After traveling northward up through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia next year, we are considering a trip to the Caribbean, starting with the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, the ‘ABC Islands’ also known as the Lesser Antilles, just off the coast of Venezuela. At that point we will have gone almost two years without spending quality time on a Caribbean beach, and the former Dutch colony of Aruba seems like the perfect place to start.
Our attraction to the island goes beyond the miles of calm turquoise waters and pristine white sand beaches. Hugging the coastline is the Arikok National Park, home to over twenty miles of trails for hiking or mountain biking, and we would also love to visit the Casibari and Ayo rock formations and Indian caves.
The climate will also be such a change from humid weather of the tropics along the equator. Aruba’s climate is actually arid, with a rugged inland terrain covered in cactuses. Time spent exploring inland Aruba is a must, but the crystal clear waters are perfect for a day of soaking up the sun and sailing out on a catamaran. We would also take a day to kayak along the mangrove area of coastline for an entirely different type experience.
Another aspect that Aruba travel brings is one of an urban vibe and we would definitely visit downtown Oranjestad, the capital. The city has both modern architecture and restored historic buildings, and while it is near the high-rise hotel area, it has a feel all its own. Those who visit Aruba are never far from a modern feel, with the movie theaters, night entertainment and world-class chefs at the over 100 restaurants up and down the bustling Strip, but we would most likely seek out the most local Caribbean food choices above all else.
Unfortunately we won’t get to experience Carnival, the largest party of the year. Beginning on November 11th at 11:11, this mega fiesta takes over the whole island for weeks on end, coming to a close five months later on Good Friday.
Missing Carnival is no excuse not to make it to Aruba next year and for those who are interested in finding out more, Aruba.com is a great source of info for all things Aruba.
What draws you toward Aruba or the other ABC islands?
This post was brought to you in part by the Aruba Tourism Board, however the desire to visit this (and every) Caribbean island is most definitely our own.