Alexa

Aruba's island beauty offers sand, sea and sunsets

 In this photo provided by Christine E. Anderson the California Lighthouse rises near the northernmost part of Aruba. Aruba offers more than the sea f...
 The California Lighthouse in Aruba is seen, April, 2008. The lighthouse is within sight of the Tierra del Sol golf course and is perched on a high se...
 Water by the Conshi or Natural Pool is seen in Aruba, April 2008. The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba's most rugged terrain. Arub...
 A small fishing boat and a cruise ship are anchored in the water near downtown Orjanestad in Aruba, April 2008. Aruba offers more than the sea for ou...
 In this photo provided by Christine E. Anderson a view of Eagle beach  in Aruba is seen. Aruba offers more than the sea for outdoor adventurers. Much...
 The clear water of the sea is seen in Aruba, April, 2008. Aruba offers more than the sea for outdoor adventurers. Much of the northern side of the is...
 In this photo provided by Fritz Faerber rocks creating a natural pool, or Conchi, are seen in a remote spot on the northern side of Aruba. Aruba offe...
 A tree is seen on an Aruba beach, April, 2008. Despite the seeming  serenity of the scene, across the highway lies a busy tourist strip mall. Aruba o...

Travel Trip Aruba

In this photo provided by Christine E. Anderson the California Lighthouse rises near the northernmost part of Aruba. Aruba offers more than the sea f...

Travel Trip Aruba

The California Lighthouse in Aruba is seen, April, 2008. The lighthouse is within sight of the Tierra del Sol golf course and is perched on a high se...

Travel Trip Aruba

Water by the Conshi or Natural Pool is seen in Aruba, April 2008. The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba's most rugged terrain. Arub...

Travel Trip Aruba

A small fishing boat and a cruise ship are anchored in the water near downtown Orjanestad in Aruba, April 2008. Aruba offers more than the sea for ou...

Travel Trip Aruba

In this photo provided by Christine E. Anderson a view of Eagle beach in Aruba is seen. Aruba offers more than the sea for outdoor adventurers. Much...

Travel Trip Aruba

The clear water of the sea is seen in Aruba, April, 2008. Aruba offers more than the sea for outdoor adventurers. Much of the northern side of the is...

Travel Trip Aruba

In this photo provided by Fritz Faerber rocks creating a natural pool, or Conchi, are seen in a remote spot on the northern side of Aruba. Aruba offe...

Travel Trip Aruba

A tree is seen on an Aruba beach, April, 2008. Despite the seeming serenity of the scene, across the highway lies a busy tourist strip mall. Aruba o...

Given a choice between a snowy mountain and a sandy beach, I prefer the cold. But my wife is from Miami and my infant son howls when exposed to a chill. So this year I deferred to them, and we headed to Aruba.
I got a glimpse of the island's beauty some 15 years ago, as I looked out the window of a puddle-jumper circling Aruba during a stopover en route to Trinidad. About 20 miles long and 6 miles wide (30 kilometers long and 9 kilometers wide), Aruba is carpeted in some areas with green, scraggly vegetation and a few steep hills, while the north side is rugged, desert-like terrain, peppered with cacti and wild rock formations. White sand rings the south and west shores, and the azure water demands a visit.
It doesn't disappoint. The temperature hovers year-round at about 80 F (25 C). The water is gorgeous on the southern beaches with their sugary white sand. And Aruba's main source of income is tourism, so visitors are always made to feel welcome. In fact, the Aruba Tourism Authority is promoting the island with a new campaign: "Aruba _ 90,000 Friends You Haven't Met Yet."
http://www.arubacondo.com
The water is an intense light blue, but at least close to shore, there isn't much to see for snorkelers. A short drive northwest of Eagle Beach, high-rise hotels and restaurants line crowded Palm Beach. Businesses on the beach rent out sailboats and windsurfers, lead sunset cruises or provide fishing expeditions. We booked a snorkeling and sunset cruise aboard the 45-foot (14-meter) "Ali Kai" catamaran with Marcel's Watersports. At $45 a head, we got a three-hour cruise, in which we sailed up toward the northern tip of Aruba to snorkel near Arashi and Malmok Beaches. Schools of fish crowded around as we swam through the clear, warm water. Parrotfish, filefish and sergeant major fish prowled through the water as starfish lurked on the bottom. We cruised back to Palm Beach as the sun set.
But Aruba offers more than the sea for outdoor adventurers. Much of the northern side of the island is wild. In fact, about 20 percent of the island's 70 square miles (190 square kilometers) lies within park boundaries. The Arikok National Park has biking and hiking trails leading up to views of the rocky north coastline. Check out the unusual rock and cave formations, including natural rock bridges eroded by millennia of waves crashing into and undercutting the rocky coast.
We rented a Jeep and went off-road for most of a day, tracking the coastline from the northern tip of Aruba to Conchi, or the Natural Pool. While less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) as the crow flies, the trip took many more miles (kilometers) negotiating treacherous gullies, dodging boulders and climbing seemingly vertical trails.
http://www.abc-aruba.com/
http://thebutterflyfarm.com/
It's not unusual to have disappointing food in places with a lot of tourists no matter where in the world you go, and I must say we had several forgettable meals with our feet in the sand, watching the sunset. But the quality of our meals appeared to be inversely related to our proximity to the beach. At restaurants on Irausquin Boulevard, the views were not as good but the food was much better, including great tapas at Salt & Pepper and good seafood at Fishes & More.
One thing you can't see in Aruba anymore is its famous Natural Bridge, a 100-foot-long (30-meter-long) stone span that collapsed in 2005. But the sand, the sea and plenty of other diversions still make it a perfect vacation spot for beach-loving families _ even those that include a snow-loving contrarian like me.
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If You Go...
http://www.aruba.com/


Updated : 2021-02-25 03:57 GMT+08:00