Covering a phenomenal 7907 acres on the east coast of Aruba,
Arikok National Park is the island’s most famous natural wonder. The landscape here is as diverse as it is striking, with unusual volcanic land formations interwoven with carpets of greenery and a rugged coastline that contours into white sandy beaches. Keep a lookout for lizards and parakeets before venturing into one of the limestone caves where you’ll find authentic Arawak Indian drawings. Finish your
hike by scaling Jamanto Hill and enjoy breath-taking panoramic views from the highest point on the island.
Aruba truly deserves its title as
wreck-diving capital of the Caribbean, its coastal waters awash with diver-friendly wrecks ranging from planes and tugboats to cargo ships and historic military vessels. Weightlessly glide through warm crystalline waters as dappled beams of Caribbean sunlight illuminate the ocean floor beneath you. You’ll see the shoals of parrotfish, damselfish and queen angelfish that inhabit the multi-colored reefs that have grown in and around these manmade machines, now forever bound to the seabed.
Named after the sunken ship ‘California’ that prompted its construction, this
lighthouse rises a proud 55m off the shoreline, offering unparalleled 360-degree views over the glittering Caribbean Sea and surrounding landscape. The best time to visit, by far, is at sunset. Standing atop this old-timely watchtower you’ll be awe-struck by the warm red glow that descends upon the rocky coastline as the sun sinks below the horizon.
There’s no better way to gauge the lay of the land than by heading out on an exciting
4X4 Jeep tour of the island. Take the wheel yourself or let your guide take control and simply kick back and gaze out at the impressive landscapes unfolding beneath those tires. You can even customize your adventure, choosing from inland excursions, safari’s and long drives over miles of pristine coastline. What’s more, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hop out and take a closer look around as you visit some of Aruba’s famous historical sites and snorkel in the balmy Caribbean waters
This article has originally been published on the
Black Tomato blog.