Aruba From Our Xpertz
Cruise ships gleam in Oranjestad Harbour, and thousands of eager tourists spill out into downtown Oranjestad. The mile-long stretch of L.G. Smith Boulevard (aka "The Strip") is lined with cafés, designer stores, restaurants, and Palm Beach Plaza, a modern shopping mall. The countryside is dotted with colorful cunucu (country-style houses) and stretches out into a cacti-studded rocky desert landscape that becomes Arikok National Park—a protected preserve covering 20% of the island's landmass.
Aruba not only has beautiful beaches and world-class resorts, but also near-perfect weather: It's outside the hurricane belt and receives just 20 inches of rainfall per year and has constant cooling trade winds. On the south coast, the action is nonstop both day and night; whereas the rugged north coast boasts a desolate beauty that calls to those who seek solitude in nature.
As with Bonaire and Curaçao, the island was originally populated by the Caquetio, an Amerindian people related to the Arawak. After the Spanish conquered the island in 1499, Aruba was basically left alone, since it held little in the way of agricultural or mineral wealth. The Dutch took charge of the island in 1636, and things remained relatively quiet until gold was discovered in the 1800s.
Like the trademark watapana (divi-divi) trees that have been forced to bow to odd angles by the constant trade winds, Aruba has always adjusted to changes in the economic climate. Mining dominated the economy until the early part of the 20th century, when the mines became unprofitable. Shortly thereafter, Aruba became home to a major oil-refining operation, which was the economic mainstay until the early 1990s, when its contribution to the local economy was eclipsed by tourism. Today, after being so resolutely dedicated to attracting visitors for so many years, Aruba's national culture and tourism industry are inextricably intertwined.
There is good reason why Aruba has more repeat visitors than any other island in the Caribbean. It offers something for everyone: a pleasant climate, excellent facilities, nightlife, nature, and warm and friendly locals. The hospitality industry here is of the highest order. The U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere, and English is spoken universally.
While You Are There
Our popular things to See & Do 6
Whether it's getting to your hotel as soon as possible, or looking after the family following a long journey, the last thing you want is a long wait! Don't worry, when you fly to Aruba, a coach will be there waiting for you at the airport to ensure you a stress free and comfortable journey to your destination aboard a deluxe air-conditioned motor coach.
Roar along the north coast of Aruba aboard a single or double ATV on this half-day tour. Kick up dirt as your all-terrain vehicle takes you through rugged back roads, the desert, seaside bluffs and beaches. Capture amazing photos while visiting Alto Vista Chapel, Baby Natural Bridge and the gold mill ruins. End the trip by taking a refreshing dip at crystal clear blue beaches. Pickup and drop-off from most Aruba hotels included.
Avoid the hassle and pre-book your roundtrip private transfer before you leave home. Get the personable treatment you deserve with this private airport service that can accommodate you and your family's all together no separation of vehicles <br>
Our Island Ultimate safari is the most epic trips of them all. This is a full-day tour and is considered the most adventurous off-road tour in Aruba’s history! Over a quarter of a million participants have been awed on this classic Aruban off-road trip. We offer you a complete island excursion.<br><br>Did you know that this is the only tour in Aruba that offers both the Natural Pool and Baby Beach on the same trip? We will be providing snorkel gear for you, so you can enjoy the underwater world.<br><br>homemade BBQ Lunch is included.<br>- More Sites; More Off-road = Adventure Beyond Comparison<br>- State of the art, rugged off-road via Land Rover<br>- Smaller groups & comfortable peer-facing seat for quality experience<br>
Spend a relaxing evening in Aruba on a sunset cruise followed by a waterfront seafood dinner. Sail along Aruba’s west coast, enjoying snacks and an open bar while you wait for the famous Caribbean sunset. After two hours on the water, head back to shore for dinner at the Pelican Nest, a seaside restaurant serving up fresh food with a picture-perfect view.
Start your day on a high note with a Champagne cruise by catamaran across the turquoise waters of Aruba. Eat both breakfast and lunch on board while you cruise to three snorkeling spots, where you’ll swim in the clear Caribbean with tropical marine life. Picture yourself lounging on the boat, breeze in your hair and mimosa in your hand — sounds like perfection in paradise!
Our Xpertz Tips
How to Visit Aruba with Kids
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Aruba’s Top 12 Experiences
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5 Ways to Unwind in Aruba
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9 New Things to Do in Oranjestad, Aruba
If you haven’t been to Aruba lately you might not recognize Oranjestad. The small city has been refreshed and rejuvenated with both locals and visitors in mind, and there are mor...
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