WELCOME TO

ARUBA

“One happy island"

WELCOME TO

ARUBA

“One happy island"

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A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful island of Aruba

ARUBA

ORANJESTAD, THE CAPITAL

Oranjestad is a unique blend of old and new that lends a distinctive charm to Aruba’s capital.  A bustling harbour city, Oranjestad’s streets and malls are dotted with international luxury retailers, diverse boutiques, and dazzling jewellery stores.  Fascinating restored landmark buildings are found along the way, such as the green “stadhuis” housing the City Hall where legal marriages are performed.

ORANJESTAD, THE CAPITAL

ARUBA
Oranjestad is a unique blend of old and new that lends a distinctive charm to Aruba’s capital.  A bustling harbour city, Oranjestad’s streets and malls are dotted with international luxury retailers, diverse boutiques, and dazzling jewellery stores.  Fascinating restored landmark buildings are found along the way, such as the green “stadhuis” housing the City Hall where legal marriages are performed.

ARUBA MUST STOPS:

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NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
You’ll be amazed at what has been preserved in downtown Oranjestad, in the historic Ecury family home, now museum.  Indian artefacts dating back to the Pre-Ceramic period of 2500 BC are on display for your discovery. The renovated historic Ecury complex in downtown Oranjestad has been transformed from a family home to a modern museum that preserves Aruba’s Amerindian cultural heritage.

Special technology allows visitors to take an active role in discovering the past.  Of extraordinary interest is the cistern used by the Ecury family to store rainwater gathered from the roof. Expositions include a film on ancient Amerindian life from the Field Museum in Chicago and works by contemporary island artists with historical themes.

Information adapted from aruba.com

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NATURAL POOL
On a deserted stretch of coastline, dramatic shows of water spraying over the rock occurs on a regular basis as the tide rushes to shore. In a unique formation of rock, volcanic stone circles a small depression, creating a tranquil pool known as “conchi” or “Cura di Tortuga,” or more familiarly by visitors as the Natural Pool.

The location of the Pool is surrounded by some of Aruba’s most rugged terrain, so a visitor truly gets the feeling of having “discovered” something when they reach the site, by either foot, horseback or 4×4 vehicle. Due to the nature of the environment in this secluded area, the site is inaccessible by car.

Information adapted from aruba.com

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GUADIRIKIRI CAVES
The Guadirikiri Cave is famous for its two chambers, illuminated by the sunlight streaming through holes in the roof of the cave. The cave extends for about 100 feet. In the darker portions of the cave nest hundreds of harmless bats.

The Guadirikiri Cave is one of three caves located within the Arikok National Park.

Information adapted from aruba.com

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DEPALM ISLAND
De Palm Island is Aruba’s only all-inclusive destination at an affordable all-inclusive price. Whether you are a family looking for a day of fun and adventure together or a couple seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy beach area for some relaxation and pampering, this island offers something for everyone! Just bring your towel (not available on island), swimwear and camera and enjoy.

Information courtesy of aruba.com

History of Aruba

ARUBAIt is thought that the first inhabitants of the island were the Indians of the Arawak tribe.  They lived in small family groups and depended on the sea for survival.  Today, many names of towns and other geographical areas such as Turibana, Guadirikiri, and Bushiri, originate from the earliest Indian chiefs and warrior settlers.

According to many historical records, the first European to set foot on the island was a Spanish man called Alonso de Ajeda in 1499.  He referred to the island as the ‘island of giants’ because the remains he found belonging to the first settlers were bigger than average.  With the arrival of the Spanish, many Indians were enslaved and relocated.

In the 17th century, after the 80 year war between the Spanish and the Dutch, the Dutch took over Aruba.  It has been this way ever since apart from the 11 years that Aruba was aligned with Britain.

Aruba’s main sources of wealth from the early 19th century was Gold, until sources started to dwindle in the 20th century. During this period Aruba also produced approximately 70% of the world’s crop, creating another source of income.  From the early 20th century oil took over from gold which led to a strong economic boom.  To this day, oil still contributes to the wealth of the country, however now a lot of emphasis is also placed on tourism, which is the main source of wealth within the country.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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RADIO
Aruba’s flag was officially adopted on 18th March 1976.  The blue is representative of the sea that surrounds the island.  The yellow stripes represent the free positon of Aruba, but still close relationship that the island has maintained with The Netherlands.  The four pointed star represents the islands four points on the compass, symbolising the huge variety of nationalities inhabiting the island.  The red within the star is for love.  The white outlining the star represents the pristine and white sandy beaches.
ARUBA
Aruba’s Coat of Arms has been in use since 15th November 1955. The design was created by “Atelier voor Heraldische Kunst,” of Amsterdam, Holland, but it was later altered to reflect of the symbols of Aruba.

