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The Village by the Sea
Located on the southwestern coast of Aruba, Savaneta was the island’s first capital until 1797. The oldest house in Aruba—a cas di torto, or mud hut, dating back some 150 years—is still standing within this historical town.
The rustic charisma and laidback vibe of this community beckons islanders looking for a casual retreat from their busy lives, as well as visitors looking for unfussy, bona fide local charm. Relaxing days can be spent at Mangel Halto, a gem of a beach located just north of Savaneta, where a dense network of mangrove trees leads to an irresistibly inviting expanse of shallow, aquamarine water, made remarkably placid by the protective barrier reef further out.
Savaneta’s proximity and easy access to the sea has made this area popular within the local fishing community. Visitors will enjoy mingling with islanders at Zeerovers, a fisherman's wharf-cum-roadhouse promising a heavy dose of local flavor. A counter near the entrance sells fresh-caught fish to go. Patrons can also have the fish prepared on the premises and then enjoy it on the waterside deck among the seasoned locals playing pool or dominoes and discussing the latest town news over a few ice-cold beers.
Savaneta is home to the Roly Bislick Olympic Pool complex, the training grounds for Aruba’s elite swimmers and synchronized swimmers, and host to many international competitions. The Marine Barracks Savaneta is also based here, housing the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Netherlands Marine Corps, the Netherlands Coastguard, and the Aruban Military.
Savaneta, Aruba was the island’s very first capital!
Not only is Savaneta popular for its cultural richness, but it is also a very tranquil place to stay. There are no big Savaneta resorts, but you will find a selection of small boutique Savaneta hotels, vacation rentals and bed and breakfast-style accommodations.
Savaneta restaurants are known for their extremely fresh seafood and varied cuisine with a Caribbean twist.
When you ask a local about their favorite things to do in Savaneta, chances are, visiting Mangel Halto Beach is one of them. This beach is like no other on the island. It is a great snorkeling spot adorned with beautiful mangroves, but what attracts everyone to this Savaneta gem is the laid back atmosphere!
Oranjestad is a unique blend of old and new that lends a distinctive charm to Aruba’s capital.
San Nicolas offers iconic beaches and island charm far removed from the glitz and glam of Palm Beach high-rise resorts.
There is perhaps no district on the island that is a symphonic menagerie of all things Aruba than Noord.
One of Aruba’s main highways, Route 4, runs through the centrally located district of Santa Cruz.