Aruba Travel Guide


from Travel Insurance Direct
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Travel Insurance Direct

Aruba

 

 

The island of Aruba is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is located in the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, just a few miles off the coast of Venezuela. The terrain is mainly flat and quite arid. Mount Jamanota is the highest part of the island at approx. 190 metres above sea-level.

 

Aruba was first inhabited by Arawak Indians. The island has changed hands several times, being visited by the Spanish in the 15 th century and then the island was claimed by the Dutch in 1636. The British ruled for a short time and then the Dutch took control again and it became an official part of the Netherlands . It is not a member of the Netherlands Antilles group any more, but separate and dependent within the Kingdom of the Netherlands . It has long been known by many travellers as a part of the “ABC” islands, which are the islands of Aruba , Bonaire and Curacao.

 

The capital and largest city on the island is Oranjestad. The majority of the island’s population lives there. It also has a major port. It is a fairly modern place now, with casinos and many large resorts bordering along its beautiful white sandy beaches and calm waters.

 

Aruba is a destination for sun seekers with swimming, sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, waterskiing and all the popular water sports. A popular spot is De Palm Island, which is a short ferry trip from the main island. This is a great place for snorkelling and scuba diving as there are lots of colourful fish on the coral reefs. Golfing is popular and there is plenty of nightlife for those seeking it, as well as gambling in the casinos.


For nature lovers there are interesting hiking and biking trails and strange rock formations to explore as well as different species of flora and fauna. There are great places for bird-watchers to visit, and mountain goats and iguanas may be seen. Jeep safaris are available to be booked.

 

The population is comprised of indigenous Caribbean people and Europeans. Roman Catholic is the dominant religion with some Protestants. Dutch is the official language. However, many Arubans speak Papiamento, and Spanish and English are also spoken.

 

The island thrives mainly on tourism, along with offshore banking and oil processing. It is best to hire a car if you wish to explore the island to any extent, and there are plenty of places to do this. There are lots of taxis to be found also, and some places can be reached by bus. The main airport is located in the southern part of the island, south of Oranjestad and is named after Queen Beatrix.

 



 

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