Aruba

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Apart from the Natural Pool there is not a lot that really stands out on or about Aruba. This dry, cactus covered island in the Lesser Antilles is just a nice laid-back holiday destination. Not as busy or tacky as some other islands in the Caribbean Sea, but also lacking the breathtaking highlights that some of the major islands in this region have on offer. But that is all in the eye of the beholder.
Aruba is a constituent part of The Kingdom of Holland and thus all residents of Aruba are Dutch. The island is a pretty lucky country in terms of weather, as its rather dry climate means that there's sun and high temperatures throughout the year. The lucky part is that the island is positioned just outside the hurricane belt.
Aruba has just a few low to mid high hills and mountains, while the rest is low, flat land. The best beaches are in the south-west, as the north-eastern parts are more affected by winds and big waves making them less suitable for tourists. Machebo Beach and Palm Beach/Eagle Beach are probably the best and certainly the most popular white sand beaches on the island.
Tourism counts for about 75% of the nation's yearly gains, with most tourists coming from Venezuela and the US. You can go surfing, diving, fishing, horseback riding, biking and triking, tracking and snorkelling. But most people just enjoy the nice beaches and hardly wander the desertlike inlands of the island.
Aruba was inhabited by Arawak populations who migrated from the current territory of Venezuela. Later on, the island was conquered by the Spaniards, and from 1635 onwards the island is under Dutch rule, although it gained partial independence in the 20th century.

Activities


Tracks

Miralamar-Masiduri-Jamalota: These areas are all part of the Arikok National Park and are all rocky, dry hikes to slightly elevated areas (aprox 200m) that... Login for more



Diving

Aruba is mainly known as an excellent destination for wreck diving. Antilles Wreck: a WW II German war wreck that is now the home of spectacular fish and many... Login for more



Surf

Aruba is a pretty rough destination for surfers, most spots being recommended for experienced surfers only. Best spots are Dooms, Dos Playa, Harbour, Los Pipas... Login for more



Sail

The leeward coast of the island is great for short sailing trips.



Birding

Shoco (digging owl), prikichi (Aruban parakeet), white-faced whistling duck, fulvous-whistling duck, comb duck, American wigeon, blue-winged teal, northern... Login for more



Whales and wildlife

Manatees, dugongs, Fraser's Dolphin, Risso's Dolphin, cascabel (Aruba's endemic rattlesnake)



Culture

Aruba has a very mixed population, no less than 40 nationalities living on the island in peace. Most significant influences are European (Spanish and Dutch),... Login for more



Explorers

Amerigo Vespucci (1499)



Golf and wellness

Tierra del Sol Resort, Spa & Country Club (18-hole) The Links at Divi Aruba (9-hole) Aruba Golf Club (9-hole)



Lighthouses

Seroe (1881, 8m) Noordwestpunt (1916, 30m) California



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Geographics

Country:Aruba
Area:179 km2
Protected:Arikok National Park

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Demographics

Population:101,000
Getting there:By air: from Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Newark, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Caracas, Maracaibo, Las Piedras, Valencia
By sea: to and from Venezuela, Curacao
When to go:
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Books

An island away by Daniel Putkowski

Movies

Solarmax (2000)
Sabine (1982)

Star Board

Barry Hay (musician)
Dave Benton (musician)

Videos