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
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
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.