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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Green Bike Aruba gives adventurers an exciting opportunity to discover Aruba's highlights on their own pace, at attractive rates, with zero impact on the environment.
Liliana's expert tip: Download the Cyclefinder mobile app to check bike availability before heading to the station.
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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Donkey Sanctuary Aruba has been creating a safe and stable home for Aruba's stray donkeys since 1997 and their accomplishments are worth a visit.
Liliana's expert tip: Before you leave, stop by the little refreshment stand for a cold drink or a unique souvenir T-shirt and contribute to this wonderful nonprofit organization.
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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Alto Vista Chapel has historical, cultural, spiritual and architectural value, apart from its breathtaking surroundings.
Liliana's expert tip: Open every day for visitors, the Chapel has a 35 minute Mass on Tuesdays at 5 pm.
This recently reopened museum, which moved in 2009 into one of the island's most historic landmarks downtown, offers a fascinating glimpse at the life of Aruba's first inhabitants. The permanent exhibition provides an interactive experience for both, locals and tourists alike, and includes an exciting collection of farm tools, Indian artifacts, pottery, glass and art â" as well as a few skeletons! Visitors will be delighted by the reconstructed environments, multimedia, and hands-on activities while being amazed by Aruba's many archaeological treasures. The staff (a team of professional archeologists) is conducting the research for the collections, leading excavations, and preserving key heritage sites, including the amazing cave paintings located in National Park Arikok.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The National Archaeological Museum of Aruba preserves the island's most representative archeological finds.
Liliana's expert tip: The museum offers a special interactive program for kids.
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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Aruba Mural Tours, apart from bringing people closer together through art, contributes to Aruba's cultural and economical growth.
Liliana's expert tip: Check out Aruba Art Fair's Facebook page to learn more about their latest art events, including Fashion meets Art and art workshops.
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" â" 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. The winding stairs of the California lighthouse are now available to the public. Don't miss the chance to enjoy the captivating coastal views of one of Aruba's favorite landmarks. The adjacent La Trattoria Faro Blanco restaurant offers breakfast and lunch during the day and fine al fresco dining in the evenings.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: California Lighthouse Tour is a relatively new attraction for visitors to enjoy this unique landmark from within and from atop.
Liliana's expert tip: For only US$1 donation you can get the California Lighthouse stamp in your USLHS (United States Lighthouse Society) passports.
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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Shack Kayak Tours sets an example for best practices in sustainable tourism in Aruba without cutting back on the fun.
Liliana's expert tip: Apart from kayaking tours, The Shack also offers snorkeling and hiking tours.
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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: "Conchi" Natural Pool is more than a swim or a dive, it's a real taste of adventure.
Liliana's expert tip: Please, be careful. The rocks are slippery and the sea surrounding the pool is rough and not recommended for swimming.
Pure Diving Aruba means serious business when this team of underwater experts decided to join the island's diving pack. Apart from diving lessons and unique marine life adventures, Pure Diving Aruba offers its clients invaluable insights into nature preservation. Building eco-friendly toilets, banning plastic bottles and straws, promoting reef-friendly sunscreens, organizing activities to help protect Aruba's coral reefs and combating the invasive lionfish defines only a couple of Pure Diving Aruba's daily responsibilities. And although having unforgettable underwater experiences remains of utmost importance, combining pleasure with environmental awareness is absolutely the only way to go, if we want to keep enjoying the beauty of nature in times to come.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Pure Diving Aruba is a perfect addition to Aruba's diving scene when it comes to preserving the most essential part of underwater entertainment: marine life.
Liliana's expert tip: Check out Pure Diving Aruba's Fluorescent Night Dive for an out-of-this-world experience (includes special UV night diving gear).
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.
Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Arikok National Park Foundation is one of Aruba's main attractions, presenting and preserving the island's many natural and historical treasures.
Liliana's expert tip: To thoroughly enjoy your journey, it is recommended to visit the park with a 4 x 4 vehicle. For more park rules and tips, visit: arubanationalpark.org