Friday, March 8, 2013

De Palm Island Aruba

Fun, Fun, Fun

If your spending time in Aruba, De Palm Island is a must see.  Aruba is known for its great beaches, wonderful shopping, and excellent restaurants, but sometimes it can get a little busy.  Unfortunately, it can be hard to find a spot to get away to when you're on an island, but if you're looking for a getaway that is close by you should check out De Palm Island.  De Palm Island is an all inclusive island that is perfect for families and groups of all ages.

De Palm Island, Aruba
De Palm Island is a quick ferry ride away from the main land of Aruba, and it can be a great place to get away and relax.  It is in Aruba, so the water is turquoise and the sand is white, and just coming to lie in the sand can be a great way to escape the Aruban beach on a busy day.  There are numerous activities planned around the beach.  You can play some beach volleyball or take salsa lessens, and there are also a number of activities planned for children.  For an additional fee a beach side massage can even be arranged.  Upon reaching De Palm Island you can grab some food at the all you can eat buffet.  Pick up a hamburger or hot dog from the grill or familiarize yourself with the Caribbean food.  De Palm Island also offers rides on their banana boats.  A banana boat ride offers a great way to help you cool down, and it also provides an excellent view of the island from the water.  If you're tired of the sand and salt water there is a water park, with slides of varying degrees that are good for people of all ages.

If you're looking to interact with Aruba's extensive marine life, De Palm Island offers a few different options and opportunities.  The island provides snorkeling gear, and there are tours offered twice a day.  The snorkeling surrounding De Palm Island is incredible, and the reef that is found off of the island offers snorkeling in both shallow and deep waters.  If you're looking to explore deeper waters there is SNUBA, an exciting blend of snorkeling and scuba.  There is no certification required; however everybody has to be at least eight years old.  SNUBA allows you to explore deeper waters without bulky or restrictive gear.  You can also try the Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Walk.  This is an excellent underwater experience for people who aren't very strong swimmers.  The underwater helmet provides oxygen, and you can walk on the sea floor, which rests twenty feet below the water's surface.  The Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Walk allows you to interact with tropical fish, a sunken Cessna, and you can also take a picture at the underwater Sea Trek CafĂ©.

Aruba is a great vacation spot, but sometimes no matter where you are you need to get away.  For this, De Palm Island is the perfect place.  It allows you and your family or group to get away from the busy main island and take part in a number of different activities that are suitable for all ages.  You can eat and drink as much as you like as you lie by the beach, and you can also explore the aquatic wild life through snorkeling, SNUBA, or the Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Walk.  The best part of De Palm Island: it's a quick ferry ride away from Aruba.      

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Geology and Aruba

Every island has a story, and one of the more interesting stories of Aruba is its natural and geological history.  Aruba was formed from an undersea eruption 95 million years ago.  As the lava rose to the water's surface it mixed with sediments and formed Aruba.  Then 10 million years later more volcanic activity began underneath Aruba, and this activity lead to the formation of batholiths.  As the initial lava cover began to slowly erode the batholiths were exposed to the naked eye.  There are various types of batholiths scattered throughout Aruba, and these include tonalite and hooibergite batholiths.

Tourists can visit Hooiberg, which is a 165 meter tall hooibergite formation almost in the dead center of Aruba.  There are 562 steps that ascend to the summit of Hooiberg, and from the top the tourist is offered incredible views of Aruba.  On a clear day one can even see Venezuela.  The only other places on Earth where hooibergite has surfaced are Canada and Iceland.  Many geological formations can be viewed in Aruba's Arikok National Park, and on the coastline of Arikok National Park is a marine terrace that formed about 1.5 million years ago.  This marine terrace was formed as the Earth pushed the island higher above sea level, and the exposed reefs and seabed fossilized.  Aruba is actually made up of three different levels of marine terrace, and along the coast a number of karst caves.

There are many reasons to visit Aruba, and once you've gotten there you shouldn't overlook the natural beauty that surrounds you.  There are numerous geological formations that have developed over millions of years, and they contribute to the truly incredible scenery that makes up the Aruban landscape.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dutch Architecture in Aruba

Dutch Architecture
Everybody knows that Aruba offers natural beauty.  The beaches are made up of white sand and blue water, Arikok National Park offers a close view of animals, and for the geologists there are also interesting rock formations.

