There are a few destinations that would appear on nearly everyone’s bucket list. The Caribbean, and in particular the island of Aruba, would probably be high on most people’s list. If it is not on your wishful itinerary perhaps after reading this you will include it.
Aruba has an enviable reputation when it comes to sparkling clear water, breathtaking beaches, and a near perfect climate. Aruba is even fortunate enough to be at a latitude below the hurricane belt which blights many other exotic Caribbean destinations.
Aruba has managed to hold on to the charms that attract visitors from across the globe. But not only does it attract visitors it manages to keep them. The island boasts a massive 65% of visitors return to the island. Far more than any other destination in the Caribbean chain
Off the Florida Keys
Ever since the Beach boys waxed lyrical about the island in their massive hit single “Kokamo” visitors have wanted to experience the joy of the island for themselves. It is a fact of life that the island has been developed considerably since Brian Wilson urged people to visit to a place “off the Florida Keys”
Multiple airlines and travel companies offer flights or full packages respectively. There is also a local airline Aruba Airlines that flies within the region. All flights into the island arrive at Reina Beatrix airport, a modern facility with many shops and eateries.
In the north-west of the island you can be fortunate enough to visit a beach voted time and time again as one of the best beaches in the world. Palm Beach is a picture perfect beachside resort destination. It looks just like most people’s idyllic mental image of a palm tree-lined, white sand beach, fronted by crystal clear Caribbean waters. So much so it has an unreal appearance.
Palm Beach is the centre of tourism for the island, boasting many high-quality beachfront hotels. Here you will also find all kinds of shops offering everything from local crafts to boutique fashion. EagleBeach is another extremely popular beach resort area. It is the widest beach on the island and offers, beach huts and some incredibly comfortable shaded picnic areas as well as every conceivable water-sport.
Another attraction of this particular beach is that for several months each year you will see red and white markers dotted along the shoreline. These indicate the presence of protected Loggerhead, Leatherback, Green and Hawksbill turtle nests. If you are fortunate enough to be there in the hatching seasons you may be witness to one of the most inspiring sights in nature. The nestlings make their awkward way to the sea around sunset, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an increasingly rare event.
Aruba is a Dutch territory, but over 80 ethnic groups call the island home. Because of this diversity which includes Europeans, Portuguese, South American Indians, Spanish and people of Asian descent the island has an eclectic selection of food possibilities.
Pancakes and Pastechi
American chains have left their mark, with delicacies such as KFC and Taco Bell available. But there are still a very an interesting range of restaurants and cafes in every corner of the island. One of the most popular is Linda’s Dutch Pancake House, a strange Dutch-Caribbean mix that produces such delights as chocolate-strawberry or bacon and apple pancakes.
Street food in this part of the world means “Pastechi”. This is a dough pocket which is fried while the chicken, seafood, cheese or meat filling cooks to perfection. The wonderfully named ‘Waka Waka Adventure Cafe and Cantina’ is another popular place to eat. This is a family-owned small restaurant which offers local and international food. On the menu you will find local fish soup, coconut shrimp, grouper and great barbecued ribs.
Aruba really is a dream holiday destination that will lure you in and capture your heart, and the chances are you will be one of the 65% who return again.