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California Lighthouse

The California Lighthouse is a 30-metre-high lighthouse on the north-western tip of Aruba. Now that modern technology has made the original function of the lighthouse obsolete, it primarily serves as a beacon for tourists, who like to come down to his part of Aruba to enjoy the spectacular views of the island. An added plus is that there is always a refreshing ocean breeze to cool you off.

The lighthouse is named after the California, a British steam ship, that went down right off the coast in 1891. Of course, this all took place before the construction of the lighthouse, which was erected to prevent this kind of tragedy in the future. The location is perfect: the lighthouse stands on a 10-metre-high plateau along the coast, with panoramic views of the sandy beaches and jagged coastline. Apart from rugged natural beauty, there is also lots of rolling green landscape to be seen at the neighbouring Tierra del Sol golf club.

A beacon for tourists
A beacon for tourists

Aruba

Born of tragedy

A terrible tragedy took place just off the coast of Aruba on 23 September 1891. On this fateful night, the steam ship the S.S. California was unable to navigate safely around the island; without the warning light of a lighthouse, the ship did not stand a chance and tragically sank in the Caribbean waters.

It was not until 2 decades later that Aruba began constructing a lighthouse. To commemorate the fateful incident, it was named after the ship, which is how the Caribbean island of Aruba ended up with a lighthouse named after a British ship that, in turn, was named after an American state. Furthermore, the name of the location of the lighthouse – the Hudishibana plateau – is of Indian origin. Numerous international influences can be seen everywhere on Aruba and it is thus only appropriate that the lighthouse attracts visitors from around the world.

The Hudishibana plateau

“Take in a beautiful sunset in style at the restaurant”

Lobster risotto or coconut?

Next to the lighthouse stands the building that originally functioned as the lighthouse keeper’s house. However, now that the lighthouse has lost its original function, the house has been expanded and converted into an Italian restaurant that is extremely popular. Take in a beautiful sunset in style while enjoying lobster risotto with a glass of good Prosecco at the La Trattoria el Faro Blanco Restaurant. Alternatively, you can get some snacks from the stands, such as a delicious coconut – drunk first with a straw and then eaten with a spoon: a refreshing and delightful tropical treat.

Photo credits

  • The Hudishibana plateau: Sonja Stark, Flickr