Sightseeing Aruba

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Things to do and Places to visit

Aruba is famous for its windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing, water skiing or just a lazy swim.

Its beaches consist of white sand with calm and incredibly blue waters filled with neon-yellow fish, flame-bright coral reefs and billowing rainbow-colored sails. They are considered to be some of the best beaches in the world.

Aruba has an array of interesting spots to visit including: The Alto Vista Chapel, The Arikok National Park, The Ayo & Casibari Rock Formations, The Bushiribana & Balashi, The California Lighthouse, The Frenchman's Pass, The Hooiberg, The Lourdes Grotto, Caves and the Aruba Aloe Factory.

Oranjestad

The capital city, located on the southern coast near the western end of the island, is extremely picturesque with its Dutch colonial architecture in pastel colors. Along the wharf, merchants come to sell fresh fish and produce right off the boats every morning.

Arikok National Park

is Aruba’s ecological treasure. Among the desert vegetation in the park, are divi-divi trees, rare exotic cacti, aloe plants, and colorful tropical flowers. The park is open daily from 8am to 4pm. Follow the signs for "Parke Nacional Arikok" from the town of Santa Cruz to the entrance of the park located on the left a short distance beyond the paved road.

Natural bridge

is one of Aruba's most popular attractions, still after collapse in 2005. The bridge is a formation of coral limestone cut out by years of pounding surf, and is one of the largest of these types of spans in the world. It stands some 23 feet (7 meters) above sea level and spans more than 100 feet (30 meters).

Natural pool

This small rock-enclosed seawater pool is difficult to enter and exit, and not worth the trouble, unless you just want to cool off. However, it is worthwhile to climb up onto boulder to watch the ocean surf break over the rocks and cascade into the basin. Forget about snorkeling, the water is too churned up. Visit the pool for the magnificent views.

San Nicolas

A unique Caribbean energy is present in Aruba's second largest city, San Nicolas, with the majority of residents originally hailing from the British Caribbean. The development of the city is undeniably linked to the oil refinery, the presence of which often stands in sharp contrast to the modest houses of the area and the picturesque beach spots.

For years, one of the main reasons that visitors have found their way to this end of the island was to drop in at Charlie's Bar. This bar has been famous since the 1940's when scuba divers began to hang their underwater discoveries on the walls there. It has become a bit of a museum in the decades since.

San Nicolas is just now starting to develop itself into an "alternative" tourist destination. Hotels are being built or renovated to reflect the city's history when seamen around the world took shore leave to enjoy the local hospitality. 

Baby Beach

known for its tranquil swimming cove, is located in Seroe Colorado at the southeastern end of the island, near the oil refinery. 

Gold Mill

Gold was found to Aruba in 1824, supposedly by a boy playing in a dry creek bed, and for several years locals were allowed to collect the precious metal and sell it at a government-fixed price. Thirty years later, the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company was granted all rights to the cache and built the large smelting works at Bushiribana. Today, you can climb around the tumbling-down heap of rocks that one housed the mall.

Caves

The Guadirikiri Cave is famous for its two chambers, illuminated by the sunlight streaming through holes in the roof of the cave.The cave extends for about 100 feet. In the darker portions of the cave nest hundreds of harmless bats.

The Fontein Cave is the most popular of the caves as it is the only one that has the drawings of Arawak Indians on the ceilings, providing a real sense of island history to this cave.

The Tunnel of Love because of the heart shaped opening at its entrance.

Aloe Musea & Factory 

Take a tour through the state-of-the-art Aruba Aloe Factory and see the production process firsthand from aloe vera leaf to finished Aruba Aloe lotions! The tour guides will explain you all about the aloe plant and its uses and you will have the opportunity to learn all about the 160-year old aloe history of Aruba in the museum which is a national depository for ancient aloe tools and equipment with a complete library on the history, manufacture and qualities of aloe vera.

Museo Historico Arubano (Aruba Historical Museum)

is aptly located in the center of town in Fort Zoutman, Aruba’s oldest building dating back to 1798. The museum hosts the Bonbini Festival, a folkloric event that takes place every Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm.

Rock Formations

Casibari Boulders Clusters of huge tonalite boulders sit together in an area just north of Hooiberg. This rock formation, unique to the more typical features of the area, inexplicably rises up from the desert soil to create an unusual setting. Some of the boulders weigh several tons and feature peculiar forms. The Government of Aruba has created walking trails and steps through the boulders, allowing hikers to reach the top to obtain breathtaking views of the island.

Ayo Rock Formations Towering stone boulders, placed in such close proximity and in unusual designs, combined with the tranquil environment of Ayo, create a sense of awe and an understanding of why the area was once considered a sacred site by the island's original inhabitants. Rock drawings, dating back thousands of years, are found at this site, where huge stones appear to have been scattered like marbles by an errant giant. Modern pathways have been constructed in order to help visitors better explore this ancient site.  

California lighthouse

was named after a vessel called the "California." She was a wooden ship sailing from England to Venezuela when she ran aground off Aruba Northwest corner on September 23, 1891. The California Lighthouse was completed in 1914. Perched on a high seaside elevation, the lighthouse has become one of Aruba’s scenic trademarks and offers a picture perfect view of the island's western coastline of sandy beaches. Around the lighthouse are acres of stoned-filled flat land, and a area called California White Sand Dunes is very popular with kids who go dune surfing.

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