Picture a destination with white-sand beaches, clear blue waters and 82 degree days, every day, all year. Now imagine that you didn’t have to picture it. That’s right, this place actually exists, and it’s an island called Aruba. Located just off the north coast of Venezuela, this tiny 70-square-mile island rarely sees rain, which distinguishes it from other Caribbean islands. The temperature hovers around 80 degrees all year long, never dropping below 65 or rising above 98. The capital city of Oranjestad is a popular tourist destination because modern-day shopping and dining experiences blend seamlessly with the historical landscape of the city.
Known for its friendly residents, Aruba boasts a history rich with multicultural heritage. While the island is home to just over 100,000 people, they come from Caquetio Indian, African and European backgrounds. Aruba has two official languages, one being Dutch, the other being Papiamento (a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and African languages). However, the majority of Arubans also speak Spanish and English. The culture really is a diverse melting pot of people from many different backgrounds who make up a unique community celebrated for their hospitality. All of this diversity is responsible for making this island paradise so remarkable.
Photo courtesy | Phil Comeau
Unsurprisingly, one of the activities tourists are most curious about when visiting a new place is eating. What better way to explore a new culture than to sample food the way it’s prepared by locals? While most of the food found on the island is imported, and international food chains are accessible to those unwilling to try local cuisine, the national menu is actually quite traditional. Most classic, Aruban meals consist of maize dishes, goat meat, fish and vegetable stew. Inhabitants can be found snacking on small pies filled with cheese or beef, called pastechi. Oranjestad has plenty of dining options for those wanting to try something new, or those who are more comfortable with familiar tastes.
The Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive consists of three different Resort locations: Divi Aruba All Inclusive, Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Suites at Dutch Village, and Divi Village All Inclusive Villas. While each one is different, they are all adjacent to each other, and guests can enjoy the amenities of any of them. The resort has plenty of restaurants, bars, and lounges, as well as an a range of outdoor activities allowing guests to take full advantage of the beautiful weather. Pools, beaches, bikes for rent, windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling and rock climbing are at the guests’ disposal. There are a wealth of activities just outside the resorts too, like a 9-hole golf course, shopping centers, Alhambra Casino and a day spa.
Photo courtesy | Misty Johnson
Although Aruba is short on space, it’s full of exciting activities sure to please every traveler. One of Aruba’s must-see attractions is Arikok National Park. Taking up 13 square miles (18.5%) of the 70-square-mile island, this park is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the land. All of the flora, fauna and geological sites there are protected. Visitors can soak in Aruba’s agricultural history by exploring old farmhouses, and rock drawings made by early settlers can be found at some of the cave sites. In addition, there are beaches, a natural pool and terrific hilltop views to thrill any nature lover. The park is a great place to off-road, as some of the sites can only be reached with a 4×4 vehicle.
Excited about learning more? Aruba’s Official Tourism website is a great place to start planning a visit. How could an island with the slogan “One Happy Island” be anything but?