Aruba, Caribbean

Magic Twice a Day in Aruba

Aruba Caribbean

When the sun rises in Aruba, it bathes the island in sharp orange light and casts long shadows in the shape of cacti across the desert island. Feral dogs sleepily find shade and tourists are beckoned to the beach while the day is cool enough to be outside.

When the sun sets in Aruba, it crawls toward the horizon for an hour, at first throwing dramatic red and orange beams that eventually give way to a pastel, watercolour wash. A layer of pink drips from the sky and coats the world. Anything could be a postcard in this light; the families splashing in the ocean, the party-goers dancing and drinking rum, even the heavy-set American tourists on Segway tours.

Overlooking Aruba
Sunset at Mangel Halto

The rest of the time, Aruba is a fine and nice and interesting place to visit. It has a dramatic and varied coastline, vibrant reefs, and a National Park that occupies 20% of the island. There’s no real public transport, and car rentals are expensive, so as a rule, tourists stick to a few small areas and only venture out on tours. There are four main languages; Dutch, Papiamento, English, and Spanish. There are expensive bars, wild goats and donkeys, fancy shops, poverty, drink driving and littering. There are flamingos on a small, separate island owned privately by a hotel, and dive-bombing pelicans everywhere else.

There are things to do and see when the sun is up and when it’s down in Aruba. There are beaches to swim at and walks to take and sights to see. But really, it’s all just waiting in Aruba. Waiting for the next time the sun meets the horizon, and makes everything magic again in Aruba.

Sailboat at Arashi beach
Sign for Arikok National Park
Urirama Beach
Contributed by Genevieve Dwyer