Natural Attractions in Aruba

Uncover the raw beauty of nature you'll find all over the island of Aruba<br />

Photo credit: © Liembo
 

Aruba's natural terrain hosts a myriad of flora and fauna. The dry desert and shimmering deep turquoise seas create a backdrop for beautiful scenery around the island.

Aruba's landscapes are full of natural cacti and distinctive divi divi trees. And it would be hard to go a day without seeing a mountain goat, one of Aruba's most populous animals. Also be sure to keep your eyes open for the many beautiful iguanas that run wild.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Donkey Sanctuary Aruba

Do you want to spend part of your vacation outdoors? You may be happy to find out that the island has several nature preserves on it.

Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is a nature preserve situated in central Aruba. Visitors are welcome to come explore the property to learn about the friendly animal in between relaxing on the porch with a cold drink, coffee, tea, or ice cream. A unique feature of this experience is that visitors are invited to walk around the donkeys, petting or cuddling them.

Attractions Map

Adventurers wanting to locate a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring opportunities like Arikok National Park. At the center of the island of Aruba is Mount Arikok, and the surrounding Arikok National Park. The largest natural attraction on the island, this National Park is incredibly conscientious of the local eco-sytem, and invites guests to carefully enjoy Aruba's nature via nature walks, camping (with proper permits), and more.

Bubali Bird Sanctuary: Located in the area surrounding Bubali Pond, Bubali Bird Sanctuary seeks to create a safe refuge for a variety of coastal birds, including pelicans, sandpipers, and storks.

Take a moment to look through the following table for information on more nature preserves.

Nature Preserves and Hiking On Aruba
Name Type Location
Arikok National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.2 mi. North of Central Lagoville
Bubali Bird Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Donkey Sanctuary Aruba Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Aruba
San Nicolas Bay Keys Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.5 mi. Southeast of Central San Nicolas

Caves

Fontein Caves

Although most vacationers are drawn by the beautiful coastline, that isn't the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Aruba offers some great options, including 3 caves.

You should consider visiting Guadirikiri Caves, which is found within eastern Aruba. Located on the property of the Arikok National Park, Guadirikiri Caves are fabled to be the spot where two lovers burst through the rocks to create the two domed entrances, and flew to heaven. Though fascinating, many guests find it hard to believe that this dark and gritty spot is the site of anything so romantic.

An additional attraction worth considering is Fontein Caves. It is found in eastern Aruba. The entrance hall to Fontein Cave is open for exploration, where guests can view stalactite and stalagmite formations, hear the flap of bat wings, and study the cave wall drawings.

The chart just below enables you to get a few details regarding caves.

Caves On Aruba
Name Type Location
Fontein Caves Cave 1.6 mi. North of Central Butucu
Guadirikiri Caves Cave 1.2 mi. Northeast of Central Butucu
Tunnel of Love Cave 1.1 mi. East of Central Butucu

Parks

Travelers can spend some time in one of the many parks on Aruba.

The parks worth considering are displayed in the following chart.

Parks On Aruba
Name Type Location
Natural Bridge Park Central Aruba
Noord Mountain Park Park 2.9 mi. North of Central Oranjestad
Park Curazon Park 2.7 mi. Northeast of Central Oranjestad
Signature Park Park 3.6 mi. North-Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Wilhelmina Park Park Downtown Oranjestad

Zoos and Aquariums

Aruba Ostrich Adventures

If the idea of spending some time at the zoo sounds like fun, you should visit Aruba Ostrich Adventures. If you're traveling here from the high rise hotels, take the A1 towards Oranjestad and take a left at the first traffic circle. Go straight through two more traffic circles, and turn left when you reach the fourth.

Another related option is The Butterfly Farm. After the first Butterfly Farm in St. Martin experienced such great success, one of the owners, William Slayter decided to take the concept to the island of Aruba. This Butterfly Farm, co-owned by Tony and Lori Cox, has been open since May of 1999, and remains popular thanks in part to the beauty and majesty of the butterfly, and also in part to William's quirky sense of humor.

Check out the following chart to learn more.

Zoos On Aruba
Name Type Location
Aruba Ostrich Adventures Zoo Bushiribana, Central Aruba
The Butterfly Farm Zoo 3.6 mi. North-Northwest of Central Oranjestad

Land Formations

Another idea is to go see some of the more popular area land formations. Fully natural attractions like these on Aruba are summarized in the chart below.

Land Formations On Aruba
Name Type Location
Ayo Rock Formation Rock Formation Central Aruba
Barcadera Reef Reef 3.1 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
California White Sand Dunes Hill 1.3 mi. Northwest of Central Tierra Del Sol
Casibari Rock Formation Central Aruba
Cura di Tortuga Lagoon 1.7 mi. Northeast of Central Shette
Port of Barcadera Harbour 3.9 mi. Southeast of Central downtown Oranjestad
The Palm Underwater Park Other Natural Formation 2.0 mi. Southeast of Central Buena Vista

Luckily, Aruba is home to other attractions. To reach our detailed guide to other attractions, click this link.

Actively Seeking Nature

To visit the more active side of Aruba, try visiting the famous desert sand dunes on the northwestern tip of the island, where you can go for an adventurous Jeep or scooter ride on the desert terrain or go "dune sliding." Guides usually know good and safe sliding areas where tourists can take part in this thrilling activity.

Waterways

The Cura di Tortuga is Aruba's natural pool, tucked away on the windward coast of the island. Clandestine and shaded, the Tortuga is a great escape from reality. The pool is surrounded by rough land that makes it accessible only to those who know the way, like the secret getaways of fantasy stories. To get here, you will need to hire a local guide and rent either horses or a vehicle with four-wheel drive.

Once one of island's most important feats of nature was Aruba's Natural Bridge, which was carved into the surrounding land after many years of rough surf pounding against it. This coral limestone structure rose 25 feet above sea level and crossed over 100 feet of water over a rocky and gorgeous area, full of exciting sea and animal life. Unfortunately, one night in September of 2005 the bridge was washed away. Despite the collapse, visitors still make the trek to the Natural Bridge where they can view the ruins and stop by the refreshment stand before making their way over to the smaller natural bridge nearby. Aptly named, the bridge has been dubbed Baby Bridge.

More About Nature

The various cacti and the unique divi divi trees are hallmarks of Aruba's natural vegetation, but the island's most significant plant is aloe. This agricultural tradition dates back to 1890 and provides Aruba with a good portion of its economic livelihood. The arid desert climate of Aruba is ideal for growing and harvesting aloe. Excellent aloe products, including lotions, soaps and cosmetics, are organically made and sold across the island.

Over all, Aruba's natural environment is healthy and robust, providing for many memorable and one-of-a-kind natural experiences.

 

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