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Things to do in Aruba

Aruba's ancient indigenous cultural and colonial heritage has been beautifully captured in many fine museums, from the Indian artefacts at the Archaeological Museum of Aruba to the Dutch-built Fort Zoutman. Discover exotic cacti, aloe plants and rare tropical blooms in the leafy hiking trails at Arikok National Park. Fine sunset views can be enjoyed from the California Lighthouse on the island's Westpunt, or with a climb up to Mount Hooiberg, a conical hill cloaked in magnetic rock.

Aruba Numismatic Museum, Aruba. © Tabitha Borchardt
Archaeological Museum of Aruba, Aruba. Courtesy of Aruba Tourism Authority
1

Archaeological Museum of Aruba

Chronicle of island history

This permanent collection of artefacts from Aruba's Indian history includes the island's earliest historic era. Items at the Archaeological Museum of Aruba in Oranjestad include ceramic pots and stone tools from the Sero Muskita and Arikok tribes, weapons and religious offerings.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Tue-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-2pm

Address

42, Schelp Straat, Oranjestad, Aruba

Telephone

+297 582 8979

Transport

Taxi

Aruba Numismatic Museum, Aruba. © Tabitha Borchardt
2

Aruba Numismatic Museum

Ancient money museum

Established in 1981 by private collector J Mario Odor, Aruba Numismatic Museum in Oranjestad contains over 40,000 coins and notes from over 400 countries. View ancient finds from the Roman Empire and Chinese Dynasty plus currency used in Japanese concentration camps.



Cost

US$5

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 8.30am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

Address

Weststraat Z/N, Oranjestad, Aruba

Telephone

+297 582 8831

Transport

Bus to the Main Bus Terminal

Website

Aruba Numismatic Museum Website

Fort Zoutman, Aruba. Courtesy of Aruba Tourism Authority
3

Fort Zoutman

Ramparts, cannons and artefacts

The 1796 Fort Zoutman in Oranjestad features the Willem III Tower and Aruba Museum and is Aruba's oldest example of Dutch architecture, named after a Dutch Rear Admiral. The Willem III Tower was added in 1868. Colonial era objects are displayed.



Cost

US$6

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-6pm

Address

1, Zoutmanstraat, Oranjestad, Aruba

Telephone

+297 582 6099

Transport

Bus to Zoutmanstraat

Mount Hooiberg, Aruba. © David M Singer, vodkafish.com
4

Mount Hooiberg

Mountain views of Venezuela

Mount Hooiberg, a 168-metre cone-shaped hill clad in magnetic rock between Oranjestad and Santa Cruz, offers stunning views. Meaning 'Haystack', and depicted on Aruba's Coat of Arms, glimpse Venezuela in clear weather, a reward for a 600-step climb.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

Road from Oranjestad (Caya G.F. Croes) to Santa Cruz, Aruba

Transport

Taxi

Arikok National Park, Aruba. Courtesy of Aruba Tourism Authority
5

Arikok National Park

Wild untamed countryside park

The 870-acre ecological Arikok National Park in Paradera boasts semi-arid rocky outcrops and exotic flora and fauna. Follow well-signed leafy paths to Arawak petroglyphs and ancient ruins and take a tour of Yamanota, Aruba's highest peak.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

71, San Fuego, Aruba

Telephone

+297 585 1234

Transport

Taxi

Website

Arikok National Park Website

Aruba Butterfly Farm, Aruba. Courtesy of the Aruba Butterfly Farm, © Oscar Gutierrez
6

Aruba Butterfly Farm

Butterflies up close

Several hundred species of butterfly are housed at Aruba Butterfly Farm near Oranjestad, set amid colourful blooms and palms. Spend a morning walking through gardens with accomplished lepidoperists on a tour that covers biology, conservation and trivia.



Cost

US$15; 4-16s US$8; under-3s free

Opening Hours

Daily 8.30am-4.30pm

Address

J Irausquin Boulevard Z/N, Oranjestad, Aruba

Telephone

+297 586 3656

Transport

Bus to J Irausquin Boulevard

Website

Aruba Butterfly Farm Website

Aruba Heli Tours, Aruba. Courtesy of Aruba Heli Tours
7

Helicopter flights

Bird's eye view

Amazing views of Aruba's scenic coastline and swathes of raw, natural beauty can be enjoyed on comfortable Robinson 44 Helicopter flights, departing from Oranjestad. Expert commentary is provided by the Aruba Heli Tours captain with numerous sky-high photographic opportunities assured.



Cost

US$85-US$195

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-5pm

Address

LG Smith Boulevard, Aruba

Telephone

+297 731 9999

Transport

Bus to Downtown Oranjestad

Website

Aruba Heli Tours Website

Atlantis Adventures, Aruba. © Jonathan Kalmes
8

Atlantis Adventures

Shark's eye coral view

At depths of 46m, Atlantis Adventures' Atlantis VI submarine departs from Oranjestad and journeys through pastel-coloured coral gardens on the Barcadera Reef. It passes sunken planes, sponges and multi-coloured tropical fish on the wreck of a 70-year-old Danish fishing trawler.



Cost

US$89; 12-16s US$79

Opening Hours

Daily 11am-1.50pm

Address

162, Fatum Building, 2nd Floor, L G Smith Boulevard, Oranjestad, Aruba

Telephone

+297 588 6881/+297 58 37077

Transport

Bus to L.G Smith Boulevard

Website

Atlantis Adventures Website

California Lighthouse, Aruba. Courtesy of Aruba Tourism Authority - fotoseeker.com
9

California Lighthouse

Glowing lighthouse views

Striking sunset views abound from Aruba's Hudishibana plateau when alabaster sands take on a heavenly glow. The abandoned California Lighthouse dates back to 1914 and was named after a ship that failed to respond to the Titanic's SOS distress signals.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

Hudishibana, Northwest Aruba, Aruba

Transport

Taxi

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