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THE ISLAND OF ARUBA: SO SMALL YET GREAT IN SO MANY WAYS



Aruba says: "Bon Bini!" in native tongue Papiamento. This means "Welcome!" And if someone is asking "unda?" this person's wants to know "where", as in "where to go?" Even if the people of Aruba are able to communicate in four different languages, including Dutch and Spanish, the question "What is there?" will remain a challenge for visitors from anywhere in the world. With all of the things to do and see on an island, deciding how to spend your time in the Caribbean can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Aruba to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please. Whether it's secluded coves, sand dunes, underground caves, mysterious rock formations, natural bridges or the adorable donkeys at Aruba’s Donkey Sanctuary, we've got it all covered. Stay up-to-date with the latest top attractions and activities to help make your vacation a truly memorable one – action-packed or mellow, or filled with romance, relaxation and fun. Know that you are among friends who will do everything to make it just perfect... the way a visit to this happy island should be!   


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The Green Bike Aruba project is an incredibly smart family initiative that finally introduced the environmentally friendly bicycle-sharing system in Aruba. With a fleet of hundred bicycles divided among the eight stations along Aruba's west coast, bikers can explore the island at their own pace, seven days a week, and round the clock. Depending on the duration of the stay, visitors (and locals) can opt for hourly, daily, weekly or yearly passes. Unlocking and returning is made super easy because of the technologically advanced and secure Green Bike systems. This human powered public transportation not only reduces your carbon footprint, it's also very gentle on your budget.




If scuba diving is not your thing but the wonders of the deep fascinate you, De Palm Tours has just the thing: the Atlantis Submarine Expedition that allows you to see a stunning array of marine life, from fish and sea turtles to coral and stingrays. If just being under the water (even in an airconditioned submarine) makes you jittery, try Atlantis' semi-sub, the Seaworld Explorer, which stays on the surface but offers incredible views from the hull. Tours are offered daily, call for specific times. The Atlantis Submarines Expedition tours begin at the Adventure Center in downtown Oranjestad where you will take a short transfer to the submarine onboard our shuttle vessel SubSeeker.




Maybe it's those big gentle eyes. Or the wacky grin and the ridiculous noise they make. Whatever it is, donkeys have a certain something that many people find completely endearing. The Aruba Donkey Sanctuary takes in injured and sick wild donkeys, providing care and a permanent home. This is a great place to spend a couple hours, especially if you're an animal lover or a kid (and if you're not either, that may have changed by the time you leave!). The donkeys love visitors, especially those with a handful of carrots or apples. Walk all the way to the patio before handing out the treats to avoid an avalanche of enthusiasm while feeding.


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Northeast Coast
Alto Vista Chapel
Photo courtesy of Albert Braamskamp

Established more than 250 years ago by the Indians and the Spanish, Alto Vista is often called the Pilgrim's Church, but is known officially as Our Lady of Alto Vista. The chapel was the island's first Roman Catholic Church, built in 1750 and reconstructed in 1953. As the name Alto (High) Vista (View) suggests, the chapel is set on a cliff looking out across the moving Caribbean Sea. A small, winding road leads to the chapel â€" the white crosses along the way mark the Stations of the Cross. For locals especially, Alto Vista is a sacred place for peace and contemplation. For a meditative walk, visit the Peace Labyrinth behind the chapel.


S.E.Aruba Fly 'n Dive


S.E.Aruba Fly 'n Dive offers regularly scheduled two-tank dives plus a wealth of specialty dives and PADI courses. Groups range from 4-14 divers so you'll never have a dive that's too crowded, and the shop rents and sells all scuba and snorkel equipment. S.E.Aruba also offers Fly 'n Dive packages - take a quick flight to one of the neighboring Caribbean islands for some additional dive opportunities, or stay in Aruba and discover the most beautiful sites together with S.E.Aruba Fly 'n Dive skilled and friendly team. And if one day is not enough, go for a three day (or more) dive package deal.




The Aruba Art Fair initiative, helmed by founder and organizer Oscar "Tito" Bolivar and his enthusiastic team, was officially inaugurated in 2016. ARTISA gallery (Aruba Art Fair's headquarters) offered a glimpse of the island's flourishing art scene in the often forgotten historical centre of San Nicolas. Since then, the streets are bustling with local and international art, including some impressive murals and sculptures in unexpected corners. This new boost of urban art not only beautifies the city, it brings the island, cultures, ideas together, and a steady stream of curious spectators and art collectors. Although the Aruba Art Fair is a yearly event, the art exhibition is permanent. Visitors interested in San Nicolas' art scene have the following options: the Art Walk Tour downtown, to visit the curated murals by established and up-and-coming artists, or the Museum & Art Tour, which includes a visit to the Museum of Industry.




With all the attention focused on Aruba's famous beaches, other invaluable island treasures tend to be forgotten. Thank goodness for local entrepreneurs with appreciation and love for nature like Shannon Croes and his team who run The Shack Kayak Tours. There's no safer, eco-friendlier, more enjoyable way to explore the island's mangrove forests than by kayaking through them accompanied by knowledgable local guides. Learn more and connect with the scenic and tranquil surroundings of one of Aruba's most precious ecosystems. All alone, with your better half or celebrating family bonding time in Aruba? The Shack Kayak Tours team is ready to lead the way.


This natural pool the locals call "Conchi" (Bowl) is the hidden gem of National Park Arikok. The rocky, volcanic environment of one of Aruba's most secluded areas makes the site inaccessible by car. But, for the intrepid travelers, there will be no obstacle, only breathtaking views until they reach the endpoint by 4x4 vehicles, horseback or foot. The calm and crystal clear water of the pool is a soothing contrast to the rugged coastal surroundings and perfect for swimming and snorkeling after a intensive ride, or hike. For those in need of a serious getaway, this is the trip to adventure, to romance, or both.




This historic lighthouse, built in 1910, is not named after the rolling sand dunes behind the cliff on which it is situated, but rather for its proximity to the wreck "S.S. California" - a ship that sank nearby in 1891, before the lighthouse was constructed. Thankfully, the lighthouse keepers opened the doors of this popular stone structure, located close to Arashi Beach. Different tour options are now available to the public at the California lighthouse and its captivating coastal views â€" one of Aruba's landmarks worth visiting. The adjacent La Trattoria Faro Blanco restaurant offers breakfast and lunch during the day and fine al fresco dining in the evenings.




This wildlife park encompasses roughly 20% of the entire island and is dedicated to the conservation of Aruba's natural environment, and cultural-historical heritage. The visitor center at the entrance to the park provides many facilities, including a park exhibition, an information booth, restrooms, a coffee house, a souvenir shop and a media room. Many tour companies offer excursions through these wilds but, thanks to well-maintained walking paths, exploring on your own is also an option. Within the park you will see the ruins of a gold mining operation, caves, ancient indian drawings, and some remnants of an old colonial Dutch settlement. Mount Yamanota, Aruba's highest peak, is also part of Arikok park. As you walk the trails expect to see divi-divi and kwihi trees, cacti, indigenous aloe, and many tropical birds and lizards.


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Meet Liliana Erasmus

Born and raised in Aruba, Liliana moved to the Netherlands to continue her college education in Marketing. Since 1998 she’s been back on her beloved island, where she is working as a...  More About Liliana

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