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About Aruba beaches

It is not difficult to lean back and take it easy on an island such as Aruba. Its way of life is just the tonic for any frazzled visitor: like the aloe vera gel whose origin of plant is everywhere on the island, there is something here to soothe anyone’s daily stresses and abrasions. Arubans know that they live on an island with the best that Caribbean sea and sand has to offer. There is something for everyone, with certain beaches regarded best for activities such as snorkelling, surfing, windsurfing and diving as well as great nightlife and culture in the capital of Oranjestad.

Beach:

It doesn’t get any better than a walk on powdery sand and turquoise waters sliding over your feet. Bordering the hotel zone, Palm Beach, located about 17km (11 miles) north of Oranjestad, is often crowded. It is the place for watersports (diving, parasailing, kite surfing) or just lazing on a lounger. Many prefer the calm surf and sand expanse of Eagle Beach, 20km (15 miles) north of Oranjestad.

Beyond the beach:

Not all the wildlife is at the dance clubs. Donkeys, as well as scores of birds and lizards, find Aruba just as appealing as humans do. Nearly 20% of the island is a national park with an exotic landscape of petroglyphs (odd rock formations and caves). Learn all about aloe production at Aruba aloe in Oranjestad, the island’s charming capital.

Family fun:

Shallow Baby Beach, about 14.5km (9 miles) south of Oranjestad just beyond San Nicolas, is calm and shallow enough for wading – perfect for the little ones. Hikes and off-road jeep adventures are fun terra firma trips for everyone. Learn about creatures at the butterfly farm, on J E Irausquin Boulevard in Palm Beach, or the ostrich farm on Makividiri Road.

Exploring further:

Hop a puddle jumper with Dutch Antilles Express (www.flydae.com) to Aruba’s neighbouring islands of Bonaire or Curacao. Each has its own personality. While Aruba is party central, Bonaire is laid back. With 86 awesome dive sites and 213 fish species, it is top with those who like to explore the ocean’s bottom. Curacao has fine beaches and lots of watersports but is more cosmopolitan. In fact, it looks like a pastel-coloured Holland with palm trees.

Splashing out:

Visit Charlie’s Restaurant and Bar on Mainstreet in San Nicolas. Paste your business card on the wall. Everyone else does. This island institution, one of the most popular watering holes on the island, has been around for 65 years. The staff will fill you in on the happenings of the little hamlet of San Nicolas.