Things to Do in Aruba
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Part of the Netherlands Antilles group of Caribbean islands — the “A” in the “ABC” (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) — Aruba is surprisingly affordable. It lacks the hype of the major tourist islands like Jamaica, Barbados and The Bahamas, so if you plan your vacation appropriately, it can be one of the most affordable tropical island getaways.
Because it is part of the Netherlands, you’ll find Aruba to be neat and clean, with Dutch Colonial architecture, and much more affluent in terms of the median wealth of the general population. Some other Caribbean islands show off as all glitz to the tourists, but have a dark side of poverty. Aruba’s combination of English, Dutch and Venezuelan inhabitants are not fractionalized (the island is quite small, so best everyone gets along).
But Aruba is large enough to boast al wide range of accommodations and dining, from very upscale to modest, all of them operated by tourist-friendly people. On top of that, the island is located directly in the path of the tradewinds, blowing west to east, so consistent that not only is there always a refreshing breeze, but the trees bend permanently in the direction of the wind.
While Dutch is the formal language of the island, native patois “Papiamento” is the most spoken tongue, but virtually everyone speaks English given that 75% of the island’s business is tourism. About one-third of Aruba’s residents are of European extraction, many of the balance from South America as Aruba lies 29km (18mi) north of the coats of Venezuela.
Aruba boasts a duty-free (great bargains on luxury goods!) port (Oranjestad) as its capital, a secondary smaller town (San Nicolaas) that welcomes locals and tourists alike, and is home to a world-class bar named Charlie’s (customers from afar bring trinkets and car licence plates to hang on the crowded walls!), stunning white-sand beaches, caves to explore, even fences made entirely of cacti in the large desert portion of the island. Aruba has it all!