To many, Aruba is recognized for its tropical warm sand beaches, clear waters, and wildlife as diverse as its culture. This unique Caribbean desert island with endless beauty has been a favorite getaway spot for Americans for decades. What isn’t as evident, however, is that there is even more to Aruba than meets the eye! Here are a few fun facts you probably didn’t know about Aruba:
- Its population is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world
Aruba’s population of 120,000 is made up of over 90 different nationalities! This aspect is one of the many that make Aruba stand out amongst other island nations. Its culture is a watercolor blend of each ethnicity represented. Having been colonized for over 360 years, Dutch culture has a significant impact on Aruba.
- It’s only 15 miles north of Venezuela
Aruba is geographically located in the southern Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela. On a clear day, you can even see Venezuela from the south-eastern coast of Aruba. The very best view can be captured at Aruba’s third highest point, Mt. Hooiberg.
- It is known as the wreck diving capital of the Caribbean
Scuba and snorkel lovers alike gather to explore the shipwrecks hiding among the colorful corals beneath the waves in Aruba. The two most popular destinations are the WWII wreck, Antilla, and the 1942 wreck, Perdenales. Today, all kinds of marine life call these wrecks home and can be spotted swimming through the crevices and metals, creating a habitat of their own.
- The sand never gets too hot to walk on barefoot
No matter the temperature, the sand on the beaches of Aruba never seem to get too hot to walk on! It’s debated as to whether this is because of the constant island breeze, the fact that the sand is composed of tiny pieces of crushed up coral, or the light white color of the sand. Regardless of the reason, you can enjoy a barefoot walk on the beach with no concerns.
- The world’s best female freestyle windsurfer was born in Aruba
Sarah-Quita Offringa has won the Women’s PWA World Champion Freestyle Windsurfing competition a whopping 8 years in a row! She also proudly holds the title for most PWA records set by any woman. Aruba hosts the perfect climate for windsurfing, making it one of the most popular sports on the island.
- 20% of the island is reserved as a national park
Arikok National Park is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Aruba. It boasts gorgeous coastlines, collections of cacti and flora, and hundreds of species of wildlife, many of which are endangered. If you’re a history lover, you’ll marvel at the cave drawings left behind thousands of years ago by the Caquetìo Indians.
- It almost never rains
Due to its desert climate, Aruba receives more sunny days than any of the other Caribbean islands! Averaging only about 15 inches per year, clear skies are nearly guaranteed on any given day in Aruba. The temperature remains an average of 80 degrees, and the breeze simply never dies down, making it the perfect climate for an island getaway.
- During nesting season, you could encounter baby sea turtles
Nesting season occurs between the months of March and November in Aruba, meaning if you visit during the right time of year, it’s possible you may run into some adorable baby sea turtles making their way towards the ocean. Areas where mother sea turtles have laid eggs are typically enclosed by caution tape to alert humans to stay away and not disturb the delicate nesting sites. Be sure to observe from a distance if you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity.
- Most Arubans speak 4 languages: Papiamento, English, Dutch, and Spanish
While the native language for Arubans in Papiamento, most tourists have no trouble interacting with island locals since a majority of them also speak 4 or more languages. Schools are required to teach English, Spanish, French, and Portoguese, and their native language is a combination of Afro-Portuguese Creole.
- Casino winnings are not taxed
That includes the government-run lottery as well as any winnings from the island’s casinos. This is likely why Aruba is often referred to as the Las Vegas of the Caribbean.Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino offers a gorgeous and upbeat environment to win some untaxed cash!
Aruba is an island like no other, and visiting is the only way to truly experience its incomparable beauty firsthand. From its rich ancient history to its colorful island culture, perfect climate, and breathtaking beaches, there are simply endless reasons which make Aruba so unique and exceptional.