But one of the most overlooked sources of beauty is actually man made.  The colonial Dutch architecture that makes up parts of Aruba, including its capital Oranjestad, shows a look into colonial life while still providing the eye with aesthetically pleasing edifices.

Colonial Dutch architecture is immediately recognizable.  People often think of New York as a good place to interact with Dutch architecture, but in the busy New York streets it can be difficult to spot the beautiful Dutch buildings.  There is absolutely no hiding the Dutch influence on Aruban buildings.  The large buildings spare no expense on the smallest detail, and the gables often feature finely carpentered decorative trim.

The windows are also decorated with elaborate shutters, awnings, or painted designs that pull the eye in.  Some of the best examples of Dutch architecture can be found in Oranjestad, which is named after the Dutch Orange House.  These beautiful Dutch buildings have been spruced up with vibrant colors, and they house establishments of all kinds.  The Aruban government makes its home in these buildings, and restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues can also be found in these buildings.  The oldest standing structure in Aruba is Fort Zoutman and the King Willem III Tower.  These structures are testaments to the durability of Dutch buildings, and the fort was built in 1796 to help fight off any foreign invaders and pirates.  The Willem III Tower was added to the fort in 1868, and it functioned as a light house and public clock.  The tower also has the bright colors that can be found on many of the Dutch buildings in Aruba.

Aruba is a great place to travel to for people of all types.  Its natural beauty is undeniable, but so is its architecture.  The colonial Dutch buildings, that can be found throughout the island, offer a glimpse into the beauty that can be provided through expert carpentry and building. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Have a Fabulous Aruba Vacation

Nobody enjoys the feeling of being cooped up in their homes during the holidays, but it seems that the snow storms just keep coming, driving us inside to be prisoners in our own homes. Take charge of your holidays and have an Aruba vacation instead.

The Caribbean is enticing with its balmy weather and eternal sunshine and Aruba is not an exception. Wintering in Aruba is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Here are a few more benefits in going to Aruba while blizzards pummel the United States with its icy winds.

The High Season

Aruba in winter has the most idyllic weather. Because of its desert climes, Aruba has one of the most stable temperatures in the Caribbean. It also lies just outside the Hurricane Belt, which means that your vacation will not be interrupted by an angry natural phenomenon. If you’d like to winter in Aruba, be prepared to book your vacation way in advance many people would have the same idea as you to escape winter altogether. Imagine having a white Christmas with white sandy beaches instead of snow and Aruba can deliver, big-time.
Aruba restaurants, Aruba casinos, and other establishments open full-blast during the high season and you’ll get the most of your vacation because of this. Now is also the time to plan the most romantic getaways as families with children rarely book their holidays during this time. You’ll find yourself an Aruba that is ready for romance and flirtations.

Aside from the atmosphere perfect for passion, you’ll also experience marvelous culinary delights as top chefs from Europe and America are brought in to cater to the taste buds of holiday guests.
So why don’t you save yourself the hassle of shoveling snow from your driveway and get over to Aruba where the weather is like heaven? Sip daiquiris instead of eggnog under the bright blue sky and escape the chilly winter. Plan your dream Aruba vacation now with this Aruba Vacation Guide.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Seven Must-See Destinations in Aruba

Aruba has long been a popular destination for summer vacations and for good reasons. Aruba boasts of a wonderful blend of Dutch and Aruban culture that you’ll definitely love. Here are a few must-see destinations if you’d like to tour Aruba this summer:

is the capital city that is found at the southern coast. It boasts of Dutch colonial architecture that were absorbed into the local culture with their pastel colors. Make sure to check out the wharf where merchants sell fresh seafood and produce which can be cooked into a refreshing meal. If vacation to you is synonymous with shopping, then Oranjestad is the just the place for you.

The Butterfly Farm is located right across the Divi Phoenix Hotel on Irausquin Boulevard. This 3,000-square-foot farm is the home of several varieties of butterflies from all over the world. It’s also filled with waterfalls and fish ponds that lend an air of mystique. Coupled with a relaxing new-age music, you’ll find yourself thoroughly relaxed and awash with peace in this lovely place.

