Beyond the turquoise waters and sun-kissed, sandy shores exists the real Aruba – where natural bridges, caves, rugged desert, thriving culture, 90plus culinary influences and countless other hidden gems await visitors’ discovery of these Caribbean island in the southern hemisphere.
Here are three things to do for just Aruba:
1. Antilla Wreck
It’s a chance to see a little bit of history. Known as the “ghost ship” and the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean, the Antilla is a 400-long-foot German freighter built in 1939, used by the Germans to supply their subs during World War II. Scuttled in 1945 to prevent Dutch marines from seizing it, it now rests on its port side only 500 yards offshore and 60 feed below the surface, illuminated at night by fluorescent cup-corals. Explore its compartments, anchors, cargo holds and boiler rooms. It is an awesome diver, despite the intimidation of the dark, black waters surrounding the shipwreck.
This beautiful shipwreck is an ideal place to see marine life such as eels, jelly fish, rays and fish. In addition to marine life, the vibrant colors of corals are breath-taking. Limited by daylight hours, it’s an incredible sight for the evening, too.
Locals believe it is one of the most, over-rated scuba and snorkel sites. On some days, the area is crowded with boats, attempting to gain a sight of the shipwreck. Early morning times are ideal to stay away from the crowds. Waters are rough so beginner sailor should not attempt this without a seasoned guide or crew.
Tucked away from the masses and protected from development, Arashi Beach is the ideal snorkeling and swimming locale. A 10-minute walk from Malmok Beach on the winding road that leads to the California Lighthouse, this narrow stretch of beach is a favorite with locals, offering gentle current, sandbars, vibrant marine life and several makeshift huts to host a barbecue cookout.
Huts are also available for shelter but early arrival is required to secure these favored spots. Clear, beautiful, turquoise, green and blue waters beckon those in love with water, swimming and beaches. For these reasons, the locals enjoy this secluded beach.
Because of no commercial vendors, be prepared to bring all the essentials of sun block, towels, snacks, etc. Beach-goers can get here through local bus transportation.
This secluded beach offers a variety of water activities such as:
- scuba diving
- deep-sea fishing
3. Aruhiba Tabaco Farm
Featuring hand-rolled premium cigars and cigar accessories, Aruhiba Cigars are the only handmade cigars offered on the island. Similar to a Cuban cigar, Aruhiba Tabaco is farmed locally on the island and is sold at the Aruhiba Cigar shop in front of the historic Dutch windmill near The Westin Aruba in Palm Beach.
Cigar aficionados can check out the daily Aruhiba Tabaco farm tours or indulge in a private cigar rolling classes. These classes are offered in local hotels and restaurants. Check with your concierge for upcoming events.
With daily, operating hours, the retail operation invites veteran smokers to come and visit its facility and try out a smoke. Tours are provided for those curious about the history and operations. Visit its website for the hours and send an email for a tour reservation.
If unsure of customs restriction on bringing back cigars on airline, the website offers shipping options.
For more information, visit these websites:
Tip #1: Secure a seasoned guide to help you navigate through the shipwreck. For those with young children, check out sailboats for rent. Try a small boat instead of the catamarans/pirate boats – they hold upto 100 people which necessitates floating rather than diving.
Tip #2: Early bird will get the sought-after huts for shelter from the hot, blazing sun.
Tip #3: Visit the website of Aruhiba Tabaco Farm to maximize your visit.