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Experiential Travel Guide to Aruba

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The tropical island of Aruba is a dream destination for many. But what most visitors don’t realize is that the island has a rough and tumble side too. Sure there are beaches, but there are also rugged cliffs and boulder strewn fields that offer a different type of natural beauty. Aruba is also a great vacation spot for the adventure traveler, from diving to going in a submarine, there are many options here to keep you occupied for weeks.
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The Caribbean features a lot of different ways to explore the ocean, but none are quite like the Atlantis submarine experience on Aruba. Guests embark on the afternoon adventure by taking a short boat ride out to the submarine dock itself. Then...
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L.G. Smith Boulevard # 101, Noord, Aruba
Superlatives reign at this massive Palm Beach resort. Among the outsize offerings? The biggest casino in Aruba, with more than 500 slot machines and 26 gaming tables, as well as the island’s largest spa. Its 414 accommodations aren’t...
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Aruba
This former mill in the northern part of Aruba hints at the island’s relatively unknown gold rush. First discovered in 1824, gold remained an important Aruban industry until around 1916, with the island producing more than 3 million pounds...
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L.G. Smith Blvd, Noord, Aruba
Built between 1914 and 1916 on an octagonal base, this stone, double-lens lighthouse is Aruba’s marquee landmark. Standing tall at 98 feet, it’s the highest structure on the island and offers the best views in its respective area....
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Lloyd G. Smith Blvd 9, Oranjestad, Aruba
At Mopa Mopa in Oranjestad, local handicrafts aren’t just souvenirs—they’re decorative art. The gallery specializes in carved wooden figures, crafted lovingly in the traditional mopa mopa, or barniz de Pasto, style. To finish...
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Gasparito 3 Noord, Noord, Aruba
Authentic Aruban cuisine and art are both on the menu at this unique eatery. Keshi Yena, Kerry Kerry, and Goat Stoba are just a few of the goodies served amid a warm, family-style setting and whimsical art created by Gasparito’s own in-house...
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14 Turibana Noord, Noord, Aruba
Arubaglassceramics is just the kind of community-driven, culture-focused hidden gem AFAR travelers hope to stumble upon. The non-profit sells local art and teaches workshops with a focus on traditional techniques. Their glassblowing, glass bead...
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Santa Cruz, Aruba
Turquoise waters and reclusive snorkeling conditions sound both ideal and cliched, but Mike's Reef in Aruba offers that definitive postcard-worthy aquatic experience. "My father started Tranquilo Aruba in 1977," says the son of founder Captain...