Scuba diving on Aruba is a delight
There are many tourists who visit places so as to enjoy adventurous activities. When it comes to Aruba, water sports are very popular amongst people who come from far off places. One such activity is scuba diving on Aruba. The place provides an excellent opportunity for all such enthusiasts and it is as if the sea invites them to explore the beauty of the underwater. The Caribbean is known for the maximum number of ship wrecks and this is something which the divers always want to come across.
One of the most popular wrecks is ‘The Antilla’. It is in the Northwestern coast of Aruba and is so huge that one can see a part of it protruding from the surface of the water. Most of the divers claim to find something new about this wreck every time they visit it. Lying next to it is the Pedernalis. Though it is spread, one can still find some bombs which have not exploded under the water.
A wide variety of fish await all the divers which make the water even more colorful. The site of dolphins and turtles in the water is breathtaking and therefore, a large number of people take up scuba diving on Aruba. The following are the different types of scuba diving apart from the wrecks:
Night diving – It has gained a lot of prominence in the recent past. Many tourists find that the flora and fauna in the water appear more beautiful during night time. The reefs will make it even more memorable.
Reef diving – Reefs are a common site in the western area. The current in the place makes many of these to float. The corals are a treat to watch on these rocks as well as the wrecks.
Wall diving – A wall is a deep descend in the seabed which is frequented by fish and other water creatures. When one opts for wall scuba diving, he or she will have water above and below the bed. This provides a lot excitement as fish from both the sides will come to the bed to feed.
For amateurs, it is always advisable to take a guided tour. Though there are very less chances of an injury, one needs to be careful in all the underwater activities. Aruba is a good choice and one can make the most of it.
Shopping in Aruba- An Amazing Experience
While Aruba is definitely a kingdom for romantic dreams, the tiny island is also a shopping paradise. With a variety of cultures including Spanish, Dutch, English, African, and Portuguese that influence the area, tourists have an array of shopping options that include arts and crafts from the region. Visitors can enjoy Aruba shopping for a variety of international brand names at incredibly lower prices than the US. From low-rise shopping bazaars to upscale malls, shopping in Aruba can be an exhilarating experience.
Spoilt for choice
Aruba shopping cannot be complete without a visit to the island’s jewelry store-lined streets. The shops are brimming with gold, silver, and diamond jewelry made by the finest craftsmen. Many open air shopping malls offer world class shopping with stores like Gucci and Ralph Lauren. Known for its Dutch connection, shopping in Aruba offers a colorful blend of Caribbean and European goods. One of the major benefits for shoppers is that the salespeople are knowledgeable, multi-lingual, and friendly.
Visitors find duty free shopping in Aruba simply irresistible. Shoppers have a wider selection of branded products at prices much lower than anywhere in the Caribbean and Europe. Passengers returning to the US are allowed up to $800.00 per person as duty-free tax exemption.
Convenient and comfortable shopping
Downtown Oranjestad is a great place to purchase handicrafts, collectibles, and souvenirs made by local craftsmen. Aruba shopping includes an array of beach and resort wear, lingerie, designer apparel and accessories, and fine linen and China. Most downtown stores in the area are open from Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 6 pm, although shopping hours vary at some of the hotels. All major credit cards, travelers’ checks, and US currency are widely accepted.
Caya Betico Croes, the Main Street in downtown Oranjestad has numerous department and retail stores located in malls. There are smaller malls located behind the Main Street along Havenstraat that are distinguishable by their Dutch Caribbean facades. Aruba shopping along the narrow side streets is also recommended if you are looking for a good bargain. There is plenty of parking available behind the bus station. Taxis and buses also ply to and from the shopping area.
Plenty of malls
Among the prominent shopping malls is the three-storied Royal Plaza that resembles a rich wedding cake with its pink and white paint. You can shop here for apparel, jewelry, souvenirs, accessories, linen, and even grab a bite or cocktail at the after-hours club. The Renaissance Mall offers a variety of luxury goods including Belgian chocolates. For an array of shopping and live entertainment, the Renaissance Marketplace located between Queen Wilhelmina Park and the yacht-lined boardwalk is the ideal place for shoppers.
The high-rise area is lined with shops and kiosks, malls, bars, cafes, and restaurants. A visit to the Paseo Herencia shopping center is a must. The center features great entertainment options with six movie theaters, fifty retail stores, and seven restaurants. The center is dedicated to Aruba’s legendary composer and musician, Juan Chabaya Lampe. The Village, Palm Beach Plaza, and South Beach Mall are also shopping centers with a variety of kiosks, bars, and restaurants as well.
