Aruba - Aruba is a world-class vacation destination, known for beautiful beaches and a calm island way of life. But there's much more to the island, and Matthew Smillie, owner of Aruba Villa Vacation Homes, wants to help you discover what you're missing.
"Yes, Aruba has some of the most stunning beaches," says Smillie, who provides accommodation in Aruba. "But this island also has amazing ecological sites, a beautiful butterfly farm, and a picturesque lighthouse, among other great destinations."
- California Point Lighthouse was named for the 100-year-old vessel, which wrecked and sits on the bottom of the ocean just offshore from the lighthouse. It offers beautiful views of the west coast of the island and the island's beautiful beaches.
- Arikok National Park, with its 20 miles of hiking trails, makes up about 20 percent of the entire island. It houses desert landscapes, giant lizards and Arawak Indian drawings. It boasts beautiful native flora and fauna, and park rangers are available throughout the park to lead tours.
- Aruba Butterfly Farm is home to hundreds of gorgeous butterflies from all over the world. The 3,000 square foot garden has waterfalls and fish ponds, and guests are delighted when butterflies land silently on their shoulders.
- National Archeological Museum traces the history of Aruba back to 2500 BC when the first inhabitants arrived from Central and South America. It's housed in a plantation home built in 1870.
- Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins were the site of a mini gold rush in the 1800s. Three million pounds of ore were mined after gold was discovered in 1824. Visitors can tour the remains of the mine.
- Aruba Aloe Vera Factory and Museum allows visitors to sample the island's fresh aloe and learn the history of the Aruba aloe fields.
- Oranjestad is the island's capital city. It boasts Dutch colonial architecture, and is also the primary shopping area on the island.
"Aruba allows visitors to do and see so much," says Smillie, whose Aruba villasrental company can help visitors plan their perfect getaway. "From jet skiing to scuba diving to snorkeling, our beaches provide opportunities for exciting adventures. Try kite-surfing, kayaking or take a tour on a catamaran. We can even schedule a tour on a private boat, led by your very own captain."
And for visitors who are the land-loving type, the opportunities are limitless. Visitors enjoy bird watching, horseback riding, golf and tennis. Aruba is home to several museums showcasing the unique history of the island, and first-class restaurants abound.
No matter what type of vacation you're planning, chances are Aruba has exactly what you're looking for. Rent a villaon the beach or a home on one of the award-winning golf courses, and let Aruba take you away.
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