Aruba is not only incredibly scenic, this “One Happy Island” is friendly and the sun, sea and sand need no introductions. You can fly from most cities in the United States to Aruba within five hours. It is two hours 46 minutes from Miami, three hours 57 minutes from Atlanta and four hours 32 minutes from Houston.
Let’s explore five hidden treasures of Aruba, beyond the perfect warm weather and Caribbean beaches:
One: The diverse cuisine
Aruba has over 90 nationalities. The Caquetio Indians of the Arawak tribe first inhabited this multicultural island followed by the Spanish invasion in 1499 when explorer Alonso de Ojeda discovered Aruba. The Spanish ruled for a few centuries before the Dutch took over in 1636. The English had a brief domination of Aruba between 1805-1816.
The multi-cultural past and the current influx of immigrants from South America, Asia and other parts of Caribbean are mirrored in the diverse cuisine throughout Aruba.
Here are two restaurants to try:
This Dutch Aruba restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in traditional island home. Try Keshi Yena, Aruba’s number one chicken dish with Gouda cheese and Grouper filet Creole style serves with Aruba’s authentic Creole sauce.
Information: De Suikertuin (close on Sundays)
Fishes and More
Fresh seafood, fish and “more” are what this restaurant specializes in. The “more” refers to 9 oz. juicy filet mignon and Apfelstrudel served with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.
Information: Fishes and More
Two: Aruba Sunrise Tour
Catch the sun with Aruba Sunrise Tour on Route 1 in Savaneta just before sunrise on a six hour guided tour to explore the natural beauty of Aruba including Arikok National Park. Purchase a tour that includes the use of an all terrain vehicle (ATV) and drive through dirt roads, paved roads, rocks and beaches while enjoying the scenic view, caves and natural wonders of Aruba. This tour includes time for kite surfing, swimming and snorkeling in the natural pool of Aruba.
Information: Aruba Sunrise Tour
For those who do not have a dive certificate but still like to experience the underwater world, snuba may be the best activity in Aruba. Snuba does not require wearing of dive gear and does not require snorkeling or diving experience.
All snuba tours require a professionally trained snuba guide who will take you underwater and show you all the underwater marine life and you are not left alone to explore.
Participants have to be at least eight years old and older to participate in snuba. Here is a video about Snuba from De Palm Tours Aruba:
Four: Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Walk
Picture this: Walking on the sea floor on a custom 375-foot walkway and 20 feet below the surface. Wearing your swimsuit and a specially designed diving helmet.
De Palm Island in Aruba is the only place to experience sea trek underwater helmet walk where non-swimmers and those who has no knowledge of snorkeling can enjoy underwater sea creatures and view a sunken Cessna 414 airplane.
Information: De Palm Tours
Five: Bubali Bird Sanctuary
Bubali Bird Sanctuary is the oasis, nesting and breeding ground for migratory birds. Birds like skimmiers, coots, herons, egrets, gulls, cormorants and a variety of ducks are seen here. Bird watchers can get a view from the observation tower in the sanctuary.
The chibichibi or bananaquit is the most common bird in Aruba. It’s a small bird with a yellow belly, black back and head and white stripe above the eye. The Bubali Bird Sanctuary is located at the Palm Beach resorts.
Information: Aruba Birds
Ready to plan your Aruba getaway? Here are 3 tips to help you plan:
1. Airfare comparison
2. Aruba local currency is the Aruba Florin.
3. Save money on bottled water. Aruba’s tap water is drinkable.