Backpack and Snorkel - Making Memorable Moments
Backpack & Snorkel - Making Memorable Moments

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Making Memorable Moments in Aruba

 

Why you should visit Aruba

 

Aruba is known for its reliably dry, warm and sunny weather, wonderful beaches and clear turquoise waters.

 

General information

 

Aruba, together with Bonaire and Curacao is part of the ABC Islands.  The ABC islands and Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba, are part of the Dutch Caribbean or formerly the Dutch West Indies und thus a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Arubans are Dutch citizens, but the island is self-governed.
Aruba lies 18 miles (29km) north of Venezuela and the population is approx. 120,000.
The name Aruba may come from one of these three origins:

  • Spanish: Oro (gold) hubo (there was, or had)
  • Carib: Oruba (well placed)
  • Carib: Ora (shell) and Oubao (island)

Unlike most of the Caribbean, Aruba has a dry arid climate and it lies outside the hurricane impact zone.  Therefore, Aruba sees tourists year-round seeking reliable warm and sunny weather. 

 

Arashi Beach (map)

 

Arashi beach is farther away from the cruise port than Eagle Beach and therefore received fewer visitors.  It has beautiful white sand and turquioise waters and a nice view of the nearby lighthouse.  Swimming here is good and there is also OK snorkeling by the rocks.  Generally, snorkeling in Aruba is not as good as in Curacao due to stronger currents.

The first human settlements have been dated back to 2000 BC.  In 1499, Aruba was visited by Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda, who later became Aruba's first governor.
Under de Ojeda, the native Caquetíos were enslaved and many shipped to other Caribbean islands most notably Hispaniola.  Because of the dry climate, Aruba did not become home to large plantations with slave labor.
In 1636, during the 30 years war, Aruba was seized by the Dutch and the Spanish oppression ended.
Besides a brief occupation by the British from 1806-1816, and being part of the Colony of Curaçao and Dependencies, Aruba stayed Dutch
On January 1, 1986, Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles to officially become a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  There were plans for Aruba's full independence in 1996, but in 1990, Aruba's government scrapped those plans.

The official languages in Aruba are Dutch (for official matters) and Papiamento (dominant language).  Papiamento is a creole language used in the ABS Islands.  It incorporates words from Portuguese, several African languages, Dutch, and Spanish.
Due to the rising importance of tourism and a growing number of expatriates from the US, English is widely spoken and US dollars are widely accepted.  The Aruban currency is the Aruban Florin which is pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 1.79 Florin = 1 US$.

 

Tourism is highly important to Aruba and lots of tourists arrive as part of a cruise.  Please also check out Rudy's Cruise Guide for Beginners & Others.

 

 

The best things to see and do in Aruba for cruise ship passengers

 

Cruise lines typically offer various excursions to their passengers.  They typically consist of one or more of the following activities:

  • Beach Relaxation
  • De Palm Island Day Pass and Flamingo viewing
  • Snorkel tours
  • Pirate Ship tour
  • Island Tour
  • Kukoo Kunuku Open Air Bus
  • North Coast Jeep Safari

 

Aruba's Best Beaches

 

  • Eagle Beach (map): This is Aruba's most beautiful beach with good swimming and one of its busiest.  It is only a short taxi ride from the cruise port and features white sand and turquoise water.  If you want to snorkel, then you want to look elsewehere
  • Palm Beach (map): North of Eagle Beach, this beautiful and popular beach is very similar to Eagle Beach.  There are many hotels, restaurants and stores.
  • Manchebo Beach (map): South of Eagle Beach, this beautiful white sand beach is much less busy and quieter as motorized water sports are banned here.  
  • Arashi Beach (map): This beautiful white sand beach is located near the northern tip of the island, close to the lighthouse.  Its calm turquoise waters are good for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Baby Beach (map): Located at the Southern tip of Aruba, this white sand and turquoise water beach is good for swimming in the shallow lagoon and snorkeling.
  • Boca Catalina Beach (map): Located south of Arashi Beach, there are little sand but lots of black rocks here.  Sunbathing and swimming here are sub-par, but snorkeling is good.

For Pinterest users, here are pins that you can use:

Aruba Weather
Aruba Weather
Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad
Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments on Aruba
Auto Europe Car Rentals
Engagement rings and fine jewelry.
Making Memorable Moments in Aruba

Oranjestad (map)

 

The cruise port is in the heart of Oranjestad.  There are plentry of restaurants and stores  in the colorful historic buildings that you will see.
One thing that you notice are the blue horse statues in multiple places.  They commemorate the importance of the Orjanjestad harbor for the horse trade in Aruba which dates back to the early times of the Spanish colonization and lasted for 400 years.  At one time, there were herds of thousands of horses on the island.
The blue color symbolizes the Caribbean Sea which brought horses to and away from Aruba.

Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Aruba

Are you interested in more white sand beaches and turquoise water destinations?

Check out my reviews of other Caribbean islands and Rudy's Cruise Guide.

Making Memorable Moments at Arashi Beach in Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad, Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad, Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad, Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad, Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad, Aruba
Making Memorable Moments in Oranjestad, Aruba