With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about vacations. In order to score the best deals on travel and hotel accommodations, we suggest avoiding procrastination. If you’re having trouble deciding on travel destinations, a tropical vacation involving ample beach time and warm weather are usually your best bet.
Aruba is one of the best destinations in the world for tourists and travel, offering not only a beautiful beach backdrop but a rich cultural history, home to a variety of different activities and outings. Aruba’s multicultural makeup gives the island a distinctive mark, setting it apart from the rest of the Caribbean. Their architecture, cuisine and historical landmarks all reflect the country’s mixed influence of Dutch and Latin American cultures.
The relaxed, island vibe in Aruba is exquisitely juxtaposed by the its ornate, Dutch style architecture, rugged landscape and abundance of historically-significant landmarks to see. Whether you prefer an adventurous, action-packed trip or a leisurely stay with days spent relaxing in the sun, Aruba is the ideal place for satisfying a wide range of travel agendas. Read on for our list of the 6 best thing to do in Aruba right now.
1. Explore the Sunken Ruins at SS Antilla
Aruba’s tropical beaches not only offer a gorgeous view from land, but there are plenty of sights to see underwater as well. In addition to the varied marine life, Aruba’s tropical waters are also home to the biggest amount of shipwrecks in all of the Southern Caribbean, great for snorkelers who also love history. Antilla is Aruba’s most popular dive site, as it houses the wreckage of World War II-era German ship, The S. S. Antilla which crashed in 1939. The ruins are now the home for varied sea life.
2. Historic Gold Mines
This historical landmark is a must-see for travelers and tourists. Legend has it that the name Aruba was actually adapted from adventurers exploring the Caribbean Islands in the 1400s through the 1500s. Aruba was named “Oro Ruba,” which means “red gold” in Spanish. It is thought that this original name gradually adapted over the years to Aruba, playing a significant role in the formation of Aruba and marking a special place its cultural history. In addition to the mines’ history-packaged tales, the picturesque beauty of the site is breathtaking, and sure to become an unforgettable memory.
3. Take a Walking Tour of Oranjestad
While there are many tours of Aruba’s capitol, Oranjestad, taking a walking tour of the city with a knowledgeable tour guide will ensure you get the best experience. Downtown Oranjestad is the home of several cultural landmarks, including the Aruba Archaeological Museum, the city’s oldest statue, and the military fortification at Fort Zoutman. You will also find the infamous and Instagram-worthy “I Love Aruba” sign at the center of the capital. The walking tour will also give you an insider’s look at some of the best cuisine and entertainment options that Aruba has to offer. Ditch the typical tourist agenda and take a tour with a local.
4. Take a Refreshing Dive Into the Natural Pool
The natural pool is one of Aruba’s favorite tourist attractions — and for good reason. The refreshing and secluded pool of water is set against a deserted stretch of coastline mixed with rocky terrain in Aruba’s rugged countryside. The natural pool feels secluded and private because of the fortifying stone walls and volcano peaks that encircle it. This area is not accessible by car, but tours by jeep, foot and horseback are readily available.
5. Eat Dinner While Sailing the Tropical Water
One of the best ways to sight-see is by sailing the sea at sunset in a luxury catamaran while sipping a tropical cocktail and feasting on traditional island cuisine. As you sip your cocktail, enjoy Aruba’s colorful sunset while basking in the warm, balmy air. Aruba’s culinary scene is reflective of the island’s multi-cultural heritage, and the delicious food is no exception. After sunset, sit down for a luxurious dinner that serves the utmost in fine Caribbean dining with dishes such as fresh grouper fillet with truffle risotto or steamed Aruban lobster with fresh vegetables.
6. Visit the California Lighthouse
The California Lighthouse is one of the most significant cultural and historical landmarks within Aruba. The stone lighthouse was designed in 1910 by a French architect and built between 1914 and 1915. It was named after the S.S. California, a ship that wrecked near the shore. The tower is surrounded by a series of cascading cacti, creating an awe-inspiring view that will be great for your next photo-op. From inside the lighthouse, viewers will witness panoramic views of the city and sea. Additionally, Aruba’s famous sand dunes surround the lighthouse. Children (and adults) will love sand surfing down the dunes for a unique experience only possible in Aruba.
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