Aruba - The Dutch Caribbean Paradise
It is called the "Las Vegas of the Caribbean" and considered a paradise for honeymooners. Upon their arrival, travellers experience the joy of life of the Arubans and adopt it before they go to relax at the pearly-white sandy beaches. Sunny weather and first-rate gastronomy go without saying.
Geography - The smallest ABC island
Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao constitute the ABC Islands and are part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Aruba is the smallest island in this group and is about 25 kilometres away from Venezuela. Politically speaking, the island belongs to the Netherlands but it is an autonomous region. The capital of Oranjestad is a popular destination for many cruisers and travellers can enjoy sunny weather all year. The average daily temperature is 28 °C but the constant trade winds provide refreshment in the maritime tropical climate.
Nature - Bizarre rocks and white sand
Aruba offers a wonderful natural panorama. While you see bizarre rocks at the east coast, there is white sandy beach with a width of up to nine kilometres on the other side. In fact, Aruba's beaches are considered the most beautiful on earth. Eagle Beach, for example, regularly appears in top lists. The island's 52 weeks of sunshine give holidaymakers the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful beach and the blue sea. The island itself is very flat. Even the highest mountain - Mount Jamanota - is only 188 metres high. There is, however, one small elevation you see wherever you look. Hooiberg (165 m) resembles a volcano in shape and is an indicator of Aruba's geological past. The most common plants are cactuses and aloe plants. Most of the island's animals live underneath the water surface. Seahorses, barracudas and sea turtles populate the coral reefs around Aruba.
Natural sights - Divi-divi trees
The Arikok National Park takes up about a fifth of the island's area and accommodates a variety of local plants. It contains fascinating natural cave systems and rock formations. Hooiberg is considered the island's landmark and is a popular destination. 562 steps lead up to its peak, from where you have a great panoramic view. With a bit of luck, you will even be able to see Venezuela's mainland coast. Another typical feature of the island are the noticeable Divi-divi trees. They grow on the beach and offer a unique sight. They owe their extraordinary shape to the constant trade winds, which make the trees grow in one direction. Therefore, they do not grow straight but are bent towards the ground. Holidaymakers who visit the island with their children should not miss out on the butterfly or the ostrich farm.
Culture - Dutch atmosphere in the middle of the Caribbean
The Spanish discovered the small island paradise at the end of the 15th century but they gave it to the Dutch in 1636. The latter settled major parts of the island and shaped the urban image with their native architecture. In the 19th century, Aruba became known as a gold mining island, which caused more and more people to come and try their luck in the sunny island paradise. Aruba has only been autonomous since 1986 and constitutes a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands now. Dutch is one of the two official languages on the island but only a few inhabitants actually use it. The more common language is Papiamento, a Creole with Portuguese elements. The Arubans are characterised by a cheerful disposition and their typical Caribbean placidity. Travellers enjoy and appreciate their hospitality.
Cultural sights - The small museum island
Even a small island such as Aruba can offer a wide range of cultural sights. Many small but very authentic museums add to the island's charm and reflect the country's lifestyle habits and history. Interesting examples are the historical gold mines. They tell a lot about the island's gold mining past and provide insights into the working environment of the former miners. The Museum of Antiquities, the Aloe Museum and Factory and the Model Train Museum are popular with visitors of all ages. Locations for meeting friends and going shopping are the harbour in Oranjestad and the California Lighthouse, which is 30 metres high.
Experience - Mahi-mahi in the "Las Vegas of the Caribbean"
Over 250 restaurants, bars and cafes string together along the beach promenade and in the island's heartland. They offer an extraordinary variety of international and national dishes. Of course, fish plays a major role in the Caribbean cuisine. Mahi-mahi, a very fine fish species, is very popular on Aruba. Its taste is meant to resemble that of meat. The national dish Keshi yena shows the island's affiliation with the Netherlands. A small cheese loaf is stuffed with meat and baked. With your meal, you should have a refreshing Aruba cocktail. Since there is no value added tax on the island, it is a great destination for going shopping, for example in the shopping centre at Palm Beach. Boutiques and designer shops offer high quality fashion, jewellery, perfume and other luxury goods. At sunset, the island transforms into a colourful sea of lights. Aruba is often referred to as the "Las Vegas of the Caribbean" because of its many clubs, live shows and casinos.
Activities - Fun in and on the water around the clock
Kitesurfing, jet-skiing, banana boating, catamarans, water slides, flyboarding - the list of water sports possibilities in Aruba goes on. Snorkellers and divers will enjoy the island as well. In addition, hotels and other operators offer deep sea fishing tours. On shore, you can go on a hike. The national parks are particularly suitable locations for it. If you want to do something more exciting, you can take part in a tour in an ATV or a Jeep or go on a ride on a go-kart track. A classic experience is a long horseback ride at the beach or a game of golf against the wonderful island panorama.
The Arubans are very skilled at languages and most of them know several languages. Due to their proximity to Venezuela, Spanish is common on the island but the tourism industry has adjusted to English.
Aruba is the perfect destination for honeymooners, lovers and all those who want to unwind and forget about their worries. With its numerous restaurants and casinos, the island is excellently suited for luxury holidays.