Aruba Sand Dunes

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.


5 reasons why Aruba should be your next vacation destination

If the blue waters, huge range of Aruba vacation rentals and picture perfect scenes are not enough to convince you, here are 5 reasons why you should rent a villa in Aruba and why it is the ideal vacation destination.

Fantastic year round weather

Situated right on the fringes of the hurricane belt, the island of Aruba is blessed with more sunny days than any other Caribbean island. That means there is very little chance of having to stay cooped up inside on a rainy day, and more relaxing round the pool of your luxury villa rental.

Activities for all ages

No matter the ages of your party, there will be an activity that all can enjoy. With a butterfly farm, donkey sanctuary, museums, natural wonders, art galleries, water sports and more, it is impossible to be bored. If all else fails, one of the best things to do is simply enjoying a swim in your Aruba holiday rental pool!

Beaches Galore

Most people venture to this beautiful island for the many stunning beaches. There are beaches all over the island, with powder soft sand, calm waters and many cool snorkelling spots. Some of the best beaches include Mangel Halto, Palm Beach and Arashi Beach.

A friendly welcome

When you arrive on the island, you can expect a friendly welcome, which could be in many languages, such as Dutch, Spanish, English and then the local language of Papiamento. The majority of locals will go out of their way to please visitors, including those offering Caribbean vacation homes, and will celebrate with any excuse that they can.

Eco-friendly

Aruba is largely an eco-friendly island, meaning the people respect the environment and the local flora and fauna, doing all they can to protect marine life and the various ecosystems that can be found on land.


Delving into Aruba’s History

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.

SS Antilla

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.


Brewing Beer in Aruba

There are many thongs to love about the island of Aruba, but one thing that is particularly loved by tourists and locals alike its only home grown beer, Balashi. There is no better way to relax in an Aruba vacation rental than sipping on an ice cold beer around the pool, or with stunning views of the ocean. The beer is brewed from imported Scottish malt and hops, and tastes and looks like your typical Caribbean beer, but there is certainly something special about knowing it was brewed on the island.

Its name was derived from ‘Bala Bala’ and ‘Balana’, which are words from the language of the original inhabitants of the island. Both of these terms mean ‘near the sea’, and is a name that was voted for by the people of Aruba.

If you have accommodation in Aruba, a trip to the Balashi Brewery is a great day out. The ‘Brouwerij Nacional Balashi’, was only built in 1998, and is a state of the art lab that utilises the power of computer software to make sure that the brewing process is of the highest quality. This high tech lab lies in stark contrast to many of the other factories on the island, making it a popular tourist attraction.

On your visit you will be able to see the entire bottling operation, and from a walk way you can see down into various areas such as labelling and packing. The factory also bottles a range of well known soft drinks, and can bottle up to 15,000 an hour!

In order to brew its famous beer, the company uses desalinated and treated ocean water, as well as a range of other imported ingredients. They strive to be eco-friendly by using less plastic in their packaging and sending the old grain to farmers to feed their pigs.

After the tour, you can head out into the picturesque garden for a well-earned and complimentary brew.

No matter where you are on the island, you will be able to pick up a can or a bottle of this light and refreshing beer which can be enjoyed at a pub or around the pool side of one of the many luxury villa rentals.


Aruba Donkey Sanctuary!

Donkeys have a long-standing history with the island of Aruba. Locally known as ‘burico’, up until recently, these gentle creatures served the people of Aruba in a number of ways. They used to be the primary form of transportation, while also working with farmers and tradesmen. Although many were kept by owners, some also ran free in the Aruba countryside. At the end of the 20th century, there were over 1400 donkeys living on the island.

Learn more about the tradition of `burico` while enjoying your time at your Aruba vacation rental.

As the use of technology grew and Aruba become more developed, cars and machinery began to replace the humble donkey. As people no longer had any use for then, many were lost or killed, and by the 1970s, there were only around 20 donkeys left.

In 1997, ‘Stichting Salba Nos Burico’ was established, which translates as ‘Foundation Save Our Donkeys’, and quickly became a place where injured or displaced donkeys could go and live in safety.

Today, the burico of Aruba have over 40,000 square metres to roam freely, near Arikok National Park and Mount Jamanota. Annually, 26,000 visitors come to the visit the donkeys that live in the sanctuary to not only fawn over the creatures, but also make the most of Aruba’s countryside. Many love to be petted, and all love to be fed, making it a great day trip from your luxury villa rental in Aruba.

Local businesses are also keen to help the project, making generous, regular donations of money, transportation and resources, or simply buying products from the gift shop.

There is no admission fee for visiting the sanctuary, although of course donations are greatly appreciated, and allows for continual care of the gentle creatures. If you are feeling up for it, you can even hep with the daily chores that go with caring for the donkeys before heading back to your accommodation in Aruba.

The future of Arubian Donkeys is still uncertain, but one thing is for sure, the Donkey population on the island is making a fast turn around, thanks mostly to the work of the volunteers at the Donkey Sanctuary.

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