Numerous supermarkets in downtown Oranjestad are open from 8 am to 6 pm daily and from 8 am to 1 pm on Sunday. Kong Hing, Certified, Ling & Sons, and Super Food are among the well known supermarkets in the area. While most prices are in Aruban currency, it is easy to determine the dollar equivalent by dividing the price in half and adding 10%.
Aruba is one happy island which is reflected by its residents who exude a unique charm that is almost magnetic. The Caribbean island beckons one and all to experience a great vacation with its intriguing combination of white sandy beaches and sparkling blue water. Around 20% of the island is covered by the Arikok National Park which has plenty of trails for visitors to explore.
Aruba transportation options
Getting around Aruba is easy since the island has an excellent infrastructure. Transport in Aruba includes a range of taxis, buses, rent-a-cars, motorcycle and scooter rentals, all terrain vehicles, and air-conditioned motor coaches. Taxis have fixed rates and are always available at most vantage points and the shopping areas. Aruba transportation includes bus services are inexpensive. Buses are available to and from downtown Oranjestad and resort areas.
Aruba transportation ground rules
Visitors are required to possess a valid foreign or international driving license. Driving around the island is on the right side of the road. Free parking is available throughout the island. Much of the island can be explored by car, however, some areas such as the Natural Pool require a 4x4 vehicle. When driving a normal car, it is recommended not to traverse areas with huge rock or hill formations. These areas are better explored by jeep or an all-terrain vehicle with high clearance.
Public Buses and Taxis
Public transport in Aruba consists mainly of taxis and buses. The main bus station is in downtown Oranjestad from where buses ply between hotels and the downtown area. The bus station is ideally located across from the waterfront shops and restaurants. A round-trip fare between most hotels and downtown is around US$ 2.50. Many tourists use public buses because of their efficiency and low cost. Line services operated by a government enterprise, Arubus, ply between San Nicolas, Oranjestad, and the hotel region. During peak hours, over 14 buses operate along the route.
Smaller, privately owned mini buses with 12 seats operate between San Nicolas and Oranjestad. These buses are part of the regular transport and are available throughout the day.
Motorcycle and scooter rentals
Aruba’s awesome weather entices visitors to remain outdoors. An integral part of Aruba transportation is scooters and motorcycles that can be rented through several agencies. Tourists can even opt to rent Harleys and enjoy a trip around the island. Scooter and motorcycle rentals are available at many places around the island. All you need is a regular driver’s license while helmets are supplied by the rental agency.
Car and Jeep Rentals
If you are the adventurous kind and willing to explore Aruba with your family and friends on your own, it is a good idea to rent a car, jeep, or all terrain vehicles. If you want to stick to the paved roads, then renting a normal air conditioned car is a good choice. However, for rough terrain you will need to rent a jeep or all terrain vehicles from any of the rental agencies which includes Avis, Hertz Aruba Rent a Car, Thrifty, Amigo, and more.
The tiny Caribbean island of Aruba is undoubtedly a vacationer’s paradise. The island’s sunny and warm weather welcomes tourists throughout the year to its sandy beaches. Most tourists take advantage of the consistency in the island’s weather, which is typical of the Caribbean, to spend time tanning at the beach. It would be prudent to learn a few facts about Aruba before visiting the island that plays host to over 1.5 million visitors every year.
Couples seeking a romantic vacation have the perfect place in Aruba to enjoy some quiet moments together. Palm Beach, Malmok Beach, Eagle Beach, are among the best places to enjoy a romantic holiday with a variety of hotels and resorts close by.
All-year-round tourist destination
Any time is a great time to head for a vacation to Aruba. Temperatures hardly vary during day and night time and throughout the year as well. Moderate rainfall occurs during November and December, making it the perfect place to enjoy a holiday any time of the year. An average daytime temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and maximum humidity levels of 75 percent presents tourists with the perfect opportunity to enjoy a comfortable vacation.
Aruba presents an eclectic mix of English, Dutch, Spanish, African, and Portuguese cultures. You need to visit the island to experience this incredible potpourri of customs and traditions. The Arubans are proud of their culture and are known to be fun-loving and friendly. Aruba facts indicate that there are ninety-two nationalities have made the island their home.
Among the facts of Aruba that is no secret is the Aruban penchant for festivities. Arubans have a great festive season that begins with the dande for New Year and then on to the month long carnival celebrations leading up to the season of Lent. They celebrate the Dutch Queen’s birthday through the Sinterklaas in early December, leading up to Christmas.
Aruban way of life
True to Caribbean culture, life on the island is laid back and casual. However, life can be one big party for visitors who are not only welcome but also well respected by residents of the island. In return, politeness and acceptance of the Aruban way of life are all it takes to enjoy a vacation on the island.
