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Known for its beautiful beaches, laid-back locals and year-round warm weather, Aruba also offers beautiful scenery and many outdoor activities such as scuba diving and kayaking. It is home to Aruba National Park with hiking trails, interesting geological formations and caves.
Aruba sits about 17 miles (27 kilometers) off the coast of Venezuela, South America. It was claimed by the Spanish in the 16th century and then annexed by the Dutch in the 17th. Today it is one of four self-governing countries that make up the Netherlands. The Dutch influence on local culture is evident, as is a South American flair.
Rent a trike or four-wheeler and zip around the island and then dismount and go for a climb up Casibari and Ayo Rocks for a great view of the island. To go even higher, climb the steps of Hooiberg, which translates to "haystack,” a small mountain in the center of the country. Trek over to the northern side to see the large natural rock pool known as “Conchi.”
Head to the coast to cool off at one of many beaches. You’ll find calm waters and white sand all along the southwestern side of the island. Eagle Beach is widely considered the island’s best, but Palm, Arashi, Druif and Mangel Halto beaches are all close competitors. For the best snorkeling, check out Baby Beach or Boca Catalina.
Surfers should hit the waves at Andicuri or Boca Grandi, but note that the waves can be rough. For more adventure, go windsurfing, sailing or kayaking. You can also dive to the wrecks of Dutch and German cargo ships sunk during World War II.
Visit Arikok National Park, which covers nearly 18 percent of the island. The park offers many miles of hiking trails, along which you can see gold mines and plantation ruins. It also has a number of caves and varied geological formations made from lava, limestone and quartz.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is split between 2 properties. The Marina Hotel is exclusive to adults, while the Ocean Suites are a resort-style located right on the beach. The property itself is a short drive from Queen Beatrix International Airport. Guests can sail and fish from the marina, and feed iguanas on the hotel's private island.
This resort across the street from powder white Eagle Beach offers 362 guest suites, and is 13 km (8.25 mi) from Queen Beatrix International Airport, and 5 km (3.25 mi) from the shopping and dining of Oranjestad.
The Resort sits on a quarter-mile of beach, across the street from 2 popular shopping malls, and within easy reach of the convention center.
Located on the white sands of Palm Beach, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is a 12-minute drive from shopping and entertainment in downtown Oranjestad. It's a 20-minute drive to Arikok National Park, and 12 minutes to the Archaeological Museum of Aruba.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Oranjestad hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Surfside Beach and Royal Plaza Mall. Cas di Cultura Theatre and Cultural Center and Beth Israel Synagogue are also within 10 minutes.
This newly renovated 15-acre tropical haven offers 357 elegantly-appointed guest accommodations in northwest Aruba, surrounded by soft sands, turquoise seas, fragrant gardens, exotic lagoons and cascading waterfalls.
Across the street from Druif Beach and myriad water sports, this resort in the Low-Rise Hotel district provides shuttle service to Alhambra Casino and Shopping Bazaar 500 m (547 yds) away.
Nestled on the beach, this Oranjestad hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Bubali Bird Sanctuary and Eagle Beach. Royal Plaza Mall is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.