THIS IS HOME
At less than 20 miles long and approximately six miles across, the Caribbean island of Aruba, located safely outside of the hurricane belt, is the perfect combination of exotic locale and small town charm. It is truly the best of both worlds – a fantasy island destination without the usual hassle that comes with visiting a foreign place. The American dollar is accepted, traffic keeps to the right as elsewhere in North America, your appliances and electronics will connect to the outlets, and tap water is safe to drink. The only difference you may notice is the perfect, warm temperatures (an average of 82 degrees!) that are complimented by the blissful breezes of trade winds.
A GREAT PLACE TO START A FAMILY
Ranked among the best for Caribbean family vacations, the reasons kids love to visit Aruba will be the reasons you’ll want to build or take your family there and stay: safe opportunities for exploration of undersea life and ancient caves, fun activities such as snorkeling, and experience-based education through places like The Butterfly Farm. They even have an entire beach, Baby beach, that is perfect for kids with its calm waters and snack huts.
Starting with Conchi, the “Natural Pool,” at the base of the northern shore cliffs and continuing on up to the heights of Hooiberg Mountain at 540 feet or Yamanota at 620 feet, Aruba offers opportunities for adventure and discovery, with breathtaking views as your reward. Explore the natural bridges, rock formations, dunes and caves that dot the island. Take in some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Imagine being surrounded every day by tropical plant and animal life, and amazing feats of nature that reflect thousands of years of development. Imagine winning on social media when you post your pictures! You and your family will enjoy incredible scenery that make the suburbs pale in comparison.
CARNIVAL AND FESTIVALS
The Aruba Carnival is an annual event that brings together thousands as an entire country celebrates in a display of full-on pageantry. Bold, outrageous costumes color the parades that take place over an entire month. Throughout the rest of the year, The Aruba International Film Festival and the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival are just two of the many festivals that take place on the island of Aruba, dedicated to everything from music to food. You will never get bored as the island is continuously putting up a buffet of restaurants, musicians and culture. Enjoy a thriving and happy atmosphere where locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy tunes and tastes at every turn of every season.
Not all the fun is above ground! To even break the surface of the island’s charms, you have to break the surface of the water. Aruba rhymes with scuba for a reason. The island has come to be the wreck-diving capital of the world, as it in possession of over 20 dive sites with a variety of historic vessels for viewing, as well as the up close encounters with beautiful coral reef and incredible sea life.
BEACHES AND WATERSPORTS
With its soft white sand and clear Caribbean water, it’s no wonder that Eagle Beach, the widest beach in Aruba, is host to four species of turtles when they make their way to their nests (and hatchlings back to the ocean!) during their own special season every year. See for yourself the Fofoti trees, which have inspired famous photography. Join the other beach tennis fanatics who flock to this beach. If you’re looking for even more action, try the neighboring Palm Beach, with restaurants and bars to create an active nightlife if you have enough energy left over from a day spent jet skiing, parasailing, paddle or kite boarding and windsurfing. Other beaches abound; just take your pick!
ARTS & CULTURE
Aruba has a diverse population of mixed Indian, African and European ancestry, and their languages reflect this diversity, with English and Spanish spoken right along side the official languages of Dutch and Papiamento. Local artists help create and continue the local culture through their own ateliers, where you can view and purchase art from a roster of notable artists, or you may visit Unoca, the island’s national gallery.
Aruba was first inhabited by The Caquetio Indians and the mark they left on the island is still visible. The island has changed hands over the centuries from the Spanish to briefly the British, to the Dutch, and is now a constituent country of the Netherlands. Though the island has a decidedly South American feel, imprints of each culture remain.