In one sense, there’s no reason to continue such a spiel – you know just how much of a paradise this place really is. It sells itself. But beneath this heavenly surface is actually a rich, adventurous, and even bustling destination that’s worth exploring a few layers deeper beneath the sand.
1. The Food
This is the number one thing visitors will tell people about when returning home. Imagine: a couple, freshly tanned, out to dinner with their friends, asked how their trip to Aruba was – most likely they will glow about the food first. Maybe this is because it’s perhaps a less obvious thing than the clear blue skies, glistening waters, cooling trade winds, and general paradise conditions. Unlike many tropical destinations, Aruba boasts truly incredible restaurants outside of the hotel space – though the food will be delicious there as well.
The flavors of Aruba are definitely diverse – expect to see influences from South America, the Netherlands, the Caribbean, and other regions, near and far; I mean, there’s a Sopranos themed bar. You could imagine just how wide-spanning the tastes go. From small places, to quick stops, to restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs from all over the world, Aruba is where the culinary scene matches the weather in perfection. The multicultural history of Aruba lends itself to this melting pot of flavors, but dishes like pan bati – or Aruban pancake – make for flavors unique only to Aruba.
2. The Beaches
OK. We’ll admit it and be cliché and just own up to the fact that the second most amazing thing about Aruba is the world-class beaches. If you write a blog about Aruba and don’t mention the beaches, you are quite simply being negligent to the beauty involved with this place. White sand meets the turquoise seas, and the cooling trade winds calmly wash over it all. Honestly, the view from a resort’s oceanfront room will never really seem real; it is the epitome of a tropical paradise, and you’ll want to hang it up somehow onto your wall at home.
After enjoying that colorful cocktail and catching the calm wind on your cheek, you might be in the mood for a little adventure. Of course, water sports are an option, but Aruba offers up unique experiences for thrill-seekers.
For one, you could get your gold-miner on by trekking through actual historical grounds and remnants from lucrative goldmining days in Aruban history. In the 15th and 16th centuries, gold prospectors traveled to Aruba in search of riches. Check out Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins or the Balashi Gold Mill Ruins and channel your inner gold-prospector. Finish off with a Balashi beer, the hometown brew of Aruba – you’ll deserve it!
Next, adventurer, explore some serious caves. Along the island’s windward coast, cave formations reveal themselves; check out actual rock drawings, bats, and unbelievable stalagmites and stalactites. The Guadirikiri Cave lets in streaming sunlight in spots and extends for about 100 feet. The most popular cave is the Fontein, featuring drawings by the Arawak Indians, and the Huliba Cave opens up with a heart-shaped natural entrance and extends down a 300-foot passageway, naturally called “The Tunnel of Love.” All caves are located at the Arikok National Park.
There are also astonishing natural bridges in Aruba, formed by thousands of years of pounding waves and strong winds. These bridges hovering over the perfect waters of the Caribbean are truly breathtaking images worth trekking for.
So, yes – Aruba is a gorgeous tropical island with great shopping, mesmerizing views, and opportunities for relaxation at every turn, ideal for couples, honeymooners, destination weddings, and family getaways. But no matter your group, don’t forget to truly explore the stellar cuisine and adventure of this one-of-a-kind island stop.
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