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Aruba Points of Interest

Oranjestad, the capital city, located on the southern coast near the western end of the island, is extremely picturesque with its Dutch colonial architecture in pastel colors. Along the wharf, merchants come to sell fresh fish and produce right off the boats every morning. The downtown area with shopping malls surrounding it is the primary shopping area on the island.

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California lighthouse was named after a vessel called the "California." She was a wooden ship sailing from England to Venezuela when she ran aground off Aruba Northwest corner on September 23, 1891. The California Lighthouse was completed in 1914. Perched on a high seaside elevation, the lighthouse has become one of Aruba’s scenic trademarks and offers a picture perfect view of the island's western coastline of sandy beaches.
Around the lighthouse are acres of stoned-filled flat land, and a area called California White Sand Dunes is very popular with kids who go dune surfing.
Butterfly Farm is a 3000-square-foot mesh-enclosed garden with waterfalls and stocked fish ponds. Hundreds of majestic butterflies from all over the world flutter freely to new-age music and land weightlessly on visitors. The farm is open daily, 9am-4pm, with the last tour at 3:30pm. Located on Irausquin Blvd, across from the Divi Phoenix Hotel.
Bushiribana Gold Mill. Gold was found to Aruba in 1824, supposedly by a boy playing in a dry creek bed, and for several years locals were allowed to collect the precious metal and sell it at a government-fixed price. Thirty years later, the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company was granted all rights to the cache and built the large smelting works at Bushiribana. Today, you can climb around the tumbling-down heap of rocks that one housed the mall.
Arikok National Park is Aruba’s ecological treasure. Among the desert vegetation in the park, are divi-divi trees, rare exotic cacti, aloe plants, and colorful tropical flowers. The park is open daily from 8am to 4pm.
Follow the signs for "Parke Nacional Arikok" from the town of Santa Cruz to the entrance of the park located on the left a short distance beyond the paved road.

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Natural bridge is one of Aruba's most popular attractions, and the area is likely to be filled with tour buses any given time of day. And you can see why. The bridge is a formation of coral limestone cut out by years of pounding surf, and is one of the largest of these types of spans in the world. It stands some 23 feet (7 meters) above sea level and spans more than 100 feet (30 meters). There is no admission fee or set hours for visiting.
Natural pool. This small rock-enclosed seawater pool is difficult to enter and exit, and not worth the trouble, unless you just want to cool off. However, it is worthwhile to climb up onto boulder to watch the ocean surf break over the rocks and cascade into the basin. Forget about snorkeling, the water is too churned up. Visit the pool for the magnificent views.
DePalm Island This private island off the coast of Aruba, owned by DePalm Tours of Aruba, offers a calm, relaxing afternoon after a day of sightseeing around the island.

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