Old coloured houses
Amazing caves
The most beautiful beach in the Caribbean

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Sport and relaxation in the city

In Dutch, Oranjestad means “orange city”. The capital of Aruba, which you will visit during your MSC cruise to the Caribbean, was founded in 1796 around Fort Zoutman, a military outpost and the first structure to be built on the island. Today, with its tax free port, it serves as a base for exploring Aruba. After visiting the Fort and Willem III Tower, dating to 1866, you should explore Aruba, which is great for seekers of relaxation, but also for those leading an athletic life; those fascinated by nature, which has remained in a semi-wild state; and even for those looking for a high adrenaline adventure.

Visit the natural rock bridges and extremely calm waters lapping beaches such as the Baby Beach. Or, take an excursion to the caves in Arikok National Park: the Guadirikiri Cave with sunlight penetrating through openings in the ceiling; the Fontein Cave, which still contains cave drawings by the Arawak peoples on its walls; or the long Huliba Cave, also known as the Tunnel of Love for its heart-shaped entrance.  

Sport-lovers will have a lot to choose from: golf, mountain biking, off-roading and even land sailing in a “glider on wheels”, a rather odd choice considering all that the island’s sea has to offer both above and below its surface. You will also be able to go deep-sea fishing, snorkelling and exploring underwater the many sea relics in the area: in addition to the cargo of SS Antilla, you can see airplanes such as the Aruba Airlines YS-11, which crashed close to Renaissance Island, a long and narrow island close to Oranjestad.

Or, you can just relax in the sun on one of the many beaches that surround the island: if you trust the words of USA Today and want to see the most beautiful beach of the Caribbean, head for Eagle Beach, on the north-western tip of the island. If you want to combine snorkelling and sunbathing, go to Mangel Halto Beach, on the southeastern coast, just south of the Spanish Lagoon.

Must see places in Oranjestad

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    Warm, soft beaches
    Warm, soft beaches

    One of the first things you’ll notice when you approach Aruba on your cruise are the tall candelabra-shaped cactus plants, the kudushi, which give this Caribbean island a setting that reminds us of the Far West we see in cowboy films.

    Aruba, a long, leaf-shaped island 19 marine miles from the coast of Venezuela, has the most charming beaches in the world: Palm Beach, eight kilometres of white sand, which the Miami Herald has included amongst the ten most beautiful beaches on the planet.

    But a vacation in Aruba also means visiting the Las Vegas of the tropics, the casino of Oranjestad. Windsurf lovers instead head towards the extreme eastern point to Fisherman’s Hut, Manchebo Beach or Boca Grande. A day at the sea can be commented on at Charlie’s Bar in Saint Nicolas, one of the 10 best joints in the Caribbean, its walls lined with plaques and souvenirs.

    Amidst the white dunes of the Arikok National Park, around Yamanota, if you look carefully you will see goats, donkeys and iguanas living in the wild; the cunucu, Aruba’s stretch of desert country, is dotted by the divi divi, the national tree. Between Bushiribana and Balashi instead you can fund poignant abbandoned gold-diggers’ towns, where mines were discovered at the beginning of the 19th century and gold extracted for over a century.