Aruba Travel Tips

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Aruba
Travel Tips and Tourist Information

Just 15 miles from the coast of Venezuela, Aruba measures roughly 20 miles long and 6 miles wide. (See map of Aruba)

Aruba is an island of stark contrasts where brilliant turquoise waters and white sand beaches surround dry windswept hills populated with tall cactus and the strangely twisted divi divi trees.

Ironically, the beaches here can only be described as blindingly gorgeous. Palm Beach, one of the largest, is lined with high rise hotels convenient for lunch and snacks. But you might prefer nearby Eagle and Manchebo Beaches, less crowded and quieter, for cheap beach holidays.

These beaches make Aruba one of the Caribbean's timeshare destinations; many properties are available for timeshare rentals.

But there is far more to do than bask and the beach. (See Things To Do)

Like the desert of the Old West, the barren terrain is strangely alluring and harmonizes perfectly with Aruba's brightly colored Dutch-style buildings.

One glance explains why Oranjestad is such a favorite cruise port. It's clean, brightly painted and the people are efficient and friendly. (How safe is Aruba?)

Modern, air-conditioned shopping malls are concentrated within a few square blocks (see shopping tips), interspersed with restaurants of every kind, including most major American fast food chains. But when in Aruba, don't forget to sample the local foods.

Where many islands tend to close down at after dark, Aruba nightlife ranks among the Caribbean's best.

The landmark red and white windmill located near Palm Beach may look brand new but De Olde Molen ("old windmill)" was built in Holland in 1804. It arrived here in the 1960s when it was shipped over and reconstructed as a restaurant.

Arikok National Park encompasses an astounding 25 percent of Aruba. Easy hiking trails lead to ancient Indian drawings that depict people, fish and strange unknown objects at Fontein, one of several caves.

The constant trade winds and continually pounding waves fashioned the famous 100-foot long Natural Bridge, one of Aruba's several unusual rock formations. The others are at Casibari and Ayo.

Unfortunately, the original, classic Natural Bridge is no more.

Like panoramic views? One of the best views is atop Haystack Mountain near the center of the island, but you'll have to ascend 562 concrete steps to enjoy it.

Another good perch is the observation tower overlooking Bubali Pond, a prime bird watching site.

Essential Information

Aruba Background Facts & Map
Courtesy of the CIA

Aruba Travel Tips
What You Need to Know If You Go

Getting Married in Aruba
It can get complicated


One Cool Honeymoon Promotion
Offering lots of discounts, freebies

Calendar of Events
What's happening during the year


Major Attractions

Arikok National Park
Encompassing almost one-fourth of Aruba

Bubali Pond
Good birding within sight of beach hotels

California Point/Lighthouse
Good views with a historic shipwreck tale

Casibari/Ayo
Huge & strange rock formations

Fishing in Aruba
Plenty of offshore action


Food & Dining
Dine like a local

Frenchman's Pass
A countryside walk

The Haystack/Hooiberg
You'll never find a needle in this
huge haystack

The Natural Bridge
The island's most famous attraction


Nightlife in Aruba
Lots of good options

Scuba in Aruba
Wrecks are the most popular sites

Shopping in Aruba
Scores of well-stocked stores in a small area

Spanish Lagoon
Another good birding site


Things To Do
Links to the best to do

Aruban Saying:
"There are more days than weeks,
so don't rush time."

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Aruba Oranjestad Dutch-style Building Shopping Mall Facade copyright M. Timothy O'Keefe www.GuideToCaribbeanVacations.com
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