Oranjestad coloured housesPhoto :David et Magalie from Vancouver CC 2.0 Generic no changes made
Oranjestad, with roughly 35,000 inhabitants, is the largest city and also the capital of Aruba. The city was built around Fort Zoutman, which was built by the Dutch at the end of the 18th century. Here you can see the typical colored houses and experience the casual Caribbean atmosphere and you will find the lush Aruban nature with its tropical vegetation and idyllic beaches. That makes Oranjestad a very suitable destination for a wonderful holiday or trip.
OranjestadPhoto: Bgabel at Wikivoyage shared CC3.0 Unported no changes made
Aruba is the smallest island of the so-called ABC islands (together with Bonaire and Curacao). Oranjestad is located on the west coast of the island. The city is easily accessible from the outside by the international airport, Queen Beatrix International Airport and at the same time forms an important crossroads in the infrastructure of the island.
Aruba has a tropical climate. The advantage of this is that the temperature on the island remains more or less the same throughout the year. And that temperature is nice, because it fluctuates between 30 and 34 degrees Celsius. The months of September to November generally have the most rainfall, so it might be better to avoid those months. The temperature of the sea remains high in the twenty degrees almost all year round, so whenever you come, a dip in the beautiful Caribbean Sea is always an option.
When the Dutch took over Aruba from the Spaniards in 1636, not many people lived on the island, which was mainly used as a trading port and for the plantations. Oranjestad was more or less created by the construction of Fort Zoutman in 1796 to defend the island against external attacks. Slowly, more and more people settled around the Fort and it took over the title of capital from Savaneta. The port has always been important to Oranjestad and still plays an important role in the Aruban economy. Many large ships still dock here every day and it is an important port for cruise ships.
Oranjestad Fort Zoutman with Willem II TowerPhoto: Natalie Liao Jen CC 3.0 Unported no changes made
Fort Zoutman is definitely worth a visit. After all, this is where the city originated and the fortress thus also forms the heart of the city. The Willem II tower is particularly striking, because it is built in the colors of the Netherlands: red, white and blue. The Historical Museum of Aruba has been housed in the fort since 1983, here you can dive into the long history of the island.
You may know the "I love Amsterdam" statue on the Museumplein in Amsterdam. In Aruba they have created an equivalent of this and since then it has undoubtedly become the most photographed object on the island. "I love Aruba" is life-size along the L.G. Smith Boulevard. Today the phrase is the island's motto. You can buy shirts, pens, caps and other knick knacks with this spell on it.
Oranjestad beachPhoto: Atilin CC 3.0 Unported no changes
For many people, a holiday means a mix of sun, sea and beach. You have come to the right place in Oranjestad. You will find tropical beaches, white beaches, an azure blue sea and swaying palm trees. If you want some variety for a day, you can also go inland. The flora, fauna and the unlimited sense of tranquility that characterizes the island, offer you the ideal holiday feeling.
Underwater world at Oranjestad ArubaPhoto: Serge Melki CC 2.0 Generic no changes made
You should definitely check out the underwater world of Aruba. The Caribbean Sea is one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world. You will find thousands of species of fish, exotic sea creatures and colorful coral as far as the eye can see. There are many dive shops on the island, so both beginners and experts can make a beautiful dive to the deep safely and without worry.
Oranjestad Atlantis SubmarinePhoto: Leonard G in the public domain
For those who still want to see something of the underwater world but don't feel like or have the courage to dive, there is the possibility to take a dive boat trip. The Atlantis Submarine departs from the port of Oranjestad, it takes you at a depth of about thirty meters past shipwrecks and you can see the wonderfully beautiful fish up close.