Welcome to the first post in #wanderlustseries! Today we’re talking about: Aruba! Aruba is a Caribbean Island I have yet to travel to. I consider myself extremely lucky that I’ve literally been to ten Caribbean Islands in the past, mostly on cruises with my family. But every time I hear someone mention that they’re heading off to Aruba, I can’t help but get a wee bit jealous. Aruba is known for it’s dry climate, with an average of 82 degrees. It is located outside of the hurricane belt, and has more sunny days than any other Caribbean island. It’s cactrus-strewn landscape makes it slightly different than other islands nearby. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go here?! image via Travelling Pooh // Flickr CC So where is Aruba located anyways? Most people know that Aruba is located in the Caribbean, but most don’t realize that Aruba is located just 17 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. With direct flights from the US, it is fairly easy to get to. It’s closer to South America than Miami, Florida! Top Things to Do and See in Aruba: Go on a Jeep Tour of the Island This is one of the best ways to see the island. The tour will take you off-the-beaten-track, including the rugged northern coast of the island. You can also take a 4×4 tour, albeit fun, the more expensive way to do it. image via e.ip // Flickr CC Horseback Ride to the Natural Pool Much information tells you to rent a Jeep and drive to the Natural Pool, but the drive is a treacherous one – with flat tires stacked up along the side of the road. Why not get there by horseback?! Once you get here, jump in (but be careful as many of the rocks are slippery). Bring your snorkeling gear to admire the colorful fish in the pool. image via eurobuie // Flickr CC Go Snorkeling Snorkeling is basically the number one thing to do in Aruba. There are enough coral reefs and marine life to keep anyone busy for days. Conditions are almost perfect, with coastal waters having an average temperature of 80°F (27°C), and visibility ranges from 18 to 30m (59-98 ft). The best snorkeling sites are around Malmok Beach and Boca Catalina, where the water is calm and shallow, and marine life is plentiful. image via kuban111 // Flickr CC Take a Sunset Sail Take a romantic sail as the sun is setting. Most (if not all) include rum punch, which everyone always loves. image via atramos // Flickr CC Explore Oranjestad Oranjestad is the capital and largest city in Aruba. It is decorated in typical Dutch architecture but with plenty of pastel colored buildings. In downtown Oranjestad you can go shopping at small boutiques, while the harbor is known to be the place to buy fresh fish. The city also has some museums that are worth checking out. image via r_ocanto // Flickr CC Watch Flamingos frolic on the beach You can find these beautiful pink birds on Renaissance Island. Owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in the capital city, the island is man made, and accessible via boat. Here you will also find pelicans and small amphibians. image via DreamTravelMag // Flickr CC image via TVL1970 // Flickr CC Eagle Beach Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a day relaxing on Eagle Beach? Just look at those waters? Hang out in a hammock with a cocktail and I can promise you you’ll feel more relaxed than ever! image via Ken Meegan // Flickr CC Hike Mount Jamanota This is a very difficult hike, up 620 feet, through jagged, rocky terrain and passes through desert brush and cacti. While hiking, you can see unique and fascinating wildlife. The views from the top are worth it, although takes about 5 hours. Some additional facts about Aruba: Aruba’s water is safe to drink and meets the highest quality standards of the World Health Organization Aruba has an exceptionally diverse population, with more than 90 nationalities present. Arubans share a rich history and a warm culture of hospitality Dutch and Papiamento are Aruba’s official languages, but most Arubans speak at least four languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin (Afl), which is divided into 100 cents. The silver Florin coins are divided into denominations of 5, 10, 50 cents, and one florin. American dollars are readily accepted everywhere on the island Aruba’s pristine, white-sand beaches and calm turquoise waters are unlike any others. TripAdvisor.com recently named Eagle Beach one of the top ten beaches in the world <br /> // *THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on one of these links, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for the support and help keeping the site free of charge for everyone to enjoy!