Twisted Fofoti trees line the northeast coast where continual trade winds sculpt them into oversized bonsai-like forms.
With its pastel-colored buildings and lively harbor, the charming capital city of Oranjestad is worth a visit. Set on the northern coast of Aruba, the resort town of Palm Beach offers soft sands and calm waters for an idyllic seaside getaway.
Aruba’s official languages are Dutch and Papiamento, a Spanish Creole language with hints of Portuguese. Due to the island’s international heritage, most Arubans speak several additional languages, such as English, Portuguese and Spanish. In fact, the small island of Aruba holds one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world.
In keeping with its multi-cultural heritage, international delicacies such as bami and nasi goreng (stir-fried rice and noodles), lumpia (giant spring rolls), and Dutch treats including bitterballen (croquets) pepper Aruba’s menu.
What To Do
Observe Aruba’s abundant sea life in the unique, non-submergible Seaworld Explorer, originally developed in Australia to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
Visit the desert-like Arikok National Park at the heart of the island, and discover its variety of indigenous flora, wildlife, and exquisite rock formations.
Learn about the island’s natural splendors and turbulent history on a half-day excursion around the island. Visit the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, Alto Vista Chapel, Casibari Rock Formation, California Lighthouse, and Baby Beach, a shallow man-made lagoon with coral beds and calm seas, a favorite for locals and family-minded vacationers.
For a unique treat, visit the Aruba Ostrich Farm.
Between March and November, you may encounter baby turtles heading toward the sea from their protected turtle nests along Aruba’s gentle shores. Some will swim an astonishing 6,000 miles to their faraway feeding grounds. Fortunately, vacationers and locals only have to walk a few steps to enjoy irresistible island cuisine.