Fun Facts About Aruba
Looking for some facts about Aruba? You have definitely come to the right place!
One of our family’s all-time favourite island destinations has been Aruba. With its incredible climate, warm people, and gorgeous beaches, we always felt safe taking the kids there.
In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the hidden gems and little-known facts about this island paradise.
Whether you’re planning a future vacation or simply curious about this Caribbean gem, join us as we uncover the unique and interesting aspects that make Aruba a must-visit destination.
🌺 Fun and Interesting Facts About Aruba
Not only is Aruba a favourite tourist destination, but it is full of hidden gems and fascinating facts. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some fun and interesting facts about Aruba that will make you want to pack your bags and start exploring this beautiful island.
Get ready to be amazed as we dive into some Aruba trivia, from its famous flamingo residents to its rich history of gold mines.
🌺 Official Facts About Aruba Island
From population to the capital city to the official tree, many of these fun facts about Aruba really surprised us!
1. The capital city of Aruba is Oranjestad.
Aruba’s capital is named after the Dutch Royal House of Orange.
2. Aruba has two official languages.
Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages of Aruba. However, most native Arubans speak four languages fluently, including English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento.
3. Aruba is part of The Lesser Antilles.
The Lesser Antilles are several islands extending in an arc from Puerto Rico to the northeastern coast of South America.
4. Aruba is also part of The ABC Islands.
Together with Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba forms a group of islands called the ABC islands.
5. Aruba is very close to Venezuela.
Aruba is only 27 km (18 miles) north of Venezuela. On a very clear day, you can actually see Venezuela.
6. Aruba is a pretty tiny island.
The island is pretty small at only 33 km (21 miles) long, 9 km (6 miles) wide and has an area of about 193 square kilometres (75 square miles). Aruba’s size is so small, that it could fit into Ireland 471 times!
7. Aruba also has a pretty small coastline.
Aruba’s total coastline is only 69 km (42.9 mi).
8. Aruba may be small but it is densely populated.
In 2021, Aruba had a population of 106,537 people. This makes Aruba one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 595 inhabitants per km².
9. Nearly half of Arubans live in cities.
44 percent of Aruba’s residents live within cities.
10. Aruba’s national flag was adopted on March 18, 1976.
The design consists of light blue background representing the waters surrounding the island. There are 2 yellow stripes representing an abundance of solidarity, and a red and white star representing the four points of the compass and symbolizing the different origins of the Aruban population.
11. Aruba’s National Holiday is on March 18th.
It commemorates the day the flag and national anthem were introduced (March 18, 1976).
12. Aruba’s official slogan is “One Happy Island.”
The Aruba tourism authority could not have picked a better slogan, as the people of Aruba have a lot of pride in their country.
13. The national flower of Aruba is the Wanglo.
The Tribulus Cistoides, also called Wanglo, is a wildflower found on sandy soils along the coast and in some open spots inland.
14. The national bird of Aruba is the Brown-throated Parakeet.
Locally known as the Prikichi, this bright multi-coloured bird is an endemic subspecies of Aruba.
15. The national tree of Aruba is the Watapana.
The scientific name of the tree is Caesalpinia coriaria. However, it is more famously known as the Divi Divi tree.
16. The national animal of Aruba is the Aruban Burrowing Owl.
Locally known as Shoco, the burrowing owl was made Aruba’s national animal in 2012.
17. The national dish of Aruba is Keshi Yena.
Keshi Yena, meaning stuffed cheese, is a popular main course dish cooked in Aruba. It is thought that Keshi Yena may have originated from the slaves of the Dutch West Indies.
The slaves stuffed the rinds of Edam and Gouda cheese, which had been discarded, with table scraps to make a meal. Nowadays, Keshi Yena recipes use sliced cheese on the base and top and fill the center with chicken.
18. Aruba’s currency is the Aruban Florin.
The Aruban florin is worth about 0.55 US Dollars. The florin was introduced in 1986, replacing the previous currency, the Netherlands Antillean guilder, at par.
US dollars are also widely accepted on the island.
19. Aruba has a very low crime rate.
In fact, Aruba is considered one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. Violent crime against tourists is very rare, but you should always use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
20. Aruba is pretty far from New York City.
The distance between New York City and the Capital Oranjestad is about 3,160 km (1,964 mi).
🌺 Fun Facts About Aruba Geography
Aruba really has an interesting landscape. From incredible coral reefs to rocky desert plains, and everything in between, visitors are often surprised by how amazing Aruba’s geography really is.
21. Aruba is not in Hurricane Alley.
So while Aruba avoids many violent storms that hit other Caribbean islands, it also doesn’t have a rainy season. This also means that there really isn’t a bad time to visit Aruba!
22. Aruba is not a tropical island.
As we just mentioned, Aruba does not see a lot of annual rainfall. This means that the island is very dry and arid. It looks more like a desert than a lush tropical paradise.
23. Aruba has a tropical Savannah climate.
While the island may not be tropical, its climate is similar to that of the African Savannah.
