Aruba: Places to Go
Welcome to what was once one of the former ABC Dutch islands in the southern Caribbean. Aruba obtained its independence from the Dutch in 1975 and is still one of most beautiful places in the world.
See also Aruba: Things to Do
The Sand Dunes:
A wide space of cacti, an aloe and sand hill paints a picture of a magnificent landscape that can be seen on daily tours. Enjoy a site of sand dunes at the Boca Prins, or have a little fun by dune sliding.
Explore this dune on a jeep and see the spectacle that was named for the offshore wreck of the California Ship.
The Fontein Cave:
The more popular of the caves, this one holds a great deal of history in that there are drawings of the Arawak Indian on the ceiling that can be traced back to hundred of years. This is the only one of its kind on the island. This is a very intriguing site.
The Huliba Cave:
Named the Tunnel of Love due the heart shape of its entrance. It is considered to be approximately 300 feet long. A strong heart is need for this trip as it is very dark. Flashlights are needed to enter this cave.
The Guadirikiri Cave:
This cave has a 100 feet long tunnel with two chambers and is home to hundreds of bats. It is also said that this was one of the hiding places pirates used to secure their treasure.
Tunnel of Love:
The Tunnel of Love Cave in spite of its name requires some physical stamina to explore. You need to wear sturdy shoes and watch your steps as the hand-held lamps illuminate the cave, and it has many steep climbs.
Oranjestad is the capital city of Aruba and is located near the western end of the island. It possesses that Dutch colonial architecture along with Spanish flavour, and is extremely picturesque. Yet, this bustling city has a distinctive Caribbean flavour. There is a great deal of activity in the capital, especially early in the mornings when the merchants seek to sell fresh fish and produce right off their boats. There are both full-day and half-day cruises by the deep sea fishing boats. There are also a number of shopping malls surrounding this capital city.
More Information about Oranjestad, Aruba
San Nicolas is the second largest city in Aruba and it gained its popularity during the island's oil boom. People moved there as oil had become the number source of economic power. Lago Oil and Transport company, an Exxon subsidiary still has traces of oil tanks there. Finally, in 1985, the oil refinery curtailed its operations. It has subsequently become a tourist attraction to re-ignite its economic power.
Savaneta is the oldest town in Aruba as it was the original capital. It was the place where the Dutch first settled after they had re-established control of the island in 1816. Today, it has become a fishing village and has the oldest house on the island. This house is a mud-hut and is believed to be over one hundred and fifty years old.
During the nineteenth century there was a gold rush by the Europeans on Aruba. Bushiribani, which is located on the Northern part of the island was invaded by these Europeans in their search. There is a pirate castle in Bushiribani that is said to have existed when Alonso de Ojeda landed there in 1499.
Daimari is the place named as the area where gold was first found on this island. It has since become a privately owned property. The owners converted it into a coconut plantation. It is a place where the privileged can enjoy horseback riding ad polo.
There is a desalination plant where all the drinking water on the island is produced. This place, Balashi, is located in the northwest of the island, and was previously was an old gold smelting plant that was used during the gold rush.
There are a couple of man-made lakes at Bubali where more than eighty species of migratory gather. These birds include egrets, herons, cormorants, terns, gulls, coot and ducks. There in the bird sanctuary is where they do their nesting.
See also Oranjestad Beaches
Baby Beach lies on the leeward side of the island and therefore has calmer waters than the eastern side. It is a good area for those who are interested in swimming, sun bathing and snorkeling.
Rodgers Beach also is located on the leeward side of the island, and is also a good swimming and snorkeling area.
Fort Zoutman And Willem III Tower:
This is the oldest building in the country, which was a former Dutch fortress. It has now become the Historical Museum or Aruba, where it houses Caiqueito artifacts from the pre-historic past along with remnants from the Dutch colonial period and other items of interests. It is also the home to the weekly Bon Bimi Festival, which features local talent, foods, art and crafts.
This is a museum that is located in the island's capital, Oranjestad. It houses about 30,000 historic coins from Aruba and around the world. This is an archaeological museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts from the island's pre-historic period.
There are underwater submarines which take people on trips and therefore even nondivers can see coral reefs and see all types of fishes without being able to swim.
There was an old fishing vessel that was subk in order to create a fascinating view for both the divers and the sumariners.
There is also a half-an-hour ride to Barcadera Reef, which is a few miles southeast of Aruba. This place is well known for the underwater flora and fauna.