cycle Tours
▪ 4 Wheeling Tours
▪ Rock Climbing
▪ Sea Trek
Museums ▪ Historical Museum- It contains a large collection of artifacts and paintings from Aruba's earliest through those reminiscent of colonial times up to the present day.
▪ Archaeological Musem - The archaeological museum exhibits ceramic, shell and stone artifacts which a.o. portray the customs, beliefs and traditions of these first cultures.
▪ Numismatic Museum- The museum contains over 35.000 different pieces covering over 400 countries.
▪ Baby Beach - Southern Tip of the island. It's called Baby Beach because it is no more than five feet deep at any point - like a giant wading pool. This beach also has some of the best snorkeling on the island.
▪ San Nicolaas Beach
▪ Eagle Beach – Often called "1 of the 10 best beaches in the world".
▪ Hadikurari Beach a.k.a Fisherman's Huts. This is where the High Winds Pro AM windsurfing world championship is held every June.
▪ Palm Beach White sand and excellent swimming conditions in calm water. Nearby hotels allow you to use public areas for changing. Accessible by bus, car or taxi.
▪ Malmok Beach
▪ Renaissance Island - A private island accessible by ferry only if you stay at the Renaissance Resort and Casino. The island is divided into 2 beaches: Iguana Beach and Flamingo Beach. (When you visit each side it is clear which is which!) The Iguanas are fed on the dockside by Iguana Beach while the Flamingoes congregate on the other beach.
▪ Arashi BeacH - Calm water, white sandy beaches with palapas and huts for shade.
▪ Boca Catalina- Shallow waters with plenty of fish, good place to snorkel. White sandy beaches with some pebbles and stone.
▪ Manchebo Beach- Gentle surf, long white beach. Hotels near by.
▪ Andicuri- Not advised for swimming,tough currents and big waves. This is a good beach for someone looking to go surfing.
▪ Druif Beach- Excellent for swimming with calm waters. Hotels near.
▪ Surfside Beach- White sandy beach with some pebbles and stones. Calm water good for swimming.
▪ Dos Playa- can get there by 4 wheeler, not good for swimming strong currents and big waves. A nice place to have a picnic to check out the view.
▪ De Palm Island- Waterpark for kids, great place to snorkel, with shallow waters.
▪ Mangel Halto- Shallow waters,Can be reached by car or taxi.
▪ Santo Largo-Shallow waters, good place for picnic. Can be reached by car or taxi.
▪ Boca Grandi-Good for people who enjoy extreme sports, not good for swimming tough current.
▪ Bachelor's Beach- A good beach for windsurfing or snorkeling. Not realy good for swimming.
▪ Rodgers Beach-Very calm water with white sandy beaches.