This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aruba Tourism Authority for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Aruba… Just the sound of it takes you away to the sparkling seaside with sandy beaches and handsome, young locals serving tropical Aruba Aribas, a potent-type of rum punch, complete with an umbrella and a wedge of orange. The name Aruba is believed to have come from the Spanish words “oro huba” meaning “there was gold” and while the Spanish did not find treasure in the form of gold on this island (the Dutch later did), Aruba today clearly remains one of the golden jewels of the Caribbean.
Traditional resort-type activities including soaking up the rays on the fantastic beaches including the award winning Palm, Eagle, and Arashi beaches, having a cocktail at a swim up bar, and rocking out at concerts by the light of thousands of tiki torches abound and are what makes Aruba, well, Aruba. This small island nation has this aspect down pat but Aruba offers much, much more than JUST being a fabulous resort vacation. Cultural activities, festivals, and natural beauty experiences abound. So, grab that bikini AND those binoculars and discover the other side of Aruba.
Travelers who take the time to get to know the locals and venture out of the resort areas will find themselves having a deeper and richer traveling experience. The neighborhood of Savaneta is an excellent option for those wishing to mingle with the locals and Marina Pirata restaurant in Savaneta is a great place to start. Try some local flavors to include Balchi Pisca, Sopi Mondongo, and Carnival Calamari.
The “Arubans” are a diverse population made up of descendents of the Arawake tribe from South America, Spanish, and since the early 1600’s, the Dutch. While the official language is Dutch, it is not unusual to hear locals utilizing these languages, with some English thrown in for good measure, during one conversation. Locals are commonly described as friendly and outgoing with an interesting tendency toward the superstitious. Visitors can enlist the services of one of the many fortune telling women available to predict the future, for a small fee. The experience is one of a kind and do not be alarmed if they begin spitting rum and blowing smoke on a rooster passing by as part of the process in foreseeing the future.
Cultural events abound in Aruba with festivals and current events occurring weekly. Consider building your travel plans around one or more of these key events:
Carnival (Jan – Mar) – Like its Rio neighbors to the south, the Arubans know how to celebrate this colorful season leading up to Lent with its infamous parades and all night partying experience.
Saint John’s Day (June) – A festival of color and light, do not miss the music, bands, and amazing food options.
Saint Nicolas Day (Dec) – Superstitions abound with local children leaving their shoes and treats out in hopes of receiving special treats.
If your travel plans do not bring you to Aruba at these times of the year, do not despair. The welcoming celebration of the Bon Bini festival featuring local dancers, performers, and craftsman occurs every Tuesday evening.
There is no denying that the coastline and the beaches of Aruba are the highlights of an Aruban vacation. Regardless of any intentions to get away from and see other natural wonders of the island, visitors will (and should) take ample opportunity to enjoy the seaside.
There are other wonders, however, that travelers should take the time to see while on Aruba. Consider a Nature Sensitive Tour whereby the tour operator takes adventurers via Jeep, hiking, or diving to the less treaded upon marvels of Aruba. Caving and rock formation exploration is also quite popular and is an accessible activity for almost any visitor to Aruba. The Guadirikiri caves and Ayo Rock Formations are well worth a visit.
For great vacation ideas that step outside the realm of normalcy, check out all that that Aruba travel offers on aruba.com.
Have you visited Aruba before? Share with us your ideas, experiences, and questions regarding your Aruban holiday .