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Above, Below, and Beyond Aruba

Sunning on white sands, soaring with hawks, swimming with tropical fish, searching for gold, and then sailing into the sunset on a romantic schooner. Just another day at the office on Aruba.

 

 

Lying outside the hurricane belt, Aruba basks in warm sunny weather all year round – the perfect place to unwind, relax, eat great food, tan, and swim in crystal clear waters. You can also unleash your inner Lara Croft, Indiana Jones or James Bond.

 

 

Licensed to thrill

Winds that carried the ancient mariners now provide some of the world’s best kite and windsurfing. Canvas sails and wooden hulls have morphed into space-age boards, used by beginners and pros alike to skim, spin and leap across the waves. If you have ‘higher’ ambitions, try parasailing, James Bond-style, up to 600 feet above the water to soar with Aruba’s hawks and pelicans. Fly alone or in tandem with that special person for an unforgettable experience and breathtaking views.

 

 

Bluewater action

Climb aboard a cruise with Driftwood Charters and grab some heavy-duty tackle for a day of great sports fishing. Tuna, blue marlin, wahoo, barracuda, and sailfish abound in Aruba’s waters, so prepare for excitement, Hemingway-style. (Rum and typewriter are optional.)

 

Below the surface, Aruba offers spectacular Caribbean marine life, coral reefs, sponge gardens and other sea wonders. Stunning blue parrotfish and many other colorful species abound, whether you’re a snorkeler in waist[1]deep water, or a scuba diver daring the depths. Fully equipped cruises will take you to the best spots, including Antilla Wreck, the island’s premier snorkel site. Internationally recognized as one of the Caribbean’s finest dives, the 400-foot wreck is also a popular lunch stop for pelicans. The sunken treasure may be gone from Davy Jones’ Locker, but the treasure of a lifetime memory will remain.

 

 

“The perfect place to unwind, relax, eat great food, tan, and swim in crystal clear waters”

 

 

Back on terra firma for nature lovers

Bird watchers from around the world flock to Aruba. Some 236 registered species thrive in the hospitable climate, flora and fauna, within a diverse landscape of beaches, wetlands and desert. Aruba’s beloved Shoko Owl is a national symbol, while bird sanctuaries such as Bubali are home to pelicans, black cormorants, sandpipers and wood storks. Drive or walk to the sanctuary where these birds’ fish, bathe, and play in a scenic waterscape.

 

Tropical gardens, exotic flowers and tranquil pools make The Butterfly Farm another natural wonderland. The area teems with free[1]flying, colorful and unusual species. Follow the evolutionary cycle from microscopic eggs to exotic caterpillars and pupae resembling exquisite jewelry. Arrive early morning to watch butterflies emerge and take their first flight.

 

 

Visit Philip’s Animal Garden to feed and play with more than 50 species, including kangaroos, ostriches, parrots, monkeys, and donkeys. After years of saving abused and abandoned creatures, Philip Merryweather has turned his love for animals into a world-class shelter and nonprofit rehabilitation center. Kids love this heartwarming and educational experience.

 

 

 

Yo ho ho!

As the long day wanes what could be more romantic than to sail into a magnificent sunset on an 85-foot schooner? Jack Sparrow would feel at home on one of these historic teak vessels, with the crew’s antics and acrobatics. Swim in the balmy waters, snorkel a reef, take to the air on a rope swing, or just mellow out with an Anne Bonny cocktail and enjoy the pirate’s life

 

 

Free your inner explorer

Rent a jeep with Around Aruba Tours, hop on a colorful tour bus, or join a 4×4 safari to explore Aruba’s wildlife, secluded beaches and dramatic landscape, in air-conditioned comfort. Venture off-road as a solo traveler or team up with a friendly, professional guide to discover Aruba’s fascinating history, heritage, and natural wonders.

 

Or book your spot on an expedition with ABC Tours to trek through Arikok National Park and search for clues to ancient civilizations in the Guadirikiri, Fontein and Huliba caves. Encounter mysterious paintings, monster-shaped formations and perchance the legendary spirits of star-crossed Amerindian lovers. Arikok’s rangers offer guided hikes as well as moonlight excusions – if you’re game.

 

For more mysteries, clamber the steps and walkways around the Casibari and Ayo rock formations. Rising above the desert landscape, the Casibari boulders reveal unusual shapes resembling birds and dragons. The presence of these wind-carved formations on a flat sandy area remains largely unexplained. Similarly arcane are petroglyphs carved on the Ayo rocks, where the early Arawaks performed religious rites.

 

 

For an overview of all Aruba’s top-class tours, activities and tips go to our discover page for a perfect vacation that carries you above, below, and beyond.

 

 

Pasa bon dia!

 

 

By Richard Andrews

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