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Insider's Guide to Aruba Attractions

Aruba Attractions

Wondering how to maximize your tropical desert island experience while not missing out on anything? Then come to Aruba and play it like an insider with this fantastic guide to all of the happening locations that tourists have good reason to throng to as well as the lesser known, secluded locations that are perfect for discovery and romance.

One of the most stunning attractions of this fine island of Aruba is the raw and natural beauty that makes the north end of the island truly one of the more unique spots in all of the tropics. Panoramic view points of Caribbean blue just about as far as the eye can see, jagged cliff edges with cropping of rare cactus plants and a variety of other spectacularly common place Aruba island fixtures such as the divi divi tree.

It's unbelievable how rugged it can get, and while typically sort of a niche attraction, the beauty of Aruba's more wild side has become a mainstay of tourist excursions that make their way up to the north point of the island. So what I would recommend for the happy island vacationer like you who would like to take in an eyeful of the amazement is this: rent a car - or take a cab for around $25 to $35 an hour - and tour the area. From here, after seeing the incredible north side, you could then steer the trip down to the amazing south eastern coast of the island and find happy Charlie's Bar San Nicolas. Throw back a tall, ice cold beer and discover while the locals love to hang out at this place so much.

An alternative take on nature would be to off road it. This is especially feasible on the northern end of the island, where the roads are fairly unmanageable without some pretty equipped out wheels. Make that car rental an off road rental, and discover what the north side is really all about.

Another great attraction worth checking out while driving around in the four- wheeler and having the time of your life on the beautiful island of Aruba is the California lighthouse. It's on the northern most peak, and is an aesthetically stark symbol of the cosmic forces of man and nature in harmony.

Keep driving. The Alto Vista Chapel is also a wonderful reminder of the golden Spanish age of conquest on the island of Aruba. It's even a wonderful place to get out and pray, if you're into that kind of thing. So, when going to the chapel, you can easily let the forces of spirituality and the forces of mild historical inquisitiveness battle out which will gain more control over you. Personally, I find it an interesting piece of history, but am - like most other island vacationers - more compelled by the great Unknown that so eloquently speaks through the rugged Aruban nature.

Keep driving. Did you know that Aruba once had a gold rush? That's right, people flocked here for a brief period in the early part of last century when this island which the Spanish had essentially ignored for hundreds of years finally yielded something precious. So coming up on your right - see it? - that's the Bushiribana Gold Smelter Ruins. Pretty impressive, huh?

So back in town, you perhaps want to check out more of the history of this island. For this, I could recommend to you the Archaeological Museum of Oranjestad. But honestly, as Aruba was sort of a wild island left alone by the Spanish, Dutch and British conquerors of the region, I'd have to say there's not all that much to spend your time on in this vein.

Instead, I'd recommend you live it up in the very polished (quite the opposite of the north side) beach resort towns like Palm Beach, Oranjestad and others where the white sand, the turquoise colored water and the thick leaved palm trees are common place and the cool easterly trade winds caress your face with love.

My personal favorite in terms of towns is not Palm Beach, but the little place I won't mention that's right above it. There's less people, it's more secluded, and the beaches are just amazing. You'll see.

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