Information on this page is provided by www.aruba.com- The Official website of Aruba.
If you like Museums and art galleries, Aruba has much to do.
The museums are full of history and past culture showing the struggles that
the island has gone through.
In 2008, various commemorative events will take place, which are of significant value for the cultural development of Aruba. For this reason, the Government of Aruba proclaimed the year 2008 as the "National Year of Culture." With this act, the Government of Aruba would like to direct attention to the importance of culture as part of the general education and development of people.
The quick-paced melody driven by guitar, accordion, rasp and drum beat signals the arrival of the Dande group of traveling musicians each New Years in Aruba. The inhabitants of the house are at once joyful and expectant as the singer begins to spin his own variation of an age-old song bespeaking of both blessings and the promise of opportunities for the coming year.
Music plays a central role in most Aruban celebrations,
including its most vibrant of annual events, the month-long Carnival. True
to the island's inclusive nature, no rhythm is left out of the mix with
alternate playings of a powerful bass band beat, the traditional Caribbean
Calypso - dripping in social commentary - the drum-driven Tumba and Aruba's
own unique Simon sez-like message of Roadmarch tunes uplifting the spirits
of both spectators and brilliantly costumed participants during parades,
competitions and "jump up" street parties.
Located on Aruba's picturesque southern coast, Oranjestad is the historical Dutch capital city where the tall multicolored houses of Wilheminastraat combine carved wooded doors and traditional Dutch tiles with airy open galleries and sloping, Aruban-style roofs. Along the wharf, merchants come to sell fresh fish and produce right off the boats every morning. All of Aruba's government buildings and main offices are located in the capital city.
Oranjestad is also the place to shop or to browse in the marketplace for Aruban art and local handicrafts. Depending on the time of year, you could also find yourself in the middle of Carnival, a summertime festival, the New Year's fireworks, or even a parade in honor of the Queen. At any time of year, Oranjestad is the bustling meeting place of tourists and locals alike.
San Nicolas A unique Caribbean energy is present in Aruba's second largest city, San Nicolas, with the majority of residents originally hailing from the British Caribbean. The development of the city is undeniably linked to the oil refinery, the presence of which often stands in sharp contrast to the modest houses of the area and the picturesque beach spots.
For years, one of the main reasons that visitors have found their way to this end of the island was to drop in at Charlie's Bar. This bar has been famous since the 1940's when scuba divers began to hang their underwater discoveries on the walls there. It has become a bit of a museum in the decades since.
San Nicolas is just now starting to develop itself into an "alternative" tourist destination. Hotels are being built or renovated to reflect the city's history when seamen around the world took shore leave to enjoy the local hospitality.
Unexpected finds in museums, revealing ancient cultures, a
rich, colonial past and even a story retold through monetary tender, casts
new light on an island swept up in a cosmopolitan mix of contrasts. The new
direction of island trends and cultural crossroads are on display at local
art galleries, with contemporary art providing both aesthetics and
commentary to the island experience.
"Rococo Plaza" Museum of Antiquities
There are plenty of other newer churches throughout the island as well.
The music on the island is enough to make you fall in love
with the place. A quick-paced melody of guitars, accordions, rasp and
drums, the island's music will keep your feet tapping. Music
entertains the Arubians and its visitors throughout the year at several
different cultural events and holidays. One of our personal favorites
A great way to experience the island of Aruba is by Jeep. You can easily catch the main tourist attractions in a single day. If you are unsure that you want to try it alone, there are several bus and jeep tours that you can join. You will have a guide that will take you along the way. Typically you will explore the California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, Seroe Crystal, Bushiribana gold mill ruins, Natural bridge, Quadirikiri caves and maybe even a visit to the private island located just five minutes from the mainland by ferry boat. There are several tours including buses, party buses, jeeps and four wheelers.
If you are brave enough to go it alone (we did our first year and had a blast), use our handy map to give you an idea of where the great stops are located.
If you are a cycling enthusiast you might enjoy the island by bicycle. Because much of the roads are rugged terrain we would recommend a mountain bike. The terrain is mainly flat but does have some hills. Bicyles can be rented at facilities such as touring companies and rental agents in Oranjestad.
Taking in the constant tradewind conditions while setting up your swing at a tee proves both a challenge and an extreme pleasure in the practice of what you love best.
Tierra del Sol
This 18-hole, par 71 course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II and is Aruba's first world-class golf course with sweeping views of the coastline and the stunning contrast of rolling greens landscaped with water features and cactus hazards
Aruba Golf Club
Aruba Golf club features 9 holes with 20 sand traps and 5 water traps. It is located on the opposite end of the island near San Nicolas.
The Links at Divi Aruba
Located at the Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort, this 9 hole course is tropically landscaped. It features 2 par 5 holes, 2 par 3 holes and 5 par 4 holes. Deluxe amenities include a clubhouse with two restaurants.
Another way to enjoy the island is to travel by horseback. There are tours that will take you around the island including along the beach to discover Aruba. The tours are gentle so riding experience is not necessary but take sun screen. Some of the companies include The Gold Mine Ranch, Rancho Notorious, Rancho Daimari, Rancho Del Campo and Rancho El Paso.
The Aruba Racquet Club is located conveniently around the corner of Pakiko Traha (our home) at Rooi Santo 21. It features eight lighted courts, an exhibition center court, pro shop, swimming pool, aerobics class, a fitness center, and a bar and restaurant. Most leading hotels have tennis instructors and there are many courts at private clubs where visitors are welcome.
The casino scene in Aruba is as exciting as it is in the states. With casinos at most of the large resorts it isn't hard to join in the excitement. From black jack, craps, roulette, poker and poker tournaments to nickel slots and progressive machines everyone will enjoy.
There are an infinite number of places to hang out and enjoy music and a few drinks in the evening. From everything from latin rhythms to top 40 music, from piano bars to tiki huts- don't be afraid to try a variety. You'll enjoy it all.
The spotlight follows the dancer's quick movements with the light momentarily flashing across the face of spectators, enthralled with the talented performer, shimmering in sequins and moving in perfect step to the vibrant Latin rhythms. Talented singers and graceful dancers grace the stage of Aruba's various theaters and showrooms, enchanting its international audience
Enjoy the latest hollywood films on the big screen at either
the air-conditioned comfort of the cinema or at the open air local Drive
Inn. Checkout the
latest shows playing here.
Most stores and boutiques are located in Oranjestad, but excellent shops can also be found at the larger hotels and at the airport. Aloe is abundant in Aruba and skin care products are manufactured right on the island.
Stores on the main streets are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, although some are closed for lunch between noon and 2 p.m. Shops in the malls and shopping centers are open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some stores are open on Sundays and holidays when cruise ships are in port.
Duty Free Shopping
Aruba isn't actually a duty free port, however the duty is
low enough that it's possible to find some excellent buys here, especially
on items such as jewelry, perfume, fashions and electronic equipment.
For an introduction to the island's local flavor as well as
the opportunity to make bargain purchases, visit the fun, informal
environments of the island's flea markets. Often a mix of Caribbean products
can be found here as well as offerings of local snacks and even BBQ meals.
Inexpensive, yet charming souvenirs, can be found in abundance.
Source of information: www.aruba.com