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Exploring Aruba - Things to See

There is much more to Aruba than fun in the sun on the beaches. You can tour an Aloe factory and the electricity and water plant known as WEB. Visit caves with ancient indian drawings, explore the Cunucu (countryside) where you're likely to see herds of goats wandering freely. Visit a Butterfly Farm, a Donkey Sanctuary and an Ostrich Farm. Marvel at ancient giant boulder formations that no one has been able to explain.

Climb a mountain, hike at Arikok National Park, see portrayals of Aruban music and dance, find museums, slide down sand dunes, visit an art gallery. There's even a brand new Archaeology Museum.

The Cunucu - North Coast
The Papiamento word for "countryside," the Cunucu is the rugged, rambling interior of the island which is generally flat but punctuated by all kinds of vegetation. Small pastel houses fenced in by cactuses line the roadsides.
Fort Zoutman & Willem III Tower - Oranjestad
The oldest building on the island, this Dutch fortress now houses the Historical Museum of Aruba, where Caiquetio artifacts from the prehistoric past are now on display alongside remnants from the Dutch colonial period and other items of local interest. The Fort is home to the weekly Bon Bini Festival featuring local talent, foods, arts and crafts.
De Olde Molen - Palm Beach
This old windmill was first built in 1804 in Holland and then shipped to Aruba piece by piece and reconstructed in 1960. Located in front of The Mill Resort.
Bushiribana - North Coast
On the northern coast midway down the island lie the abandoned gold mines that were the center of Aruba's gold rush during the nineteenth century. Nearby sits the ruins of an old pirate castle that some say goes all the way back to 1499, the year that Alonso de Ojeda landed here.
Natural Bridges - North Coast
In the early morning hours of September 2, 2005, Aruba's Natural Bridge, the largest in Aruba and the Caribbean, collapsed. One of the main attractions on the northeast coast, this coral formation was 25 feet high and 100 feet long, which had been carved out by the pounding surf over the course of the centuries. It was as a result of this constant pounding that the bridge collapsed. The snack bar and gift shop remain as a stopping point for island tours exploring the area. There is another smaller Natural Bridge nearby and several others throughout the island.
Hooiberg - Oranjestad
Shaped like a haystack (Hooiberg means Mt.Haystack in Dutch), this mountain looms prominently from the middle of the island. At 541 feet, it is not the tallest mountain (Mt.Yamanota and Mt.Arikok at 617 feet and 577 feet respectively are both taller), but it is the most accessible. Climb it's 500 steps to the peak where it is possible to see across to the coast of Venezuela on a clear day.
Casabari & Ayo - Oranjestad
Just north of Hooiberg, a strange geological formation of large diorite boulders looks as if it had just been dumped here in a pile. Climbing paths lead to the top for a spectacular view of the island. Scientists still have not been able to explain how these rocks got here.
Boca Prins - Northern Coast
With it's beach cliffs, dunes and rocky shore, this may be the most beautiful spot on Aruba. No swimming is allowed due to a strong undertow. A favorite pastime along the beach here is to join the locals in dune sliding. Sneakers and a strong pair of jeans are definitely encouraged.
Arikok National Park - San Nicolas
Surrounding Mt. Arikok near the center of the island is a natural preserve which features some of the oldest Arawak drawings, as well as trails that showcase Aruba's great variety of plants and animals like the divi-divi and kwihi trees, rare and exotic cacti, aloe, tropical flowers, birds and iguanas. There's also an old Aruban "cunucu" house, "cas ditorta," made of mud and grass. Together with the Coastal Protection Zone, Arikok National Park encompasses 25 percent of the island.
Quadiriki Cave - Northern Coast
The Guadirikiri Cave (also known as "Quadiriki Caves") is notable for it's two large dome-shaped chambers which are illuminated with sunlight through holes in the ceiling. Entry to the cave is at the base of the cliff. This 492-foot (150 m) long cave is also a nesting site for numerous small nocturnal bats, which are harmless. In order to preserve the natural habitat of the cave for the bats to breed, one of the caves is barred for visitors.

A somewhat dubious folk tale relates to a daughter of an Indian chief who fell in love and was imprisoned in the cave as her paramour was not acceptable to her father. Her beloved one was imprisoned nearby, in Huliba Cave (Tunnel of Love), but both lovers managed to meet underground. Both reportedly died in the cave and their spirits vanished into heaven through the holes in the roof of the cave.
Fontein Cave - Northern Coast
The Fontein Cave is a small cave near Boca Prins on the northern part of the island. It is well known for its native Arawak drawings on the wall, which were decoratively etched by Amerindians on the stone walls and flatter roof portion of the cave in brownish-red color or reddish brown or purplish color; this in turn gives a clue to the history of the Amerindians. The cave is accessible and has a width of 3 metres (9.8 ft) and a height of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in). The entrance hall, which is open for visitors, is 4 metres (13 ft) in height and extends to a depth of 50 metres (160 ft). As it is a limestone geological formation, seeping water has resulted in colorful stalagmite and stalactite formations in very odd shapes and sizes. Long tongued bats nestle in the holes of the cave and go on their nocturnal hunt for food in the form of nectar and pollen. It is also reported that Arawak Indians once to perform their tribal rituals and ceremonies inside this cave
Saveneta - South of the Airport
On the southeastern side of the island is the oldest town in Aruba, Savaneta, the original capital. This is where the Dutch first settled after re-establishing control of the island in 1816. Today, it is an active fishing village, but there are still the remnants of an earlier time. The oldest house in Aruba, a cas de torto or mud-hut dating back some 150 years, is still standing here.
Natural Pool - Norteastern Coast
On a deserted stretch of coastline, dramatic shows of water spraying over the rock occurs on a regular basis as the tide rushes to shore. In a unique formation of rock, volcanic stone circles a small depression, creating a tranquil pool known as "conchi" or "Cura di Tortuga," or more familiarly by visitors as the Natural Pool. The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba's most rugged terrain, so a visitor truly gets the feeling of having "discovered" something when they reach the site, by either foot, horseback or 4x4 vehicle. Because of the nature of the environment in this secluded area, the site is not accessible by car.