Aruba Caribbean Vacations
With all the tropical paradises you could visit, why would you pick Aruba for your Caribbean vacation? Well, there's the reliably near-perfect weather. If you have only a week away from the job, why not guarantee yourself 7 days of ideal tanning conditions - unwaveringly sunny skies, warm temperatures, and cooling breezes. And because the island's more of a desert than a rainforest, the humidity's low and it hardly ever rains. Hurricanes? There's rarely one within hundreds of miles. Aruba is far south of the tropical-storm belt.
You like beaches? Aruba's got beaches, some of the best in the Caribbean . . . in the world, for that matter. What you see is what you get: miles of white, sugary sand; warm, gentle surf; turquoise and aqua seas; and plenty of space.
When you tire of lolling on the beach, there's scuba diving, snorkeling, great windsurfing, and all the other watersports you expect from a sun-and-sea vacation. On land, you can golf, ride a horse, hike, or drive an all-terrain vehicle over the island's wild and woolly outback. Away from the beach, Aruba is a desert island full of cacti, iguanas, and strange boulder formations. Contrasting sharply with the resort area's serene beaches, the north coast features craggy limestone cliffs, sand dunes, and crashing breakers.
You'll find the overwhelming majority of Arubans to be genuinely friendly and welcoming. With little history of racial or cultural conflicts, the island has no cause for animosity. As the license plates say, it's One Happy Island. And though Dutch is the official language, almost everyone speaks English.
Aruba is a tiny island. Only 32km (20 miles) long and 9.7km (6 miles) across at its widest point, it's slightly larger than Washington, D.C. It's the westernmost of the Dutch ABC islands - Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao - and less than 20 miles north of Venezuela.
If you want an "urban" environment with a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, and casinos, this is the place for you. Its waterfront bustles with cruise ships, yachts, fishing boats, and cargo carriers. Much of the architecture combines Dutch gables and baroque ornamentation with Caribbean colors like pistachio, ochre, pink, and aqua. The result is a sun-drenched gingerbread confection with a touch of theme-park squeaky cleanliness.
In sharp contrast to Oranjestad but only a 20-minute walk west, the Low-Rise hotel area feels like a laid-back summer beach town. This district stretches over several contiguous strands with names like Bushiri, Druif, Manchebo, and Eagle, but it's hard to see where one ends and another begins, and most people refer to the whole area as Eagle Beach.
The High-Rise area begins about a quarter of a mile after Eagle Beach ends. Stretching along Palm Beach, this strip of glitzy high-rise resorts is Aruba's Waikiki. Most boast splashy casinos, numerous restaurants and bars, and endless amenities and services. And if you're totally focused on sun time, you'll appreciate that all but a couple of the resorts are directly on the beach (the others are just across the street). The area also offers more places to eat, drink, and gamble, and its piers are a hubbub of dive boats and motorized watersports.
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