All about Aruba
Aruba may now only be a place you are hearing about recently due to the tourism boom, but it’s history and culture goes back a lot further than that. The first inhabitants of Aruba were actually the Arawak tribesman of the Caquetios Indians, who have escaped from Venezuela to escape the vicious attacks of the Caribs. They chose Aruba due to the distance between it and the other islands, as well as the strong currants around the island. Back then, only sea travel was possible and it made getting there almost impossible for invaders to attack.
In 1499, the Spaniard Alonso de Ojeda set foot on Aruba, becoming the first man from Europe to stand on Aruban soil. The Spaniards set up small colonies on the island, of limited size, and were surprised to find the lack of a plantation scheme among the Caquetios, and eventually enslaved them in the mines in Hispaniola.
Eventually, the Netherlands actually became the rulers of Aruba, and remained under Dutch control from 1636 to nearly 200 years later. The capital of the island was formed during this period, Oranjestad. The country became briefly part of the British Empire, for intermittent periods between 1799 and 1816, before the Dutch regained control via negotiation, for a change.
The Gold Rush of the early 1900s sent the island into a financial frenzy, with oil shipment facilities being made in 1924, and an oil refinery four years later. However, the real financial freedom of Aruba came when it boomed as a tourist attraction, and when the refineries closed in 1985, it became the main source of income of the entire island. The unemployment figures of the island are tiny, too, as they are more than happy for others to come and see the land they own and to enjoy themselves in Aruba, so most are employed in tourism.
Aruba is made up of a mix of races, from South Americans, Caribbeans, Europeans and Far Eastern people all mixing together in Aruba, add that to the culture of tourism and you have a very unique and developed mix of different nationalities and personalities living together in harmony on Aruba.
Ritz-Carlton to come to Aruba
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, part of the Mariott International Inc. is set to become part of the Aruba family. The Ritz-Carlton in Aruba is expected to open up in early November, 2013, so for those looking to travel to the great island – you now know where you will want to stay!
The building will be placed on Palm Beach, on the east coast of Aruba. Aruba is well known for being a beautiful scenic area to visit, with a rich history and some of the most awe-inspiring views you can find on the planet, set just off of the lovely country of Venezuela, it has that fantastic movie feel to it, and is expanding all the time in tourism and facilities, with tourism being a huge part of the income of Aruba.
The building will have an eye-watering three hundred-and-twenty guest rooms and a meeting area for people to convene to enjoy the day together. It will not only host rooms though, it will have four separate restaurants, various swimming pools, a casino inside the hotel and also a fitness centre – giving you ample opportunity to relax, have fun, or work up a sweat, all from the comfort of your hotel.
Part of the massive Marriott brand, who own some of the greatest hotels in the world, it has at the time of writing 81 different buildings across 26 countries on the planet, however six of these buildings are in the Caribbean – proving the theory that these areas the real dream locations to visit.
The Ultimate Convergence of Sun, Sand, Clear Waters and Scintillating Fun!
Aruba, an island just 27 km north of Venezuela is one of the constituent countries of the kingdom of the Netherlands. Known for its pristine natural beaches and clean cities, this island is constantly rated as one of the world’s best island getaways. You will love the typical European flavor and the hospitable local population who enjoy high standards of living.
Getting to Aruba is a breeze!
Aruba Airport (IATA Code: AUA) also known as the Queen Beatrix International Airport lies just outside the capital city of Oranjestad and is well connected to major cities in the USA, Canada, Venezuela, Netherlands and rest of Europe. Finding a car rental company or a taxi from the airport is fairly easy. This Island also has a very good air conditioned public bus transportation network called Arubus which is operated by the government of Aruba. While on your dream vacation you won’t have to worry about getting around!
Enjoy all year sunshine in Aruba
People from across the world head to Aruba for an unforgettable holiday. The island which is 21 miles long and 6 miles wide enjoys a tropical climate with an average yearly temperature of 82 degree Fahrenheit (28 degree C). The trade wind from the Atlantic gives this tropical destination an Isothermal effect and ensures that the temperature is never too hot. Since Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt in the Caribbean, annual rainfall rarely crosses 20 inches (approx 500 mm) giving the island year round tourists. This paradise never fails to impress!
Discover the stunning beaches
Aruba’s beaches have something for everyone. Whether you want to relax or go on an adventure, head to one of the many beaches in Aruba. While the beaches on the east and North West of Aruba are popular among surfers and kite boarders, the calmer waters of the beaches on the South Western side are ideal for swimming and relaxation. Snorkeling and water sports such as jet skiing are some of the other popular activities. You will also find very good restaurants and beach bars along most of the beaches. You can take your pick amongst some of these sun-kissed white sands- Palm beach, Eagle beach, Manchebo beach, Druif beach, Havana beach, Rogers beach and the Baby beach.
Be pampered at world class hotels and resorts
As a top rated travel destination, this Island has some of the best hotels and resorts in the world. For the budget traveler, there are plenty of choices as well. Most of the hotels offer discounts on long stays.
Night Life in Aruba
The party scene is very colorful and entertaining. Most hotels and resorts have live bands, discos and bars open late into the night. Casinos are the other big draw for tourists. So if you’re feeling lucky, there’s no place like Aruba!
The party never ends
You will probably be so mesmerized by the beauty of the beaches that you may forget that Aruba has a lot more to offer. Rent out an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or a mountain bike and explore the country’s rugged landscape and archaeological sites. There are plenty of museums for art and history lovers. For nature buffs, Aruba offers a myriad opportunities to spot beautiful and exotic birds. And… if you’re in love then a spicy salsa lesson together or a moon light cruise will be an unforgettable experience.
Aruba is a perfect kaleidoscope of stunning beaches, beautiful nature, virgin terrain, adventure, rich history and unlimited fun. Come to Aruba and be ready to be enchanted by a world of smiling faces and amazing hospitality. We can help you explore this wonderland in all its brilliance.
Celebrating Christmas on Aruba
Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations on Aruba. It’s held not once (or twice) but THRICE. There’s the Sinterklaas (the Dutch Santa Claus) visit on December 5, the Santa Claus visit on December 25, and the Three Kings will visit on January 6. These guys will be giving children sweets and gifts, so that’s three times the kids get to celebrate Christmas. And then the whole Christmas season is preceded by the Carnival season, which consists of street bands and street parties. The last two months of the year are definitely the best time to be in there. Celebrating Christmas on Aruba is definitely a unique experience you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
ven if you’re not planning on giving gifts more than one day this month, we suggest you hightail to Aruba to experience a unique blend of European and islander traditions. Aruba is a melting pot of foreign and local cultures, hence the three days of Christmas and the Carnival. Here are some ways you can start celebrating Christmas on Aruba and experience all it has to offer.
Every year the islanders put up magnificent Christmas lights displays. One particular hill, Seroe Preto, is especially decorated with lights based on a theme. This is a popular tourist destination especially during the holidays, so check it out. OR you can just go driving at night time to enjoy the beautiful lights the Arubans have on their homes. We know beautiful Christmas lights displays are common everywhere, the Arubans have elevated Christmas lights decoration into an art form. Check these out, and you’re guaranteed to have a magical Christmas evening.
Oh, the food. Thinking about the delicious fusion feasts at Aruba makes our mouths water, and we’re sure you’ll be clamoring for them too. Like the month-long holidays, the food here is a reflection of Aruba’s melting pot nature. You can have anything from the traditional Christmas ham to dishes such as ayaca and arroz con pollo. Christmas-themed versions of sweets such as fruit cakes and pistachio cakes are available, and you can sip drinks such as chuculati pinda and ponche crema while looking at the Christmas lights.
Music and Dancing
The Arubans know how to throw a good party (hello, Carnival!), and they play diverse holiday music. You’ll here Christmas carols, Sinterklaas music (which is Dutch), and some South American sounds such as the gaita. Gaita music relies heavily on percussion instruments, but its songs range from ballads to activist songs. You’ll be able to hear Christmas songs sung in the gaita style, and it’s something you definitely shouldn’t miss.
If you want to hear music that’s truly Aruban, you should stick around after Christmas to hear the Dande. It’s a kind of musical tradition that exists only in Aruba. A group of musicians visit a house and play a special (and improvised) song wishing the family good luck and health for the coming year. The family gives money, and more songs are played depending on how generous they are. This tradition was almost extinct before some musicians banded together and started a revival.
Even if you already missed the Carnival, celebrating Christmas on Aruba is still an experience of a lifetime. It’s magical, and you’ll get a taste of many generations’ worth of cultural integration through the unique Aruban Christmas experience. Or you can start saving up now for next year’s holidays. That way, you can stay for the Carnival too. To fully maximize the experience, you have to accumulate a number of days’ leave, so start saving up so you can go celebrating Christmas on Aruba.
Celebrating New Year on Aruba, 2012/2013
New Year on Aruba still falls under its grand Christmas season, which lasts until the sixth of January. Aruba New Year Eve 2012/2013 is both intimate and explosive (pun intended). While there aren’t as many special celebrations as in other places, we guarantee that greeting the New Year in Aruba is still the kind of experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
The first (and foremost) thing to do to celebrate New Year is to participate in Dande festivals. The Dande is a music style indigenous to Aruba. It involves a group of musicians visiting houses and playing songs of luck and prosperity dedicated to the household. A hat is passed around and members of the family put money in it for good luck. The musicians they play a couple more songs to say thanks. This tradition was started by the freed slaves, who visited the households after midnight. The Dande tradition had a renaissance recently when some Arubans banded together to preserve it. Dande festivals are held every year so that the next generation of Arubans may pass it on.
Here are other ways to celebrate Aruba New Year Eve 2012/2013.
- A Caribbean Cruise. Some tourist cruises offer island cruising packages on the last days of the year, with Aruba being one of the final destinations. Spend the last minutes of the year sipping cocktails on deck and watching the fireworks displays from Aruba’s many resorts and hotels.
- A romantic dinner or maybe a family dinner. Hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Resort & Casino have special New Years’ Eve dinners planned for the whole family. You can watch the fireworks from the comforts of your hotel’s restaurant.
- Party. Almost every hotel in Aruba will have a New Year party of some sort planned, so ask the staff if/when they’re having a party for New Year. That said, many high profile restaurants and bars will have parties, too. This is a great way to enjoy the Aruba New Year Eve 2012/2013 and get to know the locals. Go clubbing and have fun!
- Sit on the beach and enjoy the fireworks. Aruba has some of the most beautiful beaches on earth, and there are many people out and about on New Year’s Eve. Mingle with the locals and/or lie back and watch the sky light up with fireworks from the surrounding resorts. It’s a great (and free) way to welcome the New Year. You may also have a night picnic with your friends and family.
As of this writing, only a few hotels, restaurants, and clubs in Aruba have posted details of their New Year’s Eve celebrations online. Thus, we apologize for the lack of specific details. However, you can rest assured that most (if not all) these places will definitely have something for Aruba New Year Eve 2012/2013. We expect to hear more from them soon, and we’ll keep you posted. For the meantime, sit back, relax, and enjoy Aruba’s triple threat Christmas holidays.