With snow falling in the Northeast and horrendous weather in the Midwest, escaping to an island paradise seems like a dream. Expansive beaches, palm trees spotting the sand with shade, sapphire and emerald-colored water in every direction – the island of Aruba is exactly what one daydreams of as winter shifts to spring and the yearning to escape hits full force.
History and Sightseeing
Easily, the most important historical site to see while visiting the island is the Arikok National Park. Over 20 miles of trails to be conquered and unique geographical formations that are credited for the unique life forms of Aruba offer nature lovers and hikers much to explore.
Museums are also quite popular for those visiting, including the archaeology museum and the intriguing numismatic museum, which is a vast collection of currency in all shapes and forms. Aruba, while small, has a very in-depth history, waiting to be enjoyed.
Elegance is the theme of dining in Aruba, with world-class chefs, fine international wines, beautiful ambiance and extremely attentive, friendly and knowledgeable staff. The main strip boasts over 100 independently run restaurants, nestled among shops, malls and cafes. Walking or shopping off your three-course meal before enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee and taking in the sights will be a delicious experience to remember.
Some dishes from the finest restaurants include frogs’ legs, duck, venison, sushi, Indian curry and, of course, plenty of seafood.
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Similar to any country in the Caribbean, after hours is when the desert island comes alive. Between nighttime shows, carnivals, romantic parties or the traditional karaoke or martini bar, the options are plenty. Remember the strip mentioned earlier in the dining section? Those restaurants and bars, along with movie theaters and cafes, become hotspots enticing patrons to let loose.
Maintaining the world-class theme, the beaches of Aruba are no exception. From Palm Beach, the two-mile long stretch home to high rise hotels, to Baby Beach on the southeast edge of the island, formerly known as “The Colony” because of the prestigious families who once resided there, the sand havens offer only the best. If you are into kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, waterskiing, tubing, or just getting caught up in a novel, rest assured – Aruba is the place to do it.
Beaches that are more secluded can be found, too, hiding in undeveloped areas and featuring caves and other natural formations. While it is a bit too dangerous to swim here, just experiencing it firsthand will be more than satisfactory.
Shopping and Getting Around
Getting from coast to coast, or anywhere in between, on Aruba is a breeze of a task. Bus service and taxis are the norm, but renting a car is always an option for those who prefer to get around themselves and not rely on others, especially when checking out areas outside the resorts.
Shopping in Aruba is arguably one of the best parts of the trip. Shoppers can easily save 10-35% off prices in the United States while enjoying newly renovated malls. Designer items are available for enormous savings, including jewelry, accessories, perfumes and electronics. Duty-free shopping is also another option, capping off an already fantastic experience exploring the shops that fill the main city of Oranjestad.
Aruba is a destination that should not be skipped in your travel plans this year. From its unique history to the beaches and its offering of something for everyone, its year-round perfect weather offers a chance to escape a frigid and unusually cold winter. Join the locals and defrost, it’ll be a trip you won’t regret.
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