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Aruba · Attractions · Arikok National Park
Arikok National Park
Arikok National Park is situated in the heart of Aruba. The entire park encompasses around 20 percent of the island of Aruba. It stretches from the center of the island to the northern coast. It is located close to Mt. Arikok and has many trails that you will enjoy venturing on to see the various plants and animals that call this unique park home. You will love seeing the divi-divi and kwihi trees, rare and exotic cacti, aloe, tropical flowers, birds and iguanas. If a large green lizard crosses your path do not worry, they are very harmless and are probably more afraid of you than you are of them. This wonderful national park is awesome to see. You will not believe what all it holds if you just look around. The magnificent beauty can be seen in the flora and fauna, geological formations and the history that can be found. The highest points in Aruba are in Arikok which are the Arikok and Jamanota hilltops.
You can hike up either one of the hilltops and get a bird's eye view of Aruba. The breath taking view is well worth the climb. Just enjoy all that nature has to offer in this preserved land.
Among the geological formations you will see the Aruba lava formation, a quartz diorite formation, and a limestone formation. While viewing these unique formations that give shelter to various plants and animals you may catch a glimpse of some of the native animals. The various animals that call this area home are the Cascabel, Aruba's rattle snake. You should watch out for this one. It is a rattle less rattlesnake and can creep up on you or you on him. The Santanero is the cat eyed snake in Aruba. The Aruba whiptail lizard is known as the Kododo Blauw. There are two bird species that are known in this region the Shoco which is the Aruba borrowing owl and the Prikichi which is the Aruba parakeet.
Throughout the entire park you can find the artifacts and drawings from the Arubaes Indians that once lived on this island long before the Dutch took control of Aruba. There writings can be seen in the caves and are as fascinating as the caves themselves. You will also marvel at the remains that were left behind from the Dutch peasants in the settlements at Masiduri, the plantation houses in the Prins valley and the ruins of an old gold mining company in Miralamar.
The Arikok Natural Park is also the location of the Hofi Fountain. There are other fountains in Aruba but the Hofi fountain is the also the only fountain that has fresh water in Aruba. The famous Quadiriki Caves and tunnel of love caves are also found in this wonderful park.
If you plan on renting a car and exploring Aruba on your own, then you must visit the Arikok Natural Park. To get there you must drive to Santa Cruz and follow the signs for Miralamar Pass. You will pass a building on the left that is called the Uratak Center. It is a restaurant of sorts. The road will turn into dirt but you will end up finding signs that let you know you are in the Arikok National Park. The staff at the park are doing their best to develop signs and trails so that you can enjoy the full impact of what the park has to offer.
Here is a list of the major car rental companies with information for contacting them in Aruba.
Another great way to see the Arikok Natural Park is to use a tour company. Wix Tours and Transfers offers a unique package called the Wix Jeep "N" Eco. This package also offers other sights around Aruba but you will get to see all of the highlights of the Arikok Natural Park. They will pick you up at your hotel sometime between 8:45 and 9:00 am or for cruise passengers around 8:45am. Their prices are for children under 6 $50.00 and adults $67.00. This tour is for an entire 8 hours and will take in most everything that Aruba has to offer. You can contact them for more information by telephone at (297) 586-0347 or (297) 993-9200.
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