This blog post was updated on September 26, 2014.

Beyond the Beach: Historic and Cultural Gems to Explore in Aruba, Flickr: Kwang Cho

Go See an Ostrich


Most people think of Eagle Beach when they think of Aruba…or at least beaches, windsurfing and resorts leap immediately to mind. But Aruba is far from predictable, even in the space of 75 square miles.

If you’re looking for something a bit more cultural, adventurous or even the historic, it’s a fun place to visit. Here’s why:

Arikok National Park: This park covers 18 percent of the island, and is not your typical park like London’s Hyde Park or New York City’s Central Park. Since Aruba is a desert, this is quite arid, with a lot of rocks and cacti. It has three geological formations including a lava and limestone formation and is a must visit for the avid geologist.

Arawak Paintings & Aruban Caves:
The Arawak paintings were done by semi nomadic tribes that lived on the island some 4,000 years ago. These are found inside the park itself, inside caves. There are several caves and three are particularly well known. The most famous are the Guadirikiri Cave, the Fontein Cave and the Huliba Cave, and are ideal for spelunking. Stay clear of the cave if you are afraid of nocturnal bats!

The Ostrich Farm: Africa may be the native land of the Ostrich but they are running around perfectly happy in this “One Happy Island.” Featuring around 80 birds, the Ostrich Farm is an ideal family getaway, and guests can enjoy guided tours of both the Ostrich and emu population, take photos of expansive views of the leeward side of the island, and enjoy drinks at the bar.

Aruba Aloe Factory & Museum: Aruba is one of the biggest exporters of aloe, and you’ll see why this plant is considered by locals as a true wizard. The Aloe from Aruba is considered the world’s finest, and that’s partly due to the cultivation of the plants and the techniques the farmers use to harvest and bottle only the freshest and finest. Take a 25-minute tour of the factory and learn more about this island’s nature and cosmetic wonder.

Aruba is a fun, sunshine-filled destination all year round. And a trip there doesn’t have to break the Caribbean bank account. Try these cheap flights to Aruba on for size!


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photo: Kwang Cho

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