The following are the components of the Coat of Arms:

  • The Aloe is the symbol of the first source of prosperity of Aruba
  • Hooiberg (Aruba’s second highest point of elevation and its most recognizable landmark) symbolizes Aruba rising out of the sea.
  • The handshake is the symbol of the friendly ties Aruba enjoys with other nations and people, both on the political and economic level.
  • The gear symbolizes industry.
  • The cross in the centre represents devotion and faith.
  • The lion, sitting atop the Coat of Arms, represents power and generosity.
  • The laurel leaves are the symbols of peace and friendship.

Information courtesy of visitaruba.com

Aruba patria aprecia
nos cuna venera
chikito y simpel bo por ta
pero si respeta.

Refran:
O, Aruba, dushi tera
nos baranca tan stima
nos amor p’abo t’asina grandi
cu n’tin nada pa kibre (bis)

Bo playanan tan admira
cu palma tur dorna
bo escudo y bandera ta
orgullo di nos tur!

Refran:
O, Aruba, dushi tera
nos baranca tan stima
nos amor p’abo t’asina grandi
cu n’tin nada pa kibre (bis)

Grandeza di bo pueblo ta
su gran cordialidad
cu Dios por guia y conserva
su amor pa libertad!

Refran:
O, Aruba, dushi tera
nos baranca tan stima
nos amor p’abo t’asina grandi
cu n’tin nada pa kibre (bis)

Aruba beloved home
our venerated cradle
though small and simple you may be
you are indeed esteemed.

Refrain:
Aruba our dear country
our rock so well beloved
our love for you is so strong
that nothing can destroy it. (repeat)

Your beaches so much admired
with palm trees all adorned
your coat of arms and flag
the symbols of our pride.

Refrain:
Aruba our dear country
our rock so well beloved
our love for you is so strong
that nothing can destroy it. (repeat)

The greatness of our people
is their great cordiality
and may God guide and preserve
its love for freedom.

Refrain:
Aruba our dear country
our rock so well beloved
our love for you is so strong
that nothing can destroy it. (repeat)

BASIC INFO:

  • TIME ZONE:

    Atlantic Standard Time (AST)

  • CAPITAL CITY

    Oranjestad

  • LANGUAGE

    Dutch, Papiamento

  • INDEPENDENCE

    None. Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

  • ETHNIC GROUPS

    Dutch 82.1%, Colombian 6.6%, Venezuelan 2.2%, Dominican 2.2%, Haitian 1.2%, other 5.5%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

  • POPULATION

    106,795 (2013)

  • NATIONAL DISH

  • CURRENCY

    Aruban Florin (AFL or AWG)

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Alfonso Boekhoudt

Governor
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Evelyn Wever-Croes

Prime Minister

Governors

FELIPE TROMP

(1917–1995)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/1986 – LEFT OFFICE: 28/01/1992

OLINDO KOOLMAN

(1942–)

TOOK OFFICE: 29/01/1992 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/05/2004

FREDIS REFUNJOL

(1950–)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/05/2004 – LEFT OFFICE: 31/12/2016

ALFONSO BOEKHOUDT

(1965–)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/2017 – INCUMBENT

Prime Ministers

HENNY EMAN

(1948–)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/1986 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/02/1989

NELSON ODUBER

(1947–)

TOOK OFFICE: 09/02/1989 – LEFT OFFICE: 29/07/1994

HENNY EMAN

(1948–)

TOOK OFFICE: 29/07/1994 – LEFT OFFICE: 30/10/2001

NELSON ODUBER

(1947–)

TOOK OFFICE: 30/10/2001 – LEFT OFFICE: 30/10/2009

MIKE EMAN

(1961–)

TOOK OFFICE: 30/10/2009 – LEFT OFFICE: 17/11/2017

EVELYN WEVER-CROES

(1966–)

TOOK OFFICE: 17/11/2017 – INCUMBENT

LINK DIRECTORY:

A list of top sites in a variety of categories

Contributors

The team at caribbean1st.com would like to thank all contributors. The amazing websites we found that hold a wealth of resources and the individuals who have taken time to send us information and great pictures.

Our aim is to offer a complete and useful list of information to discover each island and their people. Your contribution would be much appreciated. Please feel free to send us any information that you would like us to feature in this website and we will do our best to keep every page up to date.