Welcome to Aruba!
Aruba was originally inhabited by the Caquetio Indians who migrated from South America. These inhabitants, dating back to 2500 B.C., were master fishermen living among the coast in areas now known as Palm Beach and Malmok. The population grew to encompass five separate villages which lasted until 1515 A.D. The first explorer to discover Aruba, Alonso de Ojeda, dubbed the new land la Isla de los gigantes after the tall inhabitants. Spain ruled the island until 1636 when the Dutch, during the 80 year war with Spain took occupation. During their rule, a Dutch naval base was established. Aruba remained under Dutch rule except for 1805 – 1816 when the English occupied the island.
Today, Aruba is known as part of the ABC islands along with Bonaire and Curacao, all of which are part of the Netherlands. The citizens are Dutch and the capital is Oranjestad. While most inhabitants speak on average, three languages, the official language is Papiamento. The official currency is the Florin; however, many tourist destinations accept the US dollar. Aruba is a mere 20 miles long and unlike its Caribbean neighbors, maintains a dry climate. The terrain is mostly flat with a few rolling hills in the island’s interior. The more popular beaches are on the south and west coast of the island where there is some protection from the strong ocean currents. This is the location of many resorts and tourist destinations. Aruba has one of the highest standards of living among the Caribbean nations and the economy relies heavily on tourism. Aruba also has a strong gold and phosphate mining industry, and petroleum refining operation. There are two airports on the island, both in the vicinity of the capital city of Oranjestad.
Aruba is home to several past and present major league baseball players as well as famous musicians representing a variety of music. Celebrities such as Missy Elliott and Jordan Sparks retreat to Aruba for rest and relaxation.