Bright Oranjestad; Natural Bridge; Arikok National Park; Gvadirikiri caves; Butterfly Farm; the Antilla wreck; the Pedernales wreck; Mangel Halto reef.
Aruba is a small island located in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea, in 40 km from Venezuela. It is part of the Lesser Antilles. The local population is just over 90,000 people and is a rather motley crowd of local Indian tribes, Spanish refugees and Dutch immigrants.
Aruba has a temperate tropical climate, so it can boast year-round perfect weather and rather dry for the tropics air. The natural beauties of the island, consisting of rocky cliffs and sand dunes, are very picturesque and resemble the neighborhood of Malta.
In the capital of the island - Oranjestad, famous for its brightly colored houses, churches and temples which are typical representatives of the Dutch architectural direction – there are about 20 thousand inhabitants. Everything there keeps distinct imprint of culture of the Netherlands. For those who are fond of local folklore it will be interesting to visit the museums of Oranjestad. There are four of them – the Historical museum Arubano, the Museum of Geology, the Museum of Archaeology and even the Numismatic Museum. You can also visit various local exhibitions at the Cultural Center of Aruba. Tourists can take interest in Natural Bridge – a 30-meter coral arch, California Lighthouse and Christian Chapel. Nature lovers should visit Arikok National Park, which occupies about 20 percent of the island and where you can visit the famous cave Fontaine. Tourists can also get acquainted with the Dutch colonial settlements in Masiduri, explore gold mines in Miralamar (or rather, their ruins), Gvadirikiri caves, visit the traditional for the Caribbean islands Butterfly Farm and climb to the top of colorful Mount Yamanote. In addition to traditional cultural excursions, tourists can have fun in numerous nightclubs and casinos.
The main local currency is the Aruba Florin, however, as on many islands, popular with tourists, US dollar is widespread. You can also pay with credit cards and traveler's checks.
Reina Beatrix Airport in Aruba, named in honor of the Queen of the Netherlands, is located right in the capital of the island – in Oranjestad. Initially, the airport was named Dakota and was a base of the United States’ Air Forces, but in 1955 it was renamed in honor of Queen Beatrix. The airport serves many international flights, including the US, the Caribbean, the northern coast of South America and several European countries.
Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
Diving in Aruba, as many divers say, can be called truly spectacular. In addition to favorable weather, calm sea with excellent visibility, rich marine fauna, consisting of sharks, dolphins and stingrays, beautiful coral reefs, Aruba boasts many wrecks, remains of which attract divers from all over the world. In fact, the entire Aruban coast can be called great archaeological monument to the ships sunk in the period from the 17th century to the Second World War
The best known is the German cargo ship "Antilla", the size of which is 132 meters. It is the largest ship, gone to a depth of eighteen feet in the Second World War, is lying in three hundred meters from the north-west coast of Aruba. Not far from the "Antilla" you can see the remains of "Pedernales" - military tanker, around which some extreme-seekers still find unexploded missiles. Also, fans of deep diving will like the wrecks of "California" and "Jane C" – a small ship sunk for drug trafficking; and other cargo ships and barges. In addition to the wrecks divers can explore the remains of the fallen aircrafts in the southern part of Aruba.Divers also like the coral reef Mangel Halto with its giant black corals and sponges. Night diving, which is widespread on the island, will reveal you completely different side of the sea beauty.