Aruba is a self-governed Dutch Caribbean
island with very little unemployment, poverty or violent crime. It is approximately 20 miles off the Venezuelan coast which
puts it out of the hurricane belt. The weather is always nice with a year round average temperature of 86 degrees. Almost
everyone speaks English and the signs, menus, phone books, etc. are all in English. Direct flights to a modern airport are
available from New York and Miami, among other places. There is a very modern, fully-equipped hospital. The roads, power,
water and telephone are all modern and up to Western standards.The major industry is tourism and the local population
is genuine, extermely friendly and very helpful.
Aruba is among the most southern of the Lesser Antilles
islands (ABC islands-Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). It is the farthest west of this group. On a clear day, the Venezuelan
mainland is visible from the south-eastern coast. Aruba is about 20 minutes by airplane, to it's nearest Caribbean neighbor,
The oblong island is fronted by heavy surf and a jagged coast on the northern, windward side and by seven
miles of sandy beaches on the southern leeward coast. It's some 75 square miles in area and measures about five miles at it
widest point and 19 miles in length. Aruba is an easy island to get around, the main roads are well-marked, and let's
face it, it's hard to get lost for too long on an island where the coast is never more than 3 miles away.
Why Aruba? Aruba attracts approximately one million visitors and cruise
passengers per year, mostly from North America and Venezuela. Aruba ranks as one of the Caribbean's most popular vacation
spots. So what's the attraction? Miles of beaches, to start with, some quiet and smooth and others with stiff winds and a
choppy surf, as well as first-class resorts, gambling casinos, shopping, and dozens of opportunities for fine dining. Whether you are looking for a family vacation, peaceful relaxation or
constant activity, Aruba has it all.
"Imagine being in Aruba............."
The beaches curve like an Aruban
smile along the western shores, soft and white and fringed with palm trees, sloping gently toward the calm, transparent turquoise
of the Caribbean.
The waves of the Atlantic crash like
incessant thunder against the northern cliffs, carving high, arched coral bridges and deep, dark, secret limestone grottoes.
Between the two extremes, in a desert
landscape where the cacti grow to the height of a man, great building-sized tumbles of boulders stand like the legacy of some
ancient, angry god. Winding roads lead to rocky passes and hidden coves, or sometimes to nowhere at all. Green parakeets call
to their mates, and troupials flash billiant orange against the deep blue of the Caribbean sky.
This is not the Caribbean as usual. This
If it's true that opposites
attract, then this could well be the most attractive island of them all."
Aruba's first inhabitants were the
Caquetios Indians from the Arawak tribe. Fragments of the earliest known Indian settlements date back to about 1000 A.D.,
as do the ancient painted symbols still visible on the limestone caves.
Centuries later, the first European
landed on Aruba. Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda is thought to have arrived about 1499. The Spanish promptly exported the
Indians to Santo Domingo, where they were put to work in the copper mines.
years that followed, ownership of the island changed hands several times. In 1636, near the culmination of the Eighty Years'
War between Spain and Holland, the Dutch took possession and remained in control for nearly two centuries. In 1805, during
the Napoleonic Wars, the English briefly took control over the island, but it was returned to Dutch control in 1816 where
it has remained ever since.