24. Aruba is a pretty windy island.
With trade winds that blow across the island from the northeast at roughly 25 knots, it’s windy! On a positive note, we found that the island breeze makes the heat much more manageable.
25. Aruba is a volcanic island.
Aruba was formed during the Upper-Cretaceous period, approximately sometime in 145 million years ago. The island was formed when a volcano erupted on the floor of the ocean.
The nearby islands of Curacao and Bonaire were formed at the same time.
26. Aruba is home to one national park.
Arikok national park is located on the eastern coast of Aruba and covers approximately 18% of the island. Take a guided horseback tour or head there on your own for a hike, either way, the park is a must-see.
27. Aruba has a private island owned by a hotel.
The Renaissance Hotel owns a small island off the coast of Aruba. The island is home to a small flock of Flamingos, which hotel guests are allowed to feed while on the beach.
🌺 Interesting Facts About Aruba History
Aruba has a rich history steeped in culture. From the early Arawak people to European settlement, Aruba’s museums and cultural centres have incredible exhibitions filled with our storied past.
28. Aruba’s first inhabitants were from the Arawak tribe.
Thought to have been Caquetío Amerindians from the Arawak tribe, Aruba’s first inhabitants actually migrated from Venezuela.
29. Aruba is a former Dutch colony.
The island is now its own country. However, Aruba is still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
30. There was a gold rush in Aruba in the 1800s.
The Aruba Island Gold Mining Company Ltd. had an exclusive right to mine gold in Aruba for 25 years beginning in 1872. Today, you can still take a guided tour to the Bushiribana gold mine ruins.
31. Aruba is home to three lighthouses.
Aruba’s iconic lighthouse was named after the S.S. California. This ship sank on the coast prior to the construction of the famous lighthouse.
Today, you can climb to the top of the California Lighthouse for impeccable 360-degree views, or have dinner in the adjacent restaurant.
32. Aruba is very multicultural.
There are over 90 different nationalities living on the island.
33. The oldest church in Aruba is the Alto Vista Chapel.
The Alto Vista Chaple is a tiny Catholic chapel overlooking the sea. It is considered the island’s oldest church and is located on the exact site of the original chapel built in 1750.
🌺 Fun Facts About Aruba Nature
Aruba is a gorgeous island filled with a multitude of varied landscapes, vistas, and nature. So we would be remiss if we did not have a section of our fun facts about Aruba dedicated to nature.
34. Aruba is home to a rare species of the burrowing owl.
The owl, which is also the national symbol of Aruba, lives in burrows in the ground hidden by cacti.
35. Aruba is home to an endangered rattlesnake.
One of the most endangered types of rattlesnakes in the world, the Aruban Rattlesnake, calls the island home. There are only about 230 left in the wild.
36. Boa constrictors are an invasive species in Aruba.
This is a massive problem as the snakes are eating the endangered burrowing owls that are native to Aruba.
37. Lionfish is another invasive species in Aruba.
This invasive species breed at a rate of 2 million eggs per year per female for their 15-year lifespan! That’s a whopping 30 million eggs produced by each female Lionfish! Lionfish have no natural predators in Aruban waters, so the government encourages the hunting of this invasive species.
38. Aruba is home to wild donkeys.
And lots of them, apparently! You can even visit the donkey sanctuary where injured and mistreated donkeys are taken.
39. Many of Aruba’s plants are used for medicine.
Approximately 65% of Aruba’s plants can be used for medicinal purposes.
40. The Divi Divi tree is Aruba’s natural compass.
The iconic Divi Divi trees are perfect natural compasses! The trees always point in a southwestern direction due to the trade winds that blow across the island from the northeast.
41. Aruban sand won’t burn your feet.
Aruba’s beach sand contains a unique combination of coral and shell, which helps to keep the sand relatively cool all day long.
🌺 Interesting Facts About Aruba’s Culture
From its multicultural influences to its lively festivals, Aruba is home to a rich and unique tapestry of traditions, music, and culinary delights. In this section, we will delve into the fascinating aspects that shape the cultural identity of this remarkable island.
42. The origin of Papiamento is somewhat of a mystery.
Arubans say that Papiamento is a language developed from Portugeuse-African pidgin. This was the language used for communication between slaves and slave traders. However, today’s Papiamento also has some Dutch and Spanish influences.
43. Kids learn Dutch at school in Aruba.
While most families speak Papiamento at home, in Aruban schools, children have all their lessons in Dutch.
44. St. John’s Day in Aruba has an odd tradition.
On St. John’s Day in Aruba, there is a harvest festival called Dera Gai, or the “burying of the rooster”. A live rooster was buried in the ground, leaving only his head showing above the ground.
Participants would dance around the rooster blindfolded, and take turns trying to decapitate the bird. This inhumane practice has since been banned, with people now attempting to capture a flag that is staked in the ground.
45. Carnival in Aruba is very popular.
If you are visiting Aruba in February, then be sure to take in some of the many Carnival festivities. From parades to dance competitions, Carnival Queen elections, incredible food and music, you don’t want to miss out!
