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Aruba - One Happy IslandWednesday 21 July 2010 00:01 CEST
You have just a few days off and now you are searching for a destination that will won you instantly. That could be an island with not many places to see but with killing shopping and a lot of sun that will make you happy. Visit Aruba - One Happy Island.
Aruba is a pocket size island 30km long and 10km wide. It is an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands situated some 30km from Venezuela in the deep southern part of the Caribbean. Its highest point is 188m high Mount Jamanota visible from the entire island while almost in the centre of the island is situated Hooiberg, 168m high volcanic formation that can be seen from virtually anywhere on the island. Thanks to tourism, a cute small island of Aruba enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean, and what's the best, it can be seen in just few days.
Synonyms for Aruba are "shopping" and "beaches" and some of the best beaches can be found on the island's southeast and northwest coast. Set your internal clock to "vacation time" and your ears to "Fijne dag" in Dutch language or "Pasa un bon dia" on Papiamento language or "Have a good day" in plain English (both languages are the official Aruba languages just Papiamento is a bit crazy but melodic mix of several languages), take a cocktail in your hand and enjoy Aruba's turquoise warm water, sand and the sun.
Aruba is not the place where you will find magnificent historical buildings. But it offers a few churches and a few interesting museums as are Aruba Model Train Museum where you will find a collection of model trains from all around the world, and Aruba Historical Museum situated in Fort Zoutman, King Willem III Tower, which in the past served as jail, courthouse, tax office... well, depending on the mood (need?) of the city fathers. Every Tuesday the museum hosts the Bon Bini Festival, a small but jolly fair with music, food and local arts.
Bustling capital Oranjestad (Orangetown) named after the last name of the royal Dutch family (van Oranje), will welcome you with colourful painted houses built in Dutch and Spanish style. Plaza Daniel Leo, the heart and soul of the city, is the most beautiful square on the island and together with Lyoyd G. Smith Blvd. and Caya G. F. Betico Croes, it is the place where you will shop until you drop. Several shopping malls also found their place in Oranjestad so there is a chance that you will spend your vacation strolling.
However, Aruba is the host to some great natural landmarks worth to see. While there the first thing that your eye will catch is Divi Divi tree, Aruba's trademark and world famous natural compass. Even if you are not flora expert you will certainly recognize its unique horizontal shape facing southwest due to the winds that blow across the island from the north-east. Unfortunately, Natural Bridge, one of the Aruba's famous landmarks, collapsed in 2005 but even down it still looks awesome. There are several natural bridges around the north eastern shore worth to be seen so don't miss the opportunity to visit some of them.
If you feel like rock-climbing don't miss Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations, a quite attractive place, a kind of Aruba’s Stonehenge. From the top of some of the formations you can enjoy spectacular view of the island so your efforts will be rewarded. Give your body the opportunity to rest from the sun and enjoy peace and silence. Visit Arikok National Park and its caves that hide some of the fantastic Indian drawings on the ceilings.
Enjoy the sun, enjoy the water. Swim, dive, play golf, sail... Ride. Whatever you do in Aruba recall the lyrics: Wear sunscreen. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can... don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it... it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. And trust us on the sunscreen.