Sunday, May 3, 2015
Where is Aruba located?
Aruba is one of the Lesser Antilles islands located in the Southern Caribbean Sea. The island is located miles off the coast of Venezuela and on clear days it is possible to see Venezuela from the south-eastern side of the island.
The Lesser Antilles are several islands extending in an arc from Puerto Rico to the north-eastern coast of South America. Some of the islands that are part of the Lesser Antilles are the Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao and Bonaire.
The islands located north of the Venezuelan coast or called the Leeward Antilles. Aruba is part of this island group together with Curacao and Bonaire and a few islands of Venezuela such as Margarita Island.
Cruise ships arrive weekly on Aruba and over 150 flights from different cities from the United States, Canada, several countries in South America, the Netherlands, England and other Caribbean islands are being welcomed on a daily basis.
Non-stop flight times to Aruba are approximately 0.5 hours from Curacao, 1.25 hour from Caracas, 3 hours from Miami, 4.25 hours from Atlanta, 4.5 hours from New York and 10.5 hours from Amsterdam.
Aruba is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has a population of approximately 104,000 inhabitants. The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento, but English and Spanish are also very widely spoken.
The island is 21 miles (33 km) long, 6 miles (9 km) wide and has an area of about 75 square miles (193 square km). Aruba is mainly flat with a few hills and is renowned for its white sandy beaches.
Aruba is located south of the hurricane belt which means that it rarely rains for extended periods. The climate is mostly dry and doesn't allow for a lot of vegetation. Constant trade winds cool the island and the temperature is about 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) year round.
The north coast of Aruba is rugged terrain with all kinds of vegetation and some sand dunes. The ocean currents are much stronger here than on the west and south coast of Aruba and it not recommended to swim on this side of the island. It is very rare to have completely wind-still and calm days on the north coast. Some of Aruba's most visited sites such as the California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins the Natural Bridge and the Natural Pool can also be found along the north coast.
Oranjestad, Aruba's capital named after the Dutch Royal House of Orange, is located on the west coast. On the west coast you will also find long stretches of white beaches and most of the hotels and all-inclusive resorts. Eagle Beach, named best beach in the world for a few times, is also located along the west coast of the island.
On the east side of Aruba you will find National Park Arikok. National Park Arikok covers about 18% of Aruba's total land area and offers a great variety of landscapes from caves with Indian drawings, to sand dunes and beaches, to rough hills of volcanic lava formations and the natural pool. The park also showcases a wide range of flora and fauna.
The Jamanota hill, located in National Park, is with 617 feet (188 meters) the highest point in Aruba.
The south coast of Aruba is home to Savaneta, the oldest town in Aruba and San Nicolas. San Nicolas is the second largest city in Aruba and is home to an oil refinery, which is not currently operational. In the south you will also find Baby Beach and several great windsurfing and kite surfing spots.