They say that good things come in small packages, and that is something that is certainly true when it comes to the island of Aruba…
With a population of little more than 100,000, the island - which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands along with Sint Maarten, Curaçao and the Netherlands itself - is a fantastic option for anyone looking to enjoy a luxury break in the Caribbean.
Tourism has a major part to play in the Aruban economy and whilst a large number of visitors are from North America, an increasing number of Europeans are now exploring everything that the island has to offer.
Part of the appeal is the favourable weather conditions, with Aruba’s semi-arid climate meaning that temperatures remain relatively high throughout the year and rain levels tend to be lower than on a number of other Caribbean islands.
As is the norm across the Caribbean, Aruba’s coastline is something of a joy to behold and there is no shortage of sandy beaches where you can lie back and relax under the sun without a care in the world.
The coast is also a great place to take part in various water-based activities, ranging from snorkelling and diving around coral reefs to grabbing a board to head out and catch some waves.
The western coast in particular holds huge appeal, with some of the beaches located here ranked amongst the best anywhere in the world - never mind within the Caribbean region.
Away from the coastline, there is plenty to explore amongst the scenic beauty of the island, from towering peaks that offer views across Aruba to scenic caves and old gold mines from the days when prospectors headed for the island in search of their fortune.
With a blend of hotels to suit all budgets, and upscale shopping and dining options within the capital Oranjestad, Aruba is a fantastic option for anyone wanting an island break in the sun.
The stunning 4 star Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort & Casino Hotel offers guests breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea providing you with an exceptional setting for an unforg...More details
Aloe Factory and Museum
The weather conditions on Aruba are ideal for growing the cactus-like plant aloe, so much so that the island is often said to be home to some of the best Aloe Vera found anywhere in the world. Leaves are cut by hand within hours of being harvested to produce some of the most potent Aloe Vera Gel there is, which can then be purchased in one of Aruba Aloe’s stores across the island. A tour of the factory is a great way to see how the products are created first hand.
Located close to Palm Beach on Aruba’s Eastern Coast, the Butterfly Farm is one of the most popular attractions on the island, with guests able to explore an impressive tropical garden packed with some of the most colourful butterflies from all corners of the globe. Enjoy a guided tour around the facility to discover more about the creatures and if you’re lucky, you might get to see new butterflies emerging from their chrysalis to take their first flight.
Aruba is known for stunning patches of coastline, and it’s a deserted stretch inside the Arikok National Park that is one of the most popular. That’s not because of golden sand leading into clear blue water, but because of a unique formation of rocks that have formed a beautiful natural pool that is protected from the sea. It isn’t the easiest place to get to but that only makes it even more rewarding when you arrive.
No matter where you are on Aruba, there is a good chance that you will be able to spot Hooiberg; a volcanic formation that is located in the middle of the island and towers over the surrounding landscapes. If you feel up to a trek, a steep staircase winds its way to the summit, which then allows you to take in views of the remainder of the island - and beyond - if the weather conditions are in your favour.
Alto Vista Chapel
Built in the 1950s to replace the original building that had been constructed back in the 1700s, the Alto Vista Chapel is a small building located close to the town of Noord on the north of Aruba. Easily accessed via a dusty and winding road, the chapel is a place to visit for peace and contemplation, whilst you can then take in the views across the coastline.
Arikok National Park
It’s hard not to visit the Arikok National Park whilst on Aruba, given that it takes up around 20 per cent of the island. As well as exploring the rugged landscapes, there are various ‘attractions, within the National Park, which include the spectacular viewpoint from the top of Jamanota Hill (the highest point on the island), the Fontein and Quadiriki Caves and the sandy beaches at Dos Playa and Boca Prins.
Renaissance Island is located just off the coast of Aruba, and is home to the only private beaches available for visitors. A true tropical oasis, the island is also home to a flock of pink flamingos alongside a raft of special facilities that include an impressive spa. It should be noted however that access to the island is only available for those staying at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, with a complimentary water taxi available.
De Palm Island
De Palm Island sits just off the mainland and is a great attraction for those who are visiting Aruba with the family in tow. The island offers an ‘All Inclusive Day Package’ that includes food and drink as well as snorkelling tours, water parks for children and a selection of high-speed slides. You can also enjoy a thrill ride on a banana boat or simply lie back on a sandy beach and relax under the sun.
Aruba’s ostrich farm is located close to Paradera and provides visitors with the chance to get up close and personal with the huge birds, with experts on hand to tell you everything you need to know. You’ll have the chance to feed the birds by hand, and a tour includes a visit to the hatchery where you may be lucky enough to see some of the youngsters. The ruins of the Bushiribana Gold Mill and of Aruba’s Natural Bridge are nearby, and worth a visit once your trip to the farm is complete.
Philips Animal Garden
Philips Animal Garden is a facility that rescues and looks after exotic animals from across Aruba and is located within easy reach of Noord. Open daily with tours every half hour, you’ll have to chance to see the various animals and learn more about the work that goes into the rescue, which was founded - and run - by local man Philip Merryweather.
There are few places that can match the Caribbean when ...Read More
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