Cura di Tortuga, Arikok National Park – Image courtesy of bjornfree.com
Check out these must-see sightseeing attractions while visiting Aruba.
Arikok National Park
Follow clearly marked hiking trails to explore Aruba's showcase ecological preserve, which sprawls across roughly 20 per cent of the island.
Discover a diverse landscape of wind-swept hills covered with cacti and divi-divi trees, and dotted with rocky outcrops, huge boulders and fissures.
On the coastal areas, discover sand dunes and wave-lashed limestone cliffs encrusted with sea grapes and sea lavender. Look out for endemic animal species including the Aruban cat-eyed snake and rattlesnake, the Aruban whiptail lizard, Aruban burrowing owl and Aruban parakeet, as well as iguanas, migratory birds, wild goats and feral donkeys.
Elsewhere spot parakeets, doves, troupials, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, kestrels and caracaras (huge vulture-like hawks) swooping above as they seek iguanas and cottontail rabbits.
Stroll paths past abandoned gold mines in hills scattered with yellow poui, white gum trees and eucalyptus trees.
See old aloe gardens and the remains of colourful cunucu (country-style houses), including the partially restored farm known as Cunucu Arikok. Discover fine examples of early Amerindian art, including drawings of birds and marine animals.
Alternatively, explore the park on a horseback or take an ATV tour to see the main highlights of the park, including the twin coves at Dos Playa – two coves fringed by a wide white-sand beach. Although strong currents here make swimming dangerous, the beach is perfect for a picnic.
Nearby lies the Natural Pool or conchi known as Cura di Tortuga, a great place to cool off with a dip when the seas are calm.
There are also various caves in the area, including: the Fontein Cave, which features brownish-red drawings created by Amerindians; the 30m-long Quadirikiri Cave; and the Baranca Sunu, also known as the ‘tunnel of love’ because of its heart-shaped entrance.
(Oranjestad) – Explore the Willem III Tower and Museo Arubano in this 18th century fortress built by the Dutch to defend the island against pirates. Tour the aloe garden and see prehistoric Caiquetio artefacts and remnants from the Dutch colonial period.
Enjoy the weekly Bon Bini Festival, a celebration of local arts and crafts, food, music and dance, held every Tuesday evening.
Archaeological Museum of Aruba
(Oranjestad) – See an array of pottery, shell and stone tools and burial urns, as well as skulls and bones that showcase the island's Amerindian heritage.
Latest update Aruba honeymoon destination:
20 March, 2017
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