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

Do you want to spend part of your vacation out in the fresh air? You may be happy to learn the island has a few interesting nature preserves on it.

Aruban Donkey Sanctuary is a popular nature preserve found in central Aruba. Before cars became the main source of transportation in Aruba, donkeys were brought to the island to serve such a purpose. As motorized vehicles became more prevalent, the need for donkeys decreased, and their care did as well.

Those wanting to locate a another great natural attraction should consider visiting 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: The only activity that Bubali Bird Sanctuary offers is bird-watching. Just beware, if you do not go around dusk or dawn, you are unlikely to see much.

Take a minute to read the chart below to learn more.

Nature Preserves and Hiking On Aruba
Name Type Location
Arikok National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.2 mi. North of Central Lagoville
Aruban Donkey Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Aruba
Bubali Bird Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Oranjestad
San Nicolas Bay Keys Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.5 mi. Southeast of Central San Nicolas

Caves

Although most people visiting the area have heard about the beautiful water and coastline, those aren't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Aruba offers some great options, including 3 caves.

You should consider visiting Guadirikiri Caves, which is located in 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.

Another attraction worth considering is Fontein Caves. It is located in eastern Aruba. Fontein Cave is not only a unique natural attraction in Aruba, but it is an important part of history. Cave drawings and other artifacts that have been found over the years give scientists a clue that the native Arawak Indians once performed tribal rituals in this spot.

The chart just below enables you to get some key facts concerning 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

Vacationers can experience one of the many parks on Aruba.

The parks worth looking into are summarized here:

Parks On Aruba
Name Type Location
Natural Bridge Park Central Aruba
Noord Mountain Park Park 2.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Oranjestad
Park Curazon Park 2.8 mi. Northeast of Central Oranjestad
Signature Park Park 2.9 mi. North of Central Oranjestad
Wilhelmina Park Park Downtown Oranjestad

Zoos and Aquariums

If the idea of passing some time at the zoo tickles your fancy, you should visit Aruba Ostrich Adventures. In addition to simply seeing the large birds, visitors to the Aruba Ostrich Adventure will be able to feed them as well, helping create a once in a lifetime experience.

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.

You can look through the following table to learn more.

Zoos On Aruba
Name Type Location
Aruba Ostrich Adventures Zoo Bushiribana, Central Aruba
The Butterfly Farm Zoo 2.8 mi. North of Central Oranjestad

Land Formations

Another idea is to visit some of the more interesting area land formations. Other options like these on Aruba are provided in the following chart.

Land Formations On Aruba
Name Type Location
Ayo Rock Formation Rock Formation Central Aruba
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

Keep in mind, you can find some other types of attractions. Visit this article about even more attractions if you want to discover some more information.

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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