Information for Caribbean Vacations in Aruba
|Aruba is a small Caribbean island off the coast of South America, specifically in the Leeward Antilles island arc. Aruba is a mostly flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches. Aruba and its neighbors to the east, Curaçao and Bonaire, are collectively known as the ABC islands. With little seasonal temperature variation exists, Aruba attracts tourists all year round
to the island, a mere 27 km north of the Paraguaná Peninsula, which is part of the Venezuelan mainland.
Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport is located near Oranjestad, the capital of the island, and a wide range of hotels are available, from luxury resorts to local bed & breakfast inns. A good selection of private homes and villas are also available for rental as a holiday vacation travel destination.
Watersports are the reason most tourists come to Aruba, with windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling tours and even a submarine ride being popular attractions. Aruba also offers golfing, hiking, horseback riding, 4x4 safaris, and tennis. After the sun goes down, enjoy the poolside bars, restaurants and casino for Aruba's famous nightlife.
During the Dia Di San Juan celebration in June, Arubans dress in red and yellow to represent fire. This celebration has its origins in Arawak harvest festivals, but Spanish missionaries combined these with the celebration of San Juan. Aruba is the only country in the world that celebrates this day with dancing and singing. Dande is a traditional Aruban New Year's celebration. The name “dande,” is derived from a Papiamento word which means “to revel”, and marks the anniversary of King William III declaring slaves to be free. April 30 is Queen's Day, an official holiday honoring Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, with ceremonies, parades, and national sporting and musical events. Aruba's carnival is a big annual event on the island, with vibrant displays of color in the parades with dancers in fantastic fancy dress, competitions and many "jump-ups" (street parties).
In 1636, Aruba came to the attention of the Dutch, who had recently been driven from their base in St.Maarten by the Spanish. they needed another base to establish a colonial presence. They soon captured the islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire from the Spanish, who put up very little resistance. The discovery of gold in 1824 caused many of the Arawak slave to be returned from Hispañola to work in the new mines. Aruba has been a Dutch possession for most of the years since, with brief interuptions during the Napoleonic War and World War II.
Please be advised that the Passport requirements for U.S. Citizens to re-enter the country from Aruba and the Caribbean is changing. Effective December 31, 2006 all U.S citizens traveling into the United States from Aruba and the Caribbean must have a valid U.S. passport. U.S. Birth certificates will no longer be acceptable as a travel document. On December 31, 2007, a passport or other accepted documentation is required for all air, sea, and land border crossings.
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