Major Tourist Attractions: Eagle Beach, SS Antilla, Hooiberg
It’s all smiles on Aruba, located just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela, this southern Caribbean island been tagged with the nickname of “The Happy Island.” With nearly year-round sunny skies and friendly people, not to mention the famous white-sand beaches, it’s easy to see why.
With a landmass that’s only twice the size of New York's Manhattan island, the entire island can be toured by renting a car or hiring a guide. This former colony of the Netherlands is a favorite stop of cruise passengers. Nearly one million of them visit Aruba each year, drawn to its shores by the beautiful beaches and the all-inclusive resorts.
Papiamento is Aruba’s official language, but most people also speak English, Dutch, and Spanish. Papiamento is an interesting mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and West African. Those same influences shaped the local culture and its architecture. Oranjestad is the capital and main settlement; it has many Dutch West Indies buildings with distinctive brightly colored exteriors and plaster ornaments.
Aruba’s biggest draw is arguably its world-famous beaches and near perfect climate. The tropical marine climate makes for endless sunny days, but a near-constant breeze cools the island from the warm Caribbean sun. The many beaches of Aruba are varied and offer a little something for everyone. Baby Beach offers some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, while Arashi Beach, with its white sand and shady huts, is perfect for relaxing away the day. Then there’s Eagle Beach, a long stretch of soft white sand that is often considered one of the best beaches in all the Caribbean.
Feel like exploring the wonders of Aruba? Here is a look at the possibilities that await you.
Arikok National Park offers 20 miles of hiking trails, as well as camping and four wheeling.
Bubali Bird Sanctuary hosts 80 species of birds, and admission is free!
Relax on Eagle Beach, Aruba’s largest beach. TripAdvisor ranked Eagle Beach #3 in its Top 25 Beaches in the World.
The Bon Bini Festival is held weekly at Fort Zoutman in Oranjestad. On Tuesday nights, from 7 to 9 pm, this festival is your chance to learn about Aruban music, food, and culture.
Create your own Wishing Stone. Wishing Stones are beautiful towers of smooth flat rocks that line the northern coast of Aruba at Wishing Stone Beach. Anyone can create a wishing stone tower and your creation will be left standing for years to come.
Try your hand at windsurfing. Aruba’s nearly constant trade winds make it ideal for windsurfing and other wind-driven watersports.
Rent an off-road jeep and explore Aruba’s outback. The northern coastline has a rough arid landscape with unique rock formations, all set against the backdrop of the clear blue waters of the Caribbean sea.
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