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Aruba offers so much when you choose to hike across the wonderful Caribbean island. The Arikok National Park is made up of 20 percent of the island of Aruba. It is located close to Mt. Arikok and offers many trails that you will enjoy hiking to see the various plants and animals that call this unique park home. The three main geological formations can be found in this beautiful reserve, the quartz diorite formation, the limestone formation, and the lava formation. All of these wonderful formations give shelter and home to various animals that live on Aruba. As you hike through this magnificent park you will enjoy getting up close and personal with the flora and animals that call this park home. The divi-divi and kwihi tree along with rare cactus, tropical flowers, and aloe plants. You will also catch glimpses of several rare and tropical birds, and iguanas. You should watch out for the rattle-less rattle snake that also loves this area. The highest points in Aruba are in Arikok which are the Arikok and Jamanota hilltops. The park has several 20 miles of trails that will lead to learning centers throughout the park. Other trails lead to undeveloped paths that may hold new and unseen sights.
Many visitors love hiking to the Natural Bridge which was formed by Mother Nature herself with the help of the crashing waves and the wind. A local legend claims that the bridge was not formed from the waves crashing in, but from the rainwater coming from the land washed away the weak spots of the coral barrier. But, as it does not rain much today, I rather doubt if that is how this natural bridge was formed.
Another great hiking trip would be to the top of Hooiberg. Local residents fondly call this volcanic formation "The Haystack" because of the yellow poui vegetation and the cactus that can be found everywhere. From the top of this wonderful perch you will be able to view Venezuela is the sky is clear. The flora and unique birds of the area are sure to enhance the beauty of your hike. Some charming and beautiful orioles and doves call this "Haystack" home.
Hiking to the Casibari and Ayo Rock formation will be a great getaway. These unique rock formations are home to many exotic animals. The Casibari has rock steps for you to climb where you can get an awesome view of Aruba. There is also a drink stand for quenching your thirst after your long hike. To get to Casibari you will need to hike on the road from Oranjestad toward Boca Mahos. When you get to the village of Paradera turn to the east and you will end up at the Casibari rock formation.
From there you will need to go northeast to see Ayo. This rock formation is close to Hooiberg and is not usually as crowded as the other rock formations on Aruba. Some have named this unique sight the "Stonehenge of Aruba".
Ayo, just to the northeast of Hooiberg and usually less crowded, has been called the Stonehenge of Aruba. Ayo is all natural and there are no steps cut into the formation for you walk easily up. You will have to climb and your competition may be some wild goats that call this area home. At dusk or dawn you may get a glimpse of a burrowing owl or other rare exotic animal that is only out in the twilight hours.
If you decide to do any hiking around Aruba, it would be best to invest in some insect repellant as some insects in the area can be harmful. You can find out information on the local animals and insects that may be hazardous by calling the Aruba Tourism Authority at (297) 582-3777.
There are many wonderful sights to see and explore by hiking around Aruba. They are some caves that have been discovered in Arikok National Park that are well worth the hike. You will love seeing the engravings left behind by the Arawak Indians. You may if you venture off on your own find a cave that has yet been explored. Remember, pirates use to frequent this area and you may stumble upon a pirates treasure in an unexplored cave.
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