Along the rugged north shore of Aruba, you will find some of the finest sand on the island, in a snowy landscape of rolling hills. This desert like environment offers a great day trip opportunity from your villa in Aruba, as although you can’t drive on the dunes, they can fully be explored on foot.
The dunes are known as the Californian Dunes, named after the ship ‘California’, whose wreck lies just off of the shore. Further along the shore, you will find the beautiful dines of Wariruri and Arikok National Park. Expect to find Aloe, Cacti and Divi Divi trees scattered across the environment creating a truly desert like scene.
If you are up for a trek, then this part of the island is definitely worth a visit, regardless of whether or not your villa rental is nearby. For a good vantage point, head to the California Lighthouse, situated at the northern tip of Aruba. The lighthouse is one of the island’s premier landmarks, and is a great place to visit day or night to take in the 360 degree views that it offers.
If you don’t fancy making the trip yourself, there are many tour companies that offer a guided tour of California Lighthouse from you Aruba house rental. With a tour, you will get the added benefit of a complete historic description by an informative guide.
For a full day out, why not finish of your day trip with a visit to the restaurant of La Trattoria El Faro Blanco, located at the base of the lighthouse? It is here you can tuck in to some delicious Italian fare. Alternatively, head to Simply Fish, where you can try some delicious Arubian dishes and enjoy the culture of the island before heading back to your Caribbean vacation home.
Aruba is an island rich in history, and getting a villa in Aruba would not be complete without delving deeper into its interesting past, and there are many ways this can be done!
National Archaeological Museum
For a general overview of the rich history of this Dutch island, you are best to start your journey at the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba, located in a renovated home in Oranjestad. As soon as you step in the doors you will be impressed with collections dating back over 4000 years ago. There are plenty of hands on and interactive exhibits which are a great way to entertain children, making it a great day out for the whole family.
Arikok National Park
Head to Arikok National Park to not only see some beautiful landscapes, but also get a glimpse of history. The park covers 18% of the total area of the island. In it you will be able to find Fontein Cave, which is home to ancient Arawak cave paintings that date back to the pre-Colombian era. As the island is small, no matter where your Caribbean vacation rental is located, the caves should be easily reached.
For a fascinating look at the island’s history, take a dive to visit the SS Antilla wreck just off of the coast. The wreck is the largest in the Caribbean, and was believed to be supplying German U-Boats during World War 2. Divers can explore the boat and the interesting marine life that have now made it their home.
Aloe Vera Factory
One of the products Aruba is most famous for is its Aloe plants, and, you can find out more about its production at the Aloe Museum and Factory. The plant was first introduced to Aruba back in 1840, and at one point its growth covered around 66% of the island! The museum was where the first aloe vera was planted, and it is still in use today. It also features a working factory and exhibits on the industry’s equipment.
Walking Tour of Oranjestad
One of the best ways to get to know the island’s capital of Oranjestad is to take a walking tour. You can learn more about many of the lovingly restored historical landmarks such as Fort Zoutman and the Willem III Tower before retiring back to your Caribbean holiday rental.