In the south of the Caribbean, 30 kilometers north of the coast of Venezuela is the paradise island of Aruba. Aruba, although located on the opposite side of the Atlantic, is an autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And even the first of the two main languages of the island to this day has remained Dutch. Aruba became a Dutch territory in the 17th century, when the Netherlands recaptured it, Curaçao and Bonaire from Spain. Then, until the beginning of the 19th century, Aruba was the scene of hostilities in the struggle for territory between the Dutch, the Spaniards and the British. Then, for several decades, minerals were mined on the island – gold, phosphates, oil … But that was all a long time ago, and the entire oil refining industry in Aruba ceased to exist in 1954. Today, Aruba has become a wonderful Caribbean resort island. Tourists come here looking for a relaxing holiday on clean sandy beaches with clear water. All kinds of water activities are common in Aruba – from diving, snorkeling and diving on submarines to windsurfing, water skiing and fishing of all kinds.
When to go? Climate and best time
|Month||Average temperatures (min / max)||Precipitation (days / mm)|
|January||24/29 °||8 days / 40 mm|
|February||24/29 °||5 days / 20 mm|
|March||25/30 °||2 days / 10 mm|
|April||25/30 °||2 days / 10 mm|
|May||26/31 °||2 days / 15 mm|
|June||26/31 °||3 days / 20 mm|
|July||26/31 °||5 days / 30 mm|
|August||26/31 °||4 days / 25 mm|
|September||26/31 °||4 days / 45 mm|
|October||26/31 °||7 days / 80 mm|
|November||26/30 °||11 days / 95 mm|
|December||25/29 °||11 days / 80 mm|
- Climate : tropical. Daytime temperatures around 29/31 °. Little rainfall even in the rainy season (October to December). Warm sea all year round (26 ° from January to April, 29 to October)
- Best time : excellent all year round. Preferable from mid-February to May. From May to October the climate is more sultry, even if the trade winds make the heat bearable.
- Period to avoid : none. From October to December it has a light rainfall, which sometimes crosses the month of January and the first half of February, but nothing relevant.
- Hurricane / Cyclone Risks : Aruba is located on the southern edge of the hurricane belt. This means that, at these latitudes, phenomena of this kind are very rare, but not impossible. The months most at risk, if we can say so, are from August to October.
Cuisine of Aruba
The basis of Aruban cuisine is numerous “seafood”. Spiny lobsters, shrimp deep sea fish, mussels, clams, barnacles and various algae are abundant in local recipes. Sea gifts are generously flavored with vegetable oil, vegetables and herbs. Recently, meat dishes, mainly from goat meat, have also begun to gain popularity on the island. Many Aruba dishes are related to Dutch colonial cuisine. Local Indian recipes are practically not preserved.
- Boiled shrimp with herbs;
- Shrimp in coconut milk
- Crokeshi – fish meatballs;
- Pasteshis – pies stuffed with fish, meat or shrimp;
- Stoba – stewed lamb;
- Bitterbal – meat balls (prepared on the basis of beef or veal);
- Kesio – caramel-based dessert;
- Pun-di-coco – coconut pudding;
Shopping in Aruba
Aruba is a real paradise for shopaholics. Aruba, in fact, is one big duty free shop: the island is a duty free zone.
In the shopping centers of Aruba there are boutiques of almost all well-known firms of the Old and New Worlds. Buying branded items will cost, on average, 10-30% cheaper than in the US.
Porcelain, Cuban cigars, Dutch lace, paintings by local masters can be brought from Aruba as a souvenir. In addition, tourists are often attracted by low prices for quality gems – topazes, diamonds and emeralds.
Entertainment and attractions in Aruba
Aruba is not very big. If you decide to rent a car, you can easily visit it on your own.
Now let’s see specifically what to see in Aruba.
1 – The capital Oranjestad
Founded in 1636 by the merchants of the Dutch West India Company, it is located in the northwest of the island and is home to nearly 30,000 inhabitants. Very characteristic for the evident Dutch influences that blend with the most modern Aruban and Caribbean inspirations. It is also the hub of the island’s nightlife, where there is also a casino as well as bars, clubs, discos.
2 – The ghost towns of Bushiribana and Balashi
On the far northern tip of Aruba, the California Lighthouse marks the border between the Caribbean and the desert. An arid landscape will accompany you to Bushiribana, the ghost town of gold diggers. It was built by the Aruba Island Gold Mining company precisely to extract the precious mineral from the nearby hills.
3 – Arikok National Park
Arikok National Park covers about 20% of the island. Numerous varieties of cacti, tropical flowers and other plants grow in the park. Endemic (living only in Aruba) species of animals are found here, and caves store rock art from the pre-Columbian era.
History buffs will be interested in visiting the abandoned gold mine in Miralamar and the old Dutch plantation complex in Prince-Valley.
4 – California Lighthouse
It would seem that one of the US states has something to do with the Caribbean island. Everything is simple. The California lighthouse was named after the ship California that crashed off the coast of Aruba. It was in the autumn of 1891. And today, the combination of the ancient atmosphere of the building, sandy landscapes and coral reefs makes the California Lighthouse one of the most visited attractions in Aruba. It is located on the beach of Arashi, in the northwestern part of the island.
5 – Charlie’s Bar
This gastronomic attraction is located in the coastal town of San Nicolas. It was opened in 1941 by Charles and Maria Brown. The bar’s regulars were mostly sailors and workers from a nearby oil refinery. The institution, from the moment of opening, is not only a bar, but also a kind of museum. The walls are lined with paintings, life jackets, hats, flying saucers, T-shirts from the world’s sports teams, and objects salvaged from the ocean floor.
Beautiful beaches in Aruba.
1 – Eagle Beach and Palm Beach
This beach considered by far the most beautiful of all the Caribbean is located 10 km north of Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba.
From February to September it is the scene of the laying of eggs of various species of turtles. If you are lucky enough to be in the right place, but above all at the right time, you can witness a wonderful natural spectacle. Here you can also find the Fofoti Tree , the symbolic trees of the island.
2 – Renaissance Island and Flamingo Beach
Known as the pink flamingo beach , it is located on the private island of the Renaissance Hotel and can be accessed free of charge by hotel guests or outsiders by paying approximately € 85.00 (180 florins). There is a maximum access limit every day, and admission includes round-trip transfer, sun loungers and umbrella, a cocktail and main course for lunch. Birds are very accustomed to human presence and are not afraid to be photographed from close range or to come close to you while you relax on the loungers.The beach is white and the sea is calm.
3 – Arashi Beach
North of Boca Catalina just before the Arashi lighthouse is this beach characterized by calm, clear waters and fine white sand. In the last stretch the shore turns into a wild and rugged landscape dotted with cacti.
It is located 18 km from the capital, on the west coast of Aruba; it can be reached by car, taxi or on foot after getting off at the Malmox bus stop.
● Tierra del Sol Resort, Caya di Solo 10, North, Aruba , apartment from around 200 euros
● Club Arias , 123-K Saveneta, Aruba, double room from around 75 euros
● Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive, 41 JE Irausquin Blvd, Oranjestad, Aruba
● Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino , JE Irausquin Boulevard 85 Palm/Eagle Beach, Aruba, double room
from approx. 270 euros
● MVC Eagle Beach , JE Irausquin Blvd 240, Oranjestad, Aruba, double room from about 120 euros
● Aruba Beach Villas , 462 LG, Smith Boulevard, Malmok Beach, Aruba, double room from around 80 euros
● Aruba Tropic Apartments , Tanki Leendert 251-E, North, Aruba, apartment from around 60 euros