🌺 Aruba Tourism Facts
From its record-breaking repeat visitors to its breathtaking natural wonders, Aruba continues to captivate the hearts of travellers from around the world. In this section, we delve into the realm of Aruba tourism and uncover the secrets behind its enduring appeal.
46. Aruba welcomes more than one million tourists every year!
That is more than 10 times the local population. And while there is no Uber in Aruba, you will find a ton of different ways to get around the island during your visit.
47. The national cocktail of Aruba is the Aruba Ariba.
Made from vodka, rum, Coecoei, creme de banana, orange juice, cranberry juice and pineapple juice, the drink is absolutely delicious! Don’t leave the island without trying it!
48. Coecoei is a Liquor made only in Aruba.
Used to make the Aruba Ariba cocktail, Coecoei (Koekoei) is a liquor that is made only in Aruba. The liquor, which is made from the sap of local agave plants, is also not exported, making it very sought after.
49. Aruba loves to acknowledge return travellers.
If you visit Aruba for 10 years in a row, you will not only receive an award, but you will find yourself getting featured in the local paper. And if you visit Aruba for 20 years in a row, you will gain the official title of “Aruba Goodwill Ambassador.”
50. Aruba is a windsurfer’s paradise.
Every year, the island holds the world amateur wind-surfing championship. We actually visited during the competition, and it was awesome to see the skills!
🌺 More Fun, Interesting or Just Plain Weird Facts About Aruba
This is one of my favourite categories in our list of fun facts about Aruba! It’s a mash-up of miscellaneous tidbits of cool and sometimes weird information we gathered while researching Aruba.
51. Aruba has the same average temperature all year round.
Aruba sits at a temperature of roughly 28 Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that no matter what time of the year you choose to visit Aruba, you are practically guaranteed gorgeous weather!
52. Arubans love beach tennis.
Beach tennis is a mix of tennis and volleyball played on the beach. We watched many of the local kids playing on the beach during our visits. Looks like fun!
53. Softball is a favourite sport in Aruba.
Nearly all men over 40 in Aruba are part of a local softball league.
54. Cactus plants are used to make kites in Aruba.
I absolutely had no idea that there was wood inside a cactus plant! However, locals use lightweight, yet sturdy cactus wood, to make the perfect kites.
55. Dominoes are a favourite pastime in Aruba.
Played by young and old alike, dominoes can be played anywhere and with several players. Dominoes is also a game that requires very little investment in equipment and provides a great opportunity to socialize.
56. Aruba has no natural freshwater sources.
As a result, the island must produce its own drinking water using desalination plants. This means that you can drink the water straight from the taps in Aruba. The electricity on the island is also produced by the desalination plant.
57. Aloe Vera is Aruba’s only major export.
Aruba Aloe is used to create beauty products as well as an awesome treatment for burns. In fact, you can even tour the aloe vera factory while visiting the island.
58. Aloe juice is a good way to cleanse the body.
Arubans love a good cleanse! A tablespoon of castor oil or Aloe juice after indulging in a heavy meal is common practice.
59. Balashi is the local beer of Aruba.
Balashi Beer is a light, refreshing lager that is brewed on the island and has been a local favourite for over 60 years.
60. Aruba is famous for its fried foods.
Pastechis are a traditional Aruban breakfast food, similar to Cornish pasties. Funchi is another tasty fried food served as an appetizer in Aruba. It is similar to fried cornbread covered in cheese.
61. Iguana meat was once an Aruban delicacy.
Just like many exotic types of meat, it supposedly tastes like chicken! However, in 1995, the Aruban government created a law prohibiting anyone to kill iguanas.
This was due to their dwindling numbers on the island. Any restaurant found with iguana on their menu can receive a fine of 500 to 3000 florins and can face being shut down.
62. Most Supermarkets in Aruba are Chinese owned.
Apart from one large supermarket called “Superfoods,” most of the others are Chinese-owned.
63. Many Arubans spend time studying in the Netherlands.
It is common for Aruban students to spend a year or more studying in the Netherlands. This is because Arubans actually hold Dutch passports.
64. Taxies have no meters in Aruba.
However, the prices of taxis in Aruba are heavily monitored by the government. You will find fixed-rate fares for all trips, which lessens the possibility of taxi scams on the island.
65. Aruba first competed at the Olympic Games in 1988.
The country has subsequently participated in every Summer Olympic Games since.
🌺 Aruba Facts and Information – Final Thoughts
And that wraps up our journey through the captivating world of Aruba’s facts! Hopefully, you have enjoyed uncovering the hidden gems, cultural marvels, and tourism wonders that make this Caribbean paradise so extraordinary.
From the famous flamingos on Renaissance Island to the vibrant festivals that fill the streets with excitement, Aruba has proven time and again to be a destination that leaves a lasting impression.
So, whether you’re daydreaming about your next vacation or simply expanding your knowledge of the world, we hope that our post on the facts about Aruba will continue to ignite your curiosity.
So, tell me about Aruba! What are your favourite things about this gorgeous island?
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