Aruba (Dutch: Aruba) is an independent state and a small island, the most western of the Lesser Antilles group of islands, the pearl of the Caribbean Sea. It is located just 20 kilometres away from Venezuela. Aruba is volcanic in its origin. On the south-west lay white sand beaches and the east is famous for its picturesque rocky shores. The northern shore is fringed by coral reefs.
There are 40 locations on the island suitable for diving. The waters of Aruba are tempting with great visibility, pleasant water temperature and a large number of sunken ships from different time periods: Jane Sea Wreck, Antilla Wreck, and California Wreck. The underwater world impresses with its fauna: pelagic fish, barracudas, moray eels, turtles, octopuses, rays and other tropical sea inhabitants are found here.
Aruba is home to the most popular beaches in the Caribbean. Many of them offer activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Arashi Beach is the most secluded and most northern beach, with crystal clear ocean water and an accessible wreck. Another equally quiet beach where you can enjoy the beauty of the wildlife is Mangel Halto. It is known for its reefs and two popular dive sites. Hadicurari Beach and Druif Beach are also great for diving.
There are eight major dive shops in Aruba, and hotel staff includes diving instructors. Dive shops organize boat dives, offer scuba diving equipment and underwater digital cameras for rent, as well as a transfer to the dive site.
March in Aruba is characterized by stormy weather, while April and May are the best months to go on a holiday and dive. The weather is clear and warm. There is little rainfall at this time of year. The sea warms up to 26-27 °C, so swimming and diving become enjoyable.
For the Caribbean, the hurricane season starts in June, however Aruba rarely gets hit by hurricanes due to its remote location. The average air and water temperatures in summer are 30 °C and 26 °C accordingly. Rainy days are uncommon.
The rainy season in Aruba typically starts in autumn, with up to 46 mm of rain a month. You will likely see two rainy days during September, and 5–6 rainy days during October and November. The air and water temperatures warm up to 32 °C and 29 °C accordingly.
December is the end of the rainy season in Aruba; the peak season starts in January and lasts until April. The air temperature reaches 29 °C, however trade winds make it easy to handle the heat. The water temperature is 26 °C.
Shipwrecks are the most popular dive sites in Aruba, namely a cargo ship Jane Sea, a tank vessel Pedernales, Debbie II. German vessel Antilla is the outstanding wreck. Coral reefs appeal divers as well: Mangel Halto, Boca Catalina, and Santana.
Although Aruba is an island state in the Caribbean Sea, it provides a fairly high level of medical care. The ambulance arrives at the scene immediately and takes tourists to a hospital without any problem. The following vaccines are required for Aruba: typhoid, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, and schistosomiasis.
One has to be careful when choosing foods as gastrointestinal disorders are common.
Overall, Aruba is a peaceful country. There is no place no strikes and rallies. Most of the local residents are employed in tourism.
Barracudas are considered Aruba's most formidable predators. They rarely attack humans, however, barracudas have been known to attack swimmers in murky waters mistaking their arm or leg for prey. Another dangerous inhabitant of the Caribbean islands is representatives of pterois volitans, more commonly known as lionfish. In order to defend itself against predators, lionfish releases its venomous spines which are located on its fins. Whiptail stingrays have a venomous tail spine, which can pierce a diving suit.
Aruba's cuisine is a blend of European culinary traditions. You will barely find any native American Indian food here. The Aruban diet is based mainly on different types of fish, caridean shrimps, achelata and clams. Aruba's traditional dishes include pies filled with fish and spices, fish balls, pea soup. Bean pancakes are also very popular.
However, you would not find many local alcoholic beverages here. Island's most popular drinks are beer and rum. In this country it is recommended to drink only bottled water.