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Top Things To Do in Oranjestad

By: Cityseeker
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Oranjestad is a city brimming with tropical splendor. In this island capital, pristine beaches vie for vacation-destination supremacy with world-class dining and attractions. Visitors can browse through colorful markets, ride their bikes along the sapphire coast and unwind in this vibrant town.

Renaissance Mall

Located right in heart of downtown Oranjestad, the Renaissance Mall is Aruba's premier shopping destination for luxury brands like Chopard, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Cartier and Louis Vuitton. With over 60 retail shops, restaurants and entertainment options to its credit, this luxury mall caters to the interests of Aruba's fashion-forward shoppers with a diverse offering of clothing, accessories and jewelry, alongside specialty shops selling gourmet eats, spirits, cigars, cosmetics and more.

82 Lloyd G. Smith Boulevard, Oranjestad, Aruba
California Lighthouse

Built in 1916 by a French architect, the California Lighthouse is located at the farthest northwest tip of the the island and named for the wreck of a vessel called California, which occurred nearly two decades prior. While the steamship was made famous for receiving and dismissing the SOS calls made by the Titanic just a few years before its own demise, the lighthouse earned its reputation for a more pleasant reason, namely by offering stunning panoramic views of the island and its rocky northern coastline. It was restored in May 2016, which marked the centennial of the lighthouse's completion. The interior of the lighthouse is closed to the public though the scenic landmark is well worth visiting. After gazing out onto stone flats and azure waters, tourists often stop by the adjacent restaurant, aptly named La Trattoria el Faro Blanco, or "The White Lighthouse."

North End of L.G. Smith Boulevard, Noord, Aruba
The Butterfly Farm

Located in Palm Beach, The Butterfly Farm offers visitors the opportunity to interact with and learn about butterflies and their life cycles. Guided tours lead guests through a large tropical garden where hundreds of beautiful and exotic butterflies flutter freely. Tour last approximately half an hour and are included in the price of your ticket, which is good for your entire stay on the island. A unique opportunity to see and interact with dozens of species from all over the world, The Butterfly Farm is fun and educational for all.

J. Irausquin Boulevard, Oranjestad, Aruba
Gold Mill Ruins

Set on the northern shores of Aruba, the ruins of the Bushiribana Gold Mill captivate visitors with its rich history and rustic charm. Historians believe it to be built around 1874 during the Caribbean gold rush, which was when colonial powers from all across Europe flooded the Caribbean in search of new gold reserves. The ruins of the mill are easily accessible via the famous Frenchman's Pass.

Gold Mill Ruins, Oranjestad, Aruba
Aruba Aloe Balm Museum

Walk into the Aruba Aloe Balm Museum, to know about the 160 years old history of Aruba's Aloe. From the farmer's harvestation of this little gluey plant to the use of the gel in the manufacture of beauty care products, the fascinating tour takes you through an exciting experience. You would be amazed to know the benefits and wonders of aloe vera plant. Known to have spread over two-thirds of the island's area, learn about the influence of this healing plant in art and architecture as well. Their aloe-based body, sun and hair care products are all made using the finest ingredients and is available for purchase. Make Aruba Aloe Balm Museum the first stop on your itinerary and you will not regret it.

115 Pitastraat, Hato, Oranjestad, Aruba
Eagle Beach

The island nation of Aruba is home to some fascinating beaches and vistas. Aruba's widest oceanfront, the dramatic Eagle Beach is noted for its white, powdery sands and crystal clear waters. The beach is well-equipped with shaded areas, parking spaces, and some quaint huts to escape the blazing sun on bright days. Adventure seekers can choose from an array of water sports like waterskiing and sailing here. A few months out of the year year, you'll find white and red signposts alerting sightseers against harming turtle nests at Eagle Beach. In particular, the hawksbill, green, loggerhead, and leatherback species dominate the sea and sand. Head here for all-around outdoor entertainment and outstanding panoramic views.

J.E. Irausquin Boulevard, Oranjestad, Aruba
Fort Zoutman

Built in 1798 to protect Paarden Baai (Horses Bay) from attack, Fort Zoutman is the island's oldest surviving building. A need for the establishment of a fort at the site was first identified by the Dutch when Paarden Baai gained prominence as an intermediate harbor along the trade route between Curaçao and Venezuela. In 1868, the iconic Wilhelm III Tower was built on the occasion of its namesake's birthday, and served the dual purpose of a lighthouse and clocktower until 1963 when the light was finally extinguished. With its stately design, the striking red tower has come to be one of the island's most iconic and recognizable landmarks that attracts visitors from near and far. Over the years, the fort and tower have served a variety of purposes, and today house the Historical Museum of Aruba.

6 Zoutmanstraat, Oranjestad, Aruba
Philip's Animal Garden

With over 50 species of exotic animals, birds and reptiles, Philip's Animal Garden is a great place to indulge the animal lover in you. For a nominal fee that's used for the upkeep of the animals, you get access to the many animals as well as a bag of food to feed the animals as you pet and play with them. This unique and exotic zoo lets you get up close and personal with the animal residents making this place perfect for a day of family fun and a kids favorite.

116 Alto Vista, Oranjestad, Aruba
Wilhelmina Park

With all the desert-like surroundings, you might be searching for that perfect grassy spot on the island to have a picnic or maybe just read a book. If so, Oranjestad has exactly what you're looking for. Named after the longest-running monarch in The Netherlands, the park affords its visitors great views of the fishing boats and the spectacular vegetation the tropical climate is known for. It is centrally located so if you're dying for a drink or a bite to eat, you're never too far away.

L.G. Smith Boulevard, Oranjestad, Aruba

Hooiberg is a distinctive volcanic formation in the middle of the island. Hooiberg is the Dutch word for "haystack" which seems apt since the mountain is shaped like a haystack, even if it's green and 165 meters (541 feet) tall. The second highest peak on the island, it is also seen on Aruba's coat of arms symbolizing Aruba's rise out of the sea. Earlier, in 1950s, there were 900 steps that lead to the top of this mountain. However, they were worn out and posed great dangers for the climbers and visitors. After the restoration in 1991, there are now 587 steps with a gazebo that allows the visitors to rest and also soak in the stunning panoramic views of the island and even Venezuela if the skies are clear.

Hooiberg, Oranjestad, Aruba
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