Near the Cruise Pier
It’s about a ten-minute walk from the pier into downtown Oranjestad. Travelers who are craving culture should visit the Historical Museum of Aruba in Fort Zoutman, the island’s oldest structure. The tricolor Willem III Tower was added in the late 1800s. Within the restored complex, relics from Aruba’s colonial era are on display.
The Aruba Archaeological Museum focuses on earlier Aruban history, exhibiting artifacts from the Amerindian era, which began roughly 4,000 years ago when the first inhabitants paddled to the island from South America in hollowed-out logs. Spanish explorers arrived around AD 1500, and the Dutch took control of the island in 1636. They kept it for about 350 years, save for a brief period in the early 1800s when the British took over.
The typical modern Aruban has a mixed ancestry, claiming Amerindian, African, and European roots. Over 40 distinct nationalities add to the indigenous melting pot of the Aruban population of about 100,000. The cultures mingled together seamlessly to form “one happy island”—the Aruban motto. The locals’ extremely welcoming nature helps fuel the tourism industry, the mainstay of the island’s economy.
In total, more than one million people travel to Aruba every year to experience its many charms, which are as diverse as its population. Many come for the glorious beaches—sun-kissed strips of white sand cooled by trade winds and lapped by sapphire and teal waters. The west and south coasts are home to seven miles of such beaches, all of which are open to the public, so there’s a stretch to suit every taste.
Embark on a scenic sunset cruise with tropical views, Caribbean music, and unlimited cocktails and snacks.
Visit three of Aruba’s most famous landmarks in a colorful open-air bus. Then hit Palm Beach to lunch and relax on a complimentary lounge chair.
Enjoy a picturesque island tour of the Casibari rock formations, gold mill ruins, beaches, and the former Natural Bridge.
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