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Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad, Aruba - Aruba Cruises -

Whether you want to explore the coral reefs of its turquoise waters, soak up the magnificent views across its sun-drenched terrain, visit historic landmarks, or simply shop-till-you-drop at its world-famous markets and boutiques, Aruba offers a diverse mix of memorable adventures.

Just about every inch of Aruba's coastline is a great place to snorkel. One of the best spots is Baby Beach, with its kaleidoscope of colorful fish and corals. Another is secluded De Palm Island, where schools of native blue parrotfish thrive. This is also a beautiful place to swim, laze about or try out the latest craze in underwater activities, helmet diving. To view the reef from above and below, try kayaking in the Spanish Lagoon and across the Barcadera Channel to the splendid snorkeling reefs off Manguel Halto Beach.

For a fascinating scuba diving experience, explore the wreck of the Antilla, a 440-foot German freighter that sank in 1940. Its coral and sponge-encrusted decks have created a unique marine environment that's home to schools of many exotic fish, including snapper, blue tang and Creole wrasse. And for an undersea odyssey like no other, board the semi-submarine Atlantis to view the shipwrecks Mi Dushi and The Morgenster, as well as a the colorful exotic fish and fascinating coral formations that inhabit them.

Aruba's rolling terrain is filled with cacti, aloe and distinctively pointing divi divi trees. Be sure to take note of the island's fascinating rock formations, especially the Natural Bridge on the rugged coast, which was carved over the centuries by the beating surf alone. Move on to the island's softer side with a visit to its #1 ecological attraction, the Butterfly Farm, where you'll meet some of the world's most colorful and unusual creatures. The old stone California Lighthouse, named for the off-shore wreck of the famous ship, California, is one of the island's most recognized landmarks, and offers photographer's unparalleled panoramic views in all directions.

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