Arikok National Park is an ecological park and wilderness preserve that makes up of 20 per cent of the entire land area of Aruba. It has 21 miles of hiking trails where you can view the island’s native plants and animals. Inside the park are the famous divi-divi trees, cacti, aloe plants, and other tropical blooms. If you’re into animals, watch the local rabbits, Kododo Blauw lizards, and the Cascabel rattlesnakes in their natural habitat. 

You can’t leave Aruba without seeing the natural bridge that spans 100 feet. It is a coral formation which was formed after the endless beatings of the sea. Because of this, a natural land bridge was formed that is about 23 feet above sea level. Don’t look to see where the bridge goes because it does not go anywhere but right at the beach where you find it.

Along with the Natural Bridge is the Natural Pool which might be hard to get to on horseback or an all-terrain vehicle. However, once there, you’ll be thankful that you’ve braved the rough trip. The ocean waves crash up and over the rocks that surround the natural pool. On calm days, you will be sure to have fun.

If you want to have some diving fun, you should not miss the Antilla as it is an impressive wreck of a submarine. You can also view some fish, green moray eels, and sea turtles that swim around this wreck. You don’t need to be a pro to dive and see the ship’s structure. The depth of the dive is about 50 feet at its maximum but you can view the wreck even at 35 feet.

Another historical point of interest is the California Lighthouse which was built in 1914. It was named after a wooden ship sailing from England to Venezuela and was run aground in 1891. Around the lighthouse are acres of flat land called California White Sand Dunes which are perfect for dune surfing.

Relax and enjoy your stay in Aruba and you’ll be sure to go home well-rested and refreshed. You’ll love Aruba so much that you’ll return to this island again and again. Aruba travel information is available and so is an Aruba Vacation Guide.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Aruba: fun things you can do

In my last blog, I talked about snuba, that happy combination of snorkeling and scuba diving which has always been the rage in Aruba. But not all activities are water-related. Aruba has much more to offer if you prefer the “drier” activities – “drier” not necessarily equating to “boring.” Nothing’s ever boring when in Aruba. Ask the natives and tourists – they’ll only be too glad to recite a litany of off-water that you can turn into an adventure. There are lots of things to do in Aruba.

If you or your significant other or your kids are into butterflies, do visit the Butterfly Farm. It sits right across from the Aruba Phoenix Hotel. You’ll be treated to various butterflies that come from all over the world. The Butterfly Farm is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm seven days a week. Join a guide as she takes you on a fascinating tour, explaining the life cycle of butterflies in 25 minutes or less.

Aruba’s ecological treasure is nestled in Akiko National Park. This park occupies about 20% of Aruba’s total land area and covers three geographical formations: lava, quartz diorite and limestone formations. You might come across some snakes - rattlesnake, cat-eyed snake and the whiptail lizard. But Akiko National Park has other attractions to delight all five senses. You’ll see plenty of native art, abandoned gold mines and early farms.

Your kids might marvel at the iguanas and parakeets in Aruba. Be sure to pack a good size bottle of suntan lotion. Wear comfortable shoes! The address is San Fuego 71, and the park’s telephone number is +297-5851234.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Snuba in Aruba: what fun!

Because snuba is a popular water sport in Aruba (everyone kept saying “awesome” and “snuba rocks”), I thought it was an island invention. I was surprised to learn that it’s actually a Californian invention and is now practised in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and even as far away as Thailand!

Snuba is a 30-year old aquatic recreation developed back in 1989 by Michael Stafford. It is owned by Snuba International who holds the licensing rights. You might have guessed that snuba is a happy marriage between snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s a lot more fun because you’re less encumbered by heavy gear (like the oxygen tank you have to carry on your back when scuba diving). You get your oxygen through an air line which is placed on the surface of the raft. It’s safe because the air line does not allow you to go deeper than six meters.

A friend who lives in Aruba permanently told me that unlike scuba diving, you don’t need certification, nor do you need scuba diving experience, although you wouldn’t want to venture out on your own. Instructors still must accompany people who engage in the sport. Even children over eight years old can snuba. Gear is minimal:
  • Diving mask
  • Swimfins
  • Weights
  • Diving regulator
One requirement though: to snuba, you should at least know how to swim!

People who snuba in Aruba enjoy the experience immensely. Aruba beaches are beautiful and the underwater scene is a different world and they say that if one were to spend some time in Aruba, half or more that time should be underwater!