Just arrived here in Aruba for Steve and Val’s wedding and here’s a view from our hotel at The Westin. Thanks to the staff at Westin for upgrading us to an ocean-view room!
Aruba is a beautiful island mixed with historical and modern architecture. Everything is so close, even Taco Bell is around the corner from our hotel. The island reminds me of the island of Guam.
Here’s a little fun fact about the Island of Aruba-
Aruba lies at the heart of the southern Caribbean, about two-and-a-half hours by air from Miami, Florida and within easy flying distance of other U.S. cities. The island is 19.6 miles long, and six miles across at its widest point, with a total area of 70 square miles. Most of it’s 27 luxury hotels are lined up neatly along the northwestern shore.
Some postcards from Aruba show the divi-divi tree, permanently bent at a 45-degree angle by constant trade winds, springing from a stretch of pure white Caribbean sand. Others are photos of a l9th century windmill-turned-restaurant, symbol of the island’s Dutch heritage. Still others star happy vacationers, showing off new tans during lazy afternoon sails or big nights at the casino.
Aruba is an easy island to get to know, and equally easy to love. Just l5 miles off the coast of Venezuela, it is far enough from home for adventure — but small and friendly enough to feel like a second home.
Many visitors never venture beyond the hotels, beaches and Oranjestad, but the rugged northeastern coast has its own beauty, with Caribbean waters and secluded beaches.
Aruba’s other city, San Nicolas, lies on the island’s southeastern tip. Inland Aruba presents a very unique Caribbean landscape of cactus, aloe and dramatic rock formations. Very low humidity and an average annual rainfall of only 24 inches explain the desert-like countryside.
Aruba’s multi-cultural history is vivid in its sightseeing attractions. From Fort Zoutman’s Museum and the William III Tower to the early twentieth century Dutch architecture on charming streets like Wilhelminastraat, the city of Oranjestad is perfect for a walking tour. In the cunucu, or countryside, undeciphered writings on the walls of the cave at Arikok National Park, recall Aruba’s earliest residents while the Church of Santa Anna, with its famous 115-year-old oak altar, represents more recent history.
Topography and vegetation are unusual for a Caribbean island. On the south and west coasts are miles of pristine white beaches that rank among the most beautiful in the world, rimmed by calm blue seas with visibility in some areas to a depth of a hundred feet. The island’s most famous trees are the watapana, or divi-divi trees, all permanently sculpted into graceful, south-bending shapes by the constant trade winds.
The northeast coast, along the Atlantic shore, is rugged and wild. The interior is desert-like, with a variety of cacti and dramatic rock formations.