California Point

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California Point Lighthouse

Located on a hill near the northwest tip of Aruba, the California Point Lighthouse is named for the wreck of the California, offshore in only 15 to 30 feet of water.

The Cailifornia is often mistakingly identified as the one that that ignored signals from the doomed Titanic: that was the Californian. The old wood-hulled California was herself underwater before the Titanic was ever built.

Furthermore, theCalifornia Point Lighthouse was built in the early 1900s as a result of the California's sinking in 1891.

California Point has an extensive area of sand dunes. It also is an important nesting area for brown pelicans. The lighthouse is encircled with huge boulders that make the landscape almost moon-like.

On the drive here you may be fortunate enough to spot Aruba's large iguana, which grows as long as three feet. A vegetarian with a special fondness for blossoming hibiscus, the iguana is highly prized as a food delicacy.

It's not just their dorsal crests and dinosaurian looks that make them so sought after as a table centerpiece: it's also the tastiness of the meat and the fact that the males--like all lizards--have two penes, which gives the dish a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Iguana meat is so highly prized it's usually offered to tourists sparingly, in a delicious soup.

Which is not an item you're apt to find at the restaurant near the lighthouse. Called La Trattoria el faro Blanco Italian Restaurant, the name literally means "restaurant at the white lighhouse."

It's also located in a typical Aruban family home, a good choice for enjoying scenic views of Aruba's west coast, for watching the sunset and sipping some Amstels.

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