Aruba sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places
This wonderful island is a perfect place to enjoy various sports activities, entertainment, sightseeing and walking in beautiful natural reserves. Oranjestad is a cultural and administrative capital of Aruba. This is a cozy and attractive city. The main landmarks of the capital include the Church of Saint Anna that was built in the beginning of the 20th century. Despite its relatively young age, the church has always been in the list of most important sights of Aruba. The church is also famous for its wonderful altar. The skilled wooden piece of art was made by local craftsmen yet in the end of the 19th century. There are also several museums in the city – the Museum of History, the Museum of Archeology, the Museum of geology and Numismatic Museum.
San Nicolas is a popular tourist destination in Aruba. The Church of Pilgrims is the most important sight and symbol of the city. This is the first Christian church in the island, so its founders, Miguel Enrique Alvarez and Domingo Antonio Silvestre, are much respected people in Aruba. Their graves are located near the church. Among architectural sights of the city we simply cannot fail to mention Californian Beacon that is located in the northern part of the country. The beacon is equipped with an observation deck that features stunning views of sand dunes and the island’s western coast. There are also several nature sights in Aruba. The most famous ones are Natural Pool and Natural Bridge. During hundreds of years sea waves crashed into rocks and slowly created unusual formations. The bridge is an arc that is 7m high, and the pool is a small part of coastal water surrounded with big stones.
A big part of the island belongs to the territory of Arikok National Park. This is the place where visitors can see old colonial houses, amazing caves and numerous exotic plants. The most famous cave is called “the Tunnel of Love” as its shape resembles a heart. The protected part of the island is home to one more natural reserve – Butterfly farm.
History and EntertainmentThe first settlements on the island were formed in the 3rd century BC. The main settlers were the Indian tribes of the Arawaks. For hundreds of years, the main means of their subsistence were fishing, hunting and gathering. The first turning points in the history of the island were conquests of the Caribs in the 14th century. At the end of the 15th century, the island saw the colonial times. Its first visitors were the Dutch navigators.
In 1513, the first colonies on the island were established by Spaniards. At that time, all the natives of the island were transferred to Santo-Domingo to process copper mines. The Netherlands and Spain had fought for the right to possess the island by the middle of the 17th century. The Dutchmen managed to occupy the island in 1636. The end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century were marked by multiple military conflicts between the Dutchmen and Britons.
Then, Great Britain had captured the entire territory of Aruba for some time but the Netherlands managed to re-establish its rights within a very short time. In the 19th century, the agricultural and industrial sectors of the island started to be actively developed. Later, Aruba became a part of the Antilles and gained complete independence in 1986.
The main entertainments for tourists are beach recreation and walks along picturesque natural sites. The Island of Aruba is a center of free trade, so travelers from all over the world come here for shopping. In local boutiques and shopping centers, you can buy products from all corners of the world at attractive prices. Many people come here to buy inexpensive jewels with topaz, diamonds and emeralds from Columbia. Besides jewels, local shops sell elite alcohol from different countries and a lot of other popular high-quality products.
The Island of Aruba will certainly impress gourmets, as here they can taste a lot of rare seafood delicacies. For local residents, lobsters are typical everyday dishes. At restaurants, cooks prepare real culinary masterpieces of them. On the island, there are several historical breweries that were opened when Aruba was under the Netherlands. The famous beer, Balashi, is brewed here.
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