Thousands of years of pounding waves and strong winds have slowly carved away at the limestone cliffs along Aruba's north coast to create eight natural bridges, the largest and most famous being the Natural Bridge, located at Andicuri Beach. Before collapsing in 2005, it was the most impressive structure of its kind in all the Caribbean. The Natural Bridge ruin is still a tourist attraction, with the still-intact Baby Bridge nearby also meriting a visit.
While the entire Island is peppered with huge diorite boulders, Casibari Boulders and Ayo Rock Formations boast the most remarkable collections. Arawak Indian rock drawings decorate the monolithic stones of Ayo, providing evidence of the great importance these rocks held for the Island's early inhabitants.
Conchi (Natural Pool)
Northwest of Dos Playa and nestled at the base of the northern shore cliffs within Arikok National Park, adventurers trek through the rocky ravines on horseback or hike rocky terrain to discover one of Aruba’s hidden gems, the Natural Pool. Known in Papiamento as Conchi, this shell-shaped pool is surrounded by a large barrier of lava rocks that greet crashing waves from the Caribbean Sea.
The California Dunes are a protected nature reserve located at Hudishibana, an area at the northwestern tip of the Island. Named after the famous ship that wrecked just offshore, these rolling dunes of pristine sand soften the cratered limestone landscape and provide a perch from which to admire the waves crashing along the rocky shore and the California Lighthouse standing guard on the plateau nearby.
The Hooiberg, meaning “haystack” in Dutch, is the cone-shaped mountain that rises 540 feet up from the center of the Island. Hikers can take the 550-plus steps to the top, where a panoramic view and encounters with wild goats, parakeets, and colorful lizards make the climb pleasantly worthwhile.
Offering a birds-eye view at 620 feet, hikers discover sheer serenity atop Yamanota, the island’s highest elevation point granting panoramic views worth remembering. Picturesque contours of the northern and southern shores are captured from a single vantage point, offering picture-perfect moments.
The most visited among several small limestone caves along the northern shore within Arikok National Park, the Guadirikiri Cave is famous for the bursts of natural sunlight that seep through limestone holes throughout the cavern. Explorers can venture through various layers of the cave, which range from tall and wide to low and narrow. Adventurers who dare to look up may find friendly bats also touring the cave.
Famous for the decorative brownish-red Arawak pictographs etched by the Amerindians and found on the cave’s walls and ceiling, Fontein Cave is marked with rich ancestral history that continues its storytelling among thousand-year-old stalactites and stalagmites. Shallow in depth and low in height, the cave invites visitors to crawl through the space, uncovering civilization and history at every turn.