On the east side of the island near where the old Natural Bridge was located, we saw a number of mysterious small stacks of rocks. I was told that they were piled there by tourists following an Indian custom - you must stack 3 rocks on top of one another. Each rock has its own name (love, wealth, and health). When you stack them, make a wish, if the rocks are blown over by the waves, your wish will be granted. Guides tell visitors this story and stop and let visitors make their own rock piles
But according to internet sources
The true story on these rock piles is that originally they were made by an Aruban artist expressing his art with rocks. There was an article in the Aruba Today newspaper about these very famous rock piles along the coast of Aruba.
You'll meet these cool guys anywhere, mostly nearby the sea and rocks. Have a lunch on the beach and soon you'll see 10 iguanas around you waiting for tiny snack...They are harmless and really picturesque!
Due to the extremely hard nature of the coral bedrock that makes up Aruba, there is very little that actually goes underground here. Cemeteries consist primarily of above ground tombs and Hills are often topped with huge silver water storage tanks. Water is stored above ground and water pipes also run above ground, thus you won't get cold water out of the tap. The above ground burials can make cemeteries rather strange places as graves are often stacked on top of each other.
The Arubans go "all out" (to quote a local) to celebrate Christmas. In fairness, the Arubans go all out to celebrate any occasion of any kind - this is a true party island!
I was fascinated by scenes such as this life size crib in gardens, Christmas music playing from sound systems set up in the gardens of houses where the occupants were clearly at work for the day, incredible displays of brightly coloured Christmas lights strung on palm trees.
Oh, just go there and see for yourself:-)
As I said earlier, the Arubans are a very superstitious people.
One of their little customs is to build stone piles or towers for good luck. We drove to the North of the island and in a very wild and rugged stony part of the island we found thousands of these pillars made of stone. Some of them are really enormous, but each one consists of one stone placed on top of another reaching towards the sky. There is no mention that the higher the pile the greater the luck, so I built just a nice tidy little one.
The secret in keeping your pile erect is ...... good balance:-)
As we drove from the airport to the Hotel we were treated to a spectacular fireworks display. I had never seen one that was quite so amazing.
This was two days before new Year's Eve, and the fireworks kept on flashing for the next two days and nights, though not quite as spectacularly.
Then, on New Year's Eve night, all the guests in our hotel were invited to a party on the hotel roof. From there we could see fireworks exploding in a myriad of colours all over the island.
Later we learned that the Arubans are a very superstitious people and one of their superstitions relates to fireworks and luck. The Arubans chase away the bad luck of the old year with fireworks, and welcome in the good luck of the new year with even more fireworks.
Ah, if only it were so easy.........;-)
On January 7 2006 we unexpectedly found ourself in Aruba's carnival. We didn't know about it beforehand and there did not sseem to be a tourist influx for the event It just happened. I guess every 18 wheel truck on the Island got all dressed up and bands played as they rolled by. Groups came along in matching t-shirts and there was even a Miss Carnaval waiving to the crowd.
I've since been told that the January event is not the real Carnival but just the opening of the Carnival season. In February you get the real thing.
While driving through the northern coast of Aruba, we came across an area filled with literally thousands of ROCK SCULPTURES, Throughout the years folks have created some pretty impressive rock art by piling one rock on top of the other and so on and some even adding some branches or other item they have found in the area. It's probably based on an Indian custom, to mark your way. I even "created" a little rock sculpture just to say I did. Actually it was pretty pathetic compared to most. On one rock formation. a little salamander peeked out from the rock as if to say "Hello".
Sister no 1, is rather partial to a Cuban cigar of distinction. Here she is, in the cigar salon at Cuba's Cookin' enjoying a quality puff with her after dinner cognac.
Here in the UK, don't have the restrictions regarding the taking home of Cuban cigars.
You can buy boxes in downtown Oranjestead, but they are even cheaper in Venezuela.
(Shhh - I was also told, that if you really want to take some home to the USA, they will package them without the labels, naturally, I wouldn't recommend breaking the law though).
A bit of confusing:
the Aruban Florin (AWG), the Antillian Guilder (ANG) and the US$!
They do have all about the same value, though linked to the US$ it cannot be used in other country (US$ 1,00 equals 1,78 Aruban Guilder/Florin, and is 1.77 Antillian Guilder, about 1 Euro for now). Be aware on Aruba the prices are often qouted in US$ (not the case on Curacao & Bonaire) and, paying in US$ is peace of cake (even 50 & 100 $ bills, exchange rate of 1 to 1.75). Credit-cards & cheques no problems at all ...
While Dutch is the official language of the islands, the people from the ABC-islands also have their own language: Papiamentu. It is an Creole language, originally from Spanish & Portuguese, with a lot of Dutch, English, and African influences. Fortunately everybody do speak English, as well as Spanish and Dutch. Antillians have a good sense for languages.
110-130 volts a.c. 50 cycles. 60 cycles will work fine, too, except items like hair dryers, irons and some battery charging equipment, which may overheat if used for an extended period of time (like mine!). European appliances that run on 220 volt cannot be used, so bring adapters.
Good to know >>>
When you should get lost at Aruba, just follow the world-famous Divi-Divi trees. These gnarled spooky trees permanently bent towards Westerly side, caused by the constant trade winds. They will be your natural compass and show you the bustling hotel district ... just trust the bonsai-like figures!
Good to know ... : -))
I remember our tour guide explaining to us that the farmers in Aruba grew these cacti in straight lines to form fences to keep their animals in. What a great way to use nature to your advantage! It also makes a lot of sense seeing as there are not many trees on certain parts of the island,
The Small Person developed an addiction to fresh mango juice. The one she liked the best, was at Mangos bar at the Amsterdam Manor. She also took to ordering mango icecreams & smoothies all over the island.
Highly recommended for small people all over the world.
These dancers appeared at Welcome Night at our resort (which was actually closer to our departure due to the weeklong, island-wide blackout, but that's another story). If you have a chance to see them, do so! From Caribbean (including Aruban) to Latin to African dances, this talented troupe wowed the crowd and seemed to have endless energy. A great show, which we would have paid good money for if it hadn't been free!
LG Smith Boulevard 55-B, Oranjestad, Aruba, 1347, Caribbean
Good for: Business
My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here. There is a great restaurant on site and the staff are...more
Palm Beach Road, Noord 43E, Noord, Caribbean
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples