People who know Aruba feel like they have their own secret hideaway. But a place this good can't remain the secret trove of only a few. The liveliness and abundance of casinos, discos, cabarets and dinner shows makes this resort a premium location for sunbathing, windsurfing and partying. You’ll enjoy the hot weather, the desert climate and the sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean. Most of all, you won't lack for something to do! They must do something right in Aruba. It has the highest hotel occupancy rates and the highest rate of return visitors of any destination in the Caribbean.
Aruba is a relatively small island. it is only 20 miles long and slightly less than 6 miles across at its widest point. It is one of the Dutch "ABC islands" consisting of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao and only 19 miles off the north shore of Venezuela. It’s easy to get around in Aruba. The public bus is efficient and runs through the hotel zone. Taxis, cars, motorcycles and bicycles are also available for rent.
Aruba’s leading industry is relaxation. Over 500,000 people visit each year, bringing a lot of money to the island. As a result, Aruba is quite prosperous by Caribbean standards. The locals have good housing, healthcare and education. The city of Oranjested is the capital and was named after the first king of the Dutch Royal Family, Willem van Orange-Nassau, in 1824. Today it is known as the House of Orange. In Oranjested you’ll find the Aruba Historical Museum and the oldest building in Aruba, Fort Zoutman (1796). There is very little history of racial or social strife, so the inhabitants are friendly, warm and open with travelers.
One of the real graces of Aruba is its near-perfect weather - a nearly constant phenomenon of sunny skies, warm temperatures, and cool breezes driven off the Caribbean. This island's low humidity and desert like terrain is likewise nearly a full-time affair as it almost never rains and the island is far below the hurricane belt of the Caribbean. Aruba's beaches are some of the best in the Caribbean with miles of white, sugary sand. The nearly picture-perfect beach settings and gentle surf are what many people have in mind when they think of this part of the world. Aruba is a desert island full of cacti, iguanas, more cacti, a few aloe-vera plants and unusual boulder formations. While the resort area of the island has very calm, pristine beaches, the north coast features craggy limestone cliffs, caves, sand dunes, and a more energetic surf.
In Aruba, there are plenty of activities. It’s a great place to experience snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing or kite surfing. Both experienced and novice practitioners of all these sports find great outlets on Aruba. When you tire of the beach you can dine at the restaurants or do some local shopping. Aruba has two horse competitions each year. The horses are descendants of Andalusian and Arabian horses that were brought to the island by the Spanish conquistadors. If you enjoy nightlife, you’ll want to check out The Lounge at the Crystal Casino and the Alhambra Casino. You’ll be up all night, entertained by carnival shows and all-you-can-drink parties. Most hotels are located in the Palm Beach and Eagle Beach resorts. You’ll find luxury accommodations on the beach that also cater to sports, shopping and entertainment. Guest Houses and self catering apartments are also available.
Oranjestad is Aruba's only real town with an "urban" environment and a serious variety of restaurants and evening venues. Oranjestad's waterfront harbor will be filled with cruise ships, private yachts, and smaller native fishing boats. The architecture has a decidedly Dutch influence, with the multi-colored Caribbean color spectrum evident in its housing and buildings on the main routes. The food and entertainment options are excellent, and your travel agent will be able to chart out for you a most pleasant stay on this desert-island playground.