Ayo Rock Formations, Ayo village, Aruba, Oranjestad, Lesser Antilles, Central America
Featuring a series of boulders that appear to have been gathered, piled, and deliberately set across a few square miles of desert, this site carries a certain air of mystery. Scientists remain baffled about the geological event that could have created the formations, while archaeologists and historians are fascinated by the petroglyphs and paintings drawn by the native Arawak people. Trails weave around the enormous stones, many of which have been named for the animals they resemble. Speaking of which, all sorts of creatures inhabit the area, from iguanas to burrowing owls.
Roughly two miles from the Natural Bridge you’ll find the Ayo Rock Formations, which can be climbed in pursuit of the perfect island vantage point. At the heart of the island sits the Casibari Rock Formation; the giant boulder mound can be surmounted via an easy path, while the summit provides sweeping views of the entire island. The Hooiberg, otherwise known as the Haystack, is a volcanic formation that towers some 540 feet above Aruba. The island is also home to numerous cave systems, such as Guadirikiri, with naturally illuminated passages and resident bats, the Fontein Cave, with Arawak artwork, and the 300-foot Huliba Cave, known as the “tunnel of love” because of its heart-shaped entrance.
Casibari Rock Formations
An air of mystery hangs over this site on the island’s cacti-laced interior. A series of boulders are piled high in a cluster—somewhat Stonehenge-like. Trails weave among the enormous stones, which are believed to have been formed by shifting tectonic plates, though it has not been determined how they came to be. Climbing atop the rocks is a popular activity.
Explore the Giant Rocks at Casibari
Just north of Hooiberg you’ll find a series of boulders so seemingly out of place you’ll swear they must’ve fallen from the sky. Amerindians were so taken by them they considered the area sacred, leaving ancient carvings in the rocks that you can still see today.
Casibari Rock Formations
Dramatic boulders, rock art, and enigmatic formations can be found all over Aruba. A few of the more impressive sites have been developed with walking trails for visitors and are open to explore free of charge. One notable example is Casibari, in an attractive desert setting near Hooiberg (a volcanic formation in central Aruba). You’ll find a curious rock formation called ‘Dragon Mouth’ right at the entrance, and if you make your way to the top of the main boulder, you’ll be rewarded with vast island views and, if you time it just right, a stunning Aruba sunset.