Aruba facts about nudism
Nudism is not prohibited in Aruba. Topless sunbathing and swimming are permitted although not practiced by many. Most resorts do not permit any form of nudity on their premises.
There is no dearth of hotels and resorts well equipped with modern amenities. Aruba’s shores are also lined with restaurants offering gastronomic delights set amidst a romantic and idyllic ambiance. Nightlife is also very much a part of the island’s lifestyle with a choice of entertainment for visitors including 24-hour casinos.
Best time to visit
While visitors can enjoy a vacation at any time of the year, the best time to avail of super discounts is during mid-April to mid-December, which is the low tourist season.
Aruba has the purest and safest drinking water that comes from its saltwater desalination plant, which is the second largest in the world. Although bottled water is available, it is discouraged due to environmental reasons.
Aruba is a sportsman’s paradise with great opportunities for surfing and windsurfing. The beaches are always warm enough to swim or snorkel in. Eagle Beach is one of the top internationally known beaches that attract tourists from young socialites to well-known celebrities and families.
Pristine beaches and diving spots aren’t the only Aruba tourist spots on the beautiful Caribbean island. There is a wealth of things to do in Aruba with many natural wonders and other outdoor activities. From horseback riding to mountain biking and sightseeing, there are many places in Aruba that make it the perfect place for a vacation.
The 25-feet high Natural Bridge is made of coral and extends 100 feet across. The bridge was carved over the years by the pounding waves and is one of the most dramatic coral formations in the Caribbean. Even though the original bridge collapsed, the baby bridge offers spectacular views of the island.
Arikok National Park
Among the things to do in Aruba is a visit to the Arikok National Park. The park is blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna. Visitors have the chance to explore some rare wildlife on the biggest reserve on the island. Arikok is a great place for biking and trekking.
Among the famous Aruba tourist spots is the California Lighthouse located on the northwest tip of the island in an area known as Hudishibana. Although no one is permitted to reach the top, the lighthouse is one of Aruba’s scenic spots with picture-perfect views of the island’s sandy beaches, coral shorelines, and rolling sand dunes. It is also one of the best places in Aruba to watch the most spectacular sunsets amidst peace and tranquility.
Located on the northwest section on J. E. Irausquin Blvd. is Butterfly Farm, which is home to over 40 species of butterflies from around the world. Visitors come here to enjoy the tropical gardens, Japanese ponds, and waterfalls, which make up the perfect environment for the butterflies that roam freely under a large mesh cover. The farm offers guided tours where visitors can experience a close encounter with nature. Kids will love the opportunity to enjoy a new experience observing new butterflies take their first flight out of their pupa. The farm also houses a gift shop.
Undoubtedly, Aruba’s breathtaking beaches and warm waters offer visitors plenty of opportunities for water sports including snorkeling. The crystal clear waters along the reefs are a haven for snorkelers with a variety of species of fish to be found. Arashi Beach at the northern tip of the island, Baby Beach, Boca Catalina, Palm Beach, and Eagle Beach are some of the popular spots for snorkeling. Resorts around the beaches arrange snorkeling and scuba diving tours for visitors.
Archaeological Museum of Aruba
The tiny Caribbean island of Aruba has a rich cultural history well preserved at the Archaeological Museum of Aruba. The museum exhibits tools made from stone from 2000 BC and pottery and burial artifacts from 500 AD. Located behind Saint Fransiscus Church in Oranjestad, the museum is open only on weekdays.
Aruba Ostrich Farm
Kids would love a trip to the Aruba Ostrich Farm on the north east side of the island. Located close to Arikok National Park the farm offers a three-hour guided tour for a close encounter with ostriches and emus. As the birds romp around in their local habitat visitors are allowed to hand feed the always hungry birds. The farm has a restaurant and an art shop. Tours commence every half hour between 9 am to 4 pm all through the week.
Aruba Atlantis Submarine
Among the other popular tourist adventures is the Atlantis Submarine where tourists can experience underwater life on a two hour journey to depths of 130 feet. The submarine tour starts from downtown Oranjestad with up to 48 people on board the air conditioned submarine.
Casibari Rock Formations
Among the most popular Aruba tourist spots are the Casibari Rock formations located at the center of the island. Casibari and Ayo are the two boulder formations that represent the island’s version of Stonehenge. The area is accessible from Highway 4a to Ayo via Route 6a, located north of Hooiberg. There are walking trails and steps that lead to the top of the formation where visitors can enjoy the spectacular view of the island.
Cura di Tortuga
The large natural pool of Cura di Tortuga or conchi is located on a deserted stretch along the coast line. The area is accessible by foot, horseback, or 4 wheel drive. The pool is made by large rock formations that create a natural barrier that traps the ocean waves around it.
So